MRW Issue 31

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The year is moving along at a fast pace and

it’s getting hard to keep up with everything

that is going on around the world. One thing

is for sure we will keep you in the loop with all

the happenings from all the racing paddocks

highlighting the progress of our top SA stars -

and there are many of them scattered all over

the world.

In this issue, we have a main focus on World

SBK and particularly on Toprak and the topic

of him potentially switching to the MotoGP

paddock. Toprak recently had his 2nd test on

the Yamaha MotoGP bike, this time a two-day

test at Jerez. Little more info comes out of

that test, which we have featured in this issue.

Yamaha MotoGP boss man Lin Jarvis did say

that they are excited about Toprak and he is a

talent but also went on to say that they need

a fast rider straight away and preference is still

very much on getting Franco Morbidelli back

up to speed. Interesting that he also went on

to say that there is more than likely only going

to be 2 Yamaha’s on the grid for 2024, so

not really making any room for Toprak, who

himself said Yamaha has offered him a space

in MotoGP for next season.

All a bit confusing at the moment. I for one

would love to see Toprak make the move.

I think he is a great talent and could bring

some fresh ideas to the table. At the moment,

Yamaha is too one-track-minded for me. They

have great riders in Fabio and Franco, but

two riders that only know the Yamaha bike,

so can’t offer any diverse comparison and

change. If you look at Jack Miller and what

he has brought to KTM having all that Ducati

info certainly has helped, and for me, Yamaha

needs those fresh ideas as it seems they don’t

have any themselves and we know that the

Yamaha Japs don’t like to stray much from

their pattern.

- riders are not given any time to settle - it’s

results or get out. Just look at Darryn Binder

last year. What the point of the exercise was I

don’t know. Giving a rider coming from Moto3

to MotoGP one year to prove himself? That

was never really going to happen. Toprak will

be in the same boat. Come over, but if you

don’t perform you’re gone. As much as I love

Toprak, he will not set the world alight and get

the results needed in just one year.

Personally, I would like to see the move

happen just to keep the door open for riders

from World SBK to move to MotoGP. Sadly, I

think this door is almost firmly shut. Gone are

the days of top World SBK champions and

stars being able to make the move. MotoGP

has moved on too much and is now in many

ways a bridge too far. This is one big question

I will be asking Johnny Rea in a one-on-one

interview I have lined up with him ahead of

the Catalunya round. Keep a look out for

that interview which will be posted up on our

YouTube channel soon.

That’s it from me for now. I hope you enjoy

the magazine and all the content we have on

our platforms. Until next month, stay safe, stay

healthy, and most importantly stay happy!

Cheers. Rob Portman


Shaun Portman

Beam Productions

Adam Child “Chad”

Sheridan Morais




Rob Portman

082 782 8240



Shaun Portman

072 260 9525


Copyright © Moto Rider World:

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

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permission of the publisher.

Toprak’s biggest problem is time - something

he will need to make the move to MotoGP

work, but something he will not be given.

MotoGP has become a very impatient sport


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Round 1 of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike championship kicked off recently and

again it was a case of our top SA riders, Mathew Scholtz (11) and Cam Petersen (45)

taking on the mighty USA riders battling it out for top honors. Road Atlanta was the

venue for the opening round and the racing was world-class in both main heats. The

Americans took top spots, but our SA boys pushed them to the flag in both races.

Cam just missed the podium in race 1 with a 4th, then suffered a DNF with his bike

on fire in race 2. Scholtz recovered from a disappointing 5th in race 1 and bounced

back in race 2 with a 3rd-place podium finish.


Depending on the way it is used (we can

easily see it racing down the highway, but also

taking more challenging routes off the beaten

path), the bike can be configured for Rain,

Street, and Sport use, with an additional Track

mode feature just in case a circuit somewhere

becomes a destination sometime.

Visually, the KTM 890 SMT doesn’t stray far

from the rest of the KTM bikes, with plenty of

orange displayed on the rims and some parts

of the body, blended with black pretty much

everywhere else.

KTM showed the bike this week in the hands

of former AMA Superbike and Supermoto racer

Chris Fillmore, and that explains many of the

photos you see in the attached gallery. Average

Joes, on the other hand, will get the chance to

experience the SMT a while from now.

By the end of the month, KTM said it will open

the order books for the bike, with deliveries

expected to begin in May. And that’s only

over in Europe, as this long-range supermoto

weapon will not make it across the ocean to the

U.S., at least not this year.

On the Old Continent pricing for the 2023 KTM

890 SMT varies depending on the market, but

to get your bearings, know that in the UK the

sticker reads £12,499.

KTM reignites SMT

with new 890 model

We’ve known for a while now that Austrian bike

maker KTM is going back to the Supermoto

Touring segment this year, and anticipation

was high among fans of the black and orange


The wait is finally over, as KTM pulled the

wraps off the 890 SMT. An incredible machine,

described as a “long-range Supermoto

weapon,” but not meant for everybody.

The SMT slots between KTM’s Adventure

and Street ranges, tipping the scale at 194 kg.

That’s the perfect weight for the bike’s 889cc

LC8c parallel twin engine to move the beast

and give riders the thrills they seek.

The engine used for the two-wheeler is a

re-tuned variant of an existing KTM piece of

hardware, already used on the likes of the 890

Adventure R, for instance, and it develops in

this application 105 hp at 8,000 rpm, topping

that off with 100 Nm of torque.

The engine is held in the bike maker’s CroMo

steel frame, which in turn is lifted off the ground

by WP APEX suspension hardware and a

pair of 17-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin

PowerGP rubber. Up on the frame, there is a

15.8-liter fuel tank, from where about 4.6 liters

of fuel are drained every 100 km. The seat

further back is located 860 mm off the ground,

and within easy reach of the motorcycle’s

heated grips.


BMW Motorrad

presents BMW iFace

BMW Motorrad Boxer models are among the

most popular and sought-after motorcycles in

the world - unfortunately also among thieves.

BMW Motorrad is now the first motorcycle

manufacturer in the world to meet this

challenge with BMW iFace - a face recognition

system that makes the previous ignition key

superfluous and perfectly complements the

existing Keyless Go technology.

BMW iFace was developed in cooperation

with Professor Dr. Dr. Gerhard Lesjöh, head of

the world’s leading institute for ophthalmology

at the University of Munich. The system offers

facial recognition of the rider’s face on the one

hand and also an iris-cornea comparison of the

eyes for definite identification on the other.

Face recognition using 3D scan and

infrared scanning technology.

Face recognition uses the latest 3D technology

integrated into the ultra-modern BMW Motorrad

TFT display, which is not visible from the

outside. This is carried out by means of stripe

projection, a technology that has been used for

many years for example in reverse engineering.

With the helmet removed, the face is scanned

three-dimensionally and biometrically.

This three-dimensional image is compared

with a data record stored in the system. If the

calibration is positive, the ignition, steering lock

and other locking functions are released and

the rider can start the motorcycle. Since the 3D

scan works with infrared scanning, this type of

face recognition also works in the dark.

Iris cornea matching for maximum


BMW iFace operates as a dual system to

achieve highest-level comfort and safety. For

example, the rider can be authenticated either

using face recognition (without helmet) or by

iris-cornea scanning of the eyes. This type of

authentication enables the system to identify

the rider even with the helmet on, as only the

iris and cornea are scanned and compared

with the data stored in the system.

Here too, infrared technology ensures

functional reliability even in absolute darkness.

In addition, a special polarization filter enables

the scanning process even through heavily

tinted and even mirrored visors, different types

of glasses and contact lenses. The rider enters

the type of visor and visual aid he is currently

using in the display prior to the scanning

process using the corresponding menu


Worldwide networking of BMW eCall and

iFace enables identification of thieves.

In case of an attempted theft, BMW iFace

communicates with the eCall electronic

emergency service. Not only does the BMW

Motorrad Call Centre receive a corresponding

message about the attempted theft via a

special code, but the scan data (face or

eye scan) and the current geographical

position data are transmitted in parallel to the

international central database of the Federal

Police authorities.

If corresponding data material is found there,

the search for the person concerned can

be initiated immediately. If no suitable data

is available, the transmitted scan data will be

stored in this database for possible use at a

later date.

Field trial with criminological support.

BMW iFace has been developed and tested

in field trials over a period of more than three

years. Dr. Burkhard Hund, Head of Theft

Protection at BMW Motorrad: “Our special

thanks go not only to the Bavarian State Office

of Criminal Investigation, but especially to

Giovanni Häberle. Today a respected owner

of a consulting firm for theft and burglary

protection in the Stuttgart-Stammheim area,

the Swabian was an invaluable help to us in

developing this system thanks to his decades

of expertise as a professional vehicle thief.”

BMW iFace will be presented at one of the

autumn motorshows in 2023 and will initially be

used on the BMW Motorrad Boxer models.


An International Mass Ride

to Celebrate International

Female Ride Day

Unlike Alice, you don’t need to believe six

impossible things before breakfast to enjoy an

International Mass Ride on Saturday, 06 May

2023. The ride is in honour of International

Female Ride Day (IFRD) and will end with an

Alice in Wonderland-themed picnic at the

Avianto Clubhouse in Muldersdrift, Gauteng.

Join in for a safe, smooth-riding and fun

event, with various departure points all

around Gauteng and each group led by an

experienced lady rider.

picnic will be hosted by Alice and her friends,

including the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and

the Queen of Hearts.

“We’re all about encouraging women to

find more reasons to ride, and what better

opportunity than a fancy-dress picnic?”

commented Kerry Puzey of Biker’s Warehouse,

one of the organisers of the IFRD Mass Ride.

Registration is essential and the R50 fee

affords riders participation in the Mass Ride,

entrance to the wonderland ‘after-party’, a

goodie bag and a picnic hamper. Once you

have registered all the details will be shared

including route and start point information

and you can pre-order awesome IFRD

merchandise and your picnic hamper. If

you’re not in the mood for a picnic you can

grab a pizza on the day from the Avianto

Clubhouse. A cash bar will also be available to

quench those parched from the ride.

Partners are welcome to participate and

dressing up is definitely encouraged, with

prizes for the best outfit. There will also be lots

of chances to win lucky draw prizes.

“International Female Ride Day is all about

celebrating the growth in female motorcycling,

keeping the momentum going and

encouraging more women to ride motorbikes

and scooters,” commented Mercia Jansen,

Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern

Africa. “I’ll be leading one of the offroad groups

myself and doing my bit to encourage ladies

to take part. I’m excited for this chance to

demonstrate the passion, fun and camaraderie

that can be found on two wheels,” she added.

To register for the IFRD Mass Ride and picnic

or to learn more, visit www.ifrd-sa.co.za

Share and follow all the fun on social media

using #FemaleFocusForward #IFRDSA and


To learn more about the IFRD, visit International

Female Ride Day - Women’s Motorcycle Ride

Day (motoress.com)

The IFRD first took place in 2007, with this year

being the 17th edition. The aim of the IFRD is

to stage a globally synchronised motorcycling

and scooter ride for women that encourages all

women to ‘JUST RIDE’.

It provides the ideal opportunity for women to

act as role models to the global community

of women who ride, to raise awareness of the

growing numbers of women who own or ride

motorcycles, and to celebrate the achievements

of women in motorsport.

The International Female Ride Day has a

successful track record of unifying women

across 120 countries around the world. In

addition to these serious goals, the IFRD is

also about having fun and making friends in a

relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.

That’s where the Alice in Wonderland theme

for this year comes in. The Muldersdrift


Anyone who talks about the US customizing

scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in

the same breath. For more than 40 years,

he has dedicated himself to customizing

motorbikes, from radically modified creations to

sophisticated new designs. Since the 1990s he

has been incredibly successful with his custom

bikes and was able to win various important

Daytona shows regularly. He was the very first

non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis

Hall of Fame.

For the first time, Fred Kodlin has now set about

customizing a BMW together with his son Len

- the BMW R 18 B. “The R 18 B HEAVY DUTY

was a real father-son project. There was a lot

of creative input from Len which also goes to

show that the next generation at Kodlin Bikes is

already in the starting blocks,” says the boss of

Kodlin Bikes in Borken happily.

Massive R 18 B chassis technology

adaptations. Modified frame and air


The biggest challenge in customizing this

year’s crowd puller at the Daytona Bike Week in

Florida was undoubtedly the frame. “We have

completely remanufactured the upper tubes to

lower the fly-line and thus the seat height of the

R 18 B. We also redid the steering head and

the triple clamps so that the caster fits despite

the changed steering angle and so that the bike

rides well,” explains Fred Kodlin.

The result was the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY, a bike

in typical Kodlin style. Viewed from the side,

the fly-line drops sharply to the rear from the

chopped windshield taken from the Original

BMW Motorrad Accessories range and finally

runs harmoniously into the side cases made by

BMW Motorrad

presents the R 18 B



Kodlin out of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the low rear

end. From the top the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is characterised

by a strong waistline in the seat area and a flowing

connection to the side cases.

Finally, the technical chassis highlight is an air suspension

system at the front and rear, supported by a compressor

placed barely visibly behind the left side case. This allows

the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY to be lowered and raised

in a fraction of a second. This is both as useful as it is

spectacular: To park, lower the chassis, and it rests on

hidden support points letting the bike crouch just a few

centimetres above the asphalt, waiting for the next ride.

Extensive body modifications including winglets.

The Kodlin team also delved no less deeply into the subject

of body construction for a good three months. A completely

new sheet metal tank was created - longer than the original,

flowing in shape and with indentations on the sides. The

connection of the tank and rear frame was also modified

for this purpose. The original mobile phone charging

compartment, on the other hand, has been taken over from

the R 18 B.

A front spoiler including a 3-colour underfloor lighting

system – a popular feature, not only in Daytona - and a front

mudguard are also made of sheet metal, the mudguard

fitting snugly around the 21-inch front wheel. Finally, Kodlin

created a corresponding counterpart for the rear wheel

from two R 18 B rear mudguards joined together, in which

the rear and side indicator lights are integrated in a very

discreet manner. The two side covers made of sheet

metal, which form a smooth transition to the side cases, are

completely custom-made. Speaking of side cases: R 18 B

loudspeakers by Marshall and an amplifier are fitted inside.

Kodlin’s attention to detail is also evident in the aluminium

milled hinge panels of the cases in the style of the original R

18 B components.

The so-called winglets above the cylinders are another

design element. They are also made of metal, but do not

fulfil any function in the actual sense. Rather, they underline

the design of the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY and make it appear

unmistakable, especially when viewed from the front. The

customizing job is rounded off by a seat made by Kodlin

and an instrument cover with covers made of Alcantara and

imitation leather, as well as specially made handlebars and a

self-created exhaust system.

Elaborate paintwork by tattoo artist Marcel Sinnwell

with ties to 100 years of BMW Motorrad.

Marcel Sinnwell has painted other Kodlin showbikes in

the past, but now only rarely picks up a spray gun for very

special jobs. For example, when he paints yachts or an R 18


For this project, the colour gradients were completely

airbrushed with translucent paint. The inspiration for this was

the mixing of colour pigments in the paint and especially

the way they form streaks in the milky basecoat when first

stirred. The result goes along very well with the Daytona bike

week, where complex and colourful paint schemes are more

than just good form.

Additional design touches on the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY

are provided by hand-painted pinstripes and an airbrushed

pattern on the rear mudguard that combines Kodlin and

“100 years of BMW Motorrad”. The brake callipers, gearshift

and foot brake levers and footrests, however, are BMW

Motorrad standard components that have been colourmatched.


BMW R 18 B: The perfect bike for customizing.

But Fred Kodlin by no means laid his hands on all the

assemblies and parts. What was a particularly positive

surprise for him: “The bolts. They are all made of stainless

steel, with a nice Torx head. That’s not the way it is on other

bikes. The basic bike and especially the engine are very,

very cleanly finished. All the electrical cables are already

nicely hidden, so we didn’t have to do anything to the

engine,” he explains.

For this reason, numerous R 18 B components were

deliberately not replaced, but at most modified. For example,

the shortened hand levers and handlebar end weights.

Likewise, the engine remained unchanged from a technical

point of view. Only the cylinder head covers, belt cover and

intake snorkel were painted in metallic black.

Cruise control with distance control, reverse gear and eCall

have remained unchanged. The are absolutely unique

features of the BMW R 18 B in the Cruiser world, where

these functions are not offered by any other manufacturer.


Is Austin a turning point

for Rins and Honda?

LCR Honda Castrol’s Alex Rins was nothing

short of sensational at the Red Bull Grand

Prix of the Americas as he took his first

win for Honda in only his third competitive

appearance. His victory comes after finishing

11.5 and 14 seconds adrift of the eventual

race winner in the opening two Grands Prix

of the season, highlighting the technical

deficiencies he was forced to overcome in

Austin. But how was he able to do it?

Former 500cc Grand Prix winner and now

motogp.com’s very own Simon Crafar picked

apart the Spaniard’s performance in Sunday’s

episode of After The Flag. The Kiwi was keen

to stress how the former Suzuki man’s “natural

talent and feel” was crucial to his quick

adaptation to the radically different RC213V,

before looking a bit deeper into what helped

Rins become the first Honda rider other than

Marc Marquez to take victory in over five years.

“I’ve done a bit of digging over the past few

days,” started Crafar after Sunday’s race.

“Listening to riders and trying to find out how

Alex can do this when the other Honda riders

can’t. He has a different riding style. The

reason we all thought that Joan Mir would suit

the Honda more is because he has more of

a V4 style. He sits slightly further back, he’s a

hard braker, slows it down a little bit more and

then fires it out of the corner, which is how V4

riders normally ride.

“Alex has turned up with a more flowing style,

carrying corner speed, and it turns out that

that helps Honda. They have such a lack of

rear grip and struggle to get the tyre to drive

them off the turn, if you slow it down, stand it

up and fire it off the corner then the thing just

lights up. But Alex, by flowing, has masked

some of that disadvantage and mastered it

amazingly here.

“I know all the Honda guys have been looking

at his data trying to figure out how and what

he’s doing. Taka for example said that he

rides it more like a Moto2 bike, just carrying

that corner speed. What a job. I just hope that

Honda can improve that disadvantage so all

the Honda riders can be competitive like him.”

The next question, of course, is where Honda

goes from here. Eight-time World Champion

Marc Marquez is expected to return next time

out at the Spanish Grand Prix, but after seeing

Honda’s top brass - Tetsuhiro Kuwata (HRC

Director), Shinichi Kokubu (Technical Director)

and Ken Kawauchi (Technical Manager) - all

celebrating their new star’s win, will HRC put

more weight behind Rins’ comments and

reposition their line of development away from

solely suiting Marquez.

It’s something Rins himself was crying out

before the weekend got underway, admitting

to the press on Thursday that he felt “wasted”

by Honda and that they “relied very little”

on him. This victory will no doubt help his

standing within the factory but it remains to

be seen how much impact it will have, and

whether Austin will truly be the turning point

that Honda and their four premier class stars

have been crying out for.


Rins and Cecchinello;

a very special bond

Before the extraordinary events in the Texan

sunshine on Sunday I remembered the

careers of Alex Rins and Lucio Cecchinello

in separate ways. It was only when they came

together for that historic win in Austin I realised

they had so much in common. The ability to

fight against the odds and adversity to come

out at the top.

Without a doubt my number one memory of

Lucio was when his LCR Honda team provided

Cal Crutchlow with a MotoGP winning

machine to become the first British rider to

win a Premier class Grand Prix for 35 years. I

was at Anderstorp in Sweden to witness Barry

Sheene bring Yamaha victory in 1981. I waited

and waited for a repeat but in the end gave up

hope it would happen in my lifetime until Brno

in the Czech Republic in 2016. Cal went on to

win again at Phillip Island the same year and in

Argentina two years.

My undying memory of Alex was in Valencia

last year. The final race of the season and the

final race for the Suzuki Grand Prix team and

what a send-off he gave them to bow out with

victory and honour. Three years earlier he had

brought them wins at COTA and Silverstone

and a year later in Aragon. Last year after

Suzuki announced their withdrawal at the end

of the season he won at Phillip Island before

that Valencia finale.

Lucio was a top 125cc Grand Prix rider.

Riding for his own team he won seven

Grands Prix. He finished fourth in the World

Championship on two occasions and his

last grand prix win came in 2003 with a very

special victory at Mugello. He was a massive

cog in the Grand Prix career of double World

Champion Casey Stoner, first in the 250cc

class where they finished second in the World

Championship after five Grand Prix wins. He

then stepped up with Stoner into MotoGP

before the Australian joined Ducati and the

rest is history.

Alex also came up through the smaller

classes. What a fight for the 2014 Moto3

World title with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing

MotoGP) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM

Factory Racing) and a year earlier with

Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) and Luis

Salom. Eight Grand Prix wins brought second

and third places in the Championship. It was

the same story in Moto2 where four wins

gave him second and third places in the

Championship before joining MotoGP with

Suzuki in 2017.

Lucio’s LCR team celebrated the 100th

podium in the Grand Prix paddock with

MotoGP victory on Sunday. Alex had

already become the first rider to win Moto3.

Moto2 and MotoGP races at COTA. He

is also the first rider to win two MotoGP

races at the Texan circuit. The other, a certain

Marc Marquez, with those seven wins. Alex

also joins Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi and

Maverick Vinales as the only riders to win

on two makes of Japanese machinery in

the MotoGP era. Both are remarkable

achievements for the Italian team owner

and Spanish rider, and one manufacturer in

particular should be so grateful.

It was Honda’s first MotoGP win since Marc

Marquez brought them victory on the Repsol

factory machine at that second Grand Prix at

Misano back in October 2021. While bringing

Honda some much needed success, Rins’s

second MotoGP win at COTA was bad

news for the Rossi family. In 2019 Alex pipped

Valentino Rossi by less than half a second to

claim victory. On Sunday he beat Valentino’s

half-brother Luca Marini to the chequered flag.

It was Marini’s first MotoGP podium finish.

That first Honda win for 593 days may have

come from an unlikely source and Marini

surely will win his first Grand Prix this season,

but this was an afternoon to savour in Texas.


MotoAmerica 2023

kicks off in style

Cameron Beaubier picked up where he

left off three years ago today at Michelin

Raceway Road Atlanta with the five-time

MotoAmerica Superbike Champion winning

the first race of his comeback season in a

straight fight with two-time and defending

champion Jake Gagne.

Beaubier’s .340-of-a-second victory over

Gagne marked the 55th AMA Superbike

win of his career and his first on the Tytlers

Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR. It was

Beaubier’s first MotoAmerica race since his

championship-winning 2020 season and his

two years of competing in the Moto2 World

Championship. Beaubier’s win was also the

first in the Superbike class for the Tytlers team

and the first AMA Superbike win for BMW in

45 years, dating back to Harry Klinzmann’s

victory in 1978 at Bryar Motorsports Park in

New Hampshire.

behind and the battle went to the finish with

five-time champ Beaubier beating two-time

champ Gagne to the finish line by a scant

.340 of a second.

Behind them came a race-long battle

between Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s

Josh Herrin, in his Superbike debut for the

team, and Gagne’s teammate Cameron

Petersen – the South African returning to

action after his horrific qualifying crash from

Friday afternoon. Westby Racing’s Mathew

When Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha’s

Gagne threw down his usual blindingly fast

opening two laps and pulled a gap on the

pack, which was led by Beaubier, it looked to

be a case of déjà vu from the past two years:

Gagne gets great start, Gagne pulls away,

Gagne wins. But Beaubier had other ideas

and he put his head down and went after

his former teammate, closing the gap until

catching and passing Gagne on the seventh

of 19 laps.

From there the two ran in formation with

Beaubier leading and Gagne tucked in


Scholtz was also in the fight early on before

eventually finishing fifth, 1.7 seconds behind

Petersen, who was beaten to the line by Herrin

by .206 of a second. The pair fighting for third

actually closed in on the Beaubier/Gagne duel in

the final laps with Herrin just 1.9 seconds behind

Beaubier at the end of 19 laps.

Superbike Race One top 5

1. Cameron Beaubier (BMW)

2. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)

3. Josh Herrin (Ducati)

4. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)

5. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)

Four riders battled to the bitter end on Sunday at

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in what was the

most exciting Medallia Superbike race in recent

memory. And when the smoke cleared after 15

intense laps it was defending two-time Superbike

Champion Jake Gagne crossing the finish line

first on his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha

YZF-R1, just half a second ahead of yesterday’s

winner Cameron Beaubier on the Tytlers Cycle

Racing BMW M 1000 RR.

Just prior to the finish, it was anybody’s race

when the four ran together down the backstraight

and through the 180-mph kink when Beaubier’s

line pushed him wide and nearly forced Josh

Herrin off the track. That left a giant hole between

Beaubier and Herrin to go through, and Gagne

went through it. Herrin recovered but couldn’t get

his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati stopped for

the chicane and his off-track excursion allowed

Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz to pass him,

putting Scholtz third and Herrin fourth at the finish

line. Scholtz was .850 of a second behind Gagne

with Herrin some two seconds behind after

getting his Panigale V4 R back on track.

The win was Gagne’s first of the season and the

30th MotoAmerica Superbike victory of his career

and it put him into a tie with Beaubier at the top

of the championship standings after one round

and two races. The pair both have 45 points with

the series heading to Barber Motorsports Park in

Birmingham, Alabama, May 19-21.

Scholtz and the Westby Racing crew worked hard

over the course of the weekend and the South

African said they’d made huge progress over the

course of the three days. He was rewarded with a

podium finish on Sunday.

Herrin was also happy on Sunday afternoon,

despite missing out on the podium. The two races

were just his second and third outings on the

new Ducati Panigale V4 R and he landed on the

podium in Saturday’s race.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie

Escalante was fifth on Sunday, some three

seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ

Jacobsen and his teammate Corey Alexander.

The returning Toni Elias was eighth on the

second Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki

GSX-R1000 with Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s

Ashton Yates and Disrupt Racing’s Hayden

Gillim rounding out the top 10.

Notably missing from the results was Gagne’s

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha teammate

Cameron Petersen. The South African’s difficult

weekend ended early when his Yamaha YZF-R1

caught fire just a few laps into the race.

With Gagne and Beaubier tied atop the standings

with 45 points, Herrin is third with 29 points, two

ahead of Scholtz and eight ahead of Escalante.

Superbike Race 2 top 5

1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)

2. Cameron Beaubier (BMW)

3. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)

4. Josh Herrin (Ducati)

5. Richie Escalante (Suzuki)


2024 WorldSBK silly

season begins

It’s musical chairs in World Superbike and

with all-but-one rider signed up for 2024,

could we be about see one of the biggest


The music has started and at the moment,

there are plenty of seats ready and waiting,

but that is guaranteed to change. As

the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World

Championship is three rounds out of 12

into the season, the European leg is well

underway and with that comes plenty of

market talks. From futures hanging in the

balance and at a cross-roads to the majority

of the field looking to strike a deal for next

year, we summarise the situation with what

we know so far.


secured for…

One rider on the current grid has a contract

for 2024 and that is the most successful

World Superbike rider of all-time, Jonathan

Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

The six-time World Champion inked a twoyear

contract extension in 2022 which sees

him through 2023 and until the close of

2024. However, his teammate is not decided

for 2024 yet.


Razgatlioglu are potential changes

Reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista

(Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) is in his second

season back in Ducati, having signed a

one-year extension in 2022. However,

Bautista teased his future during the Pirelli

Dutch Round at Assen, saying that he

“doesn’t have a clear idea” about 2024. In

his Sunday debrief, he stated that he would

“take a decision” after the third round, and

that “personal life is becoming more special

and more important” with his wife and two

daughters, as the latter grow up.

In blue, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha

Prometeon WorldSBK) is arguably one

of the riders who holds all of the cards;

his MotoGP test at Jerez in April was

impressive, with him being just 1.7s off Dani

Pedrosa and KTM at top spot, whilst he was

0.6s behind Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow.

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director

commented that Toprak was one of the

“prime candidates” for the factory MotoGP

should current rider Franco Morbidelli’s form

not improve, whilst Razgatlioglu himself has

confirmed that a move to MotoGP is a

“dream” in 2024. Toprak’s manager, five-time

WorldSSP Champion Kenan Sofuoglu, stated

that the 2021 World Champion “wasn’t

built” for MotoGP and that he believes that

Razgatlioglu will remain in World Superbike.

Sofuoglu also spoke to Italian media, stating

that his ideal situation would be to renew with

Yamaha in WorldSBK, with a decision made

by Barcelona, but that two other factories are



situation so far?

Let’s start with the reigning World

Champions, Ducati: Alvaro Bautista looks

set to continue with them or step away from

racing for more time with his family, with a

decision to be reached by Barcelona. So,

what about his current teammate Michael

Ruben Rinaldi? Rinaldi signed a one-year

extension in 2022 for this year and was the

final factory rider confirmed. Last year, Axel

Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) made it clear he

wanted the ride and has stated again that he

hopes his rides in 2023 have already caught

the attention of factory teams. He’s currently

fourth in the standings, Rinaldi lies sixth.

Besides that, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark

Racing Team) stated that he’d like to get on a

factory bike in 2024 and Nicolo Bulega has

been impressive in WorldSSP; could he be

in-line to move up like those before him who

have gone on to win the WorldSSP title?

In the other factories, Alex Lowes’ (Kawasaki

Racing Team WorldSBK) has his contract

finish at the end of the 2023 season with

Kawasaki, so he is up for renewal. Both Team

HRC riders, Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge,

also have their contract up for renewal at

the end of this season. Team boss Leon

Camier has always spoke highly of both

riders, especially Lecuona’s natural talent

and ability to learn new track and ride in

low-grip situations. At the ROKiT BMW

Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Scott Redding is

in his second season of what is a “multiple

year” deal, although the length hasn’t been

confirmed. For current teammate Michael

van der Mark, he stated that he’d like to

continue with BMW but his injury at Assen

definitely came at the wrong time.






Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Beam Productions



Value-for-money and practicality - these are words often used by many when looking for

affordable means of transport for the everyday commute. Well, these words are at the very

core of this bike making it a very attractive option for all.

“The RTR 200 is class-leading when it comes to goodies

and gadgets. It has three riding modes - yes, riding modes

on a 200cc motorcycle being Rain, Urban and Sport,

where I left it for the majority of our time together. “

Bigger isn’t always better in the motorcycling

world, in fact, small-capacity motorcycles are

more popular and better sellers worldwide than

their bigger-capacity counterparts, especially

in countries like India, China, Indonesia and

Vietnam. Generally cheap to purchase, easy and

cheap to maintain and fuel-efficient are just some

of the reasons smaller capacity bikes are so

popular and an important necessity to people’s

lives all over the world.

In South Africa though we seem to have a stigma

when it comes down to smaller-capacity bikes.

Even most people who have never ridden a

motorcycle before or are relatively un-experienced

when it comes to riding, will generally always

choose a larger capacity motorcycle as their go-to

or first motorcycle, even before the ink has even

dried on their learner’s permit. This often ends not

too well for the aspiring rider or generally scares

new motorcycle enthusiasts off riding altogether.

The most important aspect of riding a bike, for

me at least is – fun, smiles and happiness. ALL

bikes are fun. Even if they’re rubbish, they’re

still fun, because they have two wheels and an

engine. And this is why I love small-capacity

motorcycles, smiles for miles as they say. One

such small-capacity motorcycle I have been

looking forward to riding since I first saw it at

TVS South Africa is the TVS Apache RTR200.

A good-looking bike, with sharp looks and ‘race,

inspired’ graphics which fit in perfectly with TVS’s

heritage. Not only does it look good, but it also

comes retrofitted with some top-notch features

like an LED headlight with daytime running strips,

an interactive digital dash and the Bluetooth-

enabled TVS SmartXonnect technology when

the TVS Apache RTR 200 is paired with the TVS

Connect App, which is available on Google Play

Store and iOS App store. It hosts multiple features

including turn-by-turn navigation, race telemetry,

tour mode, lean angle mode, crash alert and call/

sms notifications. It also records 0-60kph times

and has a top speed mode which celebrates with

you when a new record is achieved!

The RTR 200 is class-leading when it comes to

goodies and gadgets. It has three riding modes -

yes, riding modes on a 200cc motorcycle being

Rain, Urban and Sport, where I left it for the

majority of our time together. You can change

between them on the fly by simply closing the

throttle and toggling between them. And they are

not just there as a gimmick, they actually work

and you can feel a power and response change

in every different mode. The dash is simple and

crystal clear and displays all the vital information a

rider needs. Some more first-in-segment features

include a slipper clutch and single-channel

advanced ABS with RLP (Rear lift protection).

Speaking about the brakes, the front 270mm

single disc brake is sharp and fade-free and

experienced riders will barely notice the ABS until

it’s needed.

The handling is sporty thanks to its racing origin

split cradle synchro stiff chassis. Sporty, stiff and

direct when needed but soft and subtle enough

to soak up bumps and be plush. The Showa

telescopic front forks work in perfect harmony

with the rear shock, even with my bulk on it. The

riding position is upright and comfy with some

nice thick padding in the seat. I found myself

doing some long highway stretches of 60km

plus and not once did I need to stretch or adjust

my riding position due to being uncomfortable.

The ‘cockpit’ is a nice place to be and the build

quality is noteworthy and comparable to the Japs.

“The handling is sporty thanks to its

racing origin split cradle synchro stiff

chassis. Sporty, stiff and direct when

needed but soft and subtle enough to

soak up bumps and be plush. “

The 149kg mass is propelled by a torquey

197.75cc, 4-valve, oil-cooled engine with

patented Race Derived O3C, pushing out

18.1Nm and 20.82HP(Sport Mode: 20.82 HP

@ 9000 rpm, Urban and Rain Mode: 17.32

HP @ 7800 rpm), The sound from the racing

double barrel exhaust is deeper and louder

than anything in its class which all adds to

the experience, excitement and character of

the RTR. I managed to cruise at 120kph on

highways and on the odd occasion and odd

downhill managed to hit an impressive 149kph.

Not once did I feel unsafe on the highway which

is often the case on small bikes. Even setting off

ahead of traffic and keeping up with them is not

an issue with the RTR.

The fuel economy from the 12L tank and 2.5L

reserve tank is impressive. especially with how I

was riding the 200. I did mostly highway riding

and reached over 300km on a tank so you

can expect way more, riding normally and in

town. Overall the TVS Apache RTR200 is an

impressive and savvy little bike which is classleading

in many different ways and for just R41

999-00, it’s light on your wallet as well. Standard

with a 20 000km/36-month warranty the RTR

is sure to gain traction in the small capacity

segment here in SA.

The headlights are so bright that they will allow

you to see into your future. Riding at night I

got flashed more times than Hugh Hefner by

oncoming traffic thinking that my brights were

on. Another nice addition is that of the crash bars

which are standard and as is the case with most

smaller bikes of this kind- a centre stand too.

During my time working in the MotoGP and MOTUL

FIM Superbike World Championship paddocks, only a

handful of riders truly move the needle and do things

that take your breath away. Casey Stoner was the

man to watch when I first ventured into a Grand Prix

paddock but I remember Cal Crutchlow telling the

media that “the second Marc Marquez jumps onto a

MotoGP bike, he’ll be the best rider in the world.

RAZGATLIOGLU TO MotoGP? It’s a hard switch





Many riders have done it, few have

achieved success doing it, some even

return to WorldSBK – but WorldSBK

commentator Steve English thinks Toprak

could shine, but if he changes one thing…

We took it with a pinch of salt and assumed Crutchlow

was exaggerating how good Marquez is...history has

shown that he might even have undersold us on the

Spaniard! Stoner and Marquez found new ways to

ride their bikes and did things that other riders couldn’t

do. They made the super-talented look ordinary. In

the WorldSBK paddock, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata

Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) is the rider that has

emulated this feat.

The Turkish superstar can do things that others can’t;

he has an ability on corner entry that for much of the

last four years has almost seemed like a cheat code!

Toprak lives up to the hype and speaking to riders

about him, they all say the same thing; he deserves a

shot at MotoGP. Whether he gets it will depend a lot

on circumstances.

Yamaha gave him a two-day test at Jerez last week

to assess whether or not he can make the switch. It

was fitting that Toprak was on track with Crutchlow,

who made the switch in 2011, to MotoGP from

WorldSBK. The move almost broke the Brit and he

admitted many times that he thought about returning

to his production racing roots, such was the challenge

of adapting to a prototype. That’s an adaptation that

Toprak would have to make too.

LIN JARVIS: “It wasn’t easy for him to really

get the feeling on the bike”

Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director,

didn’t beat around the bush when he spoke to

MotoGP.com about the challenge: “Riding an R1 on

Pirelli tyres and riding a MotoGP M1 on Michelins is

very different,” said Jarvis from the Red Bull Grand

Prix of the Americas. “You need more time to adapt. If

I would sum it up, probably it was not easy for him to

really get the feeling on the bike. If you watch Toprak

riding a Superbike, he is able to do miracles, he has

an incredibly good feeling on the front end in

particular; we’ve seen that from his stoppies and

incredible corner entry and braking. That was not

so easy to find on the M1. The bike is much more

rigid than the superbike, so really, I think to gain the

speed on a MotoGP bike he would need to adapt

his style quite significantly.”

Toprak’s area of expertise is the front-end

confidence and generating tremendous braking

performance with the rear wheel in the air. A

MotoGP bike with a much more rigid chassis and

aerodynamics is all about trying to maintain that

rear contact in braking. If the rear wheel is in the air

the engine braking doesn’t work. This is one area

where Toprak would need to adjust his style.


he is “number one choice” for 2024, IF…

Whilst Yamaha gave Toprak two days on the

bike and he would have learned a lot, it’s also

been rumoured that at the Jerez test his riding

position wasn’t optimised. This is something

which he would certainly address if he was to

move to MotoGP and can be a huge factor in

performance. Toprak has the talent to switch to

MotoGP and be a success but circumstances

could work against him. Franco Morbidelli has had

a miserable run of form in recent years. His top five

finishes at Argentina this year are, until he backs

them up with similar results, an outlier and to hear

Jarvis talk about the Italian is clearly where hope

rather than expectation is the key.

CLOCK TICKING: Many factors, limited time –

a big decision for the future

Time...it’s the one thing that riders don’t tend to get

too much of these days. At Yamaha, the paddock

rumour mill has linked them to Jorge Martin to

replace Morbidelli. The Spaniard, a Ducati protege

since joining the premier class, is already a race

winner and established front runner. Would anyone

blame them for taking Martin over Razgatlioglu?

Toprak has a major decision to make. Yamaha

has a major decision to make. It could well be that

they both make a choice that keeps Toprak off an

M1, but could that also push him closer to another

manufacturer? It’s always worth remembering that

Toprak was once as close to Kawasaki as he is

now to Yamaha. If he is offered the right opportunity,

he could well look elsewhere. Toprak is the centre

of attention once again, but he knows that the

music stops very quickly when you’re looking for a

seat at the biggest table in motorcycle racing.

“The ideal scenario for us is that Franky continues

to show the speed he displayed in Argentina. Our

number one choice would be to continue with

Franky but if not, we will be obliged to find another

candidate and that’s also why we were interested

to look at Toprak. The test was a chance for

Toprak to start to understand better the needs for

MotoGP and for us to see his speed. We can’t

say very much from two days of testing. I think the

conclusion he’d would probably give you and from

our side as well, is that it’s very different to his R1 on

Pirelli’s. You need time to adapt.”








Reflecting on the test, and also outlining how he

had to adapt to the Yamaha M1, Razgatlioglu said:

“The MotoGP test was an enjoyable two days.

Last year, I rode just 20 laps because the weather

wasn’t nice, and it started to rain. This year, I’m

very lucky. At Jerez, it was very hot, and the track

temperature was around 48, 50 degrees. I enjoyed

both days with the MotoGP bike. Normally all

young riders have a dream to ride in MotoGP. I

did and I’m very happy.

“It’s a completely different bike compared to the

Superbike. The Superbike is a softer bike, the

MotoGP a harder one. The tyres are completely

different and also the riding style is completely

different. You ride a Superbike more stop-and-go

and, for MotoGP, you need to keep the speed

through the corner. I tried to adapt to this. The seat

position is a big difference and I’m feeling very high.

I enjoyed the Superbike more because I see more

inside the bike; MotoGP is completely different.”

Razgatlioglu, whose best lap time was set on

the second morning of the test, also went into

specifics about how his riding style would need to

change between his WorldSBK Yamaha R1 and

the MotoGP Yamaha M1 machines due to their

different characteristics. Razgatlioglu explained how

the cornering styles between the two is different. He

said: “I enjoyed the braking, but the problem was

the first bike was not easy to stop. The Superbike

and MotoGP bikes are different but the big

difference is the style because the MotoGP style

is completely different. You need to keep the speed

through the corner more, not try to stop like the

Superbike. On Day 2, I’m enjoying more especially

the braking. But the problem is, after braking, it’s

not easy for me to enter the corners because the

seat position is very high. It’s not easy to enter the

corners because I’m not feeling the limit on the

front. The braking, I started really hard. This is just

testing, and we will see in the future. For me, what’s

most important is this year. I try to win again.”

The test was attended by Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha

Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, who also

gave his thoughts on the test from Yamaha’s

perspective. Dosoli stated that they were two goals

for the test and that were both were met from

both Razgatlioglu and Yamaha and Dosoli also

praised the job Razgatlioglu did at Jerez on the

M1 machine as he adapted from the WorldSBK

machine to the MotoGP bike.

Although times were private and unofficial, it was

reported that Razgatlioglu was less than two

seconds adrift of Pedrosa’s top time, with 1.7s

being the difference according to Motorsport.

com’s Spanish edition. It was also reported that

he was under eight tenths adrift of Crutchlow

and completed 116 laps across the two days,

setting a fastest time of 1’38.860s. The test was

held in almost perfect weather conditions, in stark

contrast to a rain-hit MotoGP test debut in May

last year, which was at MotorLand Aragon. Another

difference in comparison to the test last year was

the presence of Yamaha Managing Director Lin

Jarvis, who hailed Razgatlioglu as “extraordinary

talented” in the run up to the test.

Dosoli said: “From my point of view, it was a very

positive test. We had a couple of targets in mind.

One, from the rider point of view, to discover the

MotoGP bike. He had the chance to ride for

two days at Jerez in good weather conditions.

The second objective was more from our side.

Yamaha are probably the manufacturer that’s

invested the most in riders. We have a good

platform in WorldSBK and MotoGP. We really

wanted to see what is the level of a rider, the

most talented riders, who recently won the World

Championship, to understand how long it takes

to adapt to the MotoGP machine. I’m glad to

say that both targets have been achieved. It has

been a positive test. Toprak understands what

the MotoGP bike needs in terms of riding style.

There’s a big difference from the productionbased

machine; a different approach to corners

and different tyres. Toprak understood this and

tried to modify his riding style. He has already

achieved some results in terms of feedback but

there’s more work to be done.”

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship

was back on European soil and the Netherlands welcomed

the paddock with open arms. The TT Circuit Assen has

played host to countless duels across the years but this year,

attention has been firmly on whether or not this will be Toprak

Razgatlioglu’s (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) final

time here on a WorldSBK bike. A two-day test on MotoGP

machinery – the Yamaha YZR M1 to be precise – at Jerez

earlier in the month gave Razgatlioglu an opportunity to adapt

to the bike and see if his potential could be high.

HAVING THEIR SAY: unquestioned potential,

“but it’s not easy”

With Assen being the first opportunity to catch up with his

rivals since the test, we got their thoughts on whether or not his

move could work. Six-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea

(Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had two top ten finishes

aboard a Repsol Honda in 2012 as a replacement rider for the

injured Casey Stoner, and he hailed Toprak as an “incredible

talent”, who could make it work: “It’s a hard situation to be in. All

I know is that Toprak’s an incredible talent and given the right

opportunity to go to MotoGP, with the right people around him,

he could do a great job.”

Reigning WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.

it Racing – Ducati) spent nine seasons in MotoGP with

multiple podiums and strong performances, and having made a

successful switch in the other direction, gave key insight: “About

Toprak, for sure he wants to go to MotoGP, at least what I

heard. It’s a different Championship, different bikes, different

tyres… I know he’s doing some tests with the Yamaha, but he

has to understand if he has the potential to go there and do

well. Otherwise, he has a big name in WorldSBK and he’s an

important rider here, so he has to choose, but it’s not an easy

decision. Every rider wants to try MotoGP at least once, but it’s

not easy, now that the category is so close with a gap at almost

nothing between first and last. He has to understand if he can

also be fast there.”

Teammate Andrea Locatelli came from Moto2 to WorldSSP

before his graduation, and he wasn’t letting the discussion cloud

his own view of success within the Yamaha box: “For me, it’s

difficult to say about Toprak because I don’t know but maybe

for him, it’s interesting to go to MotoGP for the future. In my

opinion, it doesn’t change anything; we’ll continue to work on my

side, together, to be fast and to finish this season in a good way.”













FOR CONTEXT: what we know so far

The test at Jerez was no secret and Toprak commented on the

test, saying it was “very enjoyable”, being less than two seconds

off the top time of the test, set by Dani Pedrosa and KTM.

Speaking at the Circuit of the Americas and the Americas GP,

Yamaha Road Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis confirmed

that Toprak had “expressed an interest”, and that the Turk was

one of the “prime candidates” should the factory MotoGP

outfit have a space in it. 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio

Quartararo is on a deal that sees him through until 2024, whilst

teammate Franco Morbidelli sees his current contract expire at

the end of 2023. Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager

Andrea Dosoli spoke about Razgatlioglu’s style and how he

tried to ‘modify’ it during the test, with ‘results achieved’ already.

Finally, Toprak had a test in MotoGP in May 2022 but it was

hampered by rain; after, Lin Jarvis said that there was “no spot”

for Razgatlioglu on the 2023 MotoGP grid.


Words: Adam Wheeler (KTM Blog) | Pics: KTM Images / Polarity Photo




Digest five stats and facts about the Red

Bull KTM Factory Racing team as the 75th

(and longest ever) MotoGP season is now

straining the circuit radar traps!

March to November, 18 countries, 21 rounds, 42

starts (thanks to the brand new ‘Sprints’ concept

that represents the biggest shift in the near eightdecade

history of the motorcycle Grand Prix world

championship) six brands, 22 riders, 11 teams. Around

360 kmph top speed. MotoGP 2023 has started to click

through the gears.

The series was watched by almost 2.5 million spectators

at the circuits in 2022. That number is expected to rise

with the extra dates and the amplified schedule. There

will also be more interaction between the riders and

the fans at the tracks thanks to schemes like public

presentations, a parade lap and other initiatives.

After four seasons with four KTM RC16s on the grid,

the orange has been sliced with GASGAS red for 2023

but Red Bull KTM Factory Racing boasts a sterling rider

line-up with Brad Binder (27 years old) set for his fourth

term with the team and in the class, and Jack Miller (28)

prepped for the first campaign of a two-year deal with the


Here are five stats, facts and trivia about the #33

and #43 that maybe you didn’t know…

– Grand Prix podium bounty: could Brad or Jack

reach the ‘half ton’ in 2023? Brad needs to pick up ten

trophies to rise from 40 career podium finishes to 50 in

all classes and Jack needs 18 more Prosecco bottles to

make the grade. We’re talking about the Sunday ‘Grand

Prix’ though, Sprints don’t count!

– On the subject of podiums; Jack is already the

fourth-best Australian rider of all-time in the world

championship. He’ll have to register another 20 top

three results to overtake Wayne Gardner in 3rd. Brad

meanwhile is closer to ‘top dog’ ranking. If he can walk

the rostrum 7 times, then he’ll supersede Kork Ballington

as the most prolific South African in Grand Prix.

– Brad might be the KTM stalwart of the team

(2023 is his ninth year in Red Bull KTM colours and

he has only raced the KTM RC16 in MotoGP), but

Jack’s eight seasons of MotoGP experience mean he

stands on the threshold of an interesting landmark. If he

can seize a triumph in 2023 (and before rival Maverick

Viñales) then he will be the first rider ever to taste victory

with three different brands.

Jack Miller celebrating a Moto3 victory in Austin, US back in 2014

PC @GoldAndGoosePhotography

Brad Binder and Aki Ajo celebrating the Moto3 world championship

title in Aragon, 2016. PC @FocusPollution

– Both riders previously excelled with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team

in Moto3. Miller came close to the 2014 title with six wins and ten

podiums on the KTM RC4. Binder was 2016 world champion thanks to 7

wins and 14 rostrum runs. Unlike Brad, Jack misses a result of any sort in

Moto2 having taken the unusual route of vaulting directly from Moto3 to

MotoGP for 2015.

– On the current 22-rider grid, 13 have won a MotoGP Grand Prix

and the Red Bull KTM duo are part of that group. Miller earned his

spurs in the Dutch rain during his second season in 2016. Brad was a

rookie in 2020 when he achieved KTM’s milestone in the Czech Republic.

P.S. What will Brad and Jack find with MotoGP Sprints’?

OK, so MotoGP already looks very different in 2023. Red Bull KTM

now have just two practice sessions on Friday to set-up the KTM RC16

according to the track, grip and the climate. They then dash into the usual

Qualifying Q1 and Q2 format on Saturday morning to decide the positions

for the ‘two’ grids. Every Saturday afternoon, at 15.00 local time, MotoGP is

holding a ‘Sprint’ (not a sprint ‘race’) that will last exactly half the distance of

the Sunday Grand Prix event. The podium takes place on the start straight

and world championship points are awarded from 1st (12) to 9th (1)

positions. From a maximum of 777 possible GP points, the Sprints count

for 32% of that total, so Saturdays will be important!

Sprints will not be counted as ‘Grand Prix wins’. In fact, they will exist in their

own stats column, much like the qualification award of previous seasons.

Sunday is still the main show. This hasn’t stopped Brad from storming to

1st place in Argentina for the second ever Sprint showdown! Jack has

also shone in the events that have been both exciting and intense.

Brad Binder and his KTM RC16 on the top step of the

Sprint podium at the Autódromo Internacional de Termas

de Río Hondo, Argentina

PC @PolarityPhoto






Round 2 which should have been round 1

of the MRSSA was held at the ever-popular

Redstar Raceway out in Delmas on the 14th

and 15th of April. Always a favorite track

amongst the riders and spectators. As

always the competition would be fierce with

close elbow-to-elbow racing in every class.

Words by Shaun Portman / Pics by Beam Productions

A huge thank you to all the sponsors of the

series who without there would be no racing:

Moto Rider World

BeamProductions Pty Ltd

Profound Software

Bike Kings ZA


GFP Superbike Accessories

Bike Tyre Warehouse

Moto Trainer South Africa

Sub 500s

The Sub500 class is the feeder class to all the bigger classes. The

youngsters always provide good, clean, and close racing, and this

round would prove to be no different. Qualifying was a tight affair with

the top 6 riders all covered by only 1.5 seconds. Pole Position went

to Taigh Janse Van Rensburg on his Kawasaki Ninja 400 followed

by Chris Wright, KJ Mononyane, Ryan van Nieuwkerk, Diego de

Ponte, Nicole Fourie, and young Oratilwe Phiri the only rider not on a

Kawasaki Ninja 400 but rather on an older Yamaha R3.

Race 1 saw a great race up front and a new lap record of a 2.01.7

from eventual winner Taigh Janse van Rensburg who crossed the

line over 8 seconds ahead of Ryan van Nieuwkerk who also set a lap

time quicker than the outgoing lap record. P3 was contested fiercely

all the way to the line and the battle was won by KJ Mononyane just

ahead of Diego de Ponteo and lady rider Nicole Fourie. Phiri did well

to finish the race and gain more vital experience. Unfortunately, Chris

Wright suffered a mechanical issue early on in the race that would

prevent him from taking further part in the day’s racing.

Race 2 was a little closer but still yielded the same result as van

Rensburg smashed his own lap record he set in race 1, bettering

it to a 2.01.5 and with that took victory ahead of van Nieuwkerk,

Mononyane, de Ponte, Fourie, and Phiri. Personal best lap times were

set by most competitions on the day!


The BOTTS would once again race with the Masters for the day which

would again set the tone for great racing throughout the field.

Alan Hulscher was relentless in qualifying and took Pole Position in

the BOTTS ahead of the age-defining Peter Bosch in second, Frans

Fourie in third, Christo Reeders in fourth, Jaco Hennings in fifth, Kaz

Hauzer in sixth, Gavin Aab in seventh and series newcomer Sipiwe

Tom in eighth place.

Race 1 was pretty spread out and dominated by Hulscher. Bosch

would cross the line in second ahead of Fourie in third. Aab made

up some places to take a great fourth place ahead of Hauzer,

Hennings, and Tom. Unfortunately, Christo Reeders had a nasty

crash in the hairpin on lap 1 which would totally destroy his beautiful

Ducati Panigale V4 and rule him out of the days racing. Luckily he

escaped injury!

Race 2 and the final positions remained the same as that of Race 1.

The lap times were impressive for the BOTTS riders and even more so

for Sipiwe Tom who is getting to grips and loving life on his Ducati after

switching from a BMW S1000RR. We hope to see more bikes on the

grid at the next race.


Qualifying set the tone for the Masters on what would be a dominant day of racing by

Suzuki rider Jaco Gous. He would take Pole Position with a 1.59.2 and by some margin

ahead of Bradley Dawson on his BMW S1000RR, Giuliano Smargiasso, Leon Horn,

Robert Ferreira, Wayne Morgan, Derek Jacobs, Jacques Schutte, Tom Maritz on his

classic, Augustine Ntware and Mornay Jonker.

Race 1 saw the 11-rider grid quite spread out but it was Gous who took a relatively easy

win ahead of Dawson who improved on his PB lap time, setting a 2.01.6. Tom Maritz

impressed many as he took his classic Suzuki to an impressive third place followed by

Jacobs, Ferreira, Schutte, Ntware, Horn, Jonker, and Morgan. Smargiasso, unfortunately,

didn’t finish race 1 but would be back for race 2.

Race 2 saw Gous dominate taking the win by over 12 seconds ahead of Dawson who

once again improved his lap time to a 2.00.9. Smargiasso would bounce back after his

first race disappointment to take P3 ahead of Jacobs who would claim third overall for the

day. He was followed across the line by Ferreira, Maritz, Horn, Ntware, Schutte, and Jonker.

Unfortunately, Morgan wouldn’t take part in Race 2 after encountering some issues.

Open Superbikes Novice

As always the Open Superbike Novice class would be joined by the Open Superbike

Premier class on the grid for the days racing. The lap times that the Novice riders were

setting were impressive as the riders prepared to battle it out for top honors in the race.

Race 1 was all about Darryl Barrington who set an impressive 2.08.0 lap time on his way to

victory. Muhammed Essop would claim second on his BMW S1000RR ahead of Richard

Wicks on his Minion-themed Honda CBR600RR. Thouca Mechanicos took a respectable

fourth ahead of Kevin Collings and Jameel Daya who both experienced issues in the race,

the latter of who finished 7 laps down and therefore wasn’t classified in the end results

Race 2 saw the same results as Race 1 with Barrington taking a comfortable win ahead

of Essop who once again improved his lap time, this time to a 2.09.3. Wicks would have

another good ride on his 600 to finish third ahead of Mechanicos and Collings with Daya

unable to make the start of the race.

Open Superbike Premier

The Open Superbike Premier Class is generally always hotly contested! Qualifying was all

about Jordan King on his beautiful Yamaha R1 who despite a mistake early on would still

put it on Pole. Clive Turnbull would make an impressive return to second on the grid ahead

of Ryan Futter, Danie Koekemoer, and Christo Pienaar.

Race 1 saw King set a 2.02.7 and take victory by over 10 seconds ahead of Turnbull,

Futter, Koekemoer, and Pienaar. So positions as they were in qualifying then!

Race 2 was a little more closely contested with the winner decided by less than threetenths

of a second. King took victory again this time only just ahead of Turnbull who

improved his lap time to a 2.03.9. Futter once again edged out Koekemoer and Pienaar for

the final podium spot.

Super 600 Superbikes

The Super 600 riders were out and looking to put on a

show at Redstar Raceway. Dinno Iozzo was racing and

looking at getting some practice in for his international

duties. Not only this but he also had his eyes set on a new

lap record and a 1.52 lap time. Qualifying went his way

with Pole Position with a lap time of a 1.53.1 which was a

new official lap record for a 600 superbike around RSR.

He took Pole by quite some margin ahead of Keegan

Mills, Clinton Fourie, Tristin Pienaar, Peron Parasaramen

and Matthew Schultz.

Race 1 was the Dino Show. Iozzo took a dominant win

over an impressive ride by the young Tristin Pienaar in

second and Keegan Mills in third. Clinton Fourie came

home in a solid fourth followed by Matthew Schultz.

Parasaramen encountered mechanical issues with his R6

which forced him out of the race and the day’s remaining


Race 2 saw Iozzo win again and set a new lap record of a

1.52.9 which was his aim for the day. Another brilliant ride

from Tristin Pienaar in second who also set a super lap

time of a 1.55.0. Mills once again claimed second ahead

of Fourie who were also both setting impressive 1.57 laps

times. More experienced was gained by Schultz who

also set an impressive 2.03 lap time as he looks to get

stronger and stronger.

Unlimited 1000s

Combined with the Super 1000 Superbikes as always,

the riders of the Unlimted 1000 grid were looking for

glory. Tiaan Fouche was looking to be the man to beat

as he put his Andalaft Yamaha R1 on Pole Position with

a 1.57.8 ahead of Luca Bertolini, Tieme Nankervis, Mo

Mahope, and Tyron Piper.

A red flag saw Race 1 being restarted with Fouche taking

full advantage to take a commanding victory and setting

a PB lap time of a 1.56.4. Luca Bertolini also set some

impressive lap times to take second ahead of Nankervis

who bounced back well after a crash in the race causing it

to be red-flagged. Tyron Piper took a solid fourth ahead of

lady rider Mahope who finished 2 laps down after a small

crash. Despite this, she also set a PB lap time of a 2.00.5.

Race 2 was all about Fouche again who took the double

win for the day ahead of Bertolini, Nankervis, Mahope,

and Piper.

Super 1000 Superbikes

The fastest two-wheeled class in the country saw the

two Marius Lloyd Racing riders take the first two spots in

qualifying with Morne Geldenhuis taking Pole on a 1.51.1

ahead of his teammate Adolf Boshoff in second. Michael

White took third ahead of first of the BMW riders in fourth,

Damion Purificati. AJ Venter put his Suzuki in fifth as he

prepares to head over to the Isle of Man TT this year. AD

Van Dalen put his BMW in sixth ahead of Hendrik de

Bruin and Nicole van Aswegen.

Race 1 saw Geldenhuis crash out while leading. This left

Boshoff and White fighting out front. Unfortunately White

would crash leaving Boshoff to take victory ahead of

Venter and Purificati. Van Dalen took fourth ahead of van

Aswegen who set a PB lap time of a 1.55.4. She narrowly

edged out de Bruin and White who was still classified in

seventh after the race was red-flagged due to the crash of


Race 2 was an epic battle between White and Boshoff

which was won by White in the end. Venter took yet

another top-three in third followed by Purificati, Van

Aswegen, and Van Dalen. Geldenhuis and de Bruin

would fail to start Race 2 resulting in only six finishers.

Round 3 of the series heads back to Phakisa on 19th

and 20th May. Entries are now open. Visit the Motorcycle

Racing Series South AfricaFacebook page for more info.




2 0 0 8 Y A M A H A Y Z F R 1 G M T 9 4



Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Beam Productions

We test this former World

Endurance and World

Superbike race machine

around Kyalami.

Every so often we get to test some rare and special

motorbikes here at Moto Rider World. We were

lucky enough to have been invited out to the Kyalami

Monday Club to sample an ex-World Superbike and

ex-World Endurance bike. However, this isn’t just any

bike though, it is the 2008 Yamaha YZF R1 GMT94

bike, which was ridden by David Checa, brother of

Carlos Checa, in the 2008 WSBK Championship

alongside Sabastien Gimbert. They would also

partake in a couple of World Endurance races at

the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Bol d’Or 24 Hours

in 2008. In 2007 the Yamaha GMT94 Team won

the Bol d’Or for the first time in style with a five-lap

lead, after having already won as a team twice the Le

Mans 24hrs and numerous other Endurance events.

The (GMT) Guyot Motorcycling Team was founded

in 1992 by Christophe Guyot – himself a former

rider and passionate sportsman – with the aim of

making motorcycle racing more accessible to the

young people of France. In 2003, the team linked

up with Yamaha Motor France to become a more

professional outfit and since then, went from strength

to strength, including becoming Endurance World

Champions in 2004. Now known as the Yamaha

GMT94 team, the squad operates a strategy focused

on two very different road race classes: sprint

racing and endurance racing, more so print racing

as of late. Multiple Endurance World Champion,

David Checa, aged 43, had also raced in the World

Supersport Championship with the Yamaha GMT

team in 2006 and 2007. The younger brother of

Carlos Checa, David’s racing pedigree includes

250GP and European Supersport before he moved

into Endurance racing in 2003. In addition, that same

year he was Pirelli’s WSB control tyre tester and

participated in a handful of WSB races.

One of the prettiest racebikes, even today, the 2008

Yamaha YZF R1 GMT94 bike has remained in a

collection here in South Africa since 2009 with a

good friend of ours, Mr James Dent. He purchased

the bike and had the 16.5” wheels(WSBK ran 16.5”

wheels back then) replaced with a 17” wheel kit

so he would have tyres readily available. He initially

purchased the bike to do track days on, which he did

quite a few. However after a nasty crash at Kyalami

after colliding with another rider who came into the

pits without signalling, he decided to have the bike

repaired and retire it in his collection. Luckily he was

given a ton of spare parts, including a motor for the

bike and whatever he didn’t have was sent to him by

GMT themselves. Unfortunately, the original Laser

exhausts were damaged beyond repair and not

available anymore so James had a set of Akropovic

exhausts fitted to the original headers.

So, yes the bike was retired until I asked James

if we, and by we, I meant me, could test the bike

again. Rob got to ride the bike a while back

around the old Kyalami but I also wanted a go.

Without hesitation James agreed and the rest they

say is history. At first glance, it’s hard to believe

that this bike is 15 years old. It is still as sleek

and elegant as ever! The paintwork is mint and

so is the rest of the bike. The bike is fitted with a

larger endurance spec fuel tank, 24 litres which

is a must and the rules for Endurance racing and

also to make it to the finish in the WSBK races.

As you would expect the 08 GMT94 R1 is fitted

with Ohlins suspension, front and rear which is still

trick, even by today’s standards. Braking is taken

care of by AP Racing and the R1 is also fitted with

an AP Racing front master cylinder. So only the

best in that department then! Techwise and there

isn’t much to write home about. There is a pitlane

limiter, a switch to turn on the ignition and another

one to turn off the quick-shifter. No auto blip here,

so it was back to basics with this bike. There is

also carbon fibre spread generously all over the

bike which makes the bike quite light.

The bike hadn’t been ridden in years, only started

and warmed up on the odd occasion and hasn’t

spun a wheel since its rebuild after the crash

many years ago. The first thing I noticed sitting on

the bike, ready to exit the pitlane, is just how light

it felt compared to a standard bike of the same

year. Now this bike was raced in WSBK in 2008

but specced for Endurance racing and not WSBK,

so it was still 12kg heavier than an outright WSBK

bike. With only enough race fuel for two sessions

and not wanting to push my luck my experience

on the 2008 Yamaha YZF R1 would be a short

but sweet one.

There is no Traction Control and with 198.8Hp

and 128Nm of torque on tap, to say I was nervous

would be an understatement. I put this to the

back of my mind though and within a few laps

started to gell with the old-timer. I wasn’t taking

this old geyser lightly though because just like

Rocky Balboa at his ripe old age, this bike can still

throw a mighty punch. The riding position is racefocused

as you would expect, with bars pushed

out wide just the way I liked them. The gearing

was way too long for Kyalami and I found myself

not using 6th gear at all. This bike apparently did

over 331kph down Monza’s infamous straight

back in its heyday, so believe me it’s no slouch.

The handling was rigid and sharp and the stiff

setup suited my weight perfectly. The best part

about the bike is its brakes though. Once warm

they stopped on a dime and I found myself

braking later than I ever have done around

Kyalami, with plenty of room still left to spare. The

brake lever is rock solid and doesn’t offer a lot of

feel and feedback like a modern superbike, but

trust me it works!

After getting used to the bike in the first session

I pushed on a little more in my second and

final session. Even on older Pirelli SC2 tyres

I still managed to do 1.54 lap times which is

respectable, especially while riding something

irreplaceable. The two sessions, I did, were the

best of my life. I mean how often do you get to

ride a WSBK? It’s just as good as I thought it was

going to be and I will never get the chance again

as James has now officially retired the bike. But, as

I have learnt in this game, never say never!










TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 quad



2024 MX







Following the introduction of the completely renewed

2023 KTM SX range, the 2024 KTM motocross

range lines up at the gate with reworked suspension

settings and a fresh new look.

Sleeker, slimmer, and engineered to provide riders with

unmatched levels of control, the 2023 KTM SX range

of motocross superiority shot onto the podium as the

most innovative and highest-performing READY TO

RACE production motocross machines ever built.

As a recap, the 2023 KTM SX range debuted a

completely redesigned chassis built around a hydroformed,

laser-cut, and robot-welded frame, a 2-piece

polyamide reinforced aluminum subframe, and a

hollow, die-cast aluminum swingarm.

Designed and constructed with specifically calculated

parameters of longitudinal and torsional flex, the frame

provides exceptional rider feedback, energy absorption,

and straight-line stability at speed.

For 2024, the KTM SX and SX-F range retains these

advancements, with the addition of renewed suspension

settings focused on improving bike balance and comfort. These

improvements are also significantly noticeable when it comes to

cornering agility.

At the rear, a WP XACT rear shock provides advanced damping

characteristics for unsurpassed traction and energy absorption,

while up front, the 48 mm WP XACT front fork provides improved

bottoming-out resistance, and damping, and allows the fork to stay

lower and more planted on initial acceleration after a hard landing.

Ergonomically, the 2024 KTM SX and SX-F range retains a best-inclass

rider triangle, resulting in exceptional knee contact, especially

when standing on the pegs. This, along with added contact

surfaces on the bodywork, and a flat seat profile, improves overall

handling, agility, and confidence.

Above the surface, an all-new graphics set takes center stage,

which like the previous year, takes inspiration from the early 1990s.

The designers of the 2024 CTG used purple as a highlight color as

a nod to when purple was a predominant hue in the KTM signature

styling. However, orange, and white tones still dominate the overall

look and are applied using time-proven in-mold technology.

Armed with the 2022 MX2 Championship trophy, more forgiving

suspension, unmatched performance, and cutting-edge

technology within easy reach for riders of all ages and riding

levels, the 2024 KTM SX and SX-F range continues its assault on

motocross competition.





Delivering the very best in pure motocross performance, Husqvarna

Motorcycles’ 2024 line-up outperforms its competition. For the new model year,

the five proven machines are distinguished by their stunning, Swedish-inspired

colour scheme and high-grip seat covers, together with revised suspension

settings to further improve the agile handling of each motorcycle. Every model

is equipped with the latest technology and electronic advancements, which

ensures all riders can race in confidence and to the best of their ability.

Setting a high standard for modern day 2-stroke

motocross machines, the TC 125 and TC 250 are

progressive in design and expertly assembled with

the latest technology. Headlining the innovation

found on both models is the Electronic Fuel

Injection (EFI), which ensures class-leading power,

rideability, enhanced reliability, and lower running

costs. Complete with an electric starter, the TC

125 and TC 250 are the machines of choice for all

serious 2-stroke riders.

The 2024 FC 250 and FC 350 are powered

by state-of-the-art DOHC 4-stroke engines that

are lightweight, powerful, and play a vital role in

enhancing the overall handling of each machine.

Together with the iconic 450cc motocross model,

the FC 450, all 4-stroke models feature the latest

technology and electronic rider aids.

Every machine in the motocross line-up is

engineered with one goal in mind - to outperform

its competition. Expertly assembled with racetested

components for unrivalled performance and

reliability, the FC and TC models are equipped with

WP suspension for superior comfort, handling, and

straight-line stability.

The WP XACT 48 mm front forks and WP XACT

rear shock feature new settings for improved

cornering agility, with customisation and further

fine tuning achieved by using the easy access,

tool-free adjusters. Continuing to feature ProTaper

handlebars, a Brembo clutch, and Dunlop tyres, all TC and FC

models are premium racing machines capable of competing at the

highest level.

A competition-focused range of Technical Accessories and

Apparel accompanies the release of the 2024 motocross

machines. For added durability, the Factory Racing Wheels are

incredibly strong with the Factory Racing Triple Clamps offering

improved suspension performance and enhanced front wheel


The highlight of the Technical Accessories range and boosting

overall performance of all FC machines is undeniably the Akrapovič

Evolution Line exhaust system. With multiple components

designed to maintain each models’ high performance, the engine,

front brake disc, frame, clutch and brake master cylinders can all

be comprehensively protected, which allows riders to attack the

racetrack in total confidence.

Offering comfort, style, and safety, the Apparel Collection ensures

riders of all abilities are fully prepared and protected for every

ride. Offering a full head-to-toe range that includes riding gear

and protective equipment, all items in the Apparel Collection

are designed to perfectly compliment Husqvarna Motorcycles’

motocross models.

The 2024 motocross range will begin to arrive at authorised

Husqvarna Motorcycles dealers worldwide from April 2023. For

anything and everythinh Husqvarna, contact Berm on +27 82 462

5111or email info@bermsa.co.za






Bigger is always better, as they say, and it don’t get any

bigger or better than the new TGB 1000cc Quad

Export Trading Group Logistics (ETGL), distributors of the TGB range

of quad bikes in Southern Africa, has expand their model range and a

1,000cc model is now also available to the buying public. The featurepacked

Taiwan Golden Bee (TGB) Blade range of all-terrain vehicles

(ATVs - or quad bikes) was introduced to the Southern African market in

November 2021, offering models for work and recreational applications

at very competitive prices. Initially, two models were available, namely

the TGB Blade 600 SE.X EPS 4x4 aimed primarily at recreational

users and the TGB Blade 600 AR EPS 4x4 which found appeal with

agricultural and other commercial users like the mining industry.

Pavan Nair, Business Head of ETGL, says: “We believe that the newly

added TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 quad bike will find quick

market acceptance given the very competitive price positioning. And,

considering the generous standard specification level, we are confident

that buyers will appreciate the outstanding value for money proposition.”

The TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 ATV is a sports-style ATV that

offers many uses as a day-to-day work tool or purely for leisure and

recreational use. The sports styling results in a streamlined body design

with a narrow rider seating position.

The sporty styling is evident in the high-brightness LED front lights,

seated in an aggressive front body panel and LED strip indicators,

giving this nimble all-rounder a contemporary and edgy look. A clear

give-away as to the recreational suitability of the TGB Blade 1000

LTX EPS 4x4 can be found in the comfortable rider and pillion seat,

complete with backrest. Standard rear-view mirrors to assist with difficult

reversing tasks and to keep an eye on the rear passenger, further

reinforces this quad bike’s recreational credentials.

The TGB 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 is powered by a V-Twin, 997cc,

4-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI) that produces

62kW of power at 7,000 r/min and 90Nm of usable torque at

5,500 r/min. The modern EFI system ensures instant throttle

response in the most demanding riding conditions and the

engine’s durability is protected through liquid cooling, two

separate radiators and an auxiliary fan. The radiator cover is easily

accessible and can be removed for easy cleaning of mud and

grasses. The durability of the engine is further enhanced using

high-quality Japanese bearings on the conrod.

Drive to the wheels comes through a drive shaft connected to a

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) allowing for full rider

control and safe handling in all conditions. The TGB Blade 1000

LTX EPS 4x4 offers selectable 2wd and 4wd traction while an

electrically activated front differential lock provides additional

surefootedness in tough conditions. Fitted with chunky Kenda allterrain

6-ply tyres on sporty, 14-inch polished aluminium rims, this

ATV not only looks the part but also makes light work of severe

off-road conditions, given its 300mm of ground clearance.

Ample suspension travel of 220mm in the front and 240mm

in the rear ensures easy travelling off the beaten track. This is

achieved through the adoption of double A-arm fully independent

suspension on all four corners and an anti-roll bar in the rear.

Hydraulic shock absorbers with adjustable dual-rated coil springs

with a relatively low initial spring rate are designed to absorb

undulations and increase grip with a precise transition point and

transition range, and progress to a secondary higher spring rate

to improve roll control during cornering. The suspension can be

fine-tuned for individual riding styles and/or load carrying.

Rider fatigue is minimised through the adoption of innovative

adjustable Electric Power Steering (EPS). The Tri-Mode Speed

Sensitive Electric Power Steering senses the ATV’s speed to

provide varying levels of assist for the most comfortable ride.

Riders can conveniently select their required level – from no

assist to minimum assist for trail riding and maximum assist for

low-speed riding in rough or muddy terrain. The end-result is

precise steering, easy handling, and a high degree of stability.

Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes with ventilated discs provide

confidence to traverse steep downhill slopes or work with a trailer.

The front and rear brakes can be independently applied for

varying conditions while armoured brake hoses ensure protection

in difficult off-road conditions. The TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4

also features smooth-action engine braking for even more positive

rider control.

Whether working the farm or enjoying a Sunday afternoon rideout

in the wild, the TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 has several

utility features to ensure the job gets done safely. A 1,360kg capacity

winch mounted to the front of the ATV provides added peace of mind

when in the most strenuous of conditions. The TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS

4x4 also comes with a towing hitch as standard equipment and boasts a

class-leading 830kg towing capacity with a braked trailer. The TGB Blade

1000 LTX EPS 4x4 is equipped with composite load-carrying racks with

capacities of 30kg front and 50kg rear ensuring that you can travel to

remote spots with camping equipment and/or tools.

High-brightness full-LED headlights with matrix technology give this ATV

an unmistakably attractive look. Featuring integrated LED daytime running

lights, the headlights also provide turn signal and side light function. Also,

all other lighting, including brake lights and rear turn signals is equipped

with innovative LED technology that provides high brightness.

The TGB Blade 1000’s information display provides accurate information

whenever you need it: the modern multi-function LCD screen is not only

easy to read, but is also attractive, and offers numerous functions such as

digital tachometer, digital speedometer, maximum engine speed, maximum

speed, average speed, total odometer distance, daily odometer, fuel

gauge, clock and EPS setting. Surrounding the display are easy-to-identify

indicators for transmission position, high temp, low battery, high beam, low

oil pressure, check engine, 2wd/4wd and differential lock indicator.

The TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4 offers a high level of standard

equipment that includes sporty 14-inch, 6-spoke polished aluminium rims,

all-terrain 6-ply tyres, hand guards, rear view mirrors, robust front protective

frame/bumper and engine protector plate, modern composite luggage

racks, comfortable rider and pillion seat with backrest, modern full-LED

lighting, a 12-volt auxiliary power socket, towing hitch and a 1360kg

capacity winch.

Says Pavan Nair, Business Head of ETGL: “The TGB Blade series

heads up the next generation of ATV technology with unrivalled levels

of specification and delivers outstanding value for money. It is for this

reason, that TGB has won the coveted title of European ATV of the Year on

numerous occasions. We are looking forward to buyers who will appreciate

both the workability and fun elements of these vehicles.”

The TGB Blade series is covered by a 24-month warranty. Pricing (inclusive

of Value Added Tax – VAT) is as follows:

TGB Blade 1000 LTX EPS 4x4: R 240,350

TGB Blade 600 SE.X EPS 4x4: R 194,350

TGB Blade 600 AR EPS 4x4: R 200,100

For further information, please contact:

Name: Francois van Eeden

Title: Marketing Lead

ETGL South Africa

Tel: +27 76 367 1136

Email: francois.vaneeden@etgworld.com

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: ZC Marketing & Beam Productions







Husqvarna are very good at listening to their

customer base, taking in all the information

given to them by riders. In this case, owners/

potential consumers of the base Norden

901 wanted more “exploring” capabilities,

which they found the base Norden 901 was

lacking. So, enter the Norden 901 Expedition

- Husqvarna’s answer to it all - and they’ve

done a great job!

It hasn’t been long, just over a year in fact since Husqvarna SA launched their

much anticipated Norden 901 Adventure bike. Since its release to the world,

Husqvarna has sold more than 4500 units of the Norden which is not bad at

all considering the amount of time its been available to the public. Even with its

popularity, there was still something missing from the Norden. On many forums

around the world, riders were changing the suspension and springs, unhappy

with the travel and performance from the stock WP Apex suspension that

came on the Norden. Yes, granted many riders were using the Norden 901 for

hardcore adventuring and this wasn’t why it was created. In their own words,

the Norden 901 was created for Adventure Touring. Don’t get me wrong it is

more than capable of handling itself when the trails get tough but now there is

a new Norden, one that’s ready for an Expedition.


105 bhp @

8,000 rpm


100 Nm

@ 6500rpm



19 L







Husqvarna needed a more aggressive adventure bike, much like their

sister companies(KTM 890 Adventure R) to please the hardcore adventure

enthusiasts, and so the Norden 901 received a revamp and update which has

totally transformed an already great bike, into something even better!-enter the

Norden 901 Expedition. We were invited out to Hazyview to sample Husqvarna’s

latest offering on the plethora of terrain, ranging from dirt roads, rocks, forest

sections, mud, and fast-flowing road sections. The perfect place to put the new

Norden 901 expedition to the test then.

Husqvarna’s aim with the Expedition is to have a motorcycle ready and capable

of global exploration, straight off the showroom floor. To do this they have

lathered the Expedition with all the tasty accessories straight from the Norden

901 accessory catalogue. What I am going to do now is list the extras which

are now standard on the Expedition with the current pricing so you can see

exactly why the Expedition is such great value for money- Windshield(Touring)

R2222.81, Centre Stand R3405.18, Side Soft Panniers R6157.08, Pannier

brackets R4089.76, Heated Grips R4602.15, Heated Rider seat R3405.18,

Now standard, the ‘Explorer Pack’ software is a

great addition. It allows you to essentially create

your own riding mode and change the riding aids

to suit the terrain and your riding skill. You can

change your Traction Control settings with 9 levels

of slip adjustment, ABS settings, Peak Power and

Throttle Response(Including ‘Rally’). Although there

are already three preset riding modes: Street, Rain

and Off-road which will alter the above-mentioned

settings accordingly per mode. I found myself riding

the Expedition in the Explorer mode all of the time,

even out on the roads where I had ABS turned off on

the rear, throttle response set on the most aggressive

and Traction Control turned off. Unlike the base

model, the Expedition comes stock with the ‘Explorer

Pack’ software. The bike is so easy to ride, with

pinpoint accuracy and the feedback it offers allows

for a more enjoyable and sure-footed ride. You really

have to be doing something wrong to crash this

motorcycle, even with the rider aids disengaged, the

Expedition is easy to ride and very forgiving.

Another electronic upgrade that comes standard

is the ‘Connectivity Unit’ that lets you wirelessly

connect your phone via Bluetooth to the TFT display

for hands-free control of incoming calls and music

playlists, along with the ability to navigate with the

‘Ride Husqvarna’ GPS app. Once again this is

available for the base Norden 901 as an accessory,

and once again at an extra cost. The 4mm skid plate

is an important addition to the Expedition as it wraps

around the lower side of the fuel tanks and acts as

a crash bar, therefore, eliminating the need for them.

One unlucky journalist did have a big crash and the

bike was relatively unscathed, thanks mainly to the

skid plate. The soft 36L(combined) saddlebags are

mounted onto their own brackets which also aid in

protection. You can quickly remove the bags while

not using them and leave the mounting brackets on

which will protect the rear end of the Expedition if

something was to happen. They are fully waterproof

and rugged and do come in very handy.

HCU Kit R1693.72, GPS Bracket Tower R1112.45,

4mm Aluminium Skid Plate R7681.74, Bluetooth

Connectivity Unit R2549.86, Explorer Software

Pack R4259.86, Ergo Passenger Seat R2378.29.

These extras alone total R43 557.67 and then there

is the suspension. What price do you put on that?


Aesthetics-wise and the Expedition gets a nice colour

and graphics change which transforms the looks of

the bike, giving it a more aggressive and sleek look.

The touring windshield which is wind tunnel tested,

also adds a different look to the Expedition. Taller

and wider than the Norden 901’s, it offers effective

wind protection, without compromising vision or

creating turbulence and unsettling the bike, even while

hammering the Expedition out on the infamous 22 is

Sabie at “legal” speeds. I wore a motocross helmet

with goggles for this test and there was no noticeable

buffeting at the peak, only when I sat up at speeds

was my head almost removed from my body.

The suspension is perhaps the biggest and most significant

change of them all on the Expedition. WP XPLOR suspension,

now standard offers longer travel (240 mm) and full

adjustability, which is 20mm more on the front and 25mm

more on the rear compared to the Norden 901. Due to the

addition of the taller suspension, ground clearance has also

gone up from 252mm to 270mm as has the wheelbase

increased from 1,513 mm to 1,529 mm. This will no doubt

please all those people on the forums who were complaining

about the Nordens stock suspension and using the bike for

aggressive adventure riding. The Xplor fork and shock are

mechanically the same units used on KTM’s 890 Adventure

R, although with their own unique damping and spring rate

settings. Up front, the 48 mm USD fork (previously 43 mm)

uses a split damping function on an open cartridge, while

a sealed hydro-stop helps slow down compression at the

end of the stroke for greater bottoming resistance. Forks are

fully-adjustable with compression and rebound hand dials

conveniently located on the top of the fork tubes. Fork preload

is now available and is also adjusted (with tools) on the top of

the fork tubes. The Expedition also sees a wheelbase increase

from 1,513 mm to 1,529 mm thanks to the taller suspension.

Out on the trails, the Expedition has a different character

to it, a more aggressive and sure-footed bike comes out

to play. It’s an extension or evolution of the base Nodrden

901. Not once did I bottom out the standard suspension,

which is rare on a standard adventure bike, especially

for me and my well, uh extra exuberance. The longer

wheelbase makes the Expedition feel more planted

and not as twitchy as the base 901. The Expedition’s

extra ground clearance comes in handy and not once

did the skid plate meet the ground. One of the biggest

weaknesses of the base Norden was its ability to take

and absorb big bumps and knocks. This mixed with a

larger framed rider would have previously resulted in a

harsh bottoming out with a thunk from the fork and/or

rear shock. With more travel and higher-spec suspension

components, Husqvarna has clearly listened and catered

to the more aggressive adventure rider with the new


The engine and chassis remain the same but even so,

the Expedition feels more lively and aggressive. Mainly

thanks to a combination of the different suspension and

Explorer mode. The bike is as solid out on the dirt as it is

on the road and the standard Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR

tyres worked a treat, ultra-grippy on any surface we threw

at it. A six-speed transmission with a power assist slipper

clutch, shift assist, LED lights, fog lamps, handguards,

and steering damper all add to the polished finish that

a premium ADV machine should offer. In fact, there isn’t

much that you will need to add afterwards. You can pretty

much ride the bike straight off the showroom and go on

an Expedition!

Priced from only R279 699-00 the Norden 901

Expedition is only R17 000 more than the base Norden

901 which currently costs R262 699-00. And with this, I

do think that Husqvarna has shot themselves in the foot as

the Expedition is such great value for money, jam-packed

with extras and truly ready for an Expedition. For more

information or to sample Husqvarna’s flagship model you

can give the South African Husqvarna Dealer of the Year

a call- BERM on 082 462 5111 or email them at info@


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