MRW Issue 28

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ISSUE <strong>28</strong><br />

TRANS<br />

FORMER<br />


RIDER<br />


BMW<br />

M1000R<br />

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />





H2 CARBON<br />

Petersen<br />





Hello Moto Rider World Fans<br />

and here’s wishing you all a<br />

happy and healthy 2023. We<br />

help kick the new year off with<br />

a great read that will no doubt<br />

leave you feeling happy, positive,<br />

and most importantly excited<br />

for more to come.<br />

For 2023 we plan to get bigger<br />

and better once again, taking<br />

SA motorcycle media to heights<br />

never seen before. We aim to bring<br />

the SA motorcycle market nothing<br />

but the best content, both locally and<br />

internationally. I will once again be<br />

based in the UK and will be attending<br />

a few MotoGP races to bring as much<br />

of the inside scoop and closer to the<br />

Binder boys and Ruche Moodley as<br />

possible.<br />

I’ve managed to build up some great<br />

relationships and resources in the<br />

paddock so will be looking to extract<br />

as much as I can from that to bring<br />

you all up-to-date and exclusive<br />

content, as we did in 2022. I urge you<br />

to all keep following our ever-growing<br />

Facebook and YouTube channels as<br />

we are consistently posting great<br />

content for all to enjoy – content that<br />

is relevant and noteworthy. I’m going<br />

to be hassling as many riders as I can<br />

for interviews and signed memorabilia<br />

so I can promise you that if you do not<br />

follow or subscribe to our pages you<br />

will be missing out big time.<br />

“We aim to bring<br />

the SA motorcycle<br />

market nothing<br />

but the best<br />

content, both<br />

locally and<br />

internationally. “<br />

complain, they just equip themselves<br />

with the right riding gear, and off they<br />

go. There is plenty the SA scene could<br />

learn from this lot here, from dealers to<br />

riders, they do a proper good job here<br />

and the motorcycle market is thriving<br />

with bike sales – new and used – and<br />

motorcycle accessories sales booming.<br />

I am learning more and more each<br />

day and that is helping me and the<br />

<strong>MRW</strong> team back in SA to provide you<br />

all with better content. For so long,<br />

SA motorcycle media has been far<br />

behind the rest of the world, but I am<br />

proud that we as <strong>MRW</strong> have bridged<br />

that gap big time and we now also<br />

have a big international following. I<br />

often get stopped by fans at MotoGP,<br />

BSB, and other motorcycling events<br />

this side complimenting me on the<br />

job we are doing with not only the<br />

digital magazine but also our social<br />

media pages. We have very much put<br />

ourselves in the spotlight and on the<br />

same level as some of the top and<br />

more established companies.<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

Beam Productions<br />

Adam Child “Chad”<br />

Sheridan Morais<br />


Email rob@motoriderworld.<br />

com to subscribe - R500<br />

once-off for a 12-issue<br />

subscription.<br />

Check out our YouTube<br />

channel and website for<br />

some exclusive video<br />

content.<br />




Rob Portman<br />

082 782 8240<br />

rob@motoriderworld.com<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

072 260 9525<br />

shaun@motoriderworld.com<br />

Copyright © Moto Rider World:<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this<br />

publication may be reproduced,<br />

distributed, or transmitted in any<br />

form or by any means, including<br />

photocopying, articles, or other<br />

methods, without the prior written<br />

permission of the publisher.<br />

Life here in the UK has been great for<br />

me and the family. There is so much<br />

more opportunity to grow, especially<br />

for my kids. Yes, it’s freezing, but we<br />

can happily deal with it knowing our<br />

kids have a bright future ahead. The<br />

motorcycle industry here is huge,<br />

which is surprising considering the<br />

crappy weather, but no one seems to<br />

A big part of this has been the<br />

continued support of our advertisers<br />

and fans. We can’t thank you all<br />

enough and as I said earlier, we are<br />

excited for the year ahead and taking<br />

another big step forward.<br />

Until next month, enjoy the magazine<br />

and all the best.<br />


WEBSITE: www.motoriderworld.com | FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/Moto-Rider-World | INSTAGRAM: Motoriderworld





2023 YAMAHA<br />


All eyes were on the Monster Energy Yamaha<br />

MotoGP team on Tuesday morning as they<br />

showed off their new-look 2023 Yamaha M1 in<br />

Jakarta, Indonesia, at Yamaha Indonesia Motor<br />

Manufacturing’s 2023 ‘3S Dealer Meeting’ - the largest<br />

dealer meeting in the world within Yamaha’s network.<br />

The perfect location for the Iwata factory to officially<br />

kick off their quest to reclaim the MotoGP World<br />

Championship this coming season.<br />

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. President Yoshihiro Hidaka,<br />

General Manager Motorsports Development Division<br />

of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. & President of Yamaha<br />

Motor Racing Takahiro Sumi, Monster Energy Yamaha<br />

MotoGP Team Principal & Yamaha Motor Racing<br />

Managing Director Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Indonesia<br />

Motor Manufacturing President Dyonisius Beti,<br />

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director<br />

Massimo Meregalli, and Factory Yamaha riders Fabio<br />

Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli took to the stage at<br />

the 2023 ‘3S Dealer Meeting’ to share their thoughts<br />

on “a new era” for Yamaha.<br />

An updated colour scheme for the Monster Energy<br />

Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 is the key headline from the<br />

launch, as the blue brand incorporates a camouflage<br />

design to their iconic blue and black style. The new<br />

look blends Yamaha’s signature blue with a smattering<br />

of grey, whilst still showcasing the adventurous lifestyle<br />

colour scheme of Monster Energy.


My winter break didn‘t fully go as<br />

planned because I injured my hand<br />

during motocross training. But I‘ve<br />

kept working non-stop. I‘ve done a<br />

lot of cardio to make sure I‘m 100%<br />

fit for the 2023 season. My hand<br />

injury is fully recovered now too, so I<br />

feel ready to fight for the title again.<br />

We have the new camouflage livery,<br />

which is a nice change. I like the<br />

new look, and it‘s good to switch it<br />

up a bit. But more importantly, I am<br />

looking forward to start riding again.<br />

I am very curious to test the 2023<br />

YZR-M1 in Sepang. We will work hard<br />

this season, as we always do. We<br />

have learned a lot in 2022, and now<br />

I just want to fight for the title again.<br />

My fans have been very supportive,<br />

sending me lots of messages over<br />

the winter. I‘m excited to see them at<br />

the tracks again this season. We will<br />

have some fun!


We are making a fresh start today,<br />

with a new look. Everything has<br />

gone back to zero and anything is<br />

possible this season, so that is an<br />

exciting prospect. We‘ve ended<br />

2022 with an improved feeling. Now<br />

it‘s important that we do a good job<br />

at the upcoming winter tests, so we<br />

will be ready to start the season in<br />

March with the first race in Portugal.<br />

There‘s a new race format, which<br />

will take some getting used to for<br />

the riders and the teams, but I see<br />

it as a positive change because it‘s<br />

something that the fans will enjoy.<br />

I want to thank the Indonesian<br />

fans who we saw at today‘s dealer<br />

meeting for their support. Their<br />

enthusiasm has given us a boost, and<br />

I can‘t wait to start the 2023 season in<br />

the best way possible.







2021 was a pretty interesting year for Ducati. It started off with a<br />

statement from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, saying that the future<br />

of the company was electric, but by March 2021, Ducati’s VP of global<br />

sales and member of the board Francesca Milicia mentioned that an<br />

electric Ducati racer wasn’t feasible, considering the fact that “an electric<br />

motorcycle cannot guarantee the pleasure, the range, the weight, etc.,<br />

that Ducati riders expect.” However, as soon as December rolled around,<br />

Ducati gave the world a sneak peek at the V21L, its first electric racing<br />

prototype. Its technology, however, remained carefully under wraps.<br />

“We exist in a motorcycling world that stands on the edge between<br />

combustion and electric”, says Daniel Kemnitz, passionate motorcyclist<br />

and the transportation designer behind the Ducati Ghost e-bike<br />

concept. “This is cause for a lot of controversy among riders, where<br />

some are open-minded to the electrified future, while others are less<br />

willing to part ways with their beloved passion as they’ve grown to<br />

know it.” The Ghost, Kemnitz states, was designed to be a bridge<br />

between the two worlds. “My Ducati concept, for clarification, is a<br />

hybrid motorcycle, not just in terms of the engine but also in terms of<br />

use case”, he adds. The bike is adapted to suit a modern environment<br />

where one can abide by emission/noise exclusion zones in city centers,<br />

while still being capable on backroads and long-distance trips.


The Ducati concept, for that very reason, aims at nailing<br />

the aesthetic to appeal to a wider set of riders. It has<br />

a design that’s equal parts nimble and powerful, and<br />

embraces curves while rejecting the idea that powerful<br />

automobiles need to always look edgy. This unique<br />

aesthetic, along with design details that allow it to fit<br />

perfectly into Ducati’s motorbike family, means that<br />

there’s something in the Ghost’s design for everyone<br />

– whether you’re looking for a drop-dead gorgeous<br />

bike for in-city commutes or a beast that gives you<br />

long-range inter-city performance. Other standout<br />

details include the bike’s front suspension, which sits,<br />

right within the swingarm, between the headlights. The<br />

headlights themselves sit in a 4-way split design that’s<br />

rather ghostly to look at, and move your eye to the rear<br />

wheel and you’re treated to a unique closed hub design<br />

with the Ducati branding on it.<br />

The Ducati Ghost comes outfitted with a hybrid engine,<br />

featuring a single-drive with a slipper-clutch that can<br />

couple/decouple the electric drive as needed, “so you<br />

can either use the petrol engine in tandem with the<br />

electric motor, or you can use it as a generator for the<br />



The use of a high-performance lightweight<br />

electric motor allowed Kemnitz to employ<br />

a complimentary small but high-revving<br />

horizontal twin-cylinder engine with a high<br />

peak power output. “Normally the weakness<br />

of such engines is that they have no torque<br />

in low/mid revs, but that’s where the electric<br />

motor assists”, Kemnitz states. Additionally,<br />

owing to the size of the small engine, it is<br />

easier to optimize for fuel efficiency too,<br />

using modern cam-less electric valves<br />

to achieve a healthy balance between<br />

performance and efficiency at the same<br />

time without any compromise. This hybrid<br />

system also allows for tighter packaging<br />

and component size, saving weight in the<br />

process and allowing the Ghost to have a<br />

narrower frame. Thanks to the presence<br />

of a battery pack located closer to the<br />

ground, the Ducati Ghost can get away with<br />

a smaller fuel tank, a nifty opportunity that<br />

allowed Kemnitz to streamline the tank’s<br />

shape right into the rider’s seat, improving<br />

rigidity and the overall build.<br />

The final benefit to having a distributed<br />

hybrid-style power system is that you’ve<br />

always got a plan B ready no matter<br />

what. In the case of the Ducati Ghost,<br />

the batteries aren’t the central power<br />

delivery system, which allows them to act<br />

as a sort of ‘reserve tank’ for extra power.<br />

To that very end, the Ghost comes with<br />

detachable batteries that can be swapped<br />

at Ducati dealerships for an easy and quick<br />

recharge between rides. “This would also<br />

act as a touch point between Ducati and<br />

its customers, to provide more interaction<br />

options for both”, says Kemnitz.




After turning its main attention away from<br />

jetpacks and to its Speeder Air Utility<br />

Vehicle (AUV), JetPack Aviation has<br />

shown the fruits of its labors in the form<br />

of the flight-ready P2 Speeder prototype.<br />

At the Draper Venture Network CEO<br />

Summit in California, the Speeder made<br />

its debut under JetPack Aviation’s new<br />

Mayman Aerospace brand, which has<br />

been established to develop micro VTOL<br />

Speeders to suit a range of applications.<br />

About the size of a motorbike, the P2<br />

Speeder is the third full-scale prototype<br />

the company has produced on the path<br />

to a final aircraft. It is powered by eight jet<br />

engines that run on regular Zero Net Carbon<br />

or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), with an<br />

eye-catching glossy angular carbon fiber<br />

body and ergonomic pilot position designed<br />

for aerodynamic performance to maximize<br />

flight efficiency.<br />

Safety is also obviously a major focus,<br />

with a proprietary onboard computer<br />

system that instantly rebalances<br />

engine thrust in the event of engine<br />

trouble. Ease of use is also front<br />

of mind, with getting into the air<br />

intended to be as simple as jumping<br />

on and hitting the start button.<br />

While the prototype on show was<br />

of the piloted variety, the Speeder<br />

features a modular design and can<br />

also be configured for autonomous<br />

or remotely-piloted flight. While it<br />

is being targeted at police, rescue<br />

and military applications as a small<br />

VTOL personal aircraft, autonomous


or remotely piloted configurations would<br />

massively expand the potential applications<br />

for the aircraft.<br />

Such applications include firefighting, where<br />

it could carry retardant in quick-load twin<br />

tanks and dump or spray the contents in<br />

rough terrain or onto tall targets as required,<br />

and emergency medevac, where patients<br />

could be strapped to a rapidly detachable<br />

litter for speedy transport to hospital. It<br />

could also serve as an industrial cargo<br />

transport, with the ability to fly in cargo<br />

mode for 644 km at over 805 km/h while<br />

carrying loads up to 450 kg.<br />

“We launched JetPack Aviation a<br />

decade ago, and the name has served<br />

development of our JetPack technology<br />

well, but as we look to the future, we<br />

needed a brand that clearly defines our<br />

professional, as opposed to consumer,<br />

Speeder product and markets,’ said<br />

Mayman. “Mayman Aerospace is pushing<br />

the outer limits of VTOL flight and will<br />

continue to innovate and incorporate new<br />

technologies including hydrogen powered<br />

turbine engines, electric fanjets and<br />

turbofan propulsion, complex ‘sense and<br />

avoid’ sensors for autonomous swarming,<br />

and potentially even supersonic flight.”<br />

The company says it is working with the<br />

FAA to get the Speeder certified and is<br />

in advanced discussions with potential<br />

customers in national defense, critical cargo,<br />

woodland firefighting and disaster relief.<br />

Initial, remotely controlled flight tests of the<br />

latest prototype was scheduled to begin in<br />

Q3 of last year, with piloted tests slated for<br />

closer to the end of the year.



THE 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER<br />


The benchmark stays but will you go further? The KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE S removed limits and boundaries for any motorcyclist<br />

curious to #DARE2ADV. How? The power, versatility, assurance, and<br />

technical excellence prompted riders to race into the unknown; safe in<br />

the knowledge that what they had underneath them would handle any<br />

requirement with a deft touch.<br />

For 2023 KTM has taken the rich base of the KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE S – engineered to conquer mile after mile on all types of<br />

terrain – and added a fresh sheen as well as several refinements for the<br />

benefit of practical adventuring.<br />

Eyes will be drawn to the two new shades: the glow of the unmissable<br />

KTM orange-and-black trim or the more neutral but elegant hue of KTM’s<br />

graded gray aesthetic. The orange, that stretches all the way through to<br />

the forged aluminum subframe, engineered to offer a lower seat (at 869<br />

mm or 849 mm) superb load-carrying capability and contains a raft of<br />

components, is like a badge of honor for hardcore explorers. However,<br />

the classy gray spreads across the bodywork; chiseled to prioritize agile<br />

handling, front end confidence, comfort, protection and houses the<br />

23-liter three-part tank with superlative fuel<br />

range. The tone is as fetching for a swift<br />

dash into the office as it would be for a blast<br />

across country borders.



Roaming roads everywhere and anywhere<br />

with the 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE S is now a lot easier thanks<br />

to augmented navigation software. KTM<br />

already made the 7” TFT display a cinch for<br />

customization due to the infographics and<br />

menu system that gave the rider full control<br />

over the RIDE MODES, advanced WP<br />

Semi-Active Suspension, ABS settings and<br />

Adaptive Cruise Control: the combination<br />

of intuitive handlebar switches and access<br />

to the technical possibilities of the KTM<br />

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S was a major<br />

calling card for one of the company’s<br />

flagship models. For 2023 KTM aimed for<br />

more utility. Adventurers can count on<br />

extra options with their navigation plotting.<br />

The KTMConnect App now boasts Turnby-Turn+<br />

guidance and waypoints markers<br />

while on the go and without having to stop<br />

and adjust any mobile device. The same<br />

functionality also extends to audio tracks<br />

and listing ‘Favorites’ when it comes to<br />

phone calls. Hands on the grips not only<br />

means gobbling more mileage but safe and<br />

more enjoyable interaction with the KTM<br />


C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

THE ALL NEW GSX1300R<br />

> Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS)<br />

> Motion Track Traction Control<br />

> Engine Brake Control<br />

> Bi Directional Quick Shifter<br />

> Launch Control System<br />

> Cruise Control System<br />

> Legendary Power & Durability<br />

> Ultimate Aero Dynamics<br />


www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za suzuki_za_motorcycles @MotorcycleSA


Let’s remind ourselves why the KTM 1290<br />

SUPER ADVENTURE S is the ultimate<br />

high-performance Adventure bike. The<br />

V-Twin LC8 rumbles to 160 hp and 138 Nm<br />

of torque and the devastating spectrum<br />

of power allows the KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE S to glide on cruise, dip<br />

through traffic or devore highways with<br />

glee. The compact heart of the bike<br />

is carefully regulated by one of KTM’s<br />

most advanced electronic management<br />

architectures: it administers the suspension<br />

configuration and reaction, ride height, ABS,<br />

RIDE MODES, Tire Pressure Management,<br />

Anti-dive and more. The unit fits inside a<br />

light 10 kg chrome-molybdenum stainless<br />

steel frame honed for handling the short<br />

blasts and mountain passes as well as the<br />

long haul. The rest of the package befits<br />

a premium motorcycle for travelling: the<br />

LED lights, reengineered windscreen and<br />

adjuster, multi-part saddle, light aluminum<br />

side-stand. The list and the specs have<br />

already been met with wide acclaim. The<br />

KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S can<br />

be elevated even further with optional<br />

electronic packs, a Quickshifter+ and WP<br />

Suspension Pro amongst other upgrades.<br />

Although a rider might be wishing to reach<br />

one, no KTM model is an ‘island’. The KTM<br />

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S revels in a<br />

wide raft of specially made add-ons and<br />

accessories in the KTM PowerParts collection.<br />

From extra protective parts, aesthetic<br />

touches through detailing, performance<br />

enhancements or travel items like luggage,<br />

racks and bags; the KTM PowerParts are as<br />

enticing as it is well equipped.






It was a busy December for Italian bike<br />

maker Ducati, who besides launching new<br />

models and opening new dealerships here<br />

and there also had to throw a huge party<br />

for Pecco Bagnaia and Álvaro Bautista,<br />

the winners of this year’s MotoGP and<br />

WorldSBK championships, respectively.<br />

Since both riders climbed to the top of their<br />

respective racing series this year on the<br />

backs of Ducati motorcycles, it was only<br />

natural for the company to throw them<br />

a party. And it did, as on December 15,<br />

Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore turned red for<br />

Ducati’s “Campioni in Piazza” event.<br />

There, aside from the usual celebrations<br />

and pats on the back, Ducati also pulled the<br />

wraps off two special edition motorcycles<br />

meant to honor the two racing heroes of<br />

2022. The bikes are part of something called<br />

World Champion Replica series, and honor<br />

both Bagnaia and Bautista by borrowing<br />

their racing liveries and slapping them onto<br />

the special motorcycles.<br />

Both started life as regular Panigale V4 S<br />

two-wheelers, and received, aside from the<br />

said paint jobs (#63 for Bagnaia’s and #19<br />

for Bautista’s), a series of upgrades to make<br />

them even more desirable.<br />

Available only in single seat configuration,<br />

both bikes come equipped with a dry<br />

clutch, Akrapovic silencer of the street-legal<br />

variety, and Brembo Stylema R calipers.<br />

On top of that, there are also Rizoma billet<br />

aluminum adjustable footpegs and racing<br />

plexiglass.<br />

Carbon fiber is extensively used on the twowheelers,<br />

most visible on the heat shield<br />

for the rear exhaust and brake manifolds,<br />

the covers over the alternator and singlesided<br />

swingarm, and the front and rear<br />

mudguards. As a twist, the bike meant<br />

to honor Bautista comes with a brushed<br />

aluminum tank.<br />

But such fittings would not be enough to<br />

warrant a big fuss around these machines.<br />

What really makes them unique are the<br />

personal touches of the two riders, coming<br />

in the form of the two men’s signatures on<br />

the fuel tanks. Placed there as autographs,<br />

they’re protected by a layer of clear coat<br />

so that they can last for years undamaged.<br />

Accompanying the signatures are the<br />

model name, progressive number and race<br />

number, all engraved by means of laser on<br />

the upper clamp.<br />

Ducati decided not to make all that<br />

many examples of these things, and in an<br />

attempt to somehow honor the year the<br />

company was born, 1926, decided to make<br />

260 examples of each of the bikes. Each<br />

example is of course individually numbered.<br />

About a week after the Panigale V4 Bagnaia<br />

and Bautista World Champion replicas were<br />

shown, Ducati said all 520 examples have<br />

been spoken for in just hours. The selling<br />

price was not revealed, but we are told<br />

many of the people buying the replicas<br />

went for the pair, meaning they will most<br />

likely end up in collections across Europe<br />

and maybe elsewhere.<br />

It’s unclear when Ducati will start delivering<br />

the bikes, but when they arrive in their new<br />

homes they’ll all do so in a packing case<br />

with dedicated graphics. A certificate of<br />

authenticity, a personalized bike cover and<br />

the Ducati Data Analyser+ data acquisition<br />

system are included in the package for<br />

each bike.





latter even has the unfortunate effect of<br />

accelerating fuel oxidation.<br />

The fact that fuel ages faster is not a<br />

problem for race bikes, and neither is rough<br />

starting since they only need to be started<br />

for practice, qualifying, and race, so there<br />

is no tragedy. Adapting everything to the<br />

production motorcycles of tomorrow will be<br />

a different kind of ballgame.<br />

In other words, getting the level of<br />

performance for a racing bike with an<br />

increased percentage of ethanol in the<br />

fuel will be a challenge, but it is something<br />

that can be overcome due to existing<br />

developments with this kind of fuel, that<br />

were already made for production vehicles.<br />

As for cars, switching from anything over<br />

E5, in the case of older vehicles, or E10<br />

in the case of newer models, will require<br />

multiple changes to a vehicle’s fuel setup.<br />

Various gaskets that encounter fuel will need<br />

replacement, and the same goes for the fuel<br />

lines, as well as the engine mapping.<br />

There are already numerous automobiles<br />

that can obtain more power on E85 than on<br />

regular gasoline, but also vehicles that can<br />

run ethanol alone, as well as others that can<br />

operate various percentages of ethanol and<br />

gasoline.<br />

Vehicles ready for this from the factory are<br />

called “Flex Fuel,” by most manufacturers. If<br />

you have any doubts as to what kind of fuel<br />

your vehicle allows, just read the label that<br />

is usually found on the inside of the fuel cap<br />

door. You might notice that your car does<br />

not run on some fuel blends that can be<br />

found at the pump.<br />

Triumph Motorcycles has begun testing<br />

sustainable fuels for the engines of its<br />

models. We are not writing about the usual<br />

motorcycle engines, but the ones used in the<br />

Moto 2 TM championship. As some of you<br />

already know, Triumph Motorcycles is the<br />

sole supplier of power units for the series.<br />

The plan is to shift the series fuel to E40 by<br />

2024, and then make a transition to E100<br />

by 2027. The letter “E” in the name of the<br />

fuel represents Ethanol, as you may already<br />

be familiar with it, and the numbers after it<br />

show the percentage in the fuel blend. As<br />

a reference, pump gas in Europe is mostly<br />

E5, sometimes E10, while some countries<br />

have E85.<br />

The goal is to have a sustainable source<br />

of Ethanol, as well as to make the engines<br />

ready to run it in the percentages<br />

mandated by the blend. Fortunately for<br />

Triumph’s engineers, since these bikes only<br />

have to run in competition that involves<br />

racetracks, they do not have to worry as<br />

much about cold temperatures or even<br />

cold starting, for that matter.<br />

It is a known fact that ethanol alone,<br />

without proper additives, provides less<br />

energy than gasoline. Other problems<br />

that need to be addressed involve the<br />

hygroscopic characteristics of ethanol,<br />

which leads to rough starting and poor idle,<br />

as well as its corrosive potential, and the



In what might be considered the biggest<br />

news in the brand’s 52-year history, HJC is<br />

extremely pleased to announce that 2021<br />

MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo<br />

has joined the number one helmet<br />

manufacturer in the world as he moves<br />

forward in his already extraordinary career.<br />

The 23-year-old racer from Nice, France,<br />

has earned 11 wins and <strong>28</strong> total podiums in<br />

the MotoGP class since his debut in 2019,<br />

and the first French champion in premier<br />

class history has signed an exclusive deal to<br />

wear HJC’s flagship racing helmet, the FIMhomologated<br />

RPHA 1, when he lines up on<br />

the grid in 2023 to begin his fight to regain<br />

the MotoGP title.


2023, A YEAR OF<br />


For yet another year, there have been many<br />

changes to the MotoGP grid. While some<br />

will keep their current status with the same<br />

manufacturer but a different team, others<br />

will try their luck in a completely new project,<br />

while just one of them will be a rookie in<br />

2023. Let’s take a look at the nine MotoGP<br />

riders preparing for a new adventure:<br />

Bastianini from Gresini to Ducati<br />

Lenovo Team<br />

Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team),<br />

who already showed great glimpses of<br />

his talent in his debut season in 2021 with<br />

two podiums and eleventh place overall,<br />

ended up confirming this during the 2022<br />

campaign. After a relentless victory at<br />

the Qatar round, the Italian rider scored<br />

six podiums, four of which were victories.<br />

Despite four retirements, the Rimini rider was<br />

mathematically in the fight for the title until<br />

the last races.<br />

Going on to finish 3rd overall, the ‘Beast’<br />

proved that he had to be counted on for<br />

the future, and Ducati did just that. On<br />

August 26th, the Borgo Panigale-based<br />

manufacturer announced the promotion<br />

of Bastianini to the Ducati Lenovo Team,<br />

alongside reigning World Champion<br />

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).<br />

Will Enea Bastianini be able to trouble Pecco<br />

Bagnaia, who will be looking to retain his<br />

crown in 2023?<br />

From Suzuki to Honda: A change of scenery<br />

for Rins and Mir<br />

Suzuki sent shockwaves through the<br />

MotoGP market and the paddock in general<br />

in May when it announced its withdrawal<br />

from the World Championship. That<br />

unexpected move directly affected the future<br />

of Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Joan<br />

Mir (Repsol Honda Team). In the end, the two<br />

Spaniards will remain under the guidance of<br />

a Japanese factory, in this case Honda. The<br />

2020 MotoGP World Champion will share<br />

a box with Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda<br />

Team), while the rider who took two victories<br />

in 2022 will partner Takaaki Nakagami (LCR<br />

Honda Idemitsu) in the satellite team. After<br />

his great season and seventh place overall,<br />

will Alex Rins be able to continue his good<br />

run of form in 2023 in his new colours?


The GASGAS duo: A rookie and a veteran<br />

Impressive throughout the 2022 season,<br />

Augusto Fernández (Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing)<br />

was proclaimed Moto2 World Champion in Valencia at<br />

the last GP of the year. The Spaniard’s name had long<br />

been a strong contender for promotion to the premier<br />

class, until last September when he was officially<br />

announced as a member of GASGAS, a firm partnering<br />

with Tech3 to form a new MotoGP team. The Spaniard,<br />

who will be the only rookie on the premier class grid<br />

in 2023, will be team-mate to Pol Espargaró (Tech3<br />

GASGAS Factory Racing). The Spaniard will return to<br />

the Tech3 team, where he made his premier class debut<br />

in 2014. After two years with Honda with only two<br />

podiums and one pole position, the experienced ‘44’ will<br />

be the leader of the GASGAS project, which he hopes to<br />

bring forward alongside his young teammate.


Oliveira and Raúl Fernández complete<br />

the new Aprilia puzzle<br />

Until now associated with Yamaha, the<br />

Malaysian RNF structure will move in 2023<br />

to compete with Aprilia, which now boasts<br />

a satellite MotoGP team for the first time<br />

in its history. For this new project, the<br />

Italian manufacturer has opted for two very<br />

different profiles with Miguel Oliveira and<br />

Raul Fernandez. The Portuguese rider is a<br />

safe bet, with four years of experience in<br />

MotoGP and five victories, two of them in<br />

2022. Fourth in the Valencia Test, the ‘88’<br />

demonstrated his impressive ability to adapt<br />

to the Aprilia and will undoubtedly be one of<br />

the men to watch this season, when he Will<br />

finally be able to compete in front of a full<br />

home crowd at Portimao.<br />

Raúl Fernández, on the other hand, is in<br />

a completely different situation. After a<br />

difficult rookie year in 2022, the Spaniard<br />

has managed to carve out a new niche for<br />

himself in the top class of motorcycling,<br />

with the intention of demonstrating his<br />

true potential during the new season. To do<br />

so, the Spaniard will rely on the Malaysian<br />

structure, Aprilia and the experience of his<br />

team-mate, but will he show all the talent<br />

that made him runner-up in the Moto2<br />

World Championship in 2021?<br />

Other moves: Where will Jack Miller and<br />

Alex Márquez ride?<br />

Enea Bastianini’s promotion to the factory<br />

Ducati team shook up the transfer market,<br />

to the delight of some and to the detriment<br />

of others. In this case, the change mainly<br />

affected Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory<br />

Racing) and Alex Márquez (Gresini Racing<br />

MotoGP), who took the place of the ‘Beast’.<br />

The Australian left his seat in the red box<br />

after a total of seven podiums in 2022,<br />

culminating in a prestigious victory in Japan<br />

and a fifth place finish, his second best<br />

season in the elite class.<br />

With eight seasons under his belt in<br />

MotoGP, Miller will form an experienced<br />

and interesting line-up alongside Brad<br />

Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). As<br />

for Alex Márquez, the Spaniard is leaving<br />

Honda to take the opportunity to turn his<br />

time in the premier class around in 2023,<br />

riding the GP22.<br />

The first important date of the year will come<br />

with the Sepang Test on 10 February, so<br />

don’t miss it!


World Champion’s first steps with his new<br />

machinery.<br />

Nöhles, new ally for Nakagami<br />

Guidotti’s promotion to the Repsol Honda<br />

Team also brings change for Nakagami. In<br />

this case, the Italian’s vacancy next to Taka<br />

will apparently be filled by former rider<br />

Klaus Nöhles. After working for the last<br />

three years with the Honda test team, the<br />

German now finds himself on the frontlines.<br />

This will not be the first time he works with<br />

Nakagami, having done so previously at the<br />

season finale last year in Valencia and at the<br />

post-GP test.<br />

Aurin, takes charge of the test team<br />

The experienced Ramon Aurin, a wellknown<br />

figure in Honda and a familiar face<br />

in the paddock after working with riders<br />

such as Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso,<br />

Jorge Lorenzo, and Pol Espargaro, will now<br />

purportedly take on the role of technical<br />

leader for the test team. According to<br />

motorsport.com, Aurin was originally set<br />

to be the Crew Chief for Joan Mir, but<br />

due to the reduction of test days and the<br />

importance of their role, Honda asked Aurin<br />

to lead the development team instead.<br />

Stability around Marquez<br />

The Repsol Honda Team will see a familiar<br />

face in the paddock in the form of Santi<br />

Hernandez, who will continue to serve as the<br />

inseparable Crew Chief to Marc Marquez. The<br />

team is looking to the future with optimism,<br />

as Alex Rins will be joined by David Garcia,<br />

who has previously worked with Alex<br />

Marquez. Motorsport.com also reports that<br />

the team’s General Technical Director will be<br />

Frenchman, Christophe Bourguignon.<br />



The 2023 season of the MotoGP World<br />

Championship could mark a turning point<br />

for Honda. After a few mixed campaigns, the<br />

Japanese manufacturer is aiming big in 2023<br />

to help restore some former glories. Marc<br />

Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will arrive<br />

into the new season in good physical shape<br />

for the first time in a long time, and he will<br />

be accompanied by Joan Mir on the factory<br />

team. Meanwhile, Alex Rins, who was also<br />

previously at Suzuki, will join LCR Honda as<br />

Takaaki Nakagami’s teammate.<br />

Guidotti, the driving force behind Mir<br />

As recently reported by motorsport.com,<br />

Honda HRC is still working hard to complete<br />

a competitive RC213V and has undergone a<br />

significant technical restructuring to define<br />

its panel of engineers and technicians for<br />

the new campaign. One of the key moves<br />

centers around Joan Mir. Giacomo Guidotti,<br />

who was previously the Crew Chief for<br />

Takaaki Nakagami, is poised to move onto<br />

the factory team to help guide the 2020


Changes in the HRC leadership<br />

The article also alleges that there are set to<br />

be a number of other moves within HRC’s<br />

racing leadership. After a few years away<br />

from the circuit, Shinichi Kokubu returns<br />

to the role of RC213V Project Leader.<br />

Tetsuhiro Kuwata remains as HRC’s General<br />

Manager, while Shinya Wakabayashi, General<br />

Manager of the company’s racing division,<br />

joins the top management team, which will<br />

not include the former Technical Director,<br />

Takeo Yokoyama, who is leaving the World<br />

Championship this year to take up a position<br />

at the Tokyo HQ. The various changes all fold<br />

into an overall goal - bringing Honda back to<br />

the very top in MotoGP.


“I STILL DON’T KNOW!” -<br />



It’s the big question that circles at this time of<br />

the year: will the MotoGP World Champion<br />

don the number one? After both Joan<br />

Mir (Repsol Honda) and Fabio Quartararo<br />

(Monster Energy Yamaha) opted to remain<br />

with their trusted numbers following World<br />

Championship success, now all eyes switch<br />

to Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo<br />

Team) following his 2022 premier class title.<br />

Speaking at the Valencia Test in November,<br />

the 26-year-old admitted he has “always<br />

been fascinated” by riders who opted to use<br />

the number 1 in the past and he then stirred<br />

up yet more intrigue when he used a number<br />

one plate at Valentino Rossi’s ‘100km of<br />

Champions’. A month on and Bagnaia has<br />

admitted he’s still undecided over whether<br />

he should use his tried and tested 63 or<br />

become the first MotoGP World Champion<br />

since Casey Stoner in 2012 to use the famous<br />

number one.<br />

During a television appearance with Italy’s<br />

RAI, Bagnaia revealed that he’s set himself<br />

a looming deadline on what number to run<br />

in 2023: “I’ve changed my mind quite a few<br />

times, so I’ve decided that on Tuesday, right<br />

before the photo session with the 2023 bike,<br />

I will arrive with both numbers and I will stick<br />

on what I feel in that exact moment. Right<br />

now, I still don’t know which one I will choose<br />

between the World Champion’s number 1<br />

and my number 63.”<br />

The now two-time World Champion was<br />

asked about what life has been like since<br />

clinching the ultimate prize in motorcycle<br />

racing, with Bagnaia saying the tag of<br />

MotoGP World Champion hasn’t been the<br />

thing he’s enjoyed the most: “Every now and<br />

then I think about the fact of being World<br />

Champion, but more than anything else I get<br />

excited when I think about the fact that I’m<br />

the fastest man in the world on a motorbike.<br />

“I made a promise to Ducati the day I<br />

signed my contract: I knew we’d become<br />

World Champion together,” said Bagnaia<br />

when asked about his relationship with the<br />

Bologna factory. “I knew that by putting<br />

everything together, we would be able to<br />

achieve great results. The 2023 bike will<br />

be different but it’ll be an evolution, not a<br />

revolution. While the 2022 Ducati, well, I<br />

hope it will end up in my house!”<br />

As well as his obvious connection with the<br />

Italian marque, Bagnaia also touched on the<br />

importance of his relationship with ninetime<br />

World Champion Valentino Rossi and<br />

the pivotal role he played in his 2022 title<br />

success: “I asked Valentino to follow me as<br />

a coach. I knew that it would be difficult for<br />

him between racing in the car and his baby<br />

daughter, but at every race of the season<br />

we spoke on the phone and I was able to<br />

ask him many things. When he came to the<br />

circuit, I would always ask him to go and<br />

watch me on track so he could explain what<br />

was happening and what I could improve on.<br />

“He’s always been the idol of our family. He<br />

taught me to remain calm, to try and enjoy<br />

every moment and to celebrate when the<br />

time is right. His tranquility and his modesty<br />

are the most important things.”

change between speedometer, navigation,<br />

tachometer, odometer, fuel gauge, compass,<br />

ambient/engine temperature and gear indicator.<br />

The Chief has cruise controls making long<br />

open road cruising an absolute pleasure. The<br />

Chief offers a variety of ride-modes and you<br />

can even deactivate the rear cylinder for those<br />

super-hot days where you get caught in many<br />

stop-go situations. The Rear Suspension has a<br />

3-inch adjustable pre-load setting so you can<br />

make solo or two-up riding as comfortable as<br />

possible. The Chief comes equipped with ABS<br />

and a large friction zone Slipper Clutch which<br />

translates to smoother down-shifting and<br />

reduced hand-lever action.<br />

The Indian Chief Dark Horse<br />

The Indian Chief Dark Horse is a minimalist style<br />

cruiser for riders who enjoy both short weekend<br />

rides and long weekend getaways. The Chief<br />

Dark Horse comes standard with Mid-Controls<br />

and Drag-Handlebars, but you can order yours<br />

with forward-controls and a variety of raised<br />

handlebar heights. Personally, for this type of<br />

cruiser I prefer the forward controls with miniape<br />

handlebars. I’m 1,76cm tall and I found this<br />

configuration the most comfortable for longer<br />

rides, and so will anyone my height and taller.<br />

The low-down torque makes it unnecessary<br />

to change down a gear or two if you want to<br />



In this part 2 of our Indian Motorcycles SA Launch test our cruiser man<br />

Luis writes about two Indian Chief’s, The Vintage and the Challenger.<br />

The Iconic Indian Chief Motorcycle<br />

For its 100th anniversary, Indian Motorcycles<br />

launched the completely reimagined iconic<br />

Indian Chief. This is a motorcycle that combines<br />

the perfect blend of old-school looks, coupled<br />

with modern technology. If you have enjoyed the<br />

Soft-Tail Harley’s, but want something exclusive<br />

and different, then this is a motorcycle range for<br />

you. The Chief is bigger, longer and heavier than<br />

the Indian Scout so it’s perfect for those who<br />

enjoy riding with a passenger (who will enjoy<br />

close long rides with you instead of riding their<br />

own bike). In South Africa there will be three<br />

model-options to choose from and there are<br />

hundreds of customization variations that will<br />

make your Indian Chief completely unique.<br />

The Indian Chief has a 116 cubic inch air-cooled<br />

“Thunderstroke” motor producing 120 lbs of<br />

torque which provides instant throttle response<br />

and continues to accelerate all the way past<br />

the “Straight-To-Jail” mark. In keeping with<br />

its “Timeless Design” theme, the Chief Dark<br />

Horse is equipped with a beautiful old-school<br />

looking but modern round 4-inch touch-screen<br />

instrument cluster. The colour touch screen<br />

works even with your gloves on, so you can

overtake. You simply open the throttle, and the beast<br />

accelerates at eye-watering speed. The Indian tracks<br />

beautifully and accurately around long bends, and you<br />

cannot help but twist the throttle as you do.<br />

The Indian Chief is a beautiful Softail-looking motorcycle<br />

that turns heads at every angle. With its exposed steel<br />

frame, dual adjustable rear shocks, and beautiful 19-inch<br />

cast-aluminium front wheel, the Indian Chief Dark Horse<br />

looks like a highly customised Chopper-Cruiser the<br />

heralds back at days gone by. This is a motorcycle for the<br />

V-Twin customising enthusiast who enjoys customising<br />

their motorcycle to their design-taste as much as they<br />

enjoy the long open road. The Chief Dark Horse comes<br />

with options such as Bolt-on Sissybar and beautifully<br />

sculptured passenger pillion seat, Stage 1 Air Intake,<br />

Stage 2 Performance Cams and Stage 1 Slip-On Muffler/<br />

Slash-Cut exhausts.

The Indian Chief Bobber/Dark Horse<br />

& Superchief<br />

If you are a fan of classical style cruisers<br />

the herald the echoes of eternity, then the<br />

Indian Chief Bobber and Superchief range of<br />

motorcycles are definitely the motorcycles<br />

for you. Whether you prefer a classic styled<br />

“Bobber” without having to do any of the<br />

customising yourself or you want a full-speced<br />

out option that has saddlebags and windshield,<br />

this is a range of motorcycles you definitely<br />

want to test ride.<br />

The Indian Chief Bobber/Dark Horse trim<br />

package are for enthusiasts who wants the<br />

crowd to hear and see them while wondering<br />

what makes these kind of riders tick. With all the<br />

standard features included in the Indian Chief,<br />

this range comes with swept back handlebars,<br />

thick 16inch spoked wheels, thick 46-inch<br />

telescopic front forks and optional saddlebags,<br />

passenger seat and quick release windshield.<br />

With its low centre of gravity, the Indian Chief<br />

Bobber/Dark Horse is a touring motorcycle for<br />

any rider who values versatility coupled with<br />

timeless old-school styling.<br />

The Indian Chief Bobber is a medium-sized<br />

touring bike with a serious old-school outlaw<br />

attitude. With the iconic Indian Motorcycle<br />

badging on the tank and saddlebags and quick<br />

release windshield and Sissybar, the Superchief<br />

can change its attitude as fast as you can<br />

change your mind. The 116 cubic inch, 120ftlbs<br />

of Torque Thunderstroke motor makes for<br />

effortless cruising. The rider has the option of<br />

floorboards and a variety of forward or midmounted<br />


The Indian Vintage<br />

If you are an enthusiast who loves classicstyling<br />

coupled to great performance, then<br />

the Indian Vintage is the touring bike for<br />

you. Having owned several Harley Davidson<br />

Heritage Softail’s in my life, I instantly took to<br />

this motorcycle. I don’t enjoy windshields on<br />

motorcycles, but they do offer great wind and<br />

rain protection if you keep to the legal speed<br />

limit. If I was in the market to buy a long-range<br />

cruiser, then this motorcycle would definitely<br />

make it to the top of my Wishlist.<br />

The Indian Vintage comes with a 111 cubic-inch<br />

V-Twin motor and a range of standard features<br />

that make touring a delight. Passenger comfort<br />

is superb so if your spouse, girlfriend or child<br />

enjoys riding with you then this will become<br />

a focal point in your relationship building<br />

repertoire.<br />

The Indian Vintage is a head turner like no other.<br />

It’s a motorcycle for the enthusiast who has a<br />

love for timeless classics, but who also enjoys<br />

the comforts and safety that the modern world<br />

has to offer.

The Indian Challenger is powered by a liquid<br />

cooled V-Twin producing 122HP and 1<strong>28</strong> FT-Lbs<br />

of Torque. The acceleration is mind-blowing<br />

and yet effortless, whether you are riding alone<br />

or two-up. With all that power, I’m glad to say<br />

it has Brembo Monoblock M4.32 Calipers with<br />

Dual, 320mm Rotors that stop this beast faster<br />

than I thought was humanly possible. The<br />

Challenger comes with Slipper Clutch, 43mm<br />

Inverted Cartridge front forks coupled to Lean-<br />

Sensitive ABS and Traction control, thanks to<br />

a Bosch 6 Axis IMU. At the rear, comfort and<br />

handling is seen to by hydraulically adjustable<br />

rear shocks that soak up the bumps in the road<br />

The Indian Challenger Dark Horse<br />

& Limited<br />

If you are the kind of motorcycle enthusiast<br />

who loves long-distance cruising, and money<br />

is not an obstacle to peace of mind, then look<br />

no further than the Indian Challenger. I am not<br />

often surprised by a motorcycle, but the Indian<br />

Challenger challenged my sense of reality. Never<br />

before did I imagine that riding a motorcycle<br />

could feel so amazing. It really was an out-ofthis-world<br />

experience. I could easily spend the<br />

whole day riding this motorcycle and a trip from<br />

Littlefalls to Cape Town would certainly become<br />

a common event.<br />

The fit and finish on the Indian Challenger<br />

would rival any motorcycle, but the technology<br />

would surpass them all. To date I am yet to<br />

ride a better long-distance tourer! Many riders<br />

enjoy a motorcycle that turns heads, but those<br />

who are serious riders know that it’s the details<br />

that matter most! Handling, comfort and<br />

technology are vital regardless of the type of<br />

motorcycle you ride. When it comes to touring,<br />

the Indian Challenger ticks all the boxes and<br />

then some! If you are an enthusiast that knows<br />

that the devil is in the detail, then the Indian<br />

Challenger is possibly the ultimate American<br />

V-Twin Bagger-Tourer.

in ways I could never have imagined before.<br />

At the front, the Chassis mounted Fairing offers<br />

fantastic wind protection and the electronically<br />

adjustable windshield can lower or rise so that<br />

you get the perfect setting to eliminate all<br />

wind buffeting that one often gets on most<br />

other touring bikes. The fairing houses a classleading<br />

100-WATT Audio system and full LED<br />

Headlights that light the way far into the future<br />

even on the darkest nights of the soul.<br />

The spacious cockpit is host to a large<br />

TFT Screen that offers a full range of Ride<br />

commands including traffic and weather<br />

display. Heated grips, cruise control, tachometer,<br />

speedometer, rev counter, etc – you name it and<br />

the Challenger has it as standard.<br />

However, the best safety feature is something<br />

you won’t see with your eyes. The Indian<br />

Challenger has an intuitive system that<br />

overcomes the limits of traction control and<br />

anti-locking braking systems – this motorcycle<br />

thinks before you can think of thinking! The<br />

Bosch 6 Axis IMU system calculates the exact<br />

orientation of the Challenger, collecting millions<br />

of data points to determine lean angle and<br />

wheel slippage, before electronically adjusting<br />

the throttle response and braking inputs – all<br />

whilst it takes the motorcycle’s lean angle into<br />

account. This ensures the safest possible ride, as<br />

long as you don’t ride like a complete moron. If<br />

you crash this motorcycle, then you shouldn’t be<br />

riding any motorcycle or you have fallen asleep!



H2 CARBON<br />


‘Bimota’s most powerful bike to date, the dramatic<br />

hub-centre-steering, supercharged TESI H2.<br />

Combining Kawasaki’s supercharged power with<br />

Italian design and flair, Bimota’s new TESI H2’.

POWER<br />

2<strong>28</strong>bhp @<br />

11,500rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

141.7Nm @<br />

11,000rpm<br />

WHEEL<br />

BASE<br />

1455mm<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

840mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />

219kg<br />

Let me bring you up to speed. Kawasaki now<br />

owns 49.9% of Bimota, which is brilliant news<br />

for the small Italian firm. Since its creation in<br />

the early 1980s, Bimota has historically bought<br />

engines from Kawasaki or Yamaha or Suzuki<br />

or Ducati, and then produced a bespoke<br />

chassis to wrap around those power units.<br />

However, developing their fuelling and exhaust<br />

systems, and then getting the new bike to meet<br />

increasingly tough emissions regulations was<br />

extremely difficult and costly.<br />

But now, thanks to Kawasaki, Bimota has a<br />

colossal amount of engine technology to<br />

borrow from their Japanese partners. And this,<br />

the TESI H2, is the first bike to come out of this<br />

unique and intriguing relationship.<br />

Essentially, Bimota has taken one of the world’s<br />

most powerful engines, the supercharged<br />

H2, plus its fuelling and exhaust, instruments,<br />

switchgear, lights and electronic rider aids<br />

and then added their own chassis and design.<br />

Without any fuelling or electronic development<br />

costs or Euro4 compliancy to worry about, their<br />

focus has been centred on what they do best:<br />

chassis and design.<br />

Bimota has opted to use its Difazio-type hubcentre-steering<br />

TESI front end which was<br />

designed by Pierluigi Marconi in the 1980s<br />

before reaching production in 1991. The new<br />

billet aluminium rear swing -arm and carbon/<br />

aluminium front arms bolt directly to the<br />

supercharged Kawasaki motor. Two Öhlins<br />

shocks at the rear control the front and rear<br />

wheel independently. The conventional trellis<br />

Kawasaki frame has been removed.

But it’s not just about the frame and suspension either.<br />

The aerodynamic bodywork, with wings that create<br />

high-speed downforce (11kg), plus the fuel tank are all<br />

carbon fibre. Oh, and this 2<strong>28</strong>bhp motorcycle tops the<br />

scales at 207kg (dry).<br />

We flew out to Italy to test the TESI H2 on track. R1.2m,<br />

2<strong>28</strong>bhp supercharged engine and unique TESI front<br />

end... Bimota certainly knows how to make a statement.<br />


This is where Bimota comes to the party, with its genius<br />

chassis design and new TESI front end and hub-centresteering.<br />

Conventional telescopic forks, especially on powerful<br />

bikes like an H2, require enormous strength to deal<br />

with the forces of braking, while also performing the<br />

more subtle tasks of steering and absorbing bumps.<br />

They attach to a huge (and high) steering head that’s<br />

braced and stiffened to cope with all those forces

passing to the frame. And, of course, they alter the<br />

chassis’ wheelbase and steering geometry as they<br />

extend and compress.<br />

The TESI’s hub-centre-steering system, meanwhile,<br />

leaves the geometry unaffected by braking and<br />

acceleration. There isn’t any conventional dive, and<br />

the feeling at the bars is constant whether the bike<br />

is slowing or accelerating or turning.<br />

That’s because the functions of braking, suspension<br />

and steering are separated. The steering, for<br />

example, isn’t affected by the suspension, while the<br />

suspension is unaffected by braking forces. Each<br />

is free of the inherent engineering compromises<br />

necessary with teles.<br />

The front suspension is more like a conventional<br />

rear swing-arm with a single shock, which on the<br />

Bimota is located at the rear. Steering is via a series<br />

of links and joints, with the front wheel pivoting on<br />

a hub (and most of the HCS architecture hidden<br />

by dramatic carbon bodywork). In fact, in basic<br />

terms the TESI H2 comprises of a swing-arm on the<br />

front, an engine in the middle, swing-arm on the<br />

rear; there is no conventional frame as everything is<br />

bolted to Kawasaki’s supercharged motor.<br />

Yes, there is added weight with the additional<br />

mechanisms and linkages of HCS but that is offset<br />

by the absence of a conventional frame and lack<br />

of need for a massive headstock. Each arm is<br />

made from relatively light billet aluminium with the<br />

centre bridge manufactured in carbon fibre on the<br />

front arm.<br />

When Kawasaki acquired a 49 percent<br />

stake in it and lent the Bimota its<br />

resources, the Italian company went<br />

all in to produce the bombastic Tesi H2.<br />

First introduced in 2020, the Tesi ‘H2’ is<br />

a supercharged beast inspired by the<br />

Kawasaki Ninja H2 but excels over the<br />

latter in a couple of aspects.





Rolling out of the pitlane, the initial feeling<br />

was a little odd. When I opened and close the<br />

throttle the bike was implacable and divefree.<br />

Below 10mph it weaved very gently as<br />

I counter-steered, trying to get used to the<br />

unusual sensation of hub steering. The initial<br />

feeling was vague.<br />

As mentioned, the first session was a little<br />

damp as well as cold, so the first few laps were<br />

ridden with R1.2m-worth of circumspection.<br />

Soon, though, I started to connect to the<br />

different feeling and learnt to trust the frontend<br />

grip rather than feel for it as I would with<br />

teles. Within a few laps, the TESI started to<br />

feel natural and I started to feel at home,<br />

dragging my knee on the Ferrari test track with<br />

confidence.<br />

In pictures it may look like a big bike, especially<br />

with me on board..., and it is indeed on the large<br />

side with a taller seat height than the Kawasaki<br />

– but it feels much lighter than its Kawasaki<br />

donor bike. Considering its brutal power<br />

output, the TESI made relatively light work of<br />

Moderna’s twistiest sections. After a 20-minute<br />

session, I didn’t feel like I’d been in a fight with<br />

a heavyweight. Fast direction changes were<br />

surprisingly easy, while it flowed accurately and<br />

calmly through the faster sections. While it’s<br />

true that we didn’t have a standard H2 on the<br />

test, I’m sure the difference between the two<br />

bikes would be significant. I can’t remember the<br />

standard H2 feeling this fluid.<br />

By session two, with heat in the Bridgestone<br />

rubber and more track familiarity, we properly<br />

clicked, in part because of the relative lightness<br />

of the Bimota. The quoted kerb wight of the<br />

TESI H2 is 219kg (207kg dry) while Kawasaki<br />

quotes a wet weight of 238kg for the standard<br />

H2, which means on paper a significant 19kg<br />

saving with a demonstrably lower centre of<br />

gravity too.<br />

dd to this the fact that the (theoretical) head<br />

angle is far steeper on the TESI – 21.3° with<br />

117mm of trail and 24.5° and 103mm on the<br />

Kawasaki. The TESI system allows a much<br />

steeper head angle (if Kawasaki were to run<br />

such a steep head angle it would almost buckle<br />

the forks) which quickens the steering and<br />

makes the TESI even more responsive to rider<br />

inputs. There’s a sense of lightness engineered<br />

into the bike.

Braking is very different from a conventional<br />

bike, despite the TESI sharing the same Brembo<br />

Stylema calipers as the Kawasaki H2. No matter<br />

how hard and late you brake, the TESI stays flat.<br />

The front does not dive, you don’t run out of<br />

fork travel, and the rear does not lift. You can<br />

brake exceptionally late yet absolute stability<br />

remains – in fact nothing appears upset the<br />

handling. Corning ABS comes as standard, but<br />

its parameters have been changed to match the<br />

‘funny’ front end as well as the bike’s relative<br />

lightness and reduced stopping distance.<br />

Arguably there are disadvantages to this system.<br />

Without fork dive, the rake stays constant; when<br />

you brake heavily it’s not easier to turn as it is<br />

on a conventional bike. I’d also argue the feeling<br />

isn’t as one-to-one. I didn’t have the confidence<br />

to brake deep into the apex, compressing the<br />

front tyre, feeling the sidewall squish and build<br />

grip. But this isn’t a race bike on race tyres, and I<br />

doubt very much that I’d brake deep to the apex<br />

on a standard Kawasaki H2 while dragging my<br />

knee to the apex.<br />

The more laps I threw in, the more I got used to<br />

the feel of the front. I never had an issue with lack<br />

of grip or understeer, it worked perfectly and<br />

predictably. But I had to build up confidence, and<br />

in the last 10% I didn’t quite know how much to<br />

push. But I guess that will build as confidence<br />

increases and more set-up time.<br />

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to play with the<br />

setup. Clever construction of the suspension<br />

support means ride height can be adjusted by<br />

20mm without altering the bike’s geometry;<br />

instead, you’re essentially moving the bike’s<br />

centre of gravity. But initial impressions are of<br />

a lighter, more flickable machine that can brake<br />

later with more stability.<br />

Braking is controlled by twin 330mm discs, with<br />

four-piston Brembo Stylema calipers, which are<br />

located at the top of the disc, inside the billet<br />

aluminium front swing-arm. These are taken<br />

directly from Kawasaki. Traditionally, Bimota<br />

would locate the calipers on<br />

the low side of the disc, at<br />

six o’clock, but now they are at 12 o’clock, which<br />

according to Bimota improves their efficiency.<br />

Braking power is immense, the rear does not<br />

lift or come around, and the front does not<br />

pitch forward. Stability is total; the chassis feels<br />

solid. Bimota claims the TESI H2 stops in a<br />

shorter distance than the standard Kawasaki<br />

H2, so much so the cornering ABS system and<br />

parameters had to be recalibrated. However,<br />

some of this might be down to the lightness of<br />

the Bimota, and some would argue that on track<br />

the TESI front end doesn’t give the feedback of<br />

a conventional front end.<br />

Kawasaki’s Intelligent anti-lock Brake System<br />

(KIS) ABS is present and correct and is linked<br />

to the IMU for lean sensitivity. Kawasaki’s engine<br />

brake control is also carried over to the Bimota.<br />

ABS intervention can be changed but cannot be<br />

fully deactivated. On track on standard rubber,<br />

the ABS was evident but not too intrusive.


This is the intriguing aspect of the new<br />

partnership between Kawasaki and Bimota.<br />

Kawasaki spent a fortune developing the<br />

supercharged 998cc inline-four; perfecting the<br />

devilishly complicated fuelling, making sure the<br />

technology would be reliable and rideable and<br />

making sure it passed tightening homologation<br />

regs for noise and emissions. Then Bimota<br />

stepped in and scampered off to Italy with all<br />

that knowledge and hard work.<br />

But this does mean that Bimota can’t change<br />

any aspect of the engine, including the<br />

fuelling and exhaust, because they<br />

would then have to start that whole<br />

costly process again, including<br />

further homologation tests. So the<br />

TESI H2 shares exactly the same<br />

supercharged engine as the H2, exactly<br />

the same gearbox, fuelling, injectors and<br />

exhaust. It is all identical.<br />

Bimota traditionalists may hesitate, but this is<br />

obviously advantageous for Bimota as a huge<br />

cost and time-saving exercise, plus they have a<br />

proven 2<strong>28</strong>bhp supercharged reliable motor to<br />

deploy as they wish. The disadvantage is that the<br />

current H2 motor is only Euro4, and the gearbox<br />

ratios re fixed, while that muffler is a little on the<br />

bulky side. I’m sure the stylish Italians would have<br />

given that a tweak if it were possible.<br />

I first rode the legendary H2 and H2R on its<br />

world press launch in Qatar and was blown<br />

away by the supercharged performance. It was<br />

a revelation. I can remember coming in after the<br />

first session almost speechless.<br />

Kawasaki has tweaked the motor since 2015 to<br />

comply with Euro4 regulations and this is what<br />

powers the Bimota today – but it’s still as fierce<br />

as ever.<br />

My first session at Moderna, a fun but tight<br />

track in northern Italy, was a little damp,<br />

which meant opting for reduced power and<br />

increasing the lean-sensitive traction control.<br />

The TESI ran on Bridgestone RS11 rubber<br />

and no tyre warmers but within a few laps it<br />

was obvious the grip it was generating was<br />

far better than expected. The Bimota runs<br />

the same Bosch 6-axis IMU as the Kawasaki,<br />

and it was reassuring to hear the TC working<br />

overtime, even with the power reduced.<br />

After a quick pit stop to change to a dark<br />

visor, it was back to normal power and<br />

reduced rider aids – a something-in-themiddle<br />

setting. Now the H2 – sorry, the Bimota<br />

– came alive. The supercharged motor has<br />

several personalities. The mid-range whoosh<br />

is phenomenal, and it requires a mental<br />

recalibration to get used to the supercharged<br />

delivery. The sheer avalanche of horsepower<br />

asks serious questions of the mechanical grip<br />








and makes the traction and anti-wheelie work<br />

overtime. So, while many bikes make Moderna<br />

feel tight in places, the Bimota’s Kawasaki<br />

power made it feel like a car park.<br />

The only place to really let the TESI H2 loose<br />

was down the main straight and, again, the<br />

power was almost too much, the acceleration<br />

fierce enough to punch the air from your lungs.<br />

The kick it delivers is addictive, like nothing else<br />

on the road, and acoustically backed up by the<br />

chirp of the supercharger.<br />

The rider aids are the same as the H2’s but have<br />

been recalibrated to compensate for the Italian’s<br />

comparative lack of weight, which is apparent<br />

in everything the bike does. After all, while<br />

quoted power is the same as the H2, the Bimota<br />

is considerably lighter (19kg), and therefore<br />

accelerates even faster. And if you have ever<br />

been lucky enough to sample an H2 off the<br />

lead, then you may find that hard to believe.<br />

The TESI H2 is far better suited to big circuits<br />

like Silverstone or Mugello but the Moderna<br />

did highlight the Bimota’s downside (which is<br />

the same as the H2) – the fuelling low down<br />

is sharp. Yes, you can play with this, changing<br />

the engine modes and increasing TC and antiwheelie<br />

helps, but there’s no hiding the fact<br />

that it’s a little aggressive when you open the<br />

throttle at low rpm.<br />

From 20% to 40% throttle, it’s just about<br />

acceptable but from 0% to 20 or 30%, it’s<br />

snappy. The twisty track exacerbated this<br />

weakness, meaning you need those excellent<br />

rider aids as a safety net as it’s hard to dial in<br />

the power smoothly and slowly in a low gear.<br />

In fact, it’s sometimes easier to short shift on<br />

the standard quickshifter into a taller gear for a<br />

better ride.<br />

I guess nothing is perfect. Perhaps it’s too<br />

much to expect a market-leading mid-range<br />

drive, complete with the cheeky chirp of a<br />

supercharger, as well as easily manageable<br />

torque low down. But I have ridden the H2<br />

and H2R on fast and flowing tracks, and the<br />

experience was literally breath-taking. Now I<br />

can’t wait to try the Bimota at a faster track.<br />















I don’t think the design team had much of a<br />

conversation about comfort and fuel economy.<br />

However, the Bimota is road legal, and the light<br />

handling I felt on track should transfer to the<br />

road. The seat height is higher than the H2’s but<br />

can be changed by altering the ride height, and<br />

the pegs are also multi-adjustable.<br />

The suspension is fully adjustable, with both<br />

remote pre-load adjusters located at the rear of<br />

the bike. The TESI front end should, in theory,<br />

be well-suited for the road, as braking does not<br />

compress the suspension, meaning braking over<br />

bumps should feel smoother and plusher.<br />

As noted, the Bimota shares the same fuelling<br />

as the H2, and even the same 17-litre fuel tank.<br />

Range and mpg should be similar, if not slightly<br />

better on the Bimota as it’s lighter and possibly<br />

more aerodynamic. But, like the H2, the Bimota<br />

will be thirsty, returning 35-40mpg at best, and<br />

considerably less on track. All said, if you are<br />

buying a R1.2m exotic superbike and thinking<br />

about running costs and comfort, you probably<br />

need to head to your nearest BMW dealership.


As you’re probably able to predict, rider aids lifted straight<br />

from Kawasaki’s H2 but recalibrated to match the lighter<br />

Bimota. These are linked to a six-axis IMU. This means<br />

the TESI H2 comes with proven technology comprising:<br />

Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF),<br />

Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Kawasaki Launch<br />

Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control,<br />

Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), ABS<br />

and Dual-direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS). Bimota<br />

has even retained the economical riding indicator. The<br />

instruments are again from Kawasaki, and their latest lightsensitive<br />

TFT displays.<br />

Bimota offers a full race exhaust, which looks stunning and<br />

shaves off 14kg, and add five more BHP.<br />


The Bimota TESI H2 is a very difficult bike to judge and<br />

to give a categoric verdict because it’s so different from<br />

anything on the market. Judging by social media alone,<br />

some already hate the looks and ‘funny’ front end based on<br />

styling alone...<br />

For me, Bimota has taken one of the world’s best engines,<br />

Kawasaki’s supercharged H2, and housed it in a unique<br />

chassis, which feels lighter and more agile than the all-<br />

Japanese bike. The Italians have then added their own flair,<br />

style and design – and I love the fact it looks like no other<br />

bike on the planet. Yes, it’s expensive, but numbers are going<br />

to be limited to 250 and is in line to become a future classic.<br />

But the TESI H2 isn’t for everyone. Some won’t click with<br />

the hub-centre steering and the differences it brings and the<br />

fuelling is aggressive at low speeds, which on the road will<br />

be far from ideal. And if you have R1.2m there are cheaper<br />

bikes that are faster around a race track.<br />

I applaud what Bimota has done. It’s wonderful that there are<br />

designers who are still out there pushing the boundaries and<br />

producing something that not only works but looks fantastic.<br />

If your favourite colour is grey and you get excited about<br />

golf, the TESI isn’t for you. If you want big power, a bold<br />

statement, and don’t care about mpg or the fact there are<br />

bikes that are more capable on track – then the TESI is for<br />

you. I can’t think of any other bike which shouts ‘look at me!’<br />

any louder. It’s a bold, brilliant Kawasaki H2 smothered in<br />

Italian style and engineering brilliance. Who wants normal!<br />








Bimota TESI H2 R1.2m<br />

Yes, R1.2m is a lot of money, but let me try<br />

to justify that.<br />

Kawasaki no longer sells the standard H2,<br />

but if you search around there are a few<br />

pre-registered bikes with low mileages<br />

going for around R800k.<br />

Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s still-current, much<br />

more powerful but not road-legal H2R, on<br />

which the Bimota is heavily based, is priced<br />

at R1m – which means a TESI H2 buyer<br />

is only paying R200k to R400k more than<br />

they would for a Kawasaki H2 or H2R...<br />

Okay, I tried. That is still a lot of money. But<br />

you can see where the money has been<br />

spent; what makes the Italian so special.<br />

Lashings of carbon and trick Öhlins<br />

suspension, for starters, plus the exquisite<br />

build and finish of the Bimota chassis must<br />

be worth R200k or even R400k more than<br />

the Kawasaki.<br />

Competition-wise, if 2<strong>28</strong>bhp and 207kg<br />

are not enough for you, then Ducati has the<br />

race-ready but road-legal Panigale V4R. All<br />

new for 2023 and armed to the teeth with<br />

237bhp while weighing just 172kg in race<br />

set up, it is considerably cheaper at R800k.<br />

If money isn’t an issue, Ducati’s limited<br />

edition Superleggera V4 produces 234hp<br />

and tops the scales at just 152.2kg with<br />

race kit and is over 50kg lighter than the<br />

carbon Bimota. To you, R1.8m.


“I WILL HAVE<br />

A PLACE IN<br />


FOREVER”<br />

The 2022 World Champion reflects on his<br />

incredible success in WorldSBK as he took<br />

Ducati’s first title since 2011<br />

After a year-long fight his rivals, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.<br />

it Racing – Ducati) was able to claim the 2022 MOTUL FIM<br />

Superbike World Championship after a thrilling battle with<br />

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and<br />

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Bautista wrapped up the<br />

title with a round to spare, securing it in Race 2 at the Pertamina Mandalika<br />

International Street Circuit in Indonesia.<br />

BECOMING CHAMPION: all the emotions from<br />

Bautista after the return<br />

After wrapping up the title in Indonesia, Bautista’s emotions were on display<br />

for all to see through his celebrations and immediate interviews. Later on,<br />

in this special sit down interview, conducted between the Indonesian and<br />

Australian Rounds, Bautista opened up even further on the emotional side<br />

of winning the Championship; from his friends and family, the first phone<br />

call he made, the nerves before the title-deciding race and even how leading<br />

Race 2 in Indonesia meant he was making mistakes.<br />

He said: “World Champion 2022 sounds really good. When you get back<br />

home and see your family and friends, that’s when you will say: “I know what<br />

I got, what I achieved and now it’s time to enjoy it”. I think the hashtag I was<br />

using this season, #TheReturn, can mean many, many things. The return to

Ducati. The return to be a competitive rider. The first day we started to work<br />

together, I was a bit nervous. I knew that I could be fast and competitive but,<br />

before you jump on the bike, simply I had a doubt but when I did the first<br />

laps on the bike, the doubt disappeared. I was smiling because I felt the bike<br />

was mine.”<br />

THE PRESSURE: one race added more than the others…<br />

With the title coming down to Race 2 in Indonesia, the odds were stacked<br />

in Bautista’s favour as he needed just a podium finish to secure the title with<br />

one round and three races to spare. He duly did so, with second place, but<br />

not before he felt extra pressure on the grid. Bautista spoke about this and<br />

also revealed the emotions he had when calling his family and seeing them<br />

in person for the first time after taking the title.<br />

Bautista said: “I always tried to be focused but, believe me, in Race 2 I<br />

started to feel more pressure than all the season. When I was leading at that<br />

moment, I was too nervous. I didn’t want to make a mistake and, maybe<br />

because of that, I was making a lot of mistakes. My target was trying to win<br />

the Championship, not the race, so it was different from other races! After<br />

the race, when I stopped to celebrate and to put the #1 on my bike, at that<br />

moment I wanted to celebrate. But, at the same time, I couldn’t because<br />

I didn’t have energy. The first phone call I made was to my wife because<br />

I want to see her and see my daughters. It’s funny because, when I arrive<br />

home, I always show the trophies to my daughters, especially the big one,<br />

as they’re starting to understand more things. Imagine when I arrive with<br />

the World Champion trophy and give it to her… for me, that will be more<br />

emotional than everything.”<br />

HISTORY MADE: Ducati’s long wait is over<br />

Ducati’s last Riders’ Championship came in 2011 when Carlos Checa won<br />

the title on an Independent Ducati, and, despite coming close to glory,<br />

the Italian manufacturer had to wait until 2022 for their next title when<br />

Bautista took the honours. 2022 was also a year for Ducati’s Manufacturers’<br />

Championship drought to end as they took that title for the first time since<br />

2011 as well to add to their illustrious history.<br />

Discussing his Ducati title, Bautista said: “Everybody in the past told me<br />

I have to be a Champion with Ducati. It’s something different. You don’t<br />

realise that until you do it. It’s true. I remember here in WorldSBK, three<br />

years ago, when I won the first race with Ducati. It was very special. Many<br />

people become crazy! I feel I will have a space in Ducati history forever.”

HIGHS AND LOWS: proving people wrong,<br />

the ups and downs…<br />

In a season of incredible consistency for Bautista, where he racked up 31<br />

podiums in 36 races, including 16 wins, picking out high moments could<br />

have proven to be difficult, but the 38-year-old was able to do so, identifying<br />

two rounds as ‘perfect’ and ‘even better’. He also outlined his worst moment<br />

of the season but also turned that into a positive as he bounced back in<br />

style the following day.<br />

Bautista said: “The Misano round was very important. I remember that<br />

weekend, I was so focused and concentrated so much. I just wanted to do<br />

a perfect job and the feeling of the bike was amazing. Finishing in front of<br />

Jonathan, who, at that moment, was the main rival in the classification made<br />

it one of the best weekends of the season. If I say the Misano round was a<br />

perfect weekend, I think Catalunya was even better! Especially coming from<br />

Magny-Cours. The best was the feeling I had with the bike was amazing. I<br />

enjoyed all the races and all the practices. I think the best weekend of the<br />

season. My worst thing was when I crashed at Donington. It was my fault, my<br />

mistake. But many people thought ‘now he starts to feel the pressure and it<br />

starts to be like 2019 and he starts making mistakes.’ I was really, really calm<br />

because I knew what the problem was. In Race 2, I showed myself and all the<br />

people that I made a mistake, but this year is different from three years ago.”




RAILS<br />


It’s the journey, not the destination, right? When<br />

24-year-old South African Darryn Binder made the<br />

daunting transfer from the Moto3 category (250cc<br />

motorcycles) straight into the premier class of<br />

MotoGP (1000cc fire-breathers that reach speeds<br />

greater than 225mph) for 2022 he wasn’t so much<br />

entering the deep-end but rather ‘divebombing’ from a<br />

clifftop. We tagged along for the ride.<br />

From his worries over the transition, to training at home<br />

in Andorra to that sizzling debut in Qatar, moments of<br />

doubt over speed and finally elbowing his way into the<br />

premier class with aplomb; ‘Fast Track’ was there for the<br />

first thoughts and emotions. Like Darryn himself; ‘Fast<br />

Track’ quickly gets to the point.<br />

The 2022 saddle with WithU Yamaha RNF was a case of<br />

right place, right opportunity, right choice for the talented<br />

and likeable youngster who had already cast his name<br />

firmly in the bracket of ‘one to watch’. Binder’s brave<br />

move with the crew that had already given career highs<br />

to Monster Energy Yamaha pairing Fabio Quartararo and<br />

Franco Morbidelli meant that he bounced straight out<br />

of the intense and often wacky closeness of the Moto3<br />

gaggle into a blurred contest that splits the best riders in<br />

the world by hundredths of a second.

From day-to-day I felt like I was<br />

starting at zero again! It took a<br />

couple of days to get used to that<br />

and then learn everything. There<br />

are so many electronics…also, it<br />

is one thing to be fit and strong<br />

but it’s another to be riding fit.”<br />

His leapfrog over the intermediate Moto2 division is a tactic<br />

that has been undertaken by just one other rider in the history<br />

of the current Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP structure. In terms<br />

of learning and acclimatisation, Binder was the fifth and final<br />

rookie on the 2022 grid with the tallest mountain at his gate.<br />

“I knew it was going to be tough…but this is all I wanted to<br />

do,” he offered-up. “The speed from Moto3 to MotoGP is<br />

insane. From day-to-day I felt like I was starting at zero again!<br />

It took a couple of days to get used to that and then learn<br />

everything. There are so many electronics…also, it is one thing<br />

to be fit and strong but it’s another to be riding fit.”<br />

Darryn had won a Grand Prix in Moto3 and scaled the box<br />

five times for a total of six trophies in his seven-season stay in<br />

the world championship to-date but his education and walk<br />

through the pressure, rigours and enigmas of MotoGP was a<br />

trek that fans could kinda relate to: how did a championshipwinning<br />

Yamaha M1 race bike feel? How mind-blowing was the<br />

speed? How do you try and compete with riders like reigning<br />

#1 Quartararo, Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia and 2020 world champ<br />

Joan Mir? How do you manage the highs-and-lows?<br />

And there were peaks and troughs. He managed a fantastic<br />

top ten result in just his second twist of the throttle in<br />

Indonesia and came close to a similar classification in<br />

Catalunya. Darryn has been fearless and open-minded and<br />

quickly found his platform in the establishment.<br />

Fast Track’ sees us jump on Binder’s shoulder for some of<br />

the path. The racer’s easy and effortless personality giving us<br />

revealing glimpses behind the helmet visor.<br />

Don’t miss this unique insight into the fastest and most<br />

demanding, rubber-laying two-wheeled sport. Watch it on<br />


The rock and roll appearance<br />

of wild hair and ‘tats’ hides<br />

a deadly seriousness. Marco<br />

Bezzecchi, a 23-year-old from<br />

Rimini, Italy has won Grands Prix in two of<br />

MotoGP’s world championship categories<br />

and is firmly on the fast-track to more<br />

fame after grabbing a podium finish and<br />

emerging as Rookie of the Year in the<br />

premier class in 2022. ‘Bezz’ might look<br />

like he’s ready to thrash…but it will be<br />

Michelin race rubber, lap-times and his<br />

many rivals in the world championship<br />

rather than any instrument strings.<br />

Bezzecchi is one of the brightest lights<br />

of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Academy and<br />

has propelled himself to the forefront of<br />

MotoGP and the Ducati brand thanks to<br />

his rapid adaptation and frightening pace<br />

as part of the Mooney VR46 team.<br />

“I think many people<br />

see him as the ‘future.<br />

You can see how<br />

hard he rides, how<br />

competitive he is.<br />

MotoGP is super-hard<br />

now and he’s here as<br />

a rookie but you know<br />

that another step is<br />

coming next year<br />

and he will challenge<br />

more for podiums.<br />

It will come naturally<br />

because he is that<br />

type of rider with a<br />

winning mentality.”<br />




SPLASH<br />


“I think many people see him as the ‘future’,” opines VR46<br />

Business Development Director and former MotoGP Team<br />

Director Johan Stigefelt. “You can see how hard he rides, how<br />

competitive he is. MotoGP is super-hard now and he’s here as<br />

a rookie but you know that another step is coming next year<br />

and he will challenge more for podiums. It will come naturally<br />

because he is that type of rider with a winning mentality.”<br />

Marco has gone about subverting opinions in 2022. His results<br />

have impressed in his first term gunning the Desmosedici and<br />

a motorcycle that holds the 225mph top-speed record in the<br />

sport. He’s outperformed competitors that got the better of<br />

him in ’21 Moto2 and the hard-edged approach to Grand Prix<br />

doesn’t quite tell the whole truth. “He is like that…but also a<br />

very caring guy,” Stiggy adds. “He takes care of the people<br />

around him. He’s sensitive in a way, and so polite.”<br />

Bezz is the subject of the latest Monster Energy movie series<br />

that pulls back the curtain on the relentless warriors that<br />

bend the limits of their fitness, minds and fears in motorcycle<br />

racing. “I liked doing it…but I also didn’t!” the softly-spoke<br />

racer smiles. “I usually want to keep my private life private, but<br />

the crew made me feel very comfortable and that gave me<br />

confidence. I think it’s a cool thing to do.”<br />

#72 shares his thoughts and emotions of life in-and-around<br />

MotoGP and shows the work and demands away from<br />

the Grand Prix circuits that many fans often don’t see.<br />

To accompany the short film, we asked Marco about his<br />

memorable ’22 and how life has shifted…<br />

On coping with a brighter spotlight…<br />

If you go well you have more attention and then more pressure<br />

in the next races. If you go bad then you have the feeling that<br />

people expected a lot more. In this sport, in every sport actually,<br />

handling this is part of the job. I think, as riders, we have to put<br />

the [engine] ‘map’ for racing in our heads and we have to know<br />

how to deal with questions and media scrutiny. It’s OK.<br />

On weighing the hopes of the fans…<br />

I don’t think I have as many as other Italian riders but the ones<br />

I do have are all so nice. I receive a lot of support from people<br />

from my hometown or those at the tracks. I cannot complain<br />

about anything. It is one of the best parts of the job.<br />

“If you go well<br />

you have more<br />

attention and then<br />

more pressure<br />

in the next races.<br />

If you go bad<br />

then you have<br />

the feeling that<br />

people expected<br />

a lot more.”

“It was a big<br />

achievement<br />

because it was one<br />

target I had in mind<br />

– a bit of a dream<br />

actually – that I didn’t<br />

know if it would be<br />

possible in my first<br />

season. It was a ‘I can<br />

do it!’ moment and it<br />

meant I could work<br />

better. It was also a<br />

nice moment…we<br />

partied a lot after!”<br />

On a highlight: qualifying 2nd at his home Grand<br />

Prix and making the top five or the 2nd place in<br />

Assen, his first MotoGP podium…<br />

Well, of course Mugello was nice because it was my home<br />

GP but Assen was something more because it was a<br />

podium finish. It was another step in our development or<br />

our growth here. It was a big achievement because it was<br />

one target I had in mind – a bit of a dream actually – that<br />

I didn’t know if it would be possible in my first season.<br />

It was a ‘I can do it!’ moment and it meant I could work<br />

better. It was also a nice moment…we partied a lot after!<br />

On being defined as the ‘surprise’ of 2022 MotoGP…<br />

Well, in the end I think it is OK. For my first year in MotoGP<br />

I’ve made some very good races. If we look at people like<br />

Vale, Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo -<br />

riders from another era – then they had very strong rookie<br />

seasons but since then I think there have been some good<br />

ones and bad ones. I think we did what we had to do,<br />

and it’s OK if I am the ‘surprise’ of MotoGP this year. Last<br />

year I was fast in Moto2 but you never know if you can be<br />

fast in MotoGP. I was happy to be the surprise. MotoGP<br />

is a crazy world and circumstances can change quickly<br />

in sport. To go fast you need a lot of stuff: the bike, the<br />

team, the people around you that make you feel good, the<br />

calmness. You need to put all these pieces together to go<br />

well. When something goes out of place it is easy to have<br />

some troubles.

On balancing MotoGP and life away from the track…<br />

In this regard I am good. I am able to switch off quite well.<br />

During the season, a long season, you need to be able<br />

to return home and do this because all the other hours<br />

of your life are for this [MotoGP]. You train, you work,<br />

you ride other bikes, you prepare: you do everything<br />

for a season. We have a small break in the summer and<br />

then another in the winter but you quickly come back<br />

around to what you need to do. I’m quite good at finding<br />

moments for me though and enjoying time with my<br />

family and friends. We don’t speak about bikes or races. I<br />

disconnect.<br />

On the search for the next step and more<br />

improvement…<br />

In the end, as we said, people expect a lot from you. For a<br />

new MotoGP season you cannot sit there and think ‘OK, I<br />

know what I have to do’. You have to push more because<br />

you have to do more…if not then you might not have a<br />

bike anymore! Every winter is, let’s say, different but also<br />

similar. When you switch category you know you have to<br />

work a lot because the next bike will be harder but then<br />

you cannot stop this progress. I think it is also one of the<br />

best parts of the job. It’s good to keep yourself motivated.<br />

Watch the full buzz about Marco Bezzecchi on<br />



E X C L U S I V E T E S T<br />

BMW<br />



BMW steps into the super naked<br />

market, with its most powerful<br />

naked bike in this highly<br />

competitive class. The Germans<br />

are flexing their muscles,<br />

showing what they can do;<br />

welcome to the 207bhp M 1000<br />

R. On looks alone, it’s already a<br />

winner for some.<br />

BMW’s standard S 1000 R is a great bike. I tested<br />

one for a whole year and loved its everyday<br />

versatility and fuss-free ability on track. But<br />

when up against the more powerful Italian competition –<br />

the 200bhp hyper naked beasts from Ducati and MV– it<br />

was, on paper at least, slightly lacking.<br />

Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 and MV Brutale 1000RR are<br />

both in the 200bhp club, with Kawasaki’s supercharged<br />

Z H2 SE just a couple of horses shy. In the world it hardly<br />

matters that the S1000 R makes a peak of 165bhp, some<br />

35bhp lower than the big boys, but sometimes the real<br />

world doesn’t matter. It’s the numbers that count. Hence

the introduction of BMW’s new M 1000 R, with<br />

206.5bhp/154kw.<br />

BMW has taken the new ShiftCam engine from<br />

the 2022 S 1000 RR superbike and inserted<br />

it into the S 1000 R’s naked chassis. It has the<br />

same power and torque and the same gearbox.<br />

BMW hasn’t stopped there. Aerodynamic wings<br />

help to reduce wheelies by adding 11kg of<br />

downforce at 220kph (137mph). New stoppers,<br />

again taken directly from the S 1000 RR give<br />

improved braking. Chassis dimensions remain<br />

the same but the standard electronic suspension<br />

(DDC Dynamic Damping Control) has been<br />

recalibrated to deal with the 45bhp increase in<br />

power. A manually-adjustable steering damper<br />

is also new.<br />

Electronic rider aids also get a substantial<br />

upgrade and recalibration to deal with the<br />

improved engine and braking power, and are<br />

linked to a 6-axis IMU. New for the M 1000 R<br />

and S 1000 RR is the new Brake Slide Assist<br />

system, which allows some drift on corner entry<br />

before the lean-sensitive ABS kicks in.<br />

We headed out to southern Spain to see if the<br />

BMW M 1000 R lives up to the hype.<br />





AT 220KPH (137MPH).<br />



THE S 1000 RR GIVE<br />



Removing the engine from the latest S 1000<br />

RR into the M 1000 R means it has a peak of<br />

154kW (206.5hp, 210PS) at 13,750rpm, up<br />

from 121kW/162hp/165PS for the standard<br />

S 1000 R. Max torque is slightly down, from<br />

114Nm to 113Nm, and higher in the rpm<br />

11,000rpm, not 9250rpm.<br />

BMW hasn’t detuned or remapped the<br />

S 1000 RR ShiftCam motor, not used<br />

in a naked chassis previously. Usually,<br />

manufacturers will soften, or calm down<br />

their sports bike motor before transplanting<br />

it into a naked chassis. Even the gearbox<br />

and internal ratios are the same, the only<br />

difference is the final gearing, with a slightly<br />

larger rear sprocket on the M 1000 R.<br />

Compared to the S 1000 R 4th, 5th and<br />

6th gear ratio are shorter, as it’s the same<br />

as the new S1000RR.<br />

The standard S 1000 R motor is usable<br />

and easy to get along with and I was<br />

concerned BMW may have diluted that with<br />

the superbike’s ShiftCam engine, but they<br />

haven’t. To make a 207bhp superbike engine usable is a hard job,<br />

but BMW has managed it.<br />

In the standard Road mode with restricted torque in the lower<br />

gears, its ease of use compliments the rider. Fuelling is smooth,<br />

power is progressive, and the quick shifter is light and perfectly<br />

matched with each up or down change. Even in sixth gear the<br />

motor pulls effortlessly below 30mph.<br />

The mid-range is equally notable. Peak torque is a fraction down<br />

and higher in the rpm compared to the S 1000 R, but there’s no<br />

real loss where it matters. Drive is impressive up to 8000rpm and<br />

it’s satisfying to short-shift via the smooth quick shifter, and enjoy<br />

an urgent and sporty ride, very much like the standard S 1000 R.

But the M 1000 R holds an ace card: from<br />

that relatively polite 8000rpm it revs on<br />

to a redline just short of 14,600rpm! It’s<br />

ridiculous to think we can now ride naked<br />

road bikes with 207bhp and spin to almost<br />

15,000rpm, feats and figures that were the<br />

preserve of World Superbike machines just<br />

a decade ago.<br />

Fortunately BMW allowed us a few<br />

laps of the Almeria racetrack to feel the<br />

full potential of that engine and, wow,<br />

it delivers. It just keeps pulling and<br />

revving as if there is absolutely no<br />

mechanical resistance inside<br />

the motor. Top speed is<br />

a quoted <strong>28</strong>0kph or<br />

174mph, 16mph higher<br />

than the standard S<br />

1000 R.<br />

But, don’t think of<br />

the M as just a revhappy<br />

superbike<br />

in a naked chassis. The ShiftCam engine<br />

is utterly usable in normal riding, limiting<br />

torque in the lower gears. Until, that is, you<br />

hit Race and Race Pro and all hell lets loose.<br />

And it stops and goes around corners<br />

The M 1000 R grows winglets that create<br />

genuine downforce at the front. BMW<br />

claims the winglets add 11kg of downforce<br />

at 220km/h (137mph). In theory more<br />

stability, and fewer wheelies.<br />

BMW’s electronic Dynamic Damping<br />

Control (DDC) is standard, not so on the<br />

S 1000 R, and works with the bike’s riding<br />

modes; ‘Road’, ‘Rain’, ‘Dynamic’, ‘Race’<br />

and ‘Race Pro’. In Road and Rain settings,<br />

the damping is more road-biased towards<br />

comfort, with ‘Dynamic’, ‘Race’ and ‘Race<br />

Pro’ for sporty/track riding. Modes can be<br />

tailored to match the rider and conditions,<br />

even settings for a pillion – should you find<br />

one brave enough.<br />

POWER<br />

206.5 bhp @<br />

13,750 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

113 Nm @<br />

11,100 rpm<br />

WHEEL<br />

BASE<br />

1455mm<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

830mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />


On the road, you really<br />

notice a difference between<br />

the riding modes, which<br />

change not just the engine<br />

parameters but also the<br />

handling and character of<br />

the bike. ‘Road’ is obviously<br />

set for comfort; there’s<br />

more movement and<br />

transfer through the chassis.<br />

You can feel the suspension<br />

working, while the ride is<br />

plush and very much that of<br />

a road bike. This is ideal for<br />

around town and running<br />

over road imperfections<br />

with relative ease. You can<br />

still have a spirited ride, but<br />

once into Dynamic mode<br />

you feel the difference immediately<br />

as you have to work harder to make<br />

the suspension work. It’s not stiff like a<br />

race bike but there feels like less travel,<br />

and movement, which means you can<br />

ride a little more assertively.<br />

I did try Race mode on track, but only<br />

had a handful of laps and, anyway,<br />

Race and Race Pro are more suited<br />

to slicks or track-biased rubber than<br />

the Bridgestone RS11 tyres. For the<br />

majority of the ride, I simply decided<br />

on the standard Dynamic road, flicking<br />

to Road for town work.<br />

You can, change the suspension<br />

electronically, by changing front<br />

damping, rear compression and rear<br />

rebound electronically. Pre-load is<br />

manually adjusted, not electronic.<br />

Obviously, you can change the<br />

suspension to match the way you ride<br />

and your weight.<br />










The steering is light and easy;<br />

eminently flickable for a 207bhp bike.<br />

BMW have worked hard to maintain<br />

the BMW S 1000 R’s 199kg wet,<br />

which is class leading and the same<br />

as the S 1000 R. Only Ducati’s R600k<br />

Streetfighter V4 SP is (a few kg)<br />

lighter, while the M is 40kg lighter than<br />

Kawasaki’s supercharged Z H2 SE.<br />

Personally I never fully clicked with<br />

the standard Bridgestone RS11 rubber.<br />

To be fair, the roads in southern Spain<br />

were cold and far from perfect, but the<br />

Bridgestone’s took a while to warm<br />

up and didn’t offer the feedback that<br />

translated into confidence. Certainly,<br />

I could scrape a knee-slider for the<br />

photos, and I never felt the DTC<br />

or ABS kick in (unless deliberately<br />

provoked) – but the confidence to lay<br />

the M 1000 R on its side or brake deep<br />

into a turn remained just out of reach.


The bars are slightly wider and more aggressive,<br />

but certainly not radical. As mentioned, the<br />

suspension can be softened on the move (into<br />

Road or Rain mode) but, even so, the seat isn’t<br />

the most sumptuous – simply comparable to<br />

other naked sports bikes in this class.<br />

During the test, I managed 6.5l/100km<br />

(43.4mpg), which is not far from BMW’s claim.<br />

On an S 1000 R I’d typically attain low 40s to<br />

nearly 50mpg on the odd occasion, with the<br />

fuel light coming on slightly early at around<br />

120-130miles. Again, I’d expect similar from<br />

the M 1000 R, which is impressive for a naked<br />

superbike. Under WMTC standard testing<br />

conditions, the M 1000 R is rated at 6.4l/100km<br />

fuel economy, which equates to 44mpg.<br />

BMW hasn’t lost any of the standard bike’s<br />

usability. Cruise control is still included as<br />

standard, as are three-stage heated grips used<br />

in the morning on test. The same informative<br />

6.5-inch dash remains, with the BMW navigation<br />

wheel on the left side. If you’re not used<br />

to BMWs then it takes a while to click with<br />

but once you’re familiar with the set-up, the<br />

information is almost never-ending. I particularly<br />

love the optional race dash, which clearly shows<br />

lean angle, brake pressure, and TC intervention.<br />


On the road and especially on track the brakes<br />

feel like a big upgrade over the standard<br />

bike, which are the same as the S 1000 RR,<br />

a big upgrade over the S 1000 R. They are<br />

phenomenally strong. On the road you only ever<br />

need one finger on the adjustable radial flip-up<br />

lever, designed to flip up and not snap in a lowspeed<br />

crash.<br />

As you would expect from BMW, the brakes are<br />

linked to BMW’s ABS Pro system, which is leansensitive,<br />

due to the six-axis IMU. Furthermore,<br />

as like the S 1000 RR, the naked M gets the<br />

same Brake Slide Assist system. Once selected<br />

(ABS Pro) the BSA works with multiple sensors<br />

and parameters, like brake pressure, to allow the<br />

bike to slide or ‘back-in’ to corners.<br />

That ABS is recalibrated for the more<br />

powerful calipers, and stability during highspeed<br />

braking has also been increased by<br />

the downforce of the new wings. The M feels<br />

phenomenal on the stoppers and could well<br />

turn out to be the best in class.<br />

It’s not just the brakes that could be classleading,<br />

the riders aids are incredible. Along<br />

with the new BSA (Brake Slide Assis), there are<br />

multiple rider modes that change the power and<br />

torque, plus other rider aids like the standard<br />

taction control, DTC Dynamic Traction Control<br />

system. It doesn’t end there, wheelie control,<br />

hill start, even a pit lane limiter, not forgetting<br />

the Shift Assistant Pro (quickshifter). With the S<br />

1000 R it takes less than a minute to reverse the<br />

shift for race/track use.<br />

As you’d expect from BMW, heated grips,<br />

again like the S 1000 R, plus adaptive cornering<br />

headlights and cruise control.<br />

There are so many rider aids and options we<br />

didn’t have enough time on the day to try them<br />

all. But those we did play with worked to the<br />

highest level. Everything can be personalised to<br />

taste, from Rain mode will full rider aids acting<br />

as a safety net, to very few rider aids with ABS<br />

active on the front wheel only. One button on<br />

the left cluster turns off the TC and anti-wheelie<br />

control allowing you to loft the front end should<br />

you wish.<br />

BMW M 1000 R VERDICT<br />

BMW already have an outstanding naked bike<br />

in the S 1000 R. In many ways, they didn’t have<br />

to produce this 207bhp naked superbike, but<br />

thankfully they flexed their muscles to show<br />

what they can do.<br />

On paper, it’s their most powerful naked bike<br />

to date, while its electronic package of rider<br />

aids and riding modes are class-leading. Add<br />

lightweight handling and awesome braking<br />

power – not to mention the ‘M’ look and a high<br />

level of finish – and the competition should be<br />

worried. At under R450k it’s cheaper than the<br />

200bhp Italian super nakeds, too.




PAST & THE<br />

FUTURE<br />


An EXCLUSIVE TEST on two<br />

very unique and sort after<br />

Italian scooters we managed to<br />

round-up here in South Africa.

The Italians just know how to create beautiful<br />

masterpieces when it comes down to motorcycles or<br />

scooters. They have been doing it for years now and have<br />

seemed to perfect the art. This is not to say that they<br />

never made masterpieces back in the day, especially with<br />

their smaller bikes. One particular Italian brand’s bike<br />

stood out amongst the crowd and that was Italjets 180cc<br />

Dragster scooter. The Italjet Dragster was and is still the<br />

only mass-produced scooter with a RAAD forkless front<br />

suspension and a spaceframe. Alessandro and Leopoldo<br />

Tartarini obtained a patent for this combination in 1997.<br />

Produced from 1998 to around 2002 the Italjet Dragster<br />

180cc was ahead of its time in both the aesthetics and<br />

performance department. Its single-cylinder, liquidcooled,<br />

2-stroke(Same as what Gilera used in their<br />

Runner 180) engine produces an impressive 20.4hp and<br />

in standard form would reach speeds of up to 160kph.<br />

With a little bit of fettling and performance modifications,<br />

you could reach speeds of close to or even over 200kph<br />

on the 115kg crotch rocket. The Dragster, with its unique<br />

looks, Ducati-type trellis frame and hub centre front<br />

steering soon became a fan favourite and developed a<br />

cult following which still remains, even to this day. There<br />

are dedicated websites where you can find anything from<br />

spare parts to performance upgrades for your Dragster.

The Dragster has all the benefits of a<br />

conventional scooter with none of the<br />

drawbacks, it can zip through traffic and it’s<br />

practical with its automatic(CVT) gearbox,<br />

comfy riding position and under-seat storage.<br />

Unlike a typical scooter, the handling is tighter<br />

thanks to a stiff trellis chassis, front and rear<br />

disc brakes and wide tyres. When applying the<br />

brakes it doesn’t have that typical front-end<br />

dive that you get on other bikes thanks to its<br />

unique front end and suspension setup. The<br />

Dragster is well built but they’re getting old now<br />

and many will be showing their age, especially<br />

if used and abused by inexperienced riders. This<br />

particular one we had on test is one of only a<br />

handful of units in South Africa and had just<br />

over 4000km on the clock. The lumo yellow<br />

paint job was starting to fade thanks to many<br />

years of exposure to the Cape Town sun and<br />

elements. As mentioned earlier, it’s still easy to<br />

get spares and tuning parts, though, especially<br />

in Europe so the panels can be swapped out<br />

easily enough.<br />

The 2-stroke motor is very nippy and easily<br />

out-accelerates traffic meaning you can safely<br />

lane-split and even set off ahead of traffic at<br />

robots, something you normally can’t do on a<br />

scooter. The handling on this particular scooter<br />

didn’t feel as good as I was expecting, maybe<br />

due to the fact that the tyres were obviously old<br />

and the suspension could use a good service<br />

and setup. I felt very detached from the bike<br />

around corners and it was often down to luck<br />

whether I would make it out the other side of a<br />

corner safely or not. The handlebars are quite<br />

close together, short and narrow and therefore,<br />

especially at low speeds cause a bit of a wobble<br />

and uncertainty. The brakes are good for a<br />

scooter and unlike most scooters, you only<br />

need to apply one and not both at a time to<br />

slow down safely and quickly. The Dragster<br />

180 oozes character and is an absolute blast to<br />

ride, not to mention the amount of attention<br />

it attracts. It was not until I rode Italjets new<br />

200cc Dragster, that I found out just how good<br />

a scooter can and should be!<br />

Italjet has announced that the 2022/23 Italjet<br />

Dragster 200 had arrived in South Africa, with<br />

stock of the exquisite-looking sports scooter<br />

recently hitting Italjet SA and now spreading<br />

through the firm’s national dealer network.<br />

Unveiled in concept form at the EICMA<br />

motorcycle expo in Milan, Italy, in 2018, the<br />

modern incarnation of the legendary Italian<br />

model boasts a trellis-style frame and centrehub<br />

steering just like the original.<br />

That first generation, which was hugely<br />

innovative for a scooter for its time, was<br />

sold in many markets around the world from<br />

1998 to 2002, before the Bologna-based<br />

company, unfortunately, succumbed to<br />

financial pressures. Originally founded in 1959<br />

by former Ducati stalwart, Leopoldo Tartarini,<br />

new life was breathed into the ailing company<br />

in 2005 by Leopoldo’s son, Massimo, and<br />

indeed it is still Massimo Tartarini guiding<br />

the operation today. Previous to establishing<br />

Italjet, Leopoldo Tartarini was an integral part<br />

of the racing and business team at Ducati

The original Italjet Dragster was sold in various<br />

guises in both two-stroke and four-stroke<br />

formats, but it was the fire-breathing Dragster<br />

180, with its 176cc two-stroke engine, that took<br />

the market by storm. Fast forward a few years<br />

and Italjet is back, and back with a bang with<br />

the Italian firm soon to also be releasing a<br />

Dragster 500 which was also on display at the<br />

recent EICMA show held in 2022.<br />

The new Italjet Dragster utilises a single-cylinder,<br />

4-stroke(181cc), liquid-cooled, DOHC with<br />

centrifuge dry clutch which pushes out 17.3hp<br />

and 15.5Nm of torque. After riding the 2-stroke<br />

and then climbing onto the 4-stroke you are left<br />

a little disappointed initially but the more you<br />

ride it, the more it comes into its own. It has a<br />

widespread of torque from the moment you set<br />

off right up until you hit its 140kph top speed.<br />

It does keep up with the 2-stroke top end-wise<br />

but cannot hold a candle to it accelerating from<br />

robot to robot. Mainly due to the fact that it has<br />

less power and is slightly heavier at 140kg. This<br />

extra weight does mean that the new Italjet 200<br />

is more planted than the 2-stroke and combined<br />

with its modern frame, suspension and tyres<br />

handles like a housefly. It is stable and flickable

and offers a direct and instant response. The<br />

MX-styled handlebars are positioned perfectly<br />

which creates a sporty yet comfortable riding<br />

position. The seats, with their signature Italian<br />

stitching, are also well-padded making long<br />

days in the saddle a joy. The brakes are where<br />

the 200 really shines though, equipped with<br />

top quality Brembo callipers – front hydraulic<br />

200mm and rear hydraulic 190mm disc brakes<br />

also featuring ABS.<br />

Looks-wise and you can tell that styling cues<br />

are still there from the original Dragster but<br />

now incorporate a modern flare. It’s still utterly<br />

unique and looks more aggressive than it<br />

actually is pretty much like your neighbour’s<br />

pitbull who looks scary but is in actual fact the<br />

sweetest dog alive. Unlike its older sibling, the<br />

200 has very little storage under its seat so you<br />

will need to carry a backpack wherever you go.<br />

Andrea Dovizioso had a part in developing the<br />

latest incarnation of the Dragster back in 2021<br />

and it shows with its low-slung trellis frame,<br />

hub steering, and MotoGP-style lever guards<br />

which also incorporate the front indicators in<br />

them. “The Dragster is a concentrate of energy,”<br />

Dovi says. “When I saw it for the first time, I<br />

was impressed. I’m delighted to contribute with<br />

technicians to the development of parts, braking<br />

systems, and the engine. The details make the<br />

difference, and the Dragster’s details are very<br />

impressive, unlike anything else in this segment.”<br />

You won’t be able to take the 200 safely on a<br />

highway which is a little bit disappointing but as<br />

a run-around, in-town you will be hard-pressed<br />

to find anything better. Fuel economy from the<br />

9-litre tank is great and you can expect over<br />

200km on a single tank. We rode both these<br />

scooters for days on end and had great fun<br />

doing so and that is what they are all about at<br />

the end of the day!<br />

Price wise and you will still pay upwards of<br />

R60k for a good 180cc 2-stroke example and<br />

R130k for the new 200cc. Yes, it’s a lot of money<br />

but at the end of the day, these scoots are<br />

fashion statements and won’t be out of place<br />

in a supercar or superbike garage. Italjet got<br />

the Dragster so spot on from the get-go and<br />

I am so happy that they have released a new<br />

one, reflecting the past but in a modern way.<br />

The only thing missing for me is that wonderful<br />

2-stroke motor!


Cameron Petersen hasn’t had an easy road<br />

to the upper echelon of the MotoAmerica<br />

Medallia Superbike class. For starters, it<br />

began with him having to wrangle a pink<br />

Yamaha PW50 away from his sister Shae.<br />

It was the beginning of a successful yet<br />

rocky path to MotoAmerica.<br />

Born into a racing family (dad Robbie<br />

and two uncles), Petersen took to riding<br />

motorcycles like a fish takes to swimming,<br />

but he faced a myriad of injuries before he<br />

got to the point of making the switch from<br />

dirt to pavement.<br />

Petersen, who was born in Spain when<br />

his father Robbie was working at Kenny<br />

Roberts’ training facility, began riding<br />

at the tender age of three in his family’s<br />

backyard on the aforementioned pink<br />

Yamaha. Turns out it wasn’t the last time<br />

Petersen had to wait for an upgrade as<br />

Shae got the bikes first and then handed<br />

them off to her younger brother.<br />

Petersen’s forté as a youngster was<br />

motocross and it’s something he still does<br />

as off-season training. He’s one of the best<br />

in the MotoAmerica paddock on bikes<br />

fitted with knobby tires.<br />

Motocross turned into Supermoto, with<br />

a bit of flat track in Zimbabwe thrown<br />

in for good measure after the family<br />

returned to their homeland. Petersen was<br />

in his element on the dirt, and he wasn’t<br />

interested in moving to road racing. A<br />

few bad injuries later (including two<br />

broken femurs), and Robbie picked up<br />

Cameron from school one day with a<br />

Honda CBR150 in the back of the truck. It<br />

was a “let’s give this a try” moment, and<br />

Cameron wanted no part of it. He spent<br />

a day on the bike at the local track and<br />

wasn’t impressed.<br />


Petersen rode his first<br />

motorcycle at the age of<br />

three, and by the time he was<br />

four, he was already racing.<br />


HOW IT ALL<br />



Father, Robbie Petersen, was<br />

a very well-known racer both<br />

in SA and the US and has<br />

supported Cam from day one.

Although he wasn’t happy with it straight away, the little<br />

Honda ended up pointing him towards road racing. That<br />

set him up to follow in the footsteps of his father Robbie,<br />

a champion in both his homeland and in the U.S. when<br />

he ventured there to ride for Kenny Roberts on a Yamaha<br />

YZR500 in the WERA Formula USA Series.<br />

It was when Cameron first threw his leg over a two-stroke<br />

Honda 125cc GP bike that he was hooked. Not long after,<br />

he was battling with the likes of the Binder brothers, Brad<br />

and Darrin, both of whom are now fixtures in the MotoGP<br />

paddock with Brad a factory Red Bull KTM rider in MotoGP<br />

and Darryn about to try his hand at Moto2 in 2023. There<br />

was also a young Mathew Scholtz on the scene, and he<br />

and Petersen became fast friends with the pair going on to<br />

become stalwarts in the MotoAmerica paddock and regulars<br />

on the Superbike podium.<br />

“When I started riding the little Honda 125, that’s when I really<br />

started liking road racing,” Petersen said. “I met the Binder<br />

family early on, and Matty (Scholtz), as well.”<br />

In 2008, Cameron and Robbie came to America for a Red Bull<br />

AMA U.S. Rookies Cup tryout, and Cameron was impressive,<br />

ending the test as the second-fastest kid. Petersen was<br />

accepted, the contract was signed, and things were looking<br />

up. Then, the rug got pulled out from under his feet when the<br />

series was cancelled prior to Cameron making his debut. So, it<br />

was back to South Africa.<br />

“When I started<br />

riding the little<br />

Honda 125,<br />

that’s when I<br />

really started<br />

liking road<br />

racing,”<br />

In 2013, Petersen won the South African Supersport<br />

Championship on an MV Agusta and ran the number-one<br />

plate a season later on a Yamaha YZF-R6.<br />

“I think that South African Championship was MV’s first title<br />

since Giacomo Agostini,” Petersen said.<br />

In 2015, it was back to America with Petersen making his<br />

debut in the MotoAmerica Championship. He finished 15th<br />

in the series opener on a RoadRace Factory Yamaha R6, and<br />

a week later, he posted a pair of sixth-place finishes at Road<br />

Atlanta. He was off and running.

Although his career still had some bumps in the<br />

road, it all changed for Petersen in 2020 when he<br />

won the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Championship for<br />

Altus Motorsports. That title led to a full-on Medallia<br />

Superbike ride in 2021 with the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki<br />

team, with his first-career victory in the class coming<br />

in the series finale at Barber Motorsports Park.<br />

In 2022, Petersen was brought into the most<br />

successful team in the paddock with a two-year<br />

contract in hand, and he made the most of his<br />

opportunity, riding the Fresh N Lean Progressive<br />

Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 to third in the MotoAmerica<br />

Medallia Superbike Championship with two victories.

DESERT<br />

Ross Branch<br />

HERO<br />





DAKAR 2023<br />



NEW<br />

BIKES<br />

2023 KTM<br />

1290 SUPER<br />


The second generation of the latest KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE R will give a second wind. While the KTM<br />

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S will pound the roads and<br />

cope with the dust, gravel and light, loose ground, the ‘R’<br />

is orientated for hardcore offroad adventurers who wantand-need<br />

premium kit to level any landscape or terrain.

KTM redefined the upper end of the travel/adventure<br />

motorcycling segment with the rejuvenated KTM<br />

1290 SUPER ADVENTUREs in 2021. The winning<br />

combination of power, light weight, offroad agility<br />

and handling earthed from years of DAKAR, Rally and<br />

Enduro excellence, state-of-the-art electronics and<br />

WP suspension, unbeatable travel features and styling<br />

meant that KTM was the only choice for riders that<br />

craved a bike that could do anything and go anywhere.<br />

The fresh, sporty 2023 white colorway and distinct<br />

orange frame is a nod to this race-bred lineage.<br />

The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R delivered acute<br />

offroad positioning by harnessing all of the company’s<br />

experience, nuance and confidence in the sector, R&D<br />

and through competition. A model that can conquer<br />

a mountain trail as effortlessly as a mountain pass can<br />

count on the fabled LC8 engine that was slimmed by<br />

1.6 kg for the last iteration and pumps out 160 hp. The<br />

motor, fueled by a 23-liter three-piece tank, and with<br />

an improved heat system to disperse temperatures out<br />

and away from the rider, can deliver 138 Nm of torque<br />

as gently or as forcefully as possible and comes with<br />

the reassurance of 15,000 km service intervals.<br />

The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R was enabled for<br />

the rigors of multiple surfaces by the advanced BOSCH<br />

6D lean angle sensor that informs much of the bike’s<br />

behavior and myriad of settings through Motorcycle<br />

Traction Control, Motorcycle Stability Control, various<br />

RIDE MODES, ABS and more. Further evidence that<br />

the bike is primed for traction comes through the 48<br />

mm WP XPLOR suspension, featuring split cartridge<br />

forks and the modifiable rear shock with 220 mm of<br />

travel. The XPLOR materials and the stock settings<br />

have been tested and refined for the characteristics of<br />

the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R. The suspension<br />

funnels the maximum level of feedback through the<br />

ALPINA aluminum spoked wheels; with an improved<br />

sealing system appropriate for tubeless tires. The 2023<br />

KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R carries Bridgestone<br />

AX41s as stock.<br />

KTM invite all riders to #DARE2ADV so the KTM<br />

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R comes with everything<br />

people would possibly need to roam the globe and<br />

feel protected and capable while in the wilderness.<br />

From elements like adjustable screens and handlebar<br />

positions, honed and lightened bodywork for<br />

ergonomics that give the best possible control but<br />

also allow maximum comfort, optimized switches<br />

and simplistic infographic set-up menus through<br />

the wide, colorful 7” TFT display, RACE ON keyless<br />

functionality, Tire Pressure Management and an<br />

optional Quickshifter+.

For 2023 KTM has boosted the navigation<br />

potential of the KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE R. Enhanced Turn-by-Turn+<br />

guidance and the ability to set waypoints and<br />

diversions are now all possible through the<br />

handlebar switch dial and through the TFT. No<br />

need to prop the bike and fish around for the<br />

phone that engages the KTMConnect APP;<br />

everything – including phone call answering<br />

and logging top ten ‘favorites’ - can all be<br />

done with a dab of a finger.<br />

The KTM PowerParts collection is full of<br />

gear and protection for anybody to ‘align’<br />

themselves further with their 2023 KTM 1290<br />

SUPER ADVENTURE R. In case there are any<br />

bike components that riders feel is missing for<br />

their particular trip – such as luggage, crash<br />

bars, or more aesthetic touches - then the<br />

options are plentiful.<br />

Highlights of the 2023 KTM<br />


// Stand out from the trekkers on the trail with a<br />

brand new sporting white color and graphic scheme<br />

// Never get lost or have direction doubts thanks<br />

to new Turn-by-Turn+ guidance and more travel<br />

navigation options<br />

// Dependable LC8 V-twin engine with 160 hp and<br />

138 Nm of torque means a world without limits and<br />

motor that will conquer any condition or landscape<br />

// ChroMo stainless steel light chassis weighing just<br />

10 kg and sculpted for cornering stability and more<br />

feeling under acceleration but based on long-travel<br />

Enduro sensibilities<br />

// WP XPLOR suspension represents some of the<br />

most sophisticated hardware on any KTM offroad<br />

orientated motorcycle<br />

// Adjustable and customizable ABS settings and<br />


R can traverse all terrain and meet any demand<br />

// Standing or sitting: the KTM 1290 SUPER<br />

ADVENTURE R ergonomics are a winner for comfort<br />

and confidence. Further options across the bike<br />

with a wide selection of KTM PowerParts (11<br />

different seats)<br />

// The complete adventure travel motorcycle with<br />

features such as: RACE ON remote key system,<br />

illuminated switches, 7” TFT dash board, adjustable<br />

windshield, LED lights and simplistic but advanced<br />

dashboard interactivity<br />

// Robust spoked 21/18” aluminium wheels booted<br />

with Bridgestone AX41 tires to further underline the<br />

readiness of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R<br />

to head away from the beaten path



MX Legend Ricky Carmichael inspires with an insight into his<br />

2022 Summer Motorcycling Adventure, riding the Triumph<br />

Tiger 1200 Rally Pro and Explorer.

What a great ride! Every year we do this ride it keeps<br />

getting better and better! It blows my mind how we<br />

continue to find new roads that lead to new places<br />

that are just as spectacular as the places we went<br />

to the year before. We say it every year and it’s true,<br />

there is no better way to see this country than on a<br />

motorcycle.<br />

An adventure bike makes it even better because<br />

it expands your possibilities to find non traditional<br />

routes which often lead to new places you wouldn’t<br />

have otherwise found! That was the case again this<br />

year and I am grateful for the opportunity to do this<br />

ride every year. The newly updated and redesigned<br />

2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 made this year’s ride even<br />

better with the number of miles we covered.<br />

July 22nd - Arrival Day<br />

The crew arrived at Empire Cycle in Spokane from<br />

Australia, California, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.<br />

As we all began to gather at the dealership and work<br />

on getting our bikes setup for the ride, Kristen and<br />

Amy had rolled out the red carpet for us all and had a<br />

great lunch ready for us when we got there.<br />

It was great to meet some of their customers as well<br />

and share our stories from past adventure rides and<br />

get some tips from the locals on our route to Darby.<br />

Once we got done setting up our QuadLock phone<br />

mounts, Mosko bags, Boxo tool rolls, Cardo PackTalk<br />

coms, and other parts needed for the ride we headed<br />

off to dinner to make our final plans for the ride.<br />

July 23rd - Day 1 Spokane, WA to Darby, MT;<br />

301 miles, 6hr 42min<br />

We left Spokane early because we wanted to get to<br />

Darby as early as possible since it’s become one of<br />

our favorite places to stay and has become a staple<br />

of our summer ride. The route we took had us head<br />

southeast out of Spokane to St Maries on St Joe<br />

River Rd through Hoyt then up to St Regis. It was a<br />

super fun twisty road that followed the river, perfect<br />

for getting ourselves adjusted to the new Tiger<br />

1200s. We then made a quick stint on the interstate<br />

to Alberton before heading south on Petty Creek<br />

Road towards Lolo.

The road turned to dirt pretty quick and<br />

it was fun to ride a little dirt on the first<br />

day as well to check out the Tiger in those<br />

conditions. We had already been in the<br />

saddle for a few hours so when we came<br />

across the Jack Saloon just before Lolo it<br />

seemed like a great spot to wash the dust<br />

down. One of my favorite parts of these<br />

rides is finding fun spots like the Jack<br />

Saloon to take a break. The place had great<br />

atmosphere and our out of country guests<br />

loved seeing a real western saloon with tons<br />

of character.<br />

From there it was on to Darby. The town<br />

is amazing with some really fun places<br />

to eat and listen to live music at the end<br />

of our daily ride. The last couple years<br />

some serious darts have also been played,<br />

perhaps getting a little too competitive<br />

at times, at the Sawmill Saloon. Darby is<br />

located in the Bitterroot Valley and the<br />

famed Yellowstone Ranch from the TV<br />

show is also located there. We have stayed<br />

at the same place, the Rye Creek Lodge for<br />

3 years now. It is one of the nicest places<br />

to stay, their cabins are first class and a<br />

peaceful place to rest after a long ride.<br />

We made a quick grocery stop for some<br />

provisions for breakfast the next morning<br />

then made our way to the cabins for a<br />

quick shower then headed into town for<br />

dinner. We found the Big Cat Cafe a couple<br />

of years ago and that has been our spot<br />

ever since. It’s a great place to relax and<br />

enjoy some great food and reflect on the<br />

days ride. My buddy Chad Warrix was on<br />

this year’s ride and thankfully he brought<br />

his guitar. We closed out the day with some<br />

outstanding guitar playing by our buddy<br />

Apples, Ray and Chad. It was a perfect<br />

ending to the day.<br />

July 24th - Day 2 Darby to West<br />

Yellowstone; <strong>28</strong>4 miles, 6hr58min<br />

It’s hard to explain how nice it is waking<br />

up at the Rye Creek Lodge in the middle<br />

of a beautiful Montana valley. Like a lot of<br />

things, pictures don’t do it justice and you<br />

just have to experience it. The temperature<br />

was 55 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.<br />

We new it was going to be a great day to<br />

ride! After making some egg sandwiches for<br />

the crew we zipped up all of our vents on<br />

our Fox Legion gear, Chad lead us in our pre<br />

ride prayer before we mounted up and were<br />

off for West Yellowstone.<br />

We wanted to find some more dirt<br />

roads and a non-traditional route to<br />

West Yellowstone so we headed north<br />

to Grantsdale and turned East towards<br />

Anaconda. Not to far into our trip we came<br />

across these amazing little falls called<br />

Skalkaho Falls. It was a great place for a<br />

quick photo with the crew. We rolled on<br />

climbing the pass on our way to Butte<br />

where we made a quick pit stop then back<br />

off the main road heading for Virginia City.<br />

Finding places like Virginia City are what<br />

makes our rides so much fun. It was an old<br />

mining town with lots of cool shops and<br />

places to eat. It’s fun to imagine what life<br />

must have been like there 150 years ago!<br />

The crew grabbed some pizza then we<br />

checked out the old Pioneer Bar, took a<br />

little walk around the town to stretch our<br />

legs then headed back out on the road. We<br />

made our way through Ennis and saw some<br />

more epic views then turned south on a fun<br />

road that ran us past Earthquake Lake. We<br />

had to stop and learn why it was called that,<br />

and sure enough a huge earthquake in 1959<br />

caused a rockslide that blocked the river<br />

and 3 weeks later there was a lake!

Mother nature sure is impressive! We made it<br />

to our spot in West Yellowstone with time to<br />

relax and clean up before dinner. We stayed<br />

at the West Yellowstone B&B just outside of<br />

town and the other half stayed at some really<br />

nice cabins at the Yellowstone Inn. That night<br />

we had one of our best meals on any of our<br />

trips, and possibly the best BBQ I’ve ever had<br />

in my lifetime at Fire Hole BBQ.<br />

Turns out my buddy Guy Fieri has been<br />

there as well and was so impressed he shot<br />

an episode of his show there. They made<br />

the crew a platter of food and filled us with<br />

so many sides we knew breakfast was going<br />

to be a challenge the next day!<br />

July 25th - Day 3 West Yellowstone, MT to<br />

Palisade, CO; 571 miles, 11hr 10min<br />

This idea seemed better on paper. Lol. We<br />

knew it was going to be a long day but<br />

the payoff was being able to ride some off<br />

road in Colorado so we got an early start<br />

so we could hit Yellowstone National Park<br />

before the crowds started flowing in. It<br />

was 41 degrees when we rolled out so the<br />

Tiger’s heated grips and seat were great to<br />

have that morning! Right off the bat we saw<br />

amazing wildlife! Lots of bison, elk and deer<br />

among other animals. We made our way<br />

past some of the hot springs which looked<br />

amazing in the clear cold morning.<br />

We rode past Yellowstone lake and got to<br />

see some of the sites before heading to<br />

the Tetons. It was an absolutely beautiful<br />

morning and the mountains looked like a<br />

painting. Our guys from Australia we blown<br />

away by the size of the mountains and how<br />

majestic they were. Luckily, we found a fun<br />

little off road section we got to ride for a bit<br />

and we were able to get some great pics<br />

that will last as memories for a lifetime!<br />

With plenty of miles ahead of us still we<br />

made our way south via Flaming Gorge for<br />

some more amazing views with absolutely

epic winding and twisting roads. Along<br />

those beautiful winding roads, I was amazed<br />

at how well the new 1200 performed<br />

because of its nimbleness from the lower<br />

CG (center of gravity) and lighter overall<br />

weight. From there, we would continue<br />

south into Grand Junction Colorado then<br />

over to Palisades where our Motel for the<br />

next couple of days, the Spoke and Vine, was<br />

located. We were in luck that the motel had a<br />

food truck that night and after 570 miles we<br />

didn’t feel like going anywhere so it worked<br />

out perfectly. The motel has a cool little<br />

bar as well so a few drinks were in order to<br />

celebrate our longest day of the trip.<br />

July 26th - Day 4 Palisade to Ouray,<br />

Engineer Pass, Silverton back to Palisade;<br />

<strong>28</strong>3 miles, 8hr 20min<br />

We had a later kickstand time since we were<br />

supposed to have a shorter, but super fun,<br />

off road day in the San Juan Mountains. Little<br />

did we know we were about to get more of<br />

an adventure than we planned for! My buddy<br />

Chad has been telling me about Ouray for<br />

years, so that was part of the reason for the<br />

long ride the day before so we could make it<br />

to Colorado to explore a part of the country<br />

that me, and others on our ride, have never<br />

been to before. Colorado has always been<br />

a favorite place of mine to visit, so I couldn’t<br />

wait to check it out.<br />

super rewarding to make it to the top but<br />

that’s when the real adventure got started!<br />

We saw the weather was starting to roll in<br />

so we made a quick exit only to get caught<br />

in some pretty heavy rains. We made it to<br />

Silverton, which was another cool western<br />

town, and thought we were home free<br />

navigating the paved twisty roads back to<br />

Ouray only to make it a few miles from there<br />

to find a massive mudslide had just closed<br />

the road! I have never seen anything like it<br />

before, nor had anyone in our group! We<br />

had just missed it by about 15 min. It was at<br />

this point things got serious pretty quick.<br />

In that part of the country your options are<br />

limited. We knew the roads were closed<br />

over on the Lake City side as well, so our<br />

only option was to take the pass back out<br />

and go around the mudslide if we didn’t<br />

want to wait for the crews to come and<br />

open the road, which could have ranged<br />

anywhere from a 3-5 hour wait.<br />

The town of Ouray is amazing! It’s one of<br />

those places you just have to experience<br />

and I highly recommend you do if you<br />

can. It has everything outdoor a person<br />

would want to do, it’s also known as the<br />

Switzerland of the US. For us, we were there<br />

to ride some trails and see the amazing<br />

views it has to offer. Just outside of town<br />

we jumped on the trail to Engineer Pass.<br />

It was probably one of the toughest rides<br />

I have done on an adventure bike, not to<br />

mention the lack of oxygen, but the Tiger<br />

1200s made it and the payoff was incredible<br />

with the views we saw along the way. It was

With it getting late we made the decision<br />

to head back to Silverton grab some fuel<br />

and make our way back into the mountains<br />

and over the corkscrew pass, (which ended<br />

up being an awesome addition to the<br />

ride), and around to Ouray. With the rain<br />

falling it was for sure more challenging<br />

than what we planned on doing on our last<br />

day of riding but luckily the Tigers were<br />

up to the challenge as well and we were<br />

able to successfully navigate our way out<br />

and get back on our way to Palisade. At<br />

one point we were able to look across the<br />

valley, where we saw the crews cleaning the<br />

mudslide so we knew we made the right<br />

decision on time.<br />

Once we were heading north of Montrose<br />

the skies cleared up and it warmed up as<br />

well. We were pretty much dry another 50<br />

miles later and had a great time chatting<br />

it up on are Cardo Edge’s about what an<br />

amazing and unexpected experience that<br />

day’s ride had been!<br />

We wrapped up our trip with an amazing<br />

wine tasting at the Blue Beryl Winery<br />

hosted by our dealer friends in Grand<br />

Junction, All Terrain Moto. It was so nice of<br />

the Wells Family to welcome our crew at<br />

the end of our ride and host us at such a<br />

beautiful spot. It was the perfect ending to<br />

our trip!<br />

At the end of the day, when it is all over<br />

and I have a moment to reflect, I’m always<br />

humbled by the support that our great<br />

partners give us. Especially the incredible<br />

Triumph dealers. They take time out of their<br />

own lives, workdays and work force to make<br />

our experience incredible and seamless. I’m<br />

so thankful for their dedication because<br />

outside of our ride I know that they have<br />

a business to run. Finally, to our summer<br />

ride crew that made the financial sacrifice<br />

and spent valuable time away from work<br />

and family, I appreciate you all so much and<br />

sincerely thank you for making this ride one<br />

for the books!<br />

Final Stats:<br />

• 1465 miles 34hrs 5min.<br />

• States, Washington,<br />

Idaho, Montana,<br />

Wyoming, Utah, Colorado<br />

• 2 National Parks,<br />

Yellowstone, Grand Teton<br />

• Multiple National Forests<br />

• Countless laughs and a<br />

lifetime of memories!

TO THE<br />

Ross<br />

Branch<br />

TOP OF THE<br />

WORLD<br />

From Botswana to the top of the world is a long way, and it<br />

took Ross Branch a long time to finally make his debut on the<br />

Dakar Rally and show the world what he was capable of.<br />

Bursting onto the scene as the fastest rookie in<br />

2019, Ross captured immediately the hearts<br />

of Southern African Dakar fans and off road<br />

enthusiasts in general, because it is impossible not<br />

to connect with him. Ross’s smile is contagious.<br />

“Never give up”, is his mantra. Often, it’s easier said than done,<br />

but for the Monster Energy athlete it’s a truth. Ross has had to<br />

overcome terrible setbacks, huge crashes and plenty of hurdles<br />

but he always comes back with a smile.<br />

How tough it is for a talented off-road racer from the small<br />

African country of Botswana to join the Dakar, which is<br />

traditionally a Europe-dominated event.<br />

“It was a nightmare to get here. For an off-road racer, the Dakar<br />

is the ultimate dream and I wanted it really hard. The first<br />

challenges were the budget and the lack of navigation training<br />

in South Africa as we race mainly Baja’s,” he said.





FOR 2023 TOO, SO IT<br />


“At that time KTM South Africa helped me but at the<br />

condition that I won three national championships. I did it,<br />

and I made my debut in Peru on 2019. As for the budget, it<br />

cost me €200,000 to race in 2019 and 2020, just to prove<br />

to the world how competitive I was”.<br />

Last year came another challenge, competing the Dakar<br />

Rally knowing that it would have been the last season with<br />

Yamaha as they were closing their racing programme. It<br />

wasn’t going to stop Ross, though…<br />

“Fortunately, we were informed before the Rally, so I was<br />

able to make an agreement with Hero Motorsport. It’s a<br />

great team and it allowed me to race knowing that I had a<br />

seat for 2023 too, so it worked great. I wanted to do well<br />

to thank Yamaha but unfortunately I crashed on Stage 6<br />

when I was 7th in the overall standings, which wasn’t the<br />

way I wanted to end the race.”<br />

Looking at this year’s edition, it’s been a roller coaster for<br />

Ross and the team. It’s been one of the toughest Dakar<br />

races in history so far, but he’s enjoyed the challenge.<br />

He said: “It has been a very tough week, but I like the<br />

terrain: I good mix of everything. Sand, rocks, easy<br />

navigation, tricky navigation. A good cocktail!

“I also like Saudi Arabia. In a way we are<br />

out of our comfort zone here because the<br />

culture is so different to what we are used<br />

to. The food, the people, it’s very different<br />

We are all so friendly in South Africa, and<br />

here sometimes it’s difficult to understand<br />

the culture but I like it.<br />

“In terms of results, we are not where we<br />

wanted to be after the rest day. It’s been<br />

a terrible week for us. We ran out of fuel<br />

in stages 3 and 4, which was completely<br />

unexpected and nobody’s fault. We are using<br />

a new ride by wire throttle that we hadn’t<br />

test enough before the race because of a<br />

lack of time, and it consumed more fuel than<br />

we expected in the deep sand,” said Ross.<br />

Despite the challenges, there was a big<br />

highlight just before rest day when Ross<br />

took an awesome stage victory, a huge deal<br />

for both himself and the team; “I needed to<br />

get back on top for myself and for the team.<br />

They’ve worked so hard. Stage 8 was almost<br />

perfect for me and we proved that we are<br />

fast, so it felt great.”<br />

After all the trials and tribulations, has it<br />

ever crossed his mind to end the race early?<br />

“Several moments this week. One day I<br />

hardly hit my face and then we had the fuel<br />

issues two days in a row, I just wanted to go<br />

home. Dakar is so ruthless because you only<br />

have one shot a year, but I’m happy I stayed<br />

and I didn’t give up.<br />

“Once again, I learned a lesson: we put our<br />

life on the line when we are racing here, but<br />

when I take off my helmet, I’m so grateful<br />

for what I’m doing and what I have. Dakar<br />

is my life”.<br />

I’M SO<br />



AND WHAT I<br />



D A K A R R A L L Y 2 0 2 3<br />


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has won the 2023<br />

Dakar Rally! At the end of what has been a hugely successful race<br />

for the team, Benavides led home a KTM one-two with Toby Price<br />

securing second place, just 44 seconds behind his teammate. The<br />

result marks KTM’s 19th victory at the iconic rally-raid event.

Never before had a biker lost the lead of the<br />

Dakar in the last special. And never before had the<br />

winner and the runner-up been so evenly matched.<br />

An unprecedented scenario that came on the<br />

back of another historic first, namely, the mere 12<br />

seconds separating KTM’s Toby Price and Kevin<br />

Benavides on the eve of the finale. The longest<br />

Dakar held in Saudi Arabia came down to a sprint,<br />

an exercise that both former enduro riders excel<br />

in. Price kicked off the 45th edition by winning the<br />

prologue before flying under the radar near the<br />

front of the race, like the Argentinian, who only<br />

came out of the woods to win stage 13 and swoop<br />

down on the Australian.<br />

The finish was like a hurdling contest in which<br />

every checkpoint was a hurdle. In his own words,<br />

Price lost the Dakar by stumbling twice. Kevin<br />

confessed that he had to backtrack once to<br />

validate a waypoint, but Toby did it three times.<br />

At the finish, the Argentinian joined the club of<br />

two-time Dakar winners (2021 and 2023), 43<br />

seconds ahead of his new peer (2016 and 2019).<br />

He joined the ranks of Auriol, Rahier, Meoni, Price<br />

himself and Sunderland. 100th last year due to a<br />

broken engine, the new winner, signed by KTM<br />

after his success on a Honda, puts an end to three<br />

years in which the Dakar was painted red. After<br />

two victories for Honda and one for GasGas last<br />

year, the orange brand from Mattighofen retook<br />

the throne with its nineteenth triumph. Skyler<br />

Howes, who rides for their sister team Husqvarna,<br />

will stand next to them on the podium, although<br />

he deserved so much more in his fifth Dakar. The<br />

American wore the leader’s mantle for six days<br />

before being pipped at the post, but he is pumped<br />

and proud to clamber onto the podium for the first<br />

time —the fifth for an American biker.<br />

The 2023 Dakar tasted like sweet revenge for<br />

the big losers of the previous edition, when Price<br />

lost big time from the beginning and was unable<br />

to finish higher than tenth, his worst result at<br />

the finish, while Howes crashed out and Kevin<br />

Benavides’s motorbike gave up the ghost. This<br />

time, the Dakar did not smile on the majority of the<br />

2022 headliners. The race ended prematurely for<br />

half of last year’s top 10, and not just the minnows.

Sunderland, the defending champion,<br />

called it quits in stage 1. The next day, it was<br />

Brabec who also fell, followed by Barreda<br />

in stage 8. Mason Klein, the top rookie in<br />

Jeddah in ninth place, who had seized the<br />

lead in stage 2 of this Dakar, threw in the<br />

towel in stage 13, while Walkner, on the<br />

podium last year, crashed on the eve of<br />

the finish. Three other works riders found<br />

themselves on the receiving end of the<br />

Dakar’s ruthlessness.<br />

Hero’s Joaquim Rodrigues and Sherco’s<br />

Harith Noah were added to the casualty<br />

list in stage 4. The Indian’s teammate, Rui<br />

Gonçalves, retired in stage 6. In this war<br />

of attrition, Honda placed three of its four<br />

factory riders in the top 10. Quintanilla<br />

finished just outside the podium, ahead<br />

of Van Beveren, while Cornejo was eighth.<br />

Luciano Benavides (HVA), the most prolific<br />

stage hunter of this edition, with three,<br />

came in sixth. Daniel Sanders, who again lit<br />

up the start of the race before his physical<br />

condition took its toll, was seventh. Lorenzo<br />

Santolino, eleventh last year, patiently<br />

played for time on his Sherco to move up to<br />

ninth and retake his place in the top 10 after<br />

2021 (sixth). Franco Caimi (Hero) rounded<br />

it the first ten, ensuring that all six factory<br />

teams in the 45th edition are represented<br />

near the top.

Kevin Benavides: “It’s been an amazing day! I just focused on every kilometer<br />

from the first to the last. I didn’t think about the position or the result I just gave<br />

my 100 percent over the whole stage and tried to enjoy the day. The special was<br />

really fast and tricky, and so muddy – thankfully I didn’t make any big mistakes,<br />

but it would have been easy to have an issue out there today. I have worked so<br />

hard for this. This year’s rally has been one of the closest ever and there wasn’t a<br />

single day where you could afford to ease off. I couldn’t have done it without the<br />

support of my team, and all my family and friends. It’s going to take a little while to<br />

sink in, I can’t describe this feeling right now.”<br />

Toby Price: “So, so close. Yeah, a great job from Kevin, he did really well today.<br />

I knew it was going to be tight, and of course I pushed right from the start all<br />

through the stage. I just missed three waypoints by virtually meters, and it<br />

dropped me back. Obviously, the goal is to win, and it’s frustrating to miss out by<br />

such a narrow margin. But I’m fit, healthy, and I’m going home with a trophy, so<br />

that’s the most important thing. I’m ready for another one next year.”<br />

Skyler Howes: “I am so happy! It’s been an incredible race with highs and lows,<br />

and it’s come right down to the wire on this final day. I knew the guys behind<br />

me would be pushing so hard today, and to go into this final day less than two<br />

minutes behind after well over 40 hours of racing is incredible. I arrived at the<br />

finish safely, and it feels like a dream come true and such an honour to share it<br />

with two legends like Toby (Price) and Kevin (Benavides). Everyone knows what<br />

you have to go through to get to this point, and after all that hard work, it makes<br />

this moment feel so sweet. Of course I want to come back and see what the<br />

other two steps of the podium feel like. But to now be one of five Americans to<br />

reach the podium at Dakar, it feels amazing.”

Rally2: “Dudu” fast and solid<br />

After Bradley Cox’s premature exit following<br />

a fall, the contenders for the Rally2 category<br />

quickly stepped to the fore. Paolo Lucci and<br />

the rookie Michael Docherty pounced first<br />

while the flu-struck Romain Dumontier bided<br />

his time. Both the Italian and the South African<br />

made mistakes, crashing one after the other<br />

on the first few days and leaving the French<br />

steamroller to pulverise every pitfall before him<br />

at a pace that often saw him match the RallyGP<br />

bikers. “Dudu” clinched his maiden win in<br />

stage 4, took over the reins of the classification<br />

the next day and never looked back. Only his<br />

teammate Docherty, who lives in the Emirates,<br />

subsequently challenged him for two specials<br />

in the Empty Quarter, his adoptive stomping<br />

ground. The three men ended up fourteenth<br />

through sixteenth.<br />

SA’s own Charan Moore<br />

on his way to victory in the<br />

Original by Motul race.<br />

Sixteenth overall, Docherty was also the<br />

top rookie of this edition. In the Original by<br />

Motul race, for riders without assistance in<br />

the bivouac, the South African Charan Moore<br />

was the favourite to win the category after<br />

finishing fourth in his debut last year. He took<br />

the spoils after an epic duel with the Spaniard<br />

Javi Vega, on whom he gained the upper hand<br />

in the second-last special. The veteran Mário<br />

Patrão, a Legend status holder, completed the<br />

podium. 15 Original by Motul riders survived<br />

the toughest Dakar in the Saudi saga, including<br />

Kirsten Landman, a woman. The compatriot<br />

of the winner of the category finished second<br />

in the women’s classification, which went to<br />

Mirjam Pol from the Netherlands.<br />

What a remarkable performance<br />

from the revelation of Dakar2023,<br />

Michael Docherty. This humble and<br />

super talented young rider finished<br />

top Rookie, P3 overall in Rally 2 and<br />

consistently challenged the top riders<br />

in the world throughout the event.<br />

The winners of the Rally2, Original by Motul,<br />

women’s and top rookie competitions all<br />

ride for HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing. A<br />

clean sweep for Henk Hellegers’s team of<br />

private riders who shine in public! Only the<br />

top junior classification escaped his clutches.<br />

The Frenchman Jean-Loup Lepan, riding for<br />

Nomade Racing, took the competition after<br />

finishing fourth in Rally2 and seventeenth<br />



Kirsty Landman did it! The only Lady in the toughest Class,<br />

Original by Motul (with no assistance) to finish and who<br />

won the hearts of the World. Well done Kirsty!

ROUGH &<br />

TOUGH<br />

South African rider Charan Moore wins the toughest<br />

class – Original By Motul – in what has been<br />

described as one of the hardest Dakars in years.<br />

31-year-old Charan Moore (bib number 40,<br />

riding for HT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA<br />

RACING) returned to dunes and wadis of<br />

Saudi Arabia with one goal in mind: to win<br />

the Original by Motul class in what was<br />

only his second Dakar Rally. The fact that<br />

he succeeded despite almost impossible<br />

weather conditions, was a testament to<br />

his dedication, and the skills he has honed<br />

on the equally challenging gravel plains of<br />

Namibia and in Lesotho’s Maluti Mountains<br />

(where he is the Race Director for the Roof<br />

of Africa).<br />

After a rollercoaster two weeks which<br />

contained everything that makes the Dakar<br />

both magical and immensely tough, Charan<br />

emerged victorious. His ultimate winning<br />

margin of 20:01 belies the challenges he’s<br />

faced during the event. The combination<br />

of mechanical issues, injury and flu made<br />

this Dakar even more difficult. Charan<br />

twice built up a substantial lead over his<br />

nearest rivals, only to see it whittled away<br />

by a determined field of experienced and<br />

committed riders in what was previously<br />

known as the Malle Moto class.<br />

Competing in the Original by Motul class<br />

tests not just riding ability, but also a<br />

competitor’s mechanical competence,<br />

organisational abilities, and capacity to<br />

perform mentally and physically in the face<br />

of extreme and cumulative fatigue.<br />

Just like everyone he was up against,<br />

Charan was essentially on his own. Other<br />

than world-class lubricants and oils<br />

supplied by event sponsor Motul, he had<br />

no support: he was responsible for carrying<br />

out all the maintenance on his bike,<br />

including running repairs made necessary<br />

by rocks, sand and overheating. The reward<br />

for completing each stage and working on<br />

his own bike was a too-short night’s rest in<br />

a tent on the floor.<br />

While 2022’s Dakar had been<br />

criticised in some quarters for being<br />

uncharacteristically easy, this year’s event<br />

was anything but. Saudi Arabi is not a<br />

country that you would typically associate<br />

with heavy rains and flooding, but this<br />

year’s Stage 7 was cancelled due to the<br />

extreme weather conditions.

By this point, Charan had rebuilt his<br />

lead over his friend and sometime riding<br />

companion, Dakar veteran Javi Vega, the<br />

Spanish rider who pushed him hard all the<br />

way. Charan had recovered from his bout of<br />

flu, but further challenges were just around<br />

the next sand dune.<br />

In the second half of the Dakar, disaster<br />

struck. A faulty gearbox necessitated an<br />

engine change that cost Charan 5 hours of<br />

mechanical hard work – and a 15-minute<br />

penalty. Radiator issues for Moore on Stage<br />

11 saw Javi Vega reclaim the lead he had<br />

last held after Stage 5, and set the scene<br />

for a nail-biting climax.<br />

On the penultimate stage, it was Vega’s<br />

turn to suffer, and Moore ended the day<br />

with a 17-minute lead. The final stage<br />

is typically a procession, but overnight<br />

downpours and hail meant that conditions<br />

were extremely wet and muddy with many<br />

bikes getting stuck. This last hurdle meant<br />

that Charan could not be certain of victory<br />

until the very end. Charan not only won the<br />

Original by Motul category, but came <strong>28</strong>th<br />

overall in motorcycles and 12th in the Rally<br />

2 Class, a very impressive performance by<br />

anyone’s standards.<br />

“This year’s Dakar has been a real<br />

rollercoaster, physically and emotionally. I<br />

wanted to build on my 4th place in Original<br />

by Motul and 34th placer overall from last<br />

year, and I have done it!” commented a<br />

delighted Moore at the finish line. “It’s an<br />

honour to have won a trophy of this calibre,<br />

and I’m proud to say that I’ve left nothing<br />

in the tank,” he added.<br />

Charan confirmed that after a well-earned<br />

rest, he’ll be heading home to start<br />

planning this year’s edition of the “Mother<br />

of Hard Enduro” – the Roof of Africa 2023.

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