SEPTEMBER 2021 RSA R35.00
9 772075 405004
END OF AN ERA
JUST CRUISING BINDER DOES IT AGAIN
NAKEDS THROUGH ET
MOTO GP ROUND UP - SUZUKI WEEKEND
ZX7 REBUILD - NEWS AND MORE...
All competitors require a once-off track access
membership @ R 50 per year.
15 Lap Race
10 Minute session
3x 10 Minute
6x 10 Minute
Mini Grand Prix
Format: 10 mins Qualifying & Final Race (15 Laps)
Minimum of 8 Karts @ R4000
R500 per additional Kart
Format: 10 mins Practise, 10 mins Qualifying &
Final Race (15 Laps)
Minimum of 8 Karts @ R5600
R700 per additional Kart
Format: Can be 1 to 3 hours long. Each team will consist
of 2 to 5 competitors. Each competitor must aim to run
20 to 30 mins per session.
Minimum of 5 Karts per hour @ R6500
R1300 per additional kart
All drivers must download
To Book: Nerine 072 890 0103
or Visit www.formula-k.co.za
Photo : Blackrock Creative Studios
VR1 MX V
AVAILABLE FROM YOUR NEAREST PBA DEALER
COMBO PRICE ON SIZES
CRAIGS MOTORCYCLE NEVES
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Intro. Keeping the wheels turning...
August Edition 2021
We wanna hear from you email@example.com
Read our back issues at www.motomedia.co.za
Something is bothering me...
And I say me - because its personal. We have lost far too many people in our direct circle -
and in our trade thanks to this nasty disease.
Whilst many are being so careful about this whole COVID pandemic - in other spheres,
people carry on as if it does not exist.
Are we tempting fate?
I would hate for anyone to become infected at any event - please be responsible. Listen to
the organizers. Wear a mask. Social distance. Keep the crowding down.
Its for your own good - and we can all be around for a lot longer to take part in our fantastic
On a lighter note...
On a golf tour in Ireland, Tiger Woods rides his BMW GS into a petrol station in a remote
part of the Irish countryside.
The pump attendant obviously knows nothing about golf, greets him in a typical Irish
manner completely unaware of who the golfing pro is.
Top of the mornin’ to yer, sir” says the attendant.
Tiger nods a quick “hello” and bends forward to pick up the nozzle.
As he does so, two tees fall out of his jacket pocket onto the ground.
“What are dose? asks the attendant.
“They’re called tees” replies Tiger.
“Well, what are dey for?” inquires the Irishman.
“They’re for resting my balls on when I’m driving”, says Tiger.
“Well!”, says the Irishman, “BMW thinks of everyting!”
Have a great riding month.
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written permission of the publisher.
THE NEW NC750X: DO IT ALL, AND
BETTER THAN EVER.
Specialization may be fine for something like golf clubs, but we think great motorcycles should
be able to do it all. Case in point: The 2021 Honda NC750X. This is a bike is for motorcyclists who
appreciate both versatility and virtuosity in their adventure machines. This year, we’ve given this
model some big improvements. More power. A larger integrated storage area. Lighter weight,
and a lower seat height. Plus some huge technologic upgrades like throttle by wire, selectable
riding modes, new instruments, a new frame, upgraded bodywork, and standard ABS. At its
heart, the twin-cylinder engine produces a broad torque curve as well, making it a joy to ride.
And you can choose from two transmissions: a conventional manual-clutch six-speed, or
Honda’s revolutionary automatic DCT. Either way, this latest NC750X is going to be the perfect
one-bike choice for the rider who wants to do it all.
NC750X: R126 000
NC750X: R135 500 DCT
THE NEW NC750X: D
BETTER THAN EVER
Specialization may be fine for something like go
be able to do it all. Case in point: The 2021 Hond
appreciate both versatility and virtuosity in thei
model some big improvements. More power. A l
and a lower seat height. Plus some huge techno
riding modes, new instruments, a new frame, u
heart, the twin-cylinder engine produces a broa
And you can choose from two transmissions: a
Honda’s revolutionary automatic DCT. Either wa
one-bike choice for the rider who wants to do i
All the NEWS proudly brought to
you by HJC HELMETS
KISKA.COM Photo: R. Schedl
MOTUL LAUNCHES NEW FORMULA 300V AT
24H OF LE MANS
2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Motul 300V,
a lubricant which takes its name from the 300 racing victories
that Motul products contributed to by the time Motul 300V first
appeared in 1971.
Motul 300V is a fully synthetic lubricant that was originally
developed to meet the extended racing requirements of
participants in the 24H of Le Mans, which is why the latest
iteration of this product was unveiled at the 2021 24h of Le
Mans, the world’s most iconic endurance racing event.
The launch event also celebrated Motul’s ongoing relationship
with the 24H of Le Mans, a partnership of over 60 years that
has seen Motul develop a 360° partnership with the event as
the official lubricant partner.
Through this decades-long partnership, Motul has been able
to refine its lubricant products – including Motul 300V – using
insights gained in real-world racing scenarios. In the same way,
the latest version of Motul 300V underwent extensive testing
at the 2021 Dakar Rally. The extreme conditions encountered
on the Dakar, including temperature fluctuations, terrain, dust
and dirt, and vehicles and engines being pushed to the limits
of their performance, enabled Motul to perfect the formula of
“The history of Motul 300V encapsulates the Motul story,
with continuous technological innovation being applied in the
quest for improved performance,” commented Mercia Jansen,
Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “With
the new formula of Motul 300V due to arrive in South Africa in
early 2022, South Africans will once again be able to benefit
from our latest race-winning lubricant technology in their own
vehicles as Motul delivers on its promise of continuous product
improvement,” she added.
Besides powering most of the LMP2 teams on the 24H of
Le Mans grid, including 2020 category winners United
Autosports, Motul is proud to be the official lubricant partner
of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. After testing the new
Motul 300V, Jim Glickenhaus, Founder of Scuderia Cameron
Glickenhaus shared his excitement about the new product:
“The new Motul 300V makes a gigantic difference. In
challenging racing conditions, the engine often gets stretched
to its limits, therefore we need a reliable lubricant which will
make the engine able to continue the race. The new Motul
300V is exactly that. We have full confidence in this lubricant.”
The new formula Motul 300V offers significant improvements:
• Enhanced engine performance through reduced
internal friction and proven power and torque gains across the
• Better reliability through improved engine protection in
even the most extreme conditions;
• Improved compatibility with modern exhaust gas aftertreatment
systems including particulate filters; and
• Increased sustainability thanks to organic base stocks
using non-fossil renewable materials.
Motul 300V is available in three versions, including the POWER
series (for maximum power; features the lightest viscosity
grades, available from 0W-8 to 5W-30), COMPETITION (for
the optimum compromise between power and reliability at mid
viscosity grades, available from 0W-40 to 15W-50), and LE
MANS (for maximum engine reliability in extreme motorsports
conditions; available in 10W-60 and 20W-60 viscosities).
KISKA.COM Photo: R. Schedl
The only way to satisfy your hunger for adventure is to
feed it more! The new KTM 890 ADVENTURE is here and
primed with more power, more torque, and even more
control. Everything you need to devour more miles of travel
exploration. On or off the beaten track!
FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.KTM.COM
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.
All the NEWS proudly brought to
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Bikeshop Rivonia News:
We popped in to visit the crowd at Bikeshop Rivonia
the other day. Very cool shop, nice vibe and a
MASSIVE selection of pre-loved beauties on the
Superbikes, Adventures, Cruisers… all brands.
James, Berto and Kyle at your service…
5 Achter Road, Paulshof, Sandton…
Faired Triumph Speed Triple 1200
Triumph is teasing a new faired Speed Triple 1200
RR design concept that could signal the firm’s
return to superbike production.
Revealed out of the blue on social media, details
Called the Speed Triple 1200 RR, the machine
appears to be based on that brilliant Speed Triple
1200 RS super naked – itself launched for 2021
featuring a 178bhp, liquid-cooled 1160cc threecylinder
engine, a lighter aluminium chassis, plus
semi-active Öhlins suspension…
Oh yes please… we will keep you posted.
EDDY2RACE In The Cape Has
After months of hunting around, the team at
Eddy2Race can now officially offer you a bigger,
better version of the E2R experience! Eddy2race,
the home of Husqvarna and GASGAS in Cape
Town, has found a new home at 3 Aylesbury
Street, Oakdale, Bellville, Cape Town. Drop in
and have a coffee and chat with Eddy, while their
trusty mechanics ensure that your bikes are being
worked on with the utmost care. As always, their
sales team is ready to assist with a tailor-made
service, ensuring that your process of buying a
new ride is one to remember! They look forward to
seeing you in-store soon!
Tel: 0861 250 300 firstname.lastname@example.org
All the NEWS proudly brought to
you by HJC HELMETS
Platinum Motorcycles In The Cape Turns 10!
Rafe Fortes, owner of Platinum Motorcycles, is celebrating his
10th year in business. Platinum builds custom motorcycles
focusing predominantly on BMW Airheads of the late 1970s
early 1980s, along with servicing and repairs of all makes of
motorcycles. They also do engineering work along the lines of
main and sub frame straightening and they have the only main
frame straightening jig in Cape Town as well as the straightening
of forks and hangers, welding work and also offer panel work,
touch ups and full resprays.
They also sort out all paperwork and registration.
Their sister company, Vespa Scooter Rentals is run under the
name of Cape Town Vespa Rentals with branches in both
Gardens and Camps Bay. They have dedicated staff who are
there to provide the best service to their clientele and with the
vision to expand to new locations with a larger rental fleet and
continue offering some of the best custom builds around.
Shop 201, The Avalon Building, Corner of Hope and Mill Street,
Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
021 461 5961 / +27 79 321 0464 www.platinummotorcycles.
All the NEWS proudly brought to
you by HJC HELMETS
Local lad takes on the world…
Now here is some interesting news. Local lad Lance Isaacs has
recently been appointed as General Manager of BMW Motorcycles
of Western Oregon in the US of A. Lance is a BMW Motorrad
Ambassador and former World Superbike racer from Cape Town.
He found success in the sales department at BMW Motorcycles of
Utah and accepted his new position last month! BMW Motorcycles
of Western Oregon is the only single line BMW motorcycle dealer
in the Portland Oregon metro area. Along with BMW motorcycles,
parts, accessories, and Riders’ Apparel they carry KLIM gear and
a selection of common motorcycle accessories requested by their
customers. Nice one!
2nd Ridgeway Racebar opening soon!
In the same centre as Raceworx KTM and Husqvarna West and the
Big Easy store just off Hendrik Potgieter Avenue in Roodepoort. In
true Ridgeway Racebar style, it looks really cool, with great food in
a race atmosphere. And they are raring to go – but – like with most
Govt departments there are some delays…
But it’s going to be an epic venue with amazing views through the
Watch this space, we’ll keep you posted.
PW Parts now also Blaster Bits…
The guys who import and distribute all the aftermarket bits for PW’s
have branched out. There must be like a zillion Yamaha Blasters
knocking around – and they now import engine rebuild kits for
these famous quads…
Decal kits, crank kits, top end parts, gaskets, clutch kits and
electrical components all in stock!
Fix your wheels…
Here’s some praise in a world where promises often outweigh
service.... we picked up a big ding on the rim on one of the bikes
we borrowed. Call to Hi Tech Mag repairs near Alberton. Dropped
the wheel. 1 week was the promise. A week and four grand later
the wheel was brand new. Trued balanced and lekker lekker.
Thanks guys! A new wheel is a lot more expensive...
These guys actually do all sorts like wheel widening, polishing,
hydrodip and all sorts… More news soon.
All the NEWS proudly brought to
you by HJC HELMETS
Vermont Sales Food Supplements
Huh?? A tool and hardware company that does food
supplements? Yup, we were just as surprised as you to hear this,
but if you think about it, Ryan Hunt, boss man at Vermont is a
multi MX national champ with a bunch of international titles under
his belt as well and is still racing and very involved in young
rider development. And you would have read about a bevvy of
motorcycle related products coming in through Vermont in this
very magazine over the last year or so. So it would make perfect
sense for them to have their own range of food supplements,
vitamins and minerals, not only for their riders but for their staff
and families as well.
OXFORD TOLEDO Adventure-Touring
JACKET RRP R2995 inc VAT
New from the guys at DMD is the Oxford Toledo Adventure and
Touring jacket. The polyester jacket has tough nylon overlays on
the shoulder and elbows, creating a durable jacket for yearround
use. Inside, a newly developed style of thermal liner with
two zips to enable the liner to twist with the body, provides
improved comfort. In summer months, two shoulder vents at the
front and a single vent at the rear provide the necessary air-flow
to keep you cool. Key Features include:
• CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow protectors
• Back protector pocket
• Subtle black reflective elements give visibility in low light
They do everything from arthrocare tablets, (yes laugh you
youngsters, but when you get past 35 you will suddenly start to
feel the effects if all the abuse your bike racing has put on your
body), Calcium/magnesium supplements for those still training
and racing, Vitamin C powder, Glutamine powder, Lecithin
Powder, Milk Thistle capsules, Omega 6 evening primrose oil,
On The Run meal replacements in various flavours in big tubs or
sachets, Multi vitamin capsules, Power Whey 1 kg tubs, Slim and
Healthy meal replacements and so, so much more goodness
and healthy stuff. To find out more and for your nearest stockist
go to www.vermonthsales.co.za and click on the “Outdoor/
Lifestyle” tab then scroll and click on the “Food/supplements”
tab and start shopping.
• Waterproof membrane
• Fully removable thermal liner
• Adjustable rolled neoprene collar
• Soft-edged cuffs for maximum comfort
• Hand warmer pockets
• Internal & external Napoleon pockets
• Storm-flap on front closure and rain gutter system to stop rain
• 2 x shoulder vents and a rear vent for air-flow
• Adjustment points on upper arms and hips
Looks like a great jacket for the upcoming summer showers, go
to www.dmd.co.za for your nearest stockist as well as a whole
bunch more great motorcycling products.
Dane Hellyer joins IMI....
Dane Hellyer is now heading up workshop at the busy Aprilia,
Guzzi and other bits Italian dealership. He includes years of
international experience with Italian Motorcycle Brands.
• Versatile - Id
• Inflates bicyc
• 4 programma
ease of use
• Built in white
• Compact for
• Complete wi
• Easy to read
• Complete wi
For bikes, air b
Lead Gel Calcium AGM EFB
• Multi-stage smart charge cycle ium Cobalt LiCoO2
RSC404 (UK), RESC404 (Euro)
Repairs and protects vehicle battery
Battery Capacity (Charging) 90Ah
• Charges twice as fast as a standard charger
Battery Capacity (Maintenance) 140Ah
• Multi-stage charging cycle
To repair damage and protect against overcharging.
• Includes winter charge mode
Battery Clamps 1.5M
For effective charging in cold weather
Cable Length 1.5M
• Ideal for START/STOP vehicles
Winter Charging Mode 4
• Suitable for lead acid, gel, calcium, EFB and AGM batteries
Battery Repair Function 4
• Rated IP65
Making it weatherproof
Maintenance Mode Setting 4
• LCD screen
Battery Clamps Only 4
To make selecting the correct program simple
H136 x W255 x D58mm
Case Quantity 4
Ring Automotive Limited . Gelderd Road, Leeds, LS12 6NA United Kingdom
Telephone +44 (0)113 213 2000 . Fax +44 (0)113 231 0266
Email email@example.com . www.ringautomotive.com
Handheld Rechargeable Tyre Inflator
Handheld Rechargeable Tyre Infl
• Versatile - Ideal for cars, motorbikes and bicycles
• Inflates bicycle tyre in
Big Eazy’s Custom Bikes and
Every once in a while you come across a little bit of Heaven
on Earth particularly if you have somewhat eclectic tastes
and don’t enjoy mass produced, standard or conservative.
Out on the West Rand is a shop that will really tickle your
They don’t do ordinary. Not with their bikes, not with their
accessories, not with their décor and most definitely not
with their customer service or workshop quality.
Johann Claasens is a big guy with a big passion for all
things custom and collectable. He loves manipulating
metal to his will and vision. Since he was a lightie, every
time he was presented with a challenge his reaction was,
“Ag Man, that’s easy” and quickly sorted it, eventually
earning himself the nickname ‘Eazy’.
As he started out growing his snotkop shorts and became
the large individual he is today that soon changed to ‘Big
Eazy’. As he grew so did his passion and vision and his
business to the point where his garage and workshop at
home were too full and he needed to move into bigger
premises, which then grew some more and he had to
expand into neighbouring shops ... and its still growing.
The workshop is as neat as a pin, filled with the latest
creations and surrounded by glass so all his patrons can
see what is possible and how their dream machines will be
treated. The entrance and accessories side of the shop is
filled with his personal prized possessions and creations,
from his late fathers prized Royal Enfield from the 50’s and
fully restored to perfection in memory and honour of his
Dad, to custom made furniture, shop fittings and some
very rare finds.
One such find is an old 50’s 50cc “Vicky” ‘Help-My-Trap’
still with an old 1957 brass licence plate badge on the
frame. Johann was driving around and happened to see
the front wheel and part of the front end sticking out of a
very overgrown ivy patch in somebodies garden. He asked
around and was introduced to the owner the next day and
managed to persuade him to sell him the Vicky, which he
has promised to restore with some light customising and
get the old girl running again.
We will be following the progress of the build on the Vicky
and will do a full feature in a couple of months once it is
done along with a little ride review before it goes up for
Another gorgeous and rare find in the shop is a pristine
1974 AMF Harley Davidson 175cc single dirt tracker export
model. According to Johann the bike is a restoration
commission from one of his clients. The brief was to bring
the bike back to as-good-as-new mechanically but to have
it look like a ‘survivor’ rather than a full restoration and
to keep whatever original paint and decoration could be
saved and cleaned because of the forgotten history of the
brand in that era.
For instance, the AMF part of the branding stood for American
Motor Federation and was apparently supposed to be patriots
hence the USA flag colours in the emblem. However, legend
has it that they were labour unions owned and run by the Mafia
who do seem to be blamed for the downfall of the American
motor city, Detroit and the loss of a number of well known
brands. Like we said, “Legend has it ...” a quick google search
didn’t confirm or deny it, but it’s a pretty cool story.
Another quite interesting little bit of information is that the
motors were all Korean. After the Korean War a bunch of trade
agreements were put in place to help stabilise and grow the
Korean economy and they had to do something with all the
products coming into the States out of Korea and the AMF
agreed to build Harleys for the export market. Engine sizes
ranged from 125cc’s through 175cc’s and up to 250cc’s. So we
think it is great that the owner wants to preserve that little bit
of history and that he found a shop like Big Eazys to faithfully
So! They don’t only do customs they also do full restorations
as well as resto-mods. It helps that Deon in the workshop is a
qualified artisan and welder as well as a jeweller.
Wandering around the rest of the shop you will find custom
knives, knuckle duster, biker jewellery, custom fragrances,
man cave collectables, period and style correct helmets, face
shields, leather riding masks, custom bike accessories of every
description, clothing and so much more. It is actually quite
refreshing walking into a bike shop this unusual.
All the pre-owned bikes for sale are one form of custom or
the other from baggers, to cruisers, to choppers and bobbers,
resto-mods, classics and a couple of café racers thrown in for
good measure and mostly all are financeable with all the paper
work handled in house.
Get yourself down to the Raceworx centre, shop No.8, Golden
Falls Centre, 38 Zandvliet street, Roodepoort to experience
the this little bit of Nirvana for yourself, or call them on 083 339
6966 firstname.lastname@example.org or info@bigeazyscustoms.
Keep an eye on this Magazine, we will be featuring some of
their builds as they roll out of the workshop into the sunlight for
the first time. What a cool motorcycle shop!
From left to right :Etienne Scholtz - Technician
Damian Sadie - DP
Elle Sadie - Director
Paul Kersten - Sales Manager
Kobus van Der Mescht - service advisor, accessories
Anton Prinsloo - Parts
Triumph PRETORIA NOW OPEN...
Some great news for Triumph Fans in Pretoria!
Triumph has expanded their footprint. The Pretoria branch
is a project of passion by Damian, ( the D.P.) and Elle, ( the
Director) Sadie who have put together a team of equally
passionate people around them, some new to the industry
along with a couple of well-known faces.
Paul Kersten, well known to the motorcycling industry in
Pretoria and Centurion heads up sales as Sales manager.
Another well-known face in both areas and has worked
with Paul at a number of Pretoria dealerships is Etienne
Scholtz looking after all things technical in the workshop.
Kobus van Der Mescht is your service advisor and
accessories sales with Anton Prinsloo on Parts.
Based on the corner of Jan Shoba, (previously Duncan st)
and Park st, next to the Engen in Hatfield they are perfectly
located to service the Pretoria and Centurion region, with
quick access to and from the N1. So Triumph owners
from the Limpopo Province don’t have to travel all the
way into Jo’burg and saving themselves around and hour
of travelling time when traffic is good and a easy 3 hours
when traffic is horrible in that direction.
The shop is fully stocked with absolutely everything you
would find at the Flagship branch in Sandton, from parts
and accessories, to riding kit, fashion wear and a full
range of motorcycles as well as a complete fleet of demo
motorcycles for you to get your juices flowing and signing
on the dotted line.
The entrance is in Park Street with plenty safe and secure
parking on the premises and easy access back into traffic
at the lights right outside the shop. The shop itself is huge
and well laid out with a fish bowl around the very neat
and professional workshop and fitment centre. There is
always a friendly face to greet you at the door with an
offer of some superb coffee from their comfortable and
inviting coffee bar. The atmosphere is friendly with music
on the go the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Motorcycle
are displayed in such a way that you can walk around
them easily and appreciate them from all sides as are the
accessories and fashion wear with a team member always
close at hand to answer any questions you might have.
Having only opened a little on a month ago they are
extremely busy, on the go all the time If the flagship
dealership is anything to go by, you can really expect great
things from this new shop in the future.
Drop in and say ‘Hello’, (don’t forget to tell them that we
sent you along), at 409 Jan Shoba st, (corner Park St,
entrance in Park st), Hatfield Pretoria. Best advice we can
give is if you’re coming in off the N1, follow Pretorius st,
turn left into Gordon which becomes Jan Shoba, go past
the Triumph on your right, turn right into Burnett st, then
first right again into Grosvenor, first right again into Park st
which is a one-way and then right into their parking lot just
before the traffic lights.
Or you could call them on 012 955 4444.
RF SEP TRIDENT Ad - PRINT.pdf 1 2021/08/22 17:35
A tribute to Valentino Rossi.
By: Donovan Fourie.
The Doctor has announced his retirement after an
illustrious 30-year professional racing career, a career
that will be spoken of for generations.
It all started in 1990 when, to please Rossi’s mother,
father and former Grand Prix racer, Graziano took
his son kart racing instead of the more dangerous
motorcycle racing. The karting career had some
success with the young Rossi eventually moving to
the national series and looking promising. A career in
Formula One was imminent!
Thankfully, karting at this level proved to be a bit rich
for the Rossi family’s blood, so they moved to the
cheaper and easier Mini Moto series, where Rossi once
again flourished. Mini Moto success led to an opening
in the Italian 125cc production championship that then
led to racing a 125cc GP bike.
In 1996, at the age of 16, Rossi joined the World 125cc
Grand Prix Championship, scoring his first podium
in the Austrian round and later winning the Czech
Republic round. At the end of his premier season, Rossi
managed a respectable 9th place.
His second season on the world stage saw him move
to the iconic Nastro Azzurro Aprilia Team where he
completely dominated the championship, winning 11 of
15 races that year.
More so, Rossi developed a reputation of being a
Remember, that at the time, Doohan was dominating
the 500cc class, but in a respectable manner, waving
at the crowd on the slow down lap and giving
straightforward interviews. The Australian gained
massive respect for his racing prowess, but he didn’t
exactly win anyone’s heart.
In the 125cc class, there was a lanky, dopey, young
Italian with long hair, smiling his way to race victories
and then celebrating with little gimmicks, like dressing
up as Robin Hood and carrying a blow-up doll as
a pillion. These celebrations were corny, cheap,
ridiculous and utterly brilliant. These acts were thought
up by Rossi and his close friends in the pizzeria in
Rossi’s home town of Tavullia. They were fun and
genuine, which made people fall in love with the name
Rossi, and were a big part of the reason why his fan
At that stage, many people were watching the
125cc race just to see Rossi, and then falling
asleep for the 250 and especially the 500 race
that mostly saw Mick Doohan disappearing
into the distance followed by a drawn-out
string of stragglers not keeping up, followed
then by a boring interview with the winner.
The 125cc class was the business because of
Rossi - until 1998, when he moved to the 250
class, then everyone started watching 250s.
In his first year, Rossi either finished on the
podium or crashed. He took five wins in his
debut year but also had five DNFs. Despite
the inconsistency, he finished runner-up, just
23 points behind eventual champion Loris
The 1999 season saw the Italian come back
strong, scoring just one DNF and claiming
eight wins - and the title.
Throughout his 250 career, Rossi continued
his flamboyant way, hosting post-race
celebrations, including the famous portable
toilet skit where he parked his bike against the
tyre wall and popped into the marshal’s Portaloo,
leathers and all.
2000 saw him jump up to the 500cc big boy
class, with his first race in Welkom, right here
in SA. After much anticipation, Rossi caught
some Free State superbug and was sick and
sniffly the entire weekend. He did his best
during the race but eventually fell off while
Rossi and his new crew chief, the famed
Jeremy Burgess, said they were using the
first year as a testbed, preparing for year two
when they would have a proper go at the title.
Except that, in his debut 500 year, he scored
ten podiums and two wins, earning himself a
second in the championship.
His second year in the 500 class dominated,
scoring 11 wins, 13 podiums and an easy
The following year was the debut of the
newfangled MotoGP four-stroke class where
Rossi rode the mighty Honda RC211V V-five
and again dominated, winning 11 races and
finishing on the podium in every race apart
from the Czech Republic where he crashed.
The 2003 season saw similar domination
– it would appear that the pair of Rossi
and the Honda were unbeatable. No other
manufacturer could get even close.
And then… for 2004, Rossi moved to Yamaha.
Said everyone in the world.
There was much speculation about how Rossi
would do on a machine that clearly was not as
strong as the Honda. Some people believed
he could win the title in his second year on the
Yamaha. More optimistic people thought Rossi
could take a few wins in his first year. Nobody
expected him to win the title the first time
around. Even fewer people believed he could
win his first race.
And yet, in one of the most famous races in all MotoGP history,
at Phakisa near Welkom here in South Africa, Rossi battled
his arch-rival, Max Biaggi, on his Honda, with the Yamaha and
won. Let’s put that into perspective – Rossi won on the Yamaha
M1 Moto GP bike, while the next best Yamaha in that race was
Norick Abe, a full 36 seconds back, followed by Carlos Checa,
another three seconds even further behind.
The Yamaha was a dog of a motorcycle that year, and yet Rossi
could win on it. On his first attempt. That feat skyrocketed him
to legendary status.
The rest of Rossi’s career we mostly know – he went on to
win the title in 2004, 2005, taking a break in 2006 when Nicky
Hayden took the laurels and again in 2007 when Casey Stoner
The 2008 season started as another dominant year for Stoner
and his freakishly fast Ducati until the Laguna Seca round in the
USA. Stoner was fastest in every single practice session and
qualifying, with a gap as much as 0.8 sec per lap over the rest
of the field. The race looked to be a Stoner run-away.
And then the race started, and Rossi dive-bombed Stoner into
the lead. They finished the first lap, and Stoner blasted past
Rossi down the straight, and the crowd prepared for him to
run away to establish a dull race. Except that Rossi once more
dive-bombed the Australian and dive-bombed him on every
single lap, not allowing him the chance to pull a gap. The most
famous of these dive-bombs was into the notorious Corkscrew
Bends, where Rossi went up inside of Stoner and then clipped
the sand on the inside of the second part of the chicane and
somehow still stayed on…
Eventually, Stoner out braked himself into the last bend
and fell in the gravel. And was broken as a competitor.
Rossi won the next five races and eventually the title.
And the next title.
With the championship tally on nine, he entered the
2010 championship looking good until he slipped
on cold tyres at Mugello and fractured his tib-fib,
putting him out of three races and handing the title to
teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
Then, 2011 and 2012 saw him make the dream move
to Ducati, and we know how badly that went, followed
by a swift departure from Ducati and a relieved return
With the Marquez era, Rossi has not won another
championship, and it looks unlikely that he ever will.
Before the Styrian GP in Austria, The Doctor called a
special press conference. Some people believed that
he would announce a move to his new VR46 Ducati
Team next year, but these people were more hopeful
He sat on the stage, a lone figure on a stool before
all the world Media, and announced his retirement at
the end of 2021. Most retirement announcements,
especially after a long career such as Rossi’s 26 years,
are sombre affairs with tears, snot, and emotions.
Rossi’s started with a joke about him feeling naked
while sitting on the stage alone with a stool: “Maybe I
should have a table, yes?”
With a slight smile, he laid straight into the news – he
would be retiring. He continued to joke, walked around
the room afterwards, thanking each photographer and
journalist with a smile. Next year, he plans to race cars
and manage his VR46 Team.
He will also be a father…
Three weeks after the retirement announcement, Rossi posted
photos of him in a doctor’s lab coat holding a stethoscope to his
girlfriend’s belly. They are expecting a girl.
So, this year will see the end of the most famous career in
motorcycling and, possibly, motorsport. People say that noone
is bigger than the sport, and yet Rossi is. His social media
following is bigger than MotoGP’s and bigger than all his
rivals put together. Johann Zarco commented that when he’s
explaining what he does to non-motorcyclists, he usually just
makes it easier by saying “like Valentino Rossi,” followed by
nodding and understanding.
More so, if anyone goes around a public place, chances are
most people won’t know what MotoGP is. Most people, though,
have heard of Rossi.
The Doctor has entertained us for 26 years. He has astounded
us by overcoming various challenges, many that no one has ever
done before. And we had the pleasure of seeing Rossi race, in
whatever position, until his ripe old age of 42.
Cal Crutchlow retired at the age of 35 and can not possibly
imagine racing for another seven years.
Even now, 12 years since he last won a title, most of the
grandstands are yellow, and they shall be even more yellow this
year as the hoards of fans of the most popular motorcycle racer
that has ever lived come to the track to say goodbye to their idol.
I feel sorry for whoever wins the title this year because the last
race at Valencia will not be about him.
Perhaps part of the reason that he has retired
is the fact that there is a baby on the way...
12 hours, 865km’s
Saddle sore, butt weary and still smiling…
Sean Hendley, Shado Alston, Stefan vd Riet
Pics: Stefan vd Riet (Black Rock Creative Studio)
These days, just about every bike you see on our roads is some form
of adventure bike or the other. Whether commuting around town or out
on the open road. Occasionally, in what is becoming an increasingly
rarer event, you might see a sport bike or a streetfighter/naked bike -
and they are usually bumbling around the burbs or city and if they are
out on the open road they are in all likelihood loaded on a trailer behind
a big SUV or double cab.
Why is that? Can you even tour on super bikes or super nakeds?
We have heard that some of our favourite playgrounds are going to wrack
and ruin, especially the old Eastern Transvaal. Reports of bad potholes,
unmaintained roads, crazy amounts of huge mining trucks, informal
settlement everywhere are some of the tales of woe we have been hearing
murmured in and around the biking public. Is E.T. still a viable option for
sportsbike riding? These are just some of the questions here in the office.
Well, we need to investigate these questions for ourselves, a call was put
out to all our mates in the industry and we managed to scragg a demo
BMW S1000R from BMW Fourways and a Kawasaki Z900 from KMSA.
YES! Yes, we know we have tested these bikes to the enth degree, but
for various reasons there is quite a severe drought of new models on the
market, especially sport bikes… another point which might be answered by
the end of this article and these are some of our favourite bikes anyway and
this article is more about where, when and can you rather than an actual
model specific review.
So, early… definitely too early for a post winter solstice frikkin’
cold morning, we donned all our warmest riding kit we could and
saddled up with the sun just barely peeking over the horizon and
the winters mist or smog still hanging low to the ground. Aiming at
said ball of fire and the hope of warmer climes in that direction we
set off down the highway to our first stop deep in the coal mining
communities on the edge of the highveld.
Quick stop at Bike City Middelburg
Rolling down the highway at this time of the morning, with no
protection from the wind on super nakeds is cold enough to freeze
the balls off a brass monkey, (a phrase coined in the days of the
old wooden warships, the cast iron cannon balls were stored next
to the cannons on a tray called a monkey, in severely cold weather
the brass would contract and spill the balls onto the deck, thus
‘Freezing the balls off a brass monkey’ …go ‘fact check’ that).
Even with a couple of layers and thermals under the riding kit,
I was particularly grateful for the heated grips on the Beemer…
Even though the freeway is fairly straight and uneventful,
perfect for cruise control and sticking your gloved hands on
the engine, it is still so lekker to ride with a couple of mates, all
experiencing the same thing and watching their antics trying to
stave off hypothermia and occasionally challenging each other
to impromptu ‘roll-on’ drag races when the roads clear up a bit.
Riding into coal country, (Middelburg, Mpumalanga to be exact),
with the morning sun still quite low and seeing the headlights
appearing out of the smog and mist emitting vapours from their
exhausts is a strange and eery kind of beauty, faceless and
anonymous slipping back into the same with a bright red glow
The most interesting characters are found in these hamlets, we
stopped in at a dealer that has a particular fetish with building
madly powerful superbike engines into ATV’s. After drooling all
over his showroom and workshop floors and making arrangements
to come to a proper ride on said beasties, (read about that this
magazine and our sister magazine Dirt And Trail), it was off into the
yonder mountains through the town of Middelburg and out along
the main road for a fuel stop in Stofberg.
The roads sweep through farmlands past a couple of coal mines
and is generally in good condition.
It is only on the routes taken by the trucks to the rail sidings from
the mines that are in really shoddy condition and do require some
serious concentration and a severe reduction in speed to survive.
A quick fill up in Stofberg, which is quite a big, but friendly informal
community, we turned right towards Tonteldoos and Roossenekal.
Unfortunately, due to us being on road bikes we couldn’t stop in
at our mate Peter McBride’s ‘HighsideSADDLE SORE Tavern’ in
Anybody know what a ‘Tonteldoos’ is? No it is not your boss being
a chop! It is actually a tinderbox, before matches and zippo’s the
Voortrekkers used to keep dry tinder, charcloth, hemp or other
materials ready to take a spark and start a fire along with a flint and
stone … see, you even learn useless facts reading this magazine,
and you can go ‘fact check’ that.
Turning right at the informal dwellings into Roossenekal it was
onto De Berg Pass, (also Steenkampsberg Pass), for our first bit of
serious knee down riding.
Very few riders actually know of this little bit of heaven, mostly
because they are towing their bike along the shortest or quickest
route to get to the usual Sabie, Longtom and the like. Our mate
Shado had never ridden this pass before, (and he considers himself
quite the E.T. aficionado), and couldn’t stop gawping at the views
and commenting on how good the surface was, how quiet the pass
is and how fantastic the corners are. Our photographer nearly hurt
himself whirling around trying to take photo’s and shouting, “Wow,
what ffff…f f flippen awesome photos, let’s try that corner, and that
corner, and that one as well … and that …” and we were only too
happy to oblige! Chasing your mate through a bend on a quiet,
beautiful mountain pass astride a magnificent piece of motorcycle
engineering under sunny skies does not need too much begging or
Some of the worst roads in history. Refer to
our maps at the end of the feature.
Once off the mountain it is pretty smooth sailing and fun riding until
just before the T-junction and turn off to Lydenburg, Lyden or suffering
is an apt name for this bit of the country and this bit of road. It is just
Trucks everywhere churning up the tar and driving like ‘carrots’
then it is a quick right onto the road that leads to Bambi Hotel and
OHHH!!! 4…5…6…!!!! What a nightmare, for about 15 minutes I
started counting trucks… and stopped at 60 mainly because I nearly
crashed my brains out in one of the never ending potholes the size of
So! Let’s extrapolate that, 60 big interlink mining trucks in 15 minutes,
4 x 15 minute makes up one hour, thus around 240 trucks per hour
weaving erratically to avoid the carnage they have caused. Granted
this only goes on for about 20 to 30 kays, but once you get onto semi
decent roads and start relaxing and getting into your rhythm through
the long sweeping bends, suddenly a moerse donga appears in your
riding line requiring urgent and extreme remedial action to avoid
destroying your bike and yourself.
AVOID THIS ROAD AT ALL COSTS, which is a great
shame because it does ruin an otherwise epic riding route.
At Bambi Hotel it was left onto Schoemanskloof, over De
Beers Nek and some of the most glorious countryside
you can ever imagine. Schoemanskloof is God’s own
front garden where he shows off how green his fingers
really are. This is even more apparent once you whip over
PatataNek and into the citrus valleys below. The tar is
new, smooth and sweeps through the mountains like the
river of life. Full of them triangular signs with squiggly lines
warning motorist of impending doom and letting bikers
know that the fun is about to get real. Other than just living
our best life on these roads the other bit of excitement we
had was watching a helicopter with a bucket scooping up
water from a nearby dam and dumping it over a mountain
fire. Not something us Stadsjapies see every day and
listening to the beat of the rotors and the chopper flying in
low over the mountains brought back memories of days
in the military waiting for the relief brought in by or a ride
home in these beautiful machines.
A quick refuel and a cheeseburger and milkshake for lunch
at the Kami restaurant have down Schoemanskloof was in
order before our ride through “The Bom (Mbombela)” and
down one of the most spectacular passes to Barberton.
The ‘Hill Top’ pass on the R40 just outside Nelspruit has
some of the tightest sweeping bends you have ever come
across and is heaven for any track rider. It is undulating,
with some bends dropping away as you come around the
mountain or rising up to meet you as you get on the gas
coming out the other side. You can really get your knee
down here properly. It is a bit busy depending on the time
of day, but we spent an inordinate amount of time doing
U-turns and attacking the corners again and again and
again and … before heading off towards Barberton on a
brilliant section of tarmac for testing a bikes top end. Just
before Barberton we hooked a right onto the Badplaas/
Carolina road … and if you think that the roads couldn’t
get any better, well you would be mistaken. At this
point I swapped onto the Africa Twin to give Stefan, our
photographer a chance to ride the two super nakeds and
if you recall from last month’s issue, I took said Twin to a
cornering school at RedStar, so needless to say, despite
the hour and riding into the setting sun it was game on.
Nelshoogte Pass, sometimes known simply as Nelshoogte
or Nelsberg Pass, lies on the R38 between Barberton and
Badplaas directly north of the Nkomazi Wilderness area.
The pass is at once steep and dominated by the dense
pine forests of the Nelshoogte State Forest, which add to
the enchantment of the ride, (thanks for that description
www.sa-venues.com, really couldn’t have said it better
myself). The pass twists and turns around the mountains
with long open sweeping bends before descending
down into the lowlands in long flowing curves that saw
us running north of 200km/h before stopping for a final
refuel in Carolina and aiming at the setting sun to head for
home. After almost 11 hours in the saddle with
the temperature dropping faster than the setting sun
and truck traffic increasing, this bit of the road was in
okay condition but still a bit of a chore in the fading light.
Turning left onto the N4/N12 at ‘Generaals Draai’ and
whipping down the Freeway was very welcomed. Then
it was a burn down the highway, dodge the toll gate
between Middelburg and Witbank, and hang cable home.
And yes, even this was fun albeit incredibly hypothermic
running at speed on a well maintained highway in the dark
with your mates at your side.
The Kawasaki Z900 is some of the best value for money
Eventually we arrived home to a bowl or two
of lekker homemade soup after a full twelve
hours after putting the coffee mug down on
the kitchen counter and climbing on the bike
to head out for the days riding.
These days are just good for the soul,
We love naked bikes. Being older riders we
grew up in the days before fairings and only
delivery bikes had windscreens. Only later
on did a few racers start bolting on bikini
fairings and bubble windshields to their
bikes to try go a bit faster and this eventually
trickled down to the road riders and sparked
the manufacturers to start bringing them out
as standard equipment. They only got bigger
and more popular as all the softies started
realising they kept a bit of the wind, rain and
cold off their dainty little frames.
Real bikers still ride ‘naked’.
The Kawasaki Z900 is a revelation every time we ride it. It
has an exceedingly comfortable riding position, even for my
long lump. Not as highly specc’d as the Beemer, and that is
reflected in the price. No heated grips, no power shifter and
no cruise control, all of which can be fitted aftermarket quite
easily if so desire.
However, it pulls like a steam engine and revs into oblivion,
howling like a deranged demon and it makes you giggle in
glee. The suspension and chassis are supremely stable in
the corners. You sit more in the Zed as opposed to more on
top like the S1000R which gives you a bit more confidence
to push harder. It’s not as fast as the Beemer but with the
right rider and a proper usage of the entire rev range it will
run fairly close to the S1000R on acceleration until about
235kmh. You are also low enough in the Zed for the clocks
and tiny screen to give you a little bit of wind and cold
protection and it is easier to duck down onto the tank and
get the wind to blow over you. The seat did become hard
after a while… but it was quite a long while.
With both bikes, I did notice that they kind of force you
into a proper riding/sitting posture which is actually quite
comfortable for long distance riding. The lack of wind
protection can be used to alleviate the nominal weight on
your wrists and shoulders. This became very apparent
once I swapped onto the Africa Twin and then swapped
back onto the S1000R a hundred kays later. The upright
sitting position actually encourages you to slouch in the seat
quite a bit eventually tiring your back and midriff as well as
putting a huge amount of weight on to your butt, making you
really saddle weary a lot quicker than on the super nakeds.
BMW S1000 R
The BMW is adorned with all the electronic mod-cons and
surprisingly had the most comfortable seat. The chassis,
electronic suspension combination is beyond reproach when
it comes to enthusiastically attacking the mountain passes.
The engine blows your mind with massive torque and missile
like acceleration. We backed off the gas at around 250 or
so as the road disappeared over a ridge and we weren’t
sure where it went on the other side. The heated grips were
muchly sought after by everybody and the cruise control was
really appreciated on the open freeways. It was the least fuel
efficient of the 3 bikes at around 15.6 kays per litre, but it was
also the most powerful. Wind protection wasn’t a problem
in the twistys and we were all strong and tough enough to
hang on to the bars during high speed chases down the
mountains, however a little bit of something to keep the cold
off the chest would have been welcomed in the cooler hours
during sunrise and sunset, I eventually took one of the many
Ridefast magazines out of my back pack and jammed it into
the front of my jacket just to stop the wind sneaking in.
Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)
ET. The home of beautiful passes.
Other than that, the Africa Twin is just so much fun through
the twistys and I am exceedingly grateful that I had done the
cornering school on it a few weeks ago, that really enhanced
my enjoyment of all the bike we rode on this trip.
But that is enough of my drivel here is what Shado and Stefan
had to say about the ride and the bikes.
Shado says …
Sean pretty much covered the logistical and environmental
(mental) weather conditions for the course of the day, and I will
open this muse with saying that Motorrad GMbH’s heated grips
were the stars of the naked show.
Ok, so onto the machine that was a noob ride for me, the
Kawasaki Z900… Jumping on the machine at what would be
called the tail end of sparrow’s fart, I immediately felt I was a
part of a machine that was built with purpose and pleasure in
mind. Kawasaki Heavy Industries seemingly took a formula
for a naked bike, applied their people in white coats to polish
and prepare a machine that, for want of a better cliché, ticked
all the boxes for a simple, useable and rugged machine.
The bike does have a few features in terms of ride modes,
traction, power, and abs settings. There’s no ride-by-wire
trickery or cruise control and IMU tech and such. Just a plain
straightforward 900cc 16v motor that is ‘torqey’ and rev happy.
The first impression of the powertrain was that the motor is as
smooth as butter off of a hot knife and not intrusively difficult
to manage. Even with the lack of a quick-shifter, it was a
pleasure to ease through the gears and not be mean to the rev
counter. It has more than enough oomph to roll on in the upper
gears and find yourself in the speeds where you’d get arrested
on any road. Being the petrol head I am since I pressed the
starter on a diesel locomotive, this Kwak loosely embodies that
experience when you touch the happy button on the right bar
switchgear. Also, when the low RPM roll-on happens, the growl
from the intake also reminds one that a good few Newtons
on tap to tow you and your spousal unit around wherever you
deem necessary with the ease of those loco’s pulling a load of
freight out of Van Reenen’s.
It’s there. Pitted against the S1000R, it’s obviously not an
“apples with apples” comparison. Riding in close quarters with
the audible exhaust notes, the ratios on the two naked bikes
are near the same, but, the BMW having an extra few thousand
RPM available to go a bit further in each gear. But, as we all
know, straight roads don’t make fast riders, now do they…..
In my humble opinion, the chassis on the Z is akin to the older
incarnations of a Z; Tubular steel frame, comfy flat bars and
enough credit in the ergonomics department to accommodate
a short-ass such as myself and even a nephilim like Mr
Hendley. The immediate feel of the Z900 is not like most of the
nakeds that employ the use of a superbike-derived frame and
It was awkwardly rigid, particularly when the tyres were
pumped to 3.6BAR, but that was sorted out at the fuel stop
close to Tonteldoos, where I discovered that if they were run
on a slightly lower pressure around 2.2BAR, the tyres worked
a treat and the feedback from the bumps, humps and potholes
wasn’t inducing herniated C1, 2 and 3 discs. The ride was an
absolute pleasure after that. Even the seat wasn’t bad for a
whole day out!
The brakes and suspension on the machine also go back to the
era of upside down forks with laterally mounted callipers on the
front. The formula works well and I’m taking for gospel that the
suspension was set to factory settings, I have no confirmation
of this. It was a tad on the hard side, but again, 64kg in the
shade requires most suspension setups on most bikes to be
dialled out a little for my weight. But, having noted that, they
jobbed well and was actually surprisingly reassuring around
the twisties and bumps wherever they may have crossed out
paths. The standard brakes are fit for their purpose and need
no special mention. It’s not a Z1000 and never will be.
The Z900 is cut from a new cloth and its unique in design that
some may call Spartan, but that’s not an issue. For around
150k, the machine is a super all-rounder and will do what you
ask of it, with the hardness and reliability of a Kawasaki that
also needs no mention to those that know.
I’m of the opinion that it would make just as good a daily ride as a
bike you can take on a long trip. Some soft luggage, a tank bag and
off you go!
Aaaaaaahhh, the S1000R… Last time I had the opportunity to
pilot this machine was a few weeks ago at Redstar alongside the
Ape RSV. The Beemer is in it’s own class of machine that should
probably have been compared to MT10, CB1000 or a Z1000.
Having the BM and the Z900 together on a ride and being able to
swap at any given intersection gave a great comparison in terms of
engineering and purpose. Not forgetting a price difference of tens of
thousands of rands between the Japanese and German machines,
it’s very apparent that you know what you’re buying when you
choose between the two machines.
I immediately and markedly noticed that the chassis and
suspension of the BMW was more aptly noted as a naked
superbike, with its engine, chassis and features all cued from the
S1000RR and it shows in all ways, shapes and forms of which you
choose to use the machine. You just know you’re throwing a leg
over a beast that will inspire you to ride faster every time you climb
on. So for the purpose of this article, I don’t think it fair to compare
the two machines other than what the purpose of the ride was; to
see if you can tour out on a naked machine.
In December, I took a 4500km road trip around out beautiful country
on a trusty super low-mileage, stock-standard SV1000S I managed
to scoop for a bargain some time ago. So the SV not really a naked
machine, but more comparable to the Z900 than the S1000R,
because the tech, apart from the ABS etc is much like the chassis
and engine tech of the early 2000 years. I saw places between
Kamieskroon and what was then known as Port Elizabeth, currently
Gqeberha. The point I’m making is that one doesn’t actually have
to have a dual purpose or adventure bike to go on a long ride to
What I CAN say about the S1000R is a reiteration of what I said
when we were thrashing it around Redstar, namely, the bike is
a fantastic all-rounder and as such, this long 800km+ ride just
cemented that. The sublimely good brakes, chassis and motor
make the undulating twisties and mountains a pleasure that you’d
not want to ever stop.
We actually had breakfast or lunch or whatever those well-deserved
burgers were on Schoemanskloof so late in the morning, it was
The S1000R is worth every cent you pay for it and I’m absolutely
sure that 99.999% of owners will agree that it ticks more boxes
every time it’s ridden on a new environment.
What I really enjoyed about the Beemer was the literal
transformation in the motor with the extra air at Nelspruit altitude.
That’s proper grin material, right there.
All in all, it was a great day out riding the machines with the intent of
just riding for a whole day. The long and short of the comparison of
these two bikes, for me is that they are different machines, and they
will both service your needs amply, but, essentially, it just comes
down to your pocket.
Thanks to KMSA and Fourways Motorrad for the rides for the day,
Sean, Stefan and Glenn for the opportunity and mother nature
reminding us that the weather doesn’t have to play with for you
to have a great time on a naked bike. Go ride them and see for
Stefan says …
This was quite the adventure, we rode to many places that I have
never been on some of the best, and worst roads that I have ever
seen. A great route through beautiful mountain roads and wide
open straights, the perfect type of road that you’d want to ride any
motorcycle on, especially one of these supernakeds.
We saw many interesting things on the way, including a firefighting
helicopter in action, trying to quench a massive blaze that started
in the tree plantations on top of the mountains just past De
Beersnek. The road to and from Nelspruit was simply amazing,
some of the most beautiful roads I’ve seen, just a perfect mix
of scenery and motorcycle excitement.
We stopped for a cheeseburger and a coke at a nice little
farm stall next to the road near Nelspruit and had lunch
with an amazing view of the mountains behind our stunning
Now if you decide to go touring with bikes like these, you
better hope that you have superior neck muscles if you plan on
riding at an excess of 140 km/h for an extended period of time,
as it feels like the wind is trying to peel the helmet from your
head. Other than the lack of wind protection I think these bikes
are just as amazing for touring as any other. Comfortable riding
positions and lovely power, not to mention the beautiful songs
they sing all along the road.
The BMW S1000R even came equipped with much
appreciated heated grips, which might have saved our fingers
from frostbite, and cruise control which made straight highway
roads a breeze. Compared to the Z900, the BMW has a bit
more aggressive riding position which might take its toll on
your back, but luckily the cruise control gives you the chance
to stretch and sit upright while riding. Whilst the BMW has
these nice creature comforts, it did still feel like it was trying to
The power delivery is constant and packs a punch, and with
the Akro exhaust, it was quite literally screaming bloody
murder through the mountains.
The Z900 is basically an extremely comfortable superbike. It
doesn’t have a quickshifter or cruise control like the BMW, so
it is a very barebones motorcycle. Just you and a machine
on the open road, which is really all you need to have a blast.
You have a very nice upright riding position with the pegs at a
comfortable angle a bit more forward than the BMW, and the
power delivery is very smooth.
This is a surprisingly easy motorcycle to ride, and I think it
would be my first choice between the two if I were to go on a
trip like this again.
The N12 is in great condition.
Middelburg to Stoffberg ( Lots of trucks a
few potholes here and there) Mostly good
Roossenekal to Lydenburg ,
Little bit of heaven
So, in the final summary of our experience:
Can you tour on a sportsbike, naked or faired?
Well yes! Is the short answer, but you will need to nick the
bosses petrol card because as we did, because as with any
performance engine, they are quite thirsty especially when you
start having fun and riding enthusiastically. And, your better
half should rather get their own bike, the pillion seats seem
to be for emergencies or a quick trip down to your favourite
local hang out only. Otherwise, they are more than comfortable
enough and with the most of the mod cons available as
standard. You will have to dress for the weather though as
they offer moderate to little and even no protection form the
Is E.T. still a viable options for sportsbike riding?
Well, for the most part, yes but there are some very bad roads
that have to be traversed to get to the really good roads and
quite honestly these roads do dampen the joy of riding a
sportsbike in the area. But once you get to the good roads
they are sublimely good. However, the condition of some of
the roads along with the fuel consumption of sportsbike is a
good argument to trailer them to your favourite digs and then
head out on your favourite roads for a good ol’ thrash.
And all of this answers some other questions. The road
conditions do lend themselves to suiting adventure bikes
better, they are kind of like the SUV’s of the motorcycle world
and can go absolutely anywhere, hence why they seem to be
selling so well. This then answers another question, why does
there seem to be a drought on new sportsbike models versus
a smorgasbord of adventure bikes on offer. It’s a simple case
of ‘supply and demand’ really.
In these tough financial times the importers are having to be quite
circumspect with where they spend their money in order to keep
their doors open and supplying the industry. And we say rather
that than close down completely and we have even less on offer.
So, in other words, if you want to see more sportsbikes on offer
starting buying more sportsbikes …
Thank you to Rodney at BMW Fourways for always being willing
to loan us bikes to go ride on. This BMW S1000R is their demo,
so go ride it and tell us how much fun you had … you might even
end up buying it. New they are just on R210,000.00 but chat to
Rodney about a price on this demo bike.
Then Thank you to Kibble at KMSA for also always lending us
bikes at the drop of a hat. The Zed 900 is a great bargain at
just under R156,000.00 for a new one. Get hold of your local
Kawasaki dealer and ask them to arrange a test ride for you, you
will be enquiring about what deals are to be had.
The worst in S.A.
Full of pot holes,
200 trucks and hour
Horrible horrible road.
Avoid at all costs
Schoemanskloof has to be one of the most
sublimely beautiful roads in S.A
One of the best kept secrets in South Africa.
Amazing bike road.
Mbombela via Hiltop pass to Barberton,
where we spent to much time having fun.
Safe Options Don’t Lead To Glory!
Brad Binder does it again!
By Donovan Fourie: www.thebikeshow.co.za
Brad Binder famously changed his number from the
beloved 41 we had become accustomed to during his
tenure in Moto3 and Moto2 to number 33 in MotoGP after
Aleix Espargaro had already hogged a 4 and a 1.
The number 33 is clever because it looks like BB – a
marketing masterclass; 33 is Brad Binder.
Now, though, we are changing it to 33,333 – that’d be Big
Brass Balls Brad Binder.
It’s a long number to plaster onto the front of that narrow
KTM, but it is entirely apt after that display of knockerclanging
courage in Austria.
The number 33,333
His ride revealed three things about Binder that perhaps not
He’s brave, skilful and intelligent.
The brave thing goes without saying – anyone who has ever
ridden a bike in the wet on slicks or any other dry tyre will attest
to the peril therein. And whatever bike that was being ridden
in the wet, we can be assured that it was not a 300hp, solid,
unforgiving MotoGP bike. With no brakes.
He’s skilful because, despite slick tyres in the rain and no
brakes, Binder was still relatively fast.
We say “relatively” because teetering around an ice-rink race
track may not fall under many people’s definition of fast, but
if we compare his pace to the other riders that stayed out on
slicks, the South African was at warp speed.
There were three laps between most of the front group
pulling into the pits when the rain started coming down and
the chequered flag. Binder stayed out on slicks, as did Aleix
Espargaro, the number hogging Spaniard on the Aprilia.
The first time they crossed the line after staying out on slicks, the
gap between them was 1.7 seconds. When they crossed the finish
line, Binder had increased the gap to 21 seconds.
In three laps! That’s close to seven seconds a lap.
Then there’s intelligence – during the lap when the front group had
closed up because of the rain, and everyone else in that group
chose to run for rain tyres, Binder was calculating how much time
he’d lose if he stayed out.
Obviously, the thought of the impending doom that riding in the
rain on slicks did not even feature in his stalwart mind (see “big
brass balls” above), only if he could win if he stayed out.
Pulling into the pits would be the safe option – grab wets, battle it
out with the rest of the group and collect points for a top ten. Safe
options don’t often lead to glory, though.
It was close in the end – the wet tyre riders were closing in at 15
seconds a lap when it got properly wet. Binder skated across the
finish line 12 seconds ahead of Bagnaia on wets. One more lap and
he’d have most likely had just made a podium position, but there
was not one more lap to go.
He had calculated everything perfectly and taken a win that will be
spoken about for generations.
Skilful, Calculating, Big Brass Balls Brad Binder.
We’ll get the stickers made.
Red Bull Ring is not a Yamaha track. Notoriously, it is a circuit
consisting of straights cornered by stop/go hairpins. Precisely the
sort of track Yamaha’s suck at.
The design of the Yamaha M1 focuses less on hard acceleration
and speed and more on the ability to flow through corners. Much
the same way that is not required at Red Bull.
In the few recent years that MotoGP has visited the Red Bull Ring,
a Yamaha has not featured near the front of the race. Mostly, the
pointy end of the race has been populated with Ducatis, with the
odd 93 Honda and, more recently, a Mir Suzuki. And that’s exactly
what the front of the 2021 Austrian race (before the rain fell) had.
And one number 20 blue bike.
Despite the Yamaha’s deficiencies at Red Bull Ring, Quartararo was
there, mixing it with the red, orange and turquoise. He even had the
audacity to go around the outside of two riders into Turn Three, the
turn possibly least suiting the Yamaha anywhere in the world.
It seems that Yamaha has worked hard to create a motorcycle
that is more of an all-rounder, that could brake later and still get
drive from low speeds, however it can’t possibly be as good at the
pointy stuff as the Ducati and Honda.
Legions of Rossi fans.
In the end, it’s all down to the Frenchman.
I was cautious about calling him the favourite for the 2021
championship, even with his points lead.
Now, I think I’m at the point where’d I’d even put money on it.
Vinales’ fall from grace
Brad Binder said that Maverick Vinales is a really nice guy, and he
probably is. Most people are, when chilling in a restaurant or simply
hanging out. It’s when you put pressure on someone that their
colours may change.
It started at the first MotoGP race at Red Bull Ring in Austria, where
Vinales’ bike stalled on the grid for the warm-up lap. That was after
the initial race was red-flagged because of Pedrosa and Savadori’s
fiery antics that caused a red flag.
In the race to make MotoGP bikes lighter and faster, things like
clutches tend to be smaller and less durable than the road-going
models, therefore, mechanics quickly put in a fresh clutch before the
re-start because two race starts might be too much for one to bear.
According to Vinales, the mechanics made a mistake while replacing
his clutch, causing the stall on the warm-up lap. The word “sabotage”
was even thrown around.
Either way, Vinales felt hard done by when leaving the pitlane and
joining the back of the race. Especially in the last five laps when
his lap times dropped dramatically. The next day, a shocking press
release was sent out – Maverick Vinales has been suspended by
Yamaha for the second Austrian GP.
Afterwards, videos emerged of the Spaniard holding his bike on the
rev-limiter during the last five laps, a giant no-no on a high-strung
racing engine. Especially with the reserved and polite Japanese
people that sign Vinales’ paycheck.
He spent the second Austria race watching from the sidelines, and
then it was announced that his contract with Yamaha was terminated
Already, Vinales and Yamaha were butting heads resulting in the pair
splitting ways at the end of this year. The over-revving sealed the
We are sure that Maverick is a nice guy, but a professional racer in his
twenties over-revving his bike like a spoilt brat is unacceptable.
It was good news for Aprilia, though. Rumours were already prevalent
that the Italian brand was talking to the Spaniard about racing next
year. Some people said the deal was already done, and yet no
announcement was forthcoming.
I suspect that the big stumbling block in that discussion was about
money. Aprilia simply does not
have the dosh that the likes of
Yamaha pay a race-winning rider.
Until said rider over-revved his
bike and got fired, making his
A few days later, Aprilia
announced a signed deal with
Vinales for 2022, probably for a
lot less money than what was
Let’s hope they have lots of valve
money for 2022.
We look forward to the rest of the
Suzuki Hits ET
10th edition of the Suzuki Weekend away…
Every year Suzuki hosts a gathering of Suzuki fans for a
weekend in beautiful Mpumalanga. Last years event, sadly
was put on hold due to the plague. This year it was delayed
for the same reason – but the moment it was allowed, a
limited amount of lucky riders were treated to Numbi Hotel
hospitality and some Suzuki adventure.
It’s great to see a manufacturer being so pro-active. It’s a really
lekker family weekend with the focus on enjoying your bike and
some of the great places that we have to ride.
Dealers were well represented with the likes of Richards Bay,
East and Primrose all bringing customers along.
On Friday everyone makes their way through to Numbi at their
own pace. Most people take the day off to enjoy the ride. In the
evening it’s a slap-up dinner and briefing all under the African
Saturday is a full day of riding. Suzuki puts together a treasure
hunt. Riders are given cryptic directions and a list of objects
that they need to find all along the 300 plus kilometer route. It’s
fun – we did it a year or two ago and vowed not to miss one
And all brands and types of bike are welcome from Hayabusa’s
right down to little DL 250’s – it’s all very chilled with the focus
on having a good time.
SUZUKI WEEKEND AWAY
You are well fed and the ride is some of
the best that Mpumalanga has to offer
– Numbi, White River, Schoemanskloof
with a stop at the now famous Old Joe
From there the ride took the guys for a
quick stop at “In Da Bush” for a guess
the part game. Participants had to
correctly name 10 arbitrary parts – stuff
from bikes, boats, cars and even washing
machines. From there it was back on the
bikes and off to the Sudwala road, over
to Sabie for a second stop. Giant Jenga
was the name of the game while the guys
had a break.
Then it was a quick squirt down the 22
and back to Numbi.
An excellent day in the saddle – huge fun.
More fun and games – and lots of food
was on offer at Numbi Hotel. A very tired
bunch Arrived at dinner for the traditional
prizegiving where people are awarded
more for stooped stuff than actually
achieving anything. It’s always a huge
Everything happened outdoors at the
beautiful Numbi Hotel – and the weather
played along perfectly.
It’ll happen next year again for sure – and
a Cape Town version of this event is on
the cards on the weekend of the 8th of
More info www.suzukiauto.co.za, click on
motorcycles and follow the links.
Some Suzuki dealers even theme their
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Phone: 011 234 5007 Email: email@example.com
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8/21/2021 5:25:19 PM
And now for something completely different. Every month we have a sit down and chat about possible features and
content for this here quality publication. “Cruisers!” says Sean. Ummmm OK let’s see, what have we not featured yet?
“Well they don’t have to be new or the latest models – let’s see what’s available, grab them and go for a lekker ride!”
So that’s exactly what we did!
We hit the phones only to discover that new bikes are really thin at the moment, with many importers not even looking at the
cruiser market. But there is good news for chopper fans. There is literally an army of great pre-owned units of all shapes and
sizes at, what seems to be excellent value in today’s language.
And there are still a few brand new options knocking about…
In the used stable, the good guys from 4-Ways BMW loaned us a very rare Harley Classic Heritage limited edition . Imagine
that! A Harley from a flagship BMW dealership.
Well they trade all sorts and have a great selection of used bikes on the floor.
Also used were 2 immaculate machines from the peeps at Bikeshop Boksburg. It did not take a lot of convincing for them to
lend us a fully kitted Suzuki 1500 Intruder and a somewhat unusual Honda VT1300X.
We approached quite a few importers for new bikes, Indian had nothing available which is a real shame because we really
like them. 4 Ways BMW happily loaned us their BMW R18 Classic and the friendly folks from Triumph South Africa sent their
Rocket 3 GT along.
5 cool bikes. 5 good friends with the open South African Roads beckoning. On a weekday nogal!
How lekker is that?
Now, to be fair we’ve never really
understood the whole cruiser culture,
but riding at the back in staggered
formation with your mates riding
ahead, you get that warm fuzzy sense
of comradery that is such a great part
of riding any motorcycle. The whole
mantra around bikes like these is
chill, relax and have a good time… so
different to the modern nakeds and
We headed out onto some of our
favorite roads around Harties, down
the twisty R511, to the Power station
road where we stopped at the famous
2 bridges servitude for a few pics.
Interestingly, there was another bunch
there filming a Maserati ad… very cool!
The roads are excellent, which makes a
great change from the usual complaints
about potholes and all that. it’s a really
Our ride took us through the Harties
tunnel and across the Dam Wall… Oh!
and while we are on the topic…
Something new has happened. You are
no longer allowed to stop at the lookout
point on the dam wall. How doff is that?
Stefan ignored the sign and stopped in
order to grab a pic or two and promptly
got crapped on by some oke who
threatened him with a ticket. Ah well.
Under the Arc De Triumph, (get it?), and
onwards we rode. Tant Malie Se Winkel
has always been one of our favorite
spots. Our plan was to stop there for
a bite to eat. The pandemic has been
devastating to some businesses. This
SA landmark is now closed down.
Destination Hekpoort. It’s a great route,
especially when it’s a bit quieter during
the week and as the bikes roared along
bystanders stretched their necks to
watch the spectacle…
SA really is a land of contrasts, heading
out towards Hekpoort we rode past
a field that was labelled with its own
signboard as the “Field Of Dreams”…
You’ll have seen it if you know the
area. That field quickly became a
massive dumping site opposite a smelly
But a great ride. Good roads, great
scenery… just lekker, lekker. Blasting
through Hekpoort we found ourselves
heading past the satellite road towards
Krugersdorp and onwards, through to
the Sasol at the bottom of the hill where
we said our goodbyes and split up to
head for home.
We are spoiled. A cool day in the
saddle for sure.
We’ll start with the new bikes. Yes we’ve featured them before but
they are always worth a revisit.
The Triumph Rocket GT:
The biggest of this lot is the Triumph Rocket. In our opinion this
bike was a bit of a mismatch in this company. It’s nothing like your
traditional cruiser leaning more towards a comfortable naked sports
machine on steroids. Yet, Triumph classes it as a cruiser so who are
we to argue.
Chaps and Chapettes.
If you have never ridden a Rocket, you have missed out on a vast
portion of your motorcycle life. Despite the fact that it is so …well,
large, it’s amazingly agile, comfortable and just so much fun to ride.
2.5 litres of smooth, creamy power at the twist of your wrist. The
simple fact of the matter is that It’s unlike any other bike on the
market. Whilst the other cruisers in this feature were all about raw
energy, rough and tumble this one is …well a Rocket. And a very
smooth one at that.
It’s just so easy to ride with so much power on tap available
everywhere in the rev range. At 2500rpm, the Rocket 3 is punching
200Nm into the road as it hurtles its way to 221Nm at 4000rpm. And
at 4000rpm in top, you’re doing 180 and there’s till 3000 to go until
redline. And it all happens in a blur.
And top of the list, so much damn fun!
Triumph Rocket GT
From the first time I swung my leg over a Triumph Rocket all
those years I have loved these bikes. The stupendously big
triple engine, the huge torque, the primal howl from the exhaust
when you give it horns and the surprising good handling …
finally a bike to match my size with excellent ergonomics.
Early last year, a day or two before we were all grounded, I
managed to get a first ride on both the new GT and R versions
of the all new 2,500cc Rocket 3 and immediately came back
raving about the GT variant and a little unsure about the R.
However, good few months later, when our grounding was
relaxed and we were allowed out to play for a bit we grabbed
them again and this time I made up my mind about both … You
need to have both in your garage, the GT for touring and the R
for being a hooligan.
With this ride I purposefully, (as is my practice with these multi
bike reviews), left the biggest, most powerful bike for last to
have a fair assessment of the more diminutive bikes on the
day. Make no mistake, the smallest capacity bike of the day
was a 1300cc, then a 1500cc and a couple of 1800cc’s, so
‘diminutive’ is a relative term, so even at 2,500cc the Rocket
had its work cut out for it.
The first thing you notice when you swing a leg over the GT is
its size and weight in comparison to the other bikes, it is BIG.
Lifting it off the side stand is also quite surprising, you kind of
expect to have to really put your quads and hammies into it to
get it to budge, but because of the balance it is as easy to lift
off the stand as any other bike. Once the engine comes to life
all the weight seems to disappear. Fiddling with the onboard
electronics to set up personal riding and power preferences is
fairly intuitive and easy and can mostly be done on the fly… I
like full power mode with as few nannies as possible, but erred
on the side of caution with the traction control because of the
huge torque from the monster triple. As expected, the length
of the Rocket does give a bit bigger of a turning circle than
most bikes, but that is true of all the bikes we rode on this little
Yanking on the throttle and dumping the clutch really stretches
your rotator cuff and elbow joints and quickly turns the
scenery into a blur, great on long, open, winding roads but not
advisable in the hurly- burly bustle of the continuous all day,
road rage inducing rush hour traffic in and around Harties.
This big girl can be very polite and agile through traffic with
judicious application of the throttle and a good perception and
understanding of spatial orientation. Once out on the wide
open serpentine roads through the Magaliesberg you can
choose to hang on the cable and feel like the Incredible Hulk
and leap and jump through the scenery, or … you can wander
along at a more sedate speed with the cruise control engaged
and just enjoy the atmosphere of that throbbing triple and the
Kyle Says: This is one special bike. It sounds fantastic and
when you open up the throttle she catapults forward at a
rate of knots. It is a stunning looking bike. Comfortable riding
position and more than enough power to spin the earth. This
bike is wow! However its not the Triumph for me. Don’t get
me wrong. As much of a cruiser she is, she is also very fast
and sporty. The one thing I loved about the bike, is it has the
biggest engine but it was the smallest bike. I’ll take the RS1200
Corinne Andrews: (40 years of motorcycle experience and has
owned and ridden lots of cruisers….) Says:
Wow! Wow! Wow! What a machine! Exhilarating, Exciting,
fantastic handling and acceleration. Incredibly smooth and
Definitely my first choice of this batch. 2.5 litres of fun!
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Morag Campbell – (mostly an adventure rider. Motorcycle
instructor and has ridden all sorts) Says:
I immediately loved its aggressive urban industrial steam punk (?)
look, love the bold radiator grilles and 3 pipes. It’s almost 2 bikes
joined horizontally, the typical Triumph top half styling, and then
the lower post-apocalyptic sci fi fantasy. Very responsive, loads
of torque, easy to maneuver, great sound, smooth. an immersive
phenomenological experience, which made me feel invincible.
Despite its engine capacity of a porsche cayman, but on 2 wheels
only, I was in no way intimidated, I felt fluid and at ease.
Easy ergonomics that didn’t feel like a cruiser, so much so,
that every pull off required my flagging feet to find the pegs out
The BMW R18 Classic: Heavy Metal.
BMW is aiming squarely at nostalgia with this bike. Classic oldschool
design that they have packed with modern tech. It’s big,
bold heavy and a proper head turner. And they have a range of
goodies so that you can customize to your hearts content. In
previous issues, we attended the launch of these beastys and
later on we borrowed a bike for a couple of days around GP. It’s
not a bike for everyone, but the guys at this here mag do quite
It’s a proper head turner with the focus squarely on paint and
chrome. A homage to BMW’s of the 20s and 30s, when it built
the gorgeous R32 and R5. Back then all of them were painted
Glossy black with white pinstripes.
Just like this one. Focus is all on that great 1800cc engine. It’s
massive, gorgeous and a focal point of the whole. They tell us
that it pumps out 158Nm at 3000rpm and 67kW at 4750rpm.
This one has runner boards and a great big screen. Love the
saddle bags. The bike is big, heavy and a tad unwieldy on tighter
urban roads but when it sees an open freeway it really comes into
its own… It rolls easily through bends, you are only limited by the
pegs scraping on the tight turns. Its roll-on is great, so overtaking
and shaming seemingly faster sportsbikes is a lekker feeling…
This one from BMW Fourways – 011-367-1600
BMW R18 Classic
This is a bike I have a bit of a ‘love-hate’ relationship with. I
genuinely do love the styling, the old school organic rumbles,
rattles and clanks and the clunky feel to the gearbox all just give
the R18 so much personality and character, couple that with
the wonderfully big 1800cc boxer motor and all seems well with
the world. Unless, you are a 6 foot 6, 115kg slab like me then
dropping into the saddle and stepping onto the floor boards starts
to present a few challenges, (and this is where the ‘hate’ part of
the relationship comes in). With my knees higher than my hips
and my feet almost tucked up under my butt with no options to
move them anywhere else because of the big pots either side of
the motor, life aboard the R18 is not comfortable for me. Not so
for my more ‘average’ height riding buddies for the day, they all
seemed to fit comfortably on the R18 and also looked comfortable.
A year ago, when I went on the official launch down in the fairest
Cape a couple of us taller riders had the same issues with cockpit
space and ergonomic, one rider even resorting to roadside yoga to
stretch out cramping muscles halfway through the ride.
That being said, in between yoga sessions the R18 is an absolute
hoot to ride. It’s perfectly balanced with a low center of gravity
and an even lower ride height and ground clearance which
makes it quite a riot in the corners with the footpegs/floorboards
taking quite a beating whilst spraying sparks through the bends.
That 1800cc boxer delivers an unbelievable mountain of torque,
especially in ‘Rock’ mode and pulls like an Ox without ever really
hitting a perceptible limiter, but more just a smooth levelling out of
the power. I personally didn’t enjoy the addition of the windshield,
for me it is at a strange height causing weird air pressure changes
for me and making my eyeballs bounce around and affecting my
vision at anything near fun speeds,
ut then again I have never been a fan of big windshield
on a bike, I like the wind in my beard and the bugs in my
teeth. The leather panniers complete the look along with the
spotlights, floorboards and the heel/toe shifter just enhance
the old school enjoyment of the ride. Were it not been for
my size versus the ergonomics I would happily ride the R18
every day, but alas …
This is a special bike for BMW. Full of Heritage and lots of
metal. Yes this is a heavy bike. But its a lot of good fun once
you are on the go. This one is the Classic model with a few
bells and whistles. Personally. I would take them all off and
ride the standard one. Same motor and modes and a lot
more comfortable and fun.
This one is not really my cup-of-tea. I found it heavy and I
battled a bit with the gear shift above the runner board. The
guys assured me that the standard bikes gears are a lot
better but these ones were just a bit awkward. I know that
they are aiming it at the Classic old-school type fan – and I
love the BMW brand, but this one just does not do it for me.
Boxer engine, raw, powerful, full of its own life, I quickly got
used to the floorboards with a toe/heel shifter, and eased
my butt back into the full plush seat, and relaxed into the
ride. Found the “rock” mode the best, and realized quite
quickly to remain in the higher gears, even on the corners.
Generally easy smooth riding on the straight roads, but
again, being used to adventure suspension, I found I had
double vision on the slightly uneven wild west side of town
at over 100km/hr
On to the used bikes.
Pre-Owned Harley Classic Heritage limited edition.
Ok let’s get the following out of the way before we
Our Harley experience is quite limited. The last Modern Harley
cruisers we borrowed were clunky and unwieldy – and not
really very comfortable to ride at all – so we were surprised
to discover that this pretty unique bike was a polar opposite
experience. The fact that this was the only bike with a sound
system had Sean and Kyle vying for saddle time and every
time one of them stopped the sound of Rammstein blaring
from the dash mounted speakers.
You kind of expect a Harley to be clunky and shakey and to
roar along making your ears bleed right? Not this one.
It is astonishingly capable, comfortable and really quite refined.
Gone are the acres of typical HD chrome, (with the notable
exception of the exhaust), silver studs, buckles, sissy bar and
rear rack, replaced with a darker, sleeker more conservative
look. It’s one of the lightest touring bikes Harley makes
with Showa cartridge-style fork and single rear shock, and
of course the 114 cubic inches of Milwaukee-Eight engine
proudly displayed. That 114, is good for 85.2 horsepower at
4800 rpm and a plough pulling 107.7 lb-ft of torque at 3100
It’s pretty, very smooth for a Harley, really comfortable … and
well, just easy to ride. The kind of bike that we’d hop on to and
head down for a long trip anywhere.
Oh and this one is really unusual. One of only 1500 built.
And it’s on the floor at BMW Fourways for R230.000 (011)
In my youth I used to idolize the Harley Davidson brand, I had
all the T-shirts, boots, belt buckles, pinky rings … you name it,
I had it. Then I got to ride some really shoddy customs early on
in my motorcycling career and the disillusionment started.
I tried a few Buell’s and became even more disillusioned with
the brand and avoided riding them for quite a long while.
Then last year we grabbed a couple of new models from the
Milwaukee brand and my hopes and expectations soared a bit
… only to be horribly dashed when swinging into the saddles
of each new HD, especially after having ridden the Indian
equivalent a few months before.
So, it was with a lot of foreboding, skepticism and long teeth
that I first had a bite at this rendition. The looks are typical
Harley Davidson and all the accessories and extra’s are all top
shelf and even the windshield didn’t offend me. However, it was
once I got the HD rolling that I started grinning…
Yeah the standard pipes kill the famous ‘potato-potato’
exhaust note, but that is the only small negative I could find
on this bike. It is comfortable and spacious for my 2m frame
the 114cubic inch or 1868cc engine is beautiful, pulling like a
steam engine really gets the wind whipping around your ears
fairly quickly. The handle bar controls do take a minute or two
to work out and connecting to the onboard audio seems to
work only with a fruity phone as opposed to android operated
devices. Once familiarized with everything it was a case of
pointing the surprisingly polite lady at the horizon and just
enjoying life on the road, with mountains, sunny blue skies,
entertaining scenery and some good friends burbling along
on other cruisers and choppers. Quite a sight to behold from
any perspective. This Harley Davidson has begun to restore
my admiration for the brand and I would love to ride more of
the newer models but unfortunately HD South Africa and their
dealers do seem to be a bit sleepy with getting bikes out to
Harley Classic Heritage limited edition
We borrowed this unit from the good folk at BMW Motorrad
Fourways and had to ask them if they had become under cover
HD dealers with a couple of really nice pre-owned examples
on the floor that one would be certain to mistake for new units
due to the really impeccable condition they are all in. So, if it is
a stunning pre-owned HD your are after wander down to Cedar
Isle and chat to the team, they will get you rolling in short order.
This was my favorite bike for the day. I have no clue why but
I loved it. The spirit attached to this bike is amazing. On a
Harley, you want everyone to see you and what you are riding.
It was comfortable and a pleasure to ride. I connected my
phone to the boom audio and off I went. Cruising around as if I
came out of the programme Sons of Anarchy.
It’s been a long time since I took a decent ride on a Harley
and this one was a pleasant surprise. It handles well, is really
comfortable and easy to ride. If its not sold soon – I’d like to
take it for a long journey somewhere… Easy on the eye too.
This is the second Harley I have ever ridden….. Who would
have? This is such an easy ride, so comfortably chilled to
relax onto its plush full seat and stretch my legs out, easy
to maneuver, corners a breeze, weighting is fine, gears a bit
clunky (but apparently good for a Harley) a huge screen for
wind-protection… the bike didn’t offer me any super-naturalpower
abilities but rather a sublime roll-along with friends, while
waving at ogling passing drivers and pedestrians alike
Honda’s VT1300X Fury
A Honda Cruiser?
Yip! And guess what? They flippen nailed it. When Sean rolled
in on the thing, we all kind of gawped a bit. “What custom is
that?” Nope standard just as it came out of the Honda America
factory. Something really out of the ordinary.
The Honda Fury was the first production chopper from a
In a break with tradition, the Fury was the first chopper to have an
anti-lock braking system. Like the look or not, we all agreed that it
is a flippen revelation, one of those naughty bikes that are just so
much fun to ride. It hosts an engine that is typical Honda with perfect
fueling, gearbox and gutsy performance, complete with fuss-free
shaft drive and it sounds the part with its slash cut pipes.
It’s hard to believe a bike with 1805mm wheelbase, a 21inch front
wheel and its 300KG mass could be anything but stable, but that is
the Fury. With its plush suspension, it soaks up the biggest lumps
and bumps, but also takes away any feedback from either tyre.
Big lean angles are not really possible thanks due to insufficient
ground clearance. The feet forward ride position isn’t as painful as it
looks, in fact it’s really quite comfy because the seat is padded and
supportive and the high bars and headlight keep a fair amount of
windblast off the rider.
You need to ride one to understand. We are a hung jury on the styling
but in terms of riding experience it’s right up there…
This one from Suzuki East R120,000.00
When I pulled up on this absolute jewel of a chopper all the others
looked at me like I had had relations with my own sister and were
quite derisive in some of their comments, especially about the 21
inch front wheel and how it was sure to negatively affect the handling
… until it was their turn to ride this vision in white, then it was a
flippen’ bun fight to get them off the damn thing.
I was quite excited when Jannie from Bikeshop Boksburg volunteered
the Honda VT1300X, which happened to be parked next it its twin
in a gorgeous metallic blue. I have always admired these bikes for
their standard ‘full custom’ look out of the box and was like a kid at
Christmas when I finally got to ride one.
It is low, it is long and it is in your face. The front wheel is way out
front on long raked standard forks, the headlight – a chrome creation
looking like it belongs on an Art Deco area train – points the way
towards distant horizons. The tank is long, curvy and skinny and the
comfy seat is way back by the big exposed rear tyre …
Honda VT1300x Fury
The ergonomics for my long chassis are perfect, the
forward mounted pegs are perfectly aligned for comfort
with the low seat and the swept back handle bars. At
1300cc it is the small motor of the bunch, but it holds
its own all the way to 160kmh and that raked fork with
the 21 inch front wheel is huge fun when aiming the big
chrome headlight through the twistys and chucking your
inside shoulder at the scenery to pull the Honda over
into the bend. Cornering a big well balanced chopper or
cruiser is a different type of fun or rush to diving nose
first into them on a superbike and requires a different skill
set. Slouched backwards with your feet out in front of
you and your hands at shoulder height really does make
you feel like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper cruising
the country side in Easy Rider. I don’t know if you can
tell or not, but this is by far my most favourite style of
The VT1300X is a purists chopper, clean lines, tucked
away ancillaries, minimal equipment and electronics – just
the basics. It is all about the lines, the engine and the
simplicity and pure motorcycling pleasure, just get on and
ride, then most importantly … it is a Honda, so it is as
reliable as an anvil and there is at least one dealer in every
town to support the brand after sales. As mentioned, we
got this one from Bikeshop Boksburg and at only 13,000
od km’s on the clock it is a close to new as one could
imagine, everything is crisp, neat, tidy and all feeling like a
new bike. When asked, everyone guesstimated the retail
value somewhere north of R200k based on the look and
condition of the bike, so at R120,000.00 odd it represents
real value for money and I am still trying to work out how
to convince my wife that I just really have to have it or ….
Honda makes a chopper? What a fun ride. When you turn the
corner your front wheel is already at lunch while you wait for your
back wheel to catch up. This bike is long. As long as it is, the
Honda is still very comfy and easy to ride. Again this is another
bike you want to been seen on. The reactions on peoples faces
when they see its a Honda. Priceless. Just for that, I would buy
this bike and because its R120k. Not bad considering the other
are around the 300k mark.
If I was 25 years old, this bike would be right up there as one of
my favourites. It’s a really nice ride – and you’ll either love it or
Riding this little praying-mantis-insect-with-a-broad-butt looking
chopper bike made me feel like a rebel, with its loud full sound, it
was really fun to ride. I love its simple clean-lined bold elongated
streamlined styling, especially the voids that give it transparency
in the front. It is old school, with only the speedometer to guide
you. It’s very responsive, and smooth (shaft drive), slightly top
heavy at corners thereby requiring a new long wheel based
The Suzuki 1500 Intruder – fully kitted.
Fully kitted with screen, luggage and lots of extras.
If you follow the mag, you’ll know just how much we liked that
Marauder that we rode a few issues ago. Well this is the little
brother if you can call a 1500cc that. We have to be honest when
we say that very often all the extras don’t really appeal to us. The
boxes and stuff just make a bike too, well big and unwieldy and
this was the case with this one while we were working our way
out of suburbia.
On the open road, however is where you come to appreciate it
all. This intruder is a raw kind of bike, it backfires and crackles
under deceleration with clunky gearchanges and it’s all
deliberate with lots of character, which makes it quite lekker to
The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder’s 67bhp isn’t much when there’s
296kgs plus luggage to push. It’s a torquey lump though and
hauls along at pace on the open road. Don’t expect to be able
to overtake on a motorway with any level of ease, this one is
designed for a very chilled ride and it comes into its own just
cruising along, but kick it down one gear and twist her and she
will pick up her skirts and run.
Suzuki 15000 Intruder - Fully kitted
The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder’s suspension is really soft so the
overall ride is very comfortable.
This one from Suzuki East – R120.000 (011) 918-7777
I particularly enjoyed the 1800 Boulevard we borrowed from
Bikeshop Boksburg a few months ago so I was quite keen to the
1500 Intruder a whirl around the dance floor. Fully dressed she is
quite wide, but so is any bike with panniers and top box, however
the wide handle bars and forward foot position coupled with the
big windshield only serve to accentuate that feeling. The cockpit
is very well laid out with everything where you would intuitively go
to look for it. Much like the Harley, it is plush, comfortable and well
protected from the elements with easy roll on power and plenty of
torque lending itself to long lazy sunny days in the saddle enjoying
your favourite roads or touring around our beautiful country.
As I have mentioned, ad nauseum, I am quite large and space
for me is the ultimate luxury and the 1500 Intruder has plenty of
space without being overly large for the more vertically challenged.
The big V Twin kicks out plenty of lazy torque that takes you off
the line and burbling along north of 150km without guzzling
copious amounts of fuel … or maybe that is the perception given
by the really big fuel tank.
As with the Harley, the screen really serves to keep the wind
and the weather off of you without creating freaky pressure
cells around you and enhancing the plush comfort of the ride.
The loud pipes and black livery give it oodles of character and
attract a lot of admiration from Jon Q. Public.
We got this one from Bikeshop Boksburg and bar one small
nick in the pleather covered panniers and the mileage you
would be hard pressed to prove this motorcycle is a pre-owned
Unfortunately, I didnt spend much time on the Suzuki. I wish I
did as I have always had a soft spot for them.
Initially I was a bit underwhelmed by the Suzuki thanks to the
sheer size and cumbersomeness (Is that a word) of the bike.
But when I hit the open roads I began to understand it. Bring
on the open road this one is one of my top choices for the day.
Just too big and cumbersome for me.
As a side I have to say - who would have thought I would ride
5 cruisers, ever….. let alone all in one day !! And then to top
it off, the 1100 Africa Twin. I think it’s always good thing to try
out other bikes, it tests one’s riding style, throws one out of
the comfort zone, makes one question oneself, try different
postures, feel different things. And above all, it offers an
opportunity to discover additional bikes that can you fall in love
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Hypermotard 950 SP R254,000
Multistrada 950 S
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Panigale V4 base
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Panigale V4 Speciale R600,00
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R690,299 Icon Scrambler
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1100 Scrambler Special R230,900
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MICHELIN POWER CUP 2
This dual compound tyre offers
good straight-line and cornering
grip through the use of Dual
Compound Technology + (2CT+) on
the rear and Dual Compound
Technology (2CT) on the front.
Brought to you by
Bike Tyre Warehouse turns 5!
Specials for the birthday Month: For the Bike Tyre Warehouse
5th Birthday bash, the guys are offering amazing specials on
all brands. With 6 BTW store’s around the country, Bike Tyre
Warehouse will be running crazy deals on all premium brands for
the whole month. Lucky draws for tyres, helmets & all sorts of
tyre related accessories plus FREE gifts from the brands when
BTW 202 KM Family Cannon Ball Fun Run – Friday 24th Sept
Public Holiday ( Braai Day):
A Charity ride to raise funds for safety vests for our delivery bike
riders who, throughout all the lock downs, curfews, weather
and risk of contracting COVID 19 have delivered everything
from medicines, groceries, online orders, takeaways etc. to
the residents of Gauteng whilst they have been holed up in the
safety of their homes.
Phase 2 of this drive is a joint initiative between Dunlop SA &
Bike Tyre Warehouse to supply reflective safety stickers for
delivery boxes and reflective Bibs to the delivery guys.
“A yellow reflective Bib & bin, will reduce and prevent the
number of accidents.” Says Bruce de Kok.
So definitely a worthwhile cause and event to take part in.
The event will start at 7am for all the early risers with the last
entry leaving the starting point at 12 midday.
Start off at the Bike Tyre Warehouse West Rand store
(Wilgeheuwel) and ride through to the new BTW Pretoria store in
TOP TYRE BRANDS!
Then it’s on to the East Rand store (Jet Park). From there, its off
to Diosa Del Amor a 5 star restaurant in Meredale, with the finish
line at the OutPost in Krugersdorp, where the braai’s & live music
will be in full swing.
Entrants will receive a discounted braai pack so you can cook on
one of the many braai’s available at your leisure.
Any one buying a combo at any BTW store between the 1st &
23rd September will get given their entry BIB for free & BTW will
donate a BIB.
Entries on the day will pay R30 per bib for the charity.
Get your bib stamped at all the check points i.e. all the BTW
stores & Diosa and you’ll will receive a 10% discount voucher
which can be redeemed at any BTW store between Monday
26th & Saturday 2nd October 21. Every entrant goes into the
draw for a R5000 voucher redeemable at any BTW store with no
expiry date as well as tyre accessory hampers & booby prizes
for unforeseen funnies happening throughout the day along the
routes. Winners and ad hoc riders will be featured in Dirt & Trail
and Ride Fast magazines & Motorider World webazine.
There will be a R5000 cash prize for the biggest motorcycle
club entry (every biker club entering must be in colours to be
included in the club competition). Any bike club willing to buy
a bulk pack 20 x BIB’s towards the charity at a cost of R400
will be appreciated & their logo will be put in the event section
of all the industry magazines, Motorcycle dealerships willing
to enter teams to show off their latest bikes who purchase a
20 x BIB pack for R400 will be allowed to put up a stand and
show off their latest motorcycles at the finish at The Out Post in
More info: Bruce de Kock at the BTW Head Office 073 777
9269 or email email@example.com
This is a worthy cause & as always lets show Gauteng residents
what bikers are about & that is “We take care of our own”.
New Pretoria Store
SEPTEMBER 4 th 2021
Join us as Bike Tyre Warehouse opens the doors of our 6th branch in
Silverlake’s Pretoria. It’s also the Bike Tyre Warehouse Group’s
5th Year Birthday Bash with
giveaway prizes and
Tyre Combo Specials from
1st - 31st September.
Pop in on the 4th and grab
a boere roll and a drink and
meet Byron, Fernando and
Sam, the team behind the
Due to the Crazy Deals the
team will be selling tyre
vouchers on the day but
fitments will only be
done from Monday
Visit us at: Shop 9, Fountains Adventure Centre, Cnr. Solomon Mahlangu Dr.
& Bendeman Blvd, Silverlake’s, Pretoria.
Info :Byron 082 938 0332 / 083 825 8138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
17D_Q3+_SalesBull_2pg_r2_Layout 1 4/13/17 3:08 PM Page 1
DURABILITY THAT MATCHES PERFORMANCE
THDO THE MATH
Great Handling at an
GRIP20% ANGLE. STREET
TIRE LIFE =
Offers a balance of
17D_Q3+_SalesBull_2pg_r2_Layout 1 4/13/17 3:08 PM Page 1
FEATURES & B ENEFITS
achieves lean angles up to 62 degrees*.
• This purpose-built track-day tire achieves lean angles up to 62 degrees*.
ed for street-legal use.
• The Sportmax Q4 is DOT-approved for street-legal use.
in the wet
quire tire warmers, and 62
runs at street LEAN
THAT MATCHES PERFORMANCE in the wet
or chassis or electronic adjustments.
• The user-friendly Q4 does not require tire warmers, and runs at street
pressures, eliminating the need for chassis or electronic adjustments.
bon black like Dunlop’s racing slicks for TRACK DAY
uses a continuously wound strip compound
• Rear tire compound contains carbon black like Dunlop’s racing slicks for
• Jointless Tread (JLT) technology uses a continuously wound strip compound
across the rear tread profile.
to optimize stability, flex, and grip across the rear tread profile.
ses carbon fiber reinforcement in the
• Carbon Fiber Technology (CFT) uses carbon fiber reinforcement in the
ng performance, braking stability and feel. SPORTMAX
sidewalls for exceptional cornering performance, braking stability and feel.
• Dunlop branding on the tread area.
• Made in the U.S.A.
nlop retailers, as well as race distributors.
• The Q4 is available through all Dunlop retailers, as well as race distributors.
ze Load/Speed Part Number
Size Load/Speed Part Number
0/70ZR17 (58W) 45233176
Sportmax Q4 Front 120/70ZR17 (58W) 45233176
0/55ZR17 (73W) 45233177
Sportmax Q4 Rear 180/55ZR17 (73W) 45233177
0/60ZR17 (75W) 45233131
180/60ZR17 (75W) 45233131
190/50ZR17 (73W) 45233060
0/55ZR17 (75W) 45233074 62°
0/55ZR17 (78W) 45233092
200/55ZR17 (78W) 45233092
SPORT TIRES RACEMore than 80% TRACK of the Q3+ Performance STREET touring SPORTtyre
TOURING at an
has been redesigned
that not only lasts longer,
compared to the Q3
but performs at higher
62° Sportmax LEAN
GPR-300 ANGLE. STREET
LEGAL. . levels
Sportmax Roadsmart III
LESS TIRE LIFE =
Offers a balance of
FEATURES & B ENEFITS
©2018 *As tested Dunlop by Motorcycle Dunlop on a Tires. 2017 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 RR on a closed track at Barber Motorsports Park. • This purpose-built track-day tire achieves lean angles up to 62 degrees*.
DunlopMotorcycleTires.com. ©2017 DUNLOPTYRESSA
Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.
• 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
More than 80% of the Q3+
has been redesigned
compared to the Q3
Performance touring tyre
that not only lasts longer,
but performs at higher
Great Handling at an
Offers a balance of
AMERICA’S MOST WINNING TYRE
©2018 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.