MRW Issue 32

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ISSUE <strong>32</strong><br />

Watch it all on our<br />

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FLOW<br />


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Hello <strong>MRW</strong> fans and welcome to issue<br />

31 of SA’s only motorcycle magazine. We<br />

have another great issue ahead for you to<br />

enjoy packed with reviews, all the latest<br />

news and features from the wonderful<br />

world of MotoGP and World SBK.<br />

There has been a lot of news coming out<br />

of the World SBK paddock the biggest<br />

being that of Toprak snubbing Yamaha’s<br />

“generous” offer to stay with them in<br />

World SBK and instead moving to BMW<br />

from 2024 onwards. This is a big move,<br />

one we all kind of knew would happen.<br />

Honda also made a bid to try lure the<br />

Turkish star to their World SBK project<br />

but that clearly failed. In this issue we dive<br />

into all the details surrounding this move,<br />

so I won’t go on about it too much here.<br />

One interesting thing for me is how<br />

BMW are going to handle this move<br />

sponsorship wise. Toprak is, and has<br />

been a Red Bull sponsored Athlete from<br />

day 1 pretty much and the current BMW<br />

team is backed by Rokit - a new Energy<br />

Drink on the market (I’ve lost count on<br />

how many are actually available now).<br />

So, does BMW get rid of their new title<br />

sponsor to make way for Toprak? Or does<br />

Toprak switch from Red Bull to Rokit?<br />

Honestly, I can’t see that happening and<br />

there are talks that BMW could make a<br />

seperate Factory team to cater for Toprak<br />

and his Red Bull sponsorship. That would<br />

make sense to me.<br />

coming from the MotoGP paddock<br />

where the big news is that Johann Zarco<br />

could be making a switch to the World<br />

SBK championship alongside Alvaro<br />

Bautista. Now that would be an exciting<br />

pairing. Ducati certainly looking for more<br />

domination!<br />

Then there’s the curious case of Franco<br />

Morbidelli. What will he be doing in 2024?<br />

Surely he will not find himself back in<br />

factory Yamaha colours. Talk is that he<br />

will move to the VR46 Mooney Ducati<br />

team, with Bez making the move to<br />

Pramac Ducati. Some say he might go to<br />

World SBK in place of Toprak, but I can’t<br />

see that happening.<br />

Who takes the place of Toprak at<br />

Yamaha? Who leaves BMW to make<br />

space for Toprak? Where is Jorge Martin<br />

going in 2024? And Franco? So many<br />

questions...<br />

I’ll leave you to watch the video and hear<br />

all the gossip and after you’ve done<br />

that you can continue enjoying what is<br />

a great magazine we have put together<br />

for you. Don’t forget to stay tuned to our<br />

Facebook page and YouTube channel for<br />

more great and exclusive content.<br />

Cheers for now.<br />

Rob Portman<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

Beam Productions<br />

Adam Child “Chad”<br />

Sheridan Morais<br />




Rob Portman<br />

082 782 8240<br />

rob@motoriderworld.com<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

072 260 9525<br />

shaun@motoriderworld.com<br />

Copyright © Moto Rider World:<br />

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

publication may be reproduced,<br />

distributed, or transmitted in any<br />

form or by any means, including<br />

photocopying, articles, or other<br />

methods, without the prior written<br />

permission of the publisher.<br />

I delve into this in one of my latest<br />

‘Paddock Talk’ shows posted up on our<br />

YouTube channel so go check it out. I’ve<br />

put the link to the video here so just click<br />

on it and it will take you there.<br />

Apart from the Toprak news I also talk<br />

about some movement potentially<br />


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Hakkinen to design a high-performance<br />

electric superbike.<br />

For the past 30 years, Mika Hakkinen has<br />

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good reason. The man is a racing legend,<br />

having won the Formula One World Drivers’<br />

Championship not once but twice, in 1998<br />

and 1999. He retired from F1 in 2002 but<br />

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since then. On the contrary, he even helped<br />

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To make things clear from the start, Mika<br />

Hakkinen has joined the Verge Advisory<br />

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MotoGP audiences enjoy<br />

record surge in 2023<br />

On the heels of a record crowd that saw<br />

nearly 280,000 fans descend on the French<br />

Grand Prix last weekend, the broadcast<br />

audience figures are now in for the first<br />

quarter of the blockbuster 2023 MotoGP<br />

season – and they’re just as impressive.<br />

With notable growth across many of<br />

MotoGP’s largest markets, the increase in<br />

weekend TV audiences is a sizeable 27%.<br />

The Tissot Sprint has landed<br />

The new sporting format is designed to<br />

create the best show possible, giving fans<br />

more MotoGP than ever and adding a<br />

new spectacle at every Grand Prix. The<br />

audience data so far confirms the success<br />

and popularity of the new-look weekend,<br />

with audiences increasing by an average<br />

of 51% on Saturdays as fans tune in to<br />

enjoy both the shootout for pole position<br />

and the Sprint.<br />

What’s more, the overall increase in<br />

viewership is not solely attributed to<br />

the introduction of the Sprint on super<br />

Saturday. Viewing figures for the Grand<br />

Prix race on Sunday are up by nearly a<br />

fifth across key markets, showing the<br />

new format is not only garnering its own<br />

audience, but also driving interest and<br />

viewership for the sport overall.<br />

The fans in the stands<br />

The trend has also continued in the<br />

grandstands, with the first part of 2023<br />

marking a notable surge in weekend<br />

attendance. On average across the first<br />

five races, the available data shows a 40%<br />

increase in fans coming to enjoy the world’s<br />

fastest motorcycle racing Championship<br />

at the track. Most notably, MotoGP also<br />

broke its all-time weekend attendance<br />

record at the French Grand Prix as well over<br />

a quarter of a million fans flocked through<br />

the gates at Le Mans – an achievement<br />

befitting the 1000th FIM Grand Prix.<br />

Now the sport is ready to make more<br />

history across a tantalising triple-header,<br />

getting in gear with Mugello and the Gran<br />

Premio d’Italia Oakley from the 9th to<br />

the 11th of June. Then it’s the Liqui Moly<br />

Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland as the<br />

Sachsenring puts more history on the table,<br />

before the Motul TT Assen stages a third<br />

showdown in three weeks. Tune in for more<br />

as the 2023 season continues to break<br />

records – on track and off!<br />

Dan Rossomondo, Chief Commercial<br />

Officer of Dorna Sports: “We are very<br />

excited to reveal these audience increases<br />

for the first part of the season. The new<br />

weekend format and the introduction of<br />

the Tissot Sprint were designed to create<br />

a better show across the board, and we<br />

are encouraged by the initial performance.<br />

These numbers are a fantastic foundation,<br />

and we intend to keep building on it.”


The quarterly 2023<br />

report: stats edition!<br />

The first five races of the blockbuster<br />

2023 MotoGP season have started the<br />

new era in style. With close competition<br />

and some truly spectacular battles on<br />

track, the verdict is already in – with TV<br />

audiences up by 27% and the stands<br />

welcoming 40% more fans this year than<br />

last. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve seen<br />

so far statistics-wise – enjoy, and make<br />

sure to buy your tickets for Mugello to see<br />

more history made, in person AND with the<br />

spectacular backdrop of Tuscany!<br />

In the first five events, every manufacturer<br />

has been on the Grand Prix podium. Ducati<br />

and Honda have won Grand Prix races,<br />

and KTM has come close as Brad Binder<br />

(Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was just<br />

two tenths off in Jerez. The Austrian factory<br />

have also already chalked up their first wins<br />

in the Tissot Sprint – two of them, again<br />

with Binder.<br />

The Sprint specialists<br />

After the announcement of the new<br />

sporting format, there was plenty talk<br />

about who would emerge as a specialist<br />

in the sprint to the finish. So far, it’s an<br />

80% share enjoyed by reigning Champion<br />

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)<br />

and KTM’s Binder, with two apiece. The


rider who many thought would thrive in<br />

the Saturday showdown also won the<br />

most recent Sprint: Jorge Martin (Prima<br />

Pramac Racing).<br />

11 riders, five podiums<br />

So far, 11 riders – 50% of the grid –<br />

have been on the Grand Prix podium.<br />

That matches the first five Grands Prix<br />

of 2020 as the golden era of close<br />

competition continues.<br />

The riders who have been on the<br />

Grand Prix podium and not the Sprint<br />

podium are Johann Zarco (Prima<br />

Pramac Racing), 2021 Champion Fabio<br />

Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha<br />

MotoGP), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia<br />

Racing) and Alex Marquez (Gresini<br />

Racing MotoGP).<br />

The only rider who has been on the<br />

podium on Saturday and not Sunday<br />

is Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda<br />

Team). The eight-time World Champion<br />

nearly changed that last time out and<br />

few would bet against the number 93<br />

erasing that stat by the Sachsenring (at<br />

the latest?). Marquez also didn’t race in<br />

three events, potentially skewing the stat.<br />

Independent winners<br />

There have been three wins for<br />

Independent Teams so far in 2023 – two<br />

for Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46<br />

Racing Team) and one for Alex Rins<br />

(LCR Honda Castrol). The only year to<br />

match that after the first five races in the<br />

MotoGP era is 2020.<br />

Before 2023, there had also only been<br />

two events in the MotoGP era where<br />

Independent Teams locked out the GP<br />

podium: Qatar 2004 and Portugal 2020.<br />

This season, it’s already happened<br />

twice. Argentina saw Bezzecchi win from<br />

Zarco and Alex Marquez, and the French<br />

GP was also won by Bezzecchi, this time<br />

ahead of Martin and Zarco.<br />

Viva Italia!<br />

Fittingly ahead of the Gran Premio<br />

d’Italia Oakley, there are some great<br />

stats for the home heroes. The top two<br />

in the Championship – Bagnaia and<br />

Bezzecchi – are split by both one point<br />

and one podium. They’re equal on<br />

Grand Prix wins so far in 2023 with two<br />

apiece, but Bezzecchi pulls ahead on<br />

rostrums, with three. That also makes<br />

the number 72 the rider with the most<br />

GP podiums so far.<br />

Thanks to the duo, 2023 is also the<br />

first time there are four wins for Italian<br />

riders over the opening five MotoGP<br />

races since 2006 when Loris Capirossi,<br />

Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri did<br />

the honours.


Razgatlioglu to leave<br />

Yamaha and join BMW<br />

A key piece of the 2024 MOTUL FIM<br />

Superbike World Championship rider<br />

line-up has fallen into place with Toprak<br />

Razgatlioglu joining up with the ROKiT<br />

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team from<br />

2024 on the M1000RR machine. BMW<br />

will become the third manufacturer<br />

Razgatlioglu has raced with in WorldSBK,<br />

following on from Kawasaki and Yamaha,<br />

when he links up with the team from the<br />

2024 season onwards.<br />

This bombshell was released moments<br />

after Yamaha and World SBK announced<br />

that Toprak would be leaving Yamaha at the<br />

end of the 2023 season. Literally minutes<br />

after this was plasted all over social media,<br />

the BMW announcement was made.<br />


story from 2020 to the present day<br />

Razgatlioglu moved to Yamaha for the 2020<br />

campaign and made an instant impact on<br />

the Yamaha YZF-R1 machine with victory<br />

in Race 1 at Phillip Island, his first race at<br />

Yamaha. He finished his 2020 campaign<br />

with two more wins at the Circuito Estoril<br />

to end his campaign on a high and this<br />

spurred him onto a title-winning 2021<br />

campaign. 13 wins and 29 podiums in total<br />

came from 37 races in 2021 as he beat<br />

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team<br />

WorldSBK) in a thrilling-season long fight to<br />

end the Ulsterman’s streak of titles.<br />

His form continued into the 2022<br />

campaign and he ended the year with<br />

more victories, 14, than he did in his titlewinning<br />

season but ultimately finished<br />

in second place behind Alvaro Bautista<br />

(Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). In 2022, he<br />

made history by becoming the rider with<br />

the most wins for Yamaha by passing the<br />

total held by Noriyuki Haga who secured<br />

27 wins for Yamaha during his WorldSBK<br />

career. Razgatlioglu has 11 podiums from<br />

12 races so far in the 2023 campaign,<br />

including one win at Mandalika in the<br />

Tissot Superpole Race.<br />

In total, Razgatlioglu has 31 wins with<br />

Yamaha and 47 further podium finishes<br />

with the R1 machine to date while he has<br />

also had two MotoGP tests with Yamaha.<br />

He will leave the factory as their second<br />

World Champion in WorldSBK from when<br />

he helped Yamaha win the Riders’, Teams’<br />

and Manufacturers’ Championships in<br />

2021, becoming the first rider since Ben<br />

Spies in 2009 to win the WorldSBK title on<br />

a Yamaha, bringing to an end a successful<br />

four-year partnership between Razgatlioglu<br />

and Yamaha.<br />

Prior to his time with Yamaha, Razgatlioglu<br />

spent two seasons with Kawasaki<br />

machinery at the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing<br />

team. He claimed 15 podiums across two<br />

campaigns with the ZX-10RR machine<br />

with his first in his rookie season coming at<br />

Donington Park. His first wins came a year<br />

later at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours<br />

when he won from 16th on the grid in both<br />

Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race.<br />

RAZGATLIOGLU SAYS: “If I am to stay<br />

in WorldSBK then I need a new target, a<br />

new ambition”<br />

26-year-old Razgatlioglu, who is also a<br />

STK600 title winner and STK1000 runnerup,<br />

will leave Yamaha at the end of the<br />

current campaign as he seeks a new<br />

challenge after four seasons with the<br />

Yamaha YZF-R1 machine. Both Yamaha<br />

and Razgatlioglu will still aim to fight for the<br />

title in the 2023 season although they find<br />

themselves trailing Bautista by 69 points in<br />

the Riders’ Championship standings.<br />

Discussing the announcement,<br />

Razgatlioglu said: “I want to say to the<br />

whole Yamaha family a very big thank you<br />

for the love and respect they have shown<br />

me. To win the World Championship was<br />

my dream when I signed with Yamaha,<br />

and we reached that goal together. For<br />

next season I feel I need a new challenge<br />

and while there was an opportunity<br />

in MotoGP, I didn’t feel the same<br />

connection with the MotoGP bike that<br />

I have with the superbike. But if I am<br />

to stay in WorldSBK then I need a new<br />

target, a new ambition. I am sorry to leave<br />

Yamaha, both the brand and the people,<br />

as we have a very good relationship, but<br />

change is part of any sport and normal for<br />

any professional. So, a big thank you to


Yamaha Motor Company, Yamaha Motor<br />

Europe, Yamaha Motor Turkiye, the Pata<br />

Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team and<br />

especially to my crew, who have all worked<br />

so hard for me.”<br />

properly reflected Toprak’s value as a<br />

rider and an ambassador for Yamaha, as<br />

well as the competitiveness of our racing<br />

package and our racing strategy within the<br />

WorldSBK platform.<br />

DOSOLI SAYS: “We made what we felt<br />

was an offer that properly reflected<br />

Toprak’s value as a rider”<br />

Razgatlioglu’s future had been up for<br />

debate with his contract expiring at the<br />

end of the 2023 season, after he signed a<br />

two-year deal to cover the 2022 and 2023<br />

seasons previously. With his future now<br />

lying away from Yamaha, Andrea Dosoli,<br />

Road Racing Manager at Yamaha Motor<br />

Europe, said: “We will be sorry to see<br />

Toprak leave Yamaha at the end of this<br />

season. We wanted to continue what has<br />

been an incredibly successful partnership,<br />

with the obvious highlight being the triple<br />

crown of rider, manufacturer, and team<br />

world titles that we won together in 2021.<br />

We made what we felt was an offer that<br />

“However, as the negotiations progressed<br />

it became apparent to both parties that<br />

Toprak is motivated to embrace a new<br />

challenge in 2024 and we respect his<br />

decision. Although our paths will diverge<br />

at the end of the year, we are now fully<br />

focused on the battle for the 2023<br />

WorldSBK title, which resumes shortly at<br />

Misano. Finally, I would like to thank Toprak<br />

on behalf of Yamaha but also personally, for<br />

his invaluable contribution to our WorldSBK<br />

project. His first World Championship title<br />

in 2021 was a just reward for him but also<br />

for all the people who, since we returned to<br />

WorldSBK in 2016, have worked so hard to<br />

make this project a success. It is a memory<br />

that everyone at Yamaha will cherish. We<br />

wish Toprak every success for the future<br />

but, for now, we have a job to finish.”<br />

FROM YAMAHA TO BMW: Razgatlioglu<br />

follows in van der Mark’s footsteps<br />

The 2021 Champion will have spent four<br />

seasons with Yamaha by the time his<br />

contract ends at the end of this season<br />

and so far he has won 33 races and taken<br />

a total of 93 podiums in WorldSBK career,<br />

31 and 78 of which respectively were with<br />

Yamaha while the remainder came when<br />

he was with Puccetti Kawasaki in 2018<br />

and 2019. Razgatlioglu’s teammate is<br />

currently unknown at this stage for 2024<br />

but he follows in the footsteps of his former<br />

teammate, Michael van der Mark, who<br />

made the switch for the 2021 campaign<br />

and is BMW’s last race winner, having<br />

won the Tissot Superpole Race in mixed<br />

conditions at Portimao in 2021.<br />

Razgatlioglu joined Yamaha for the 2020<br />

season and got off to a winning start with<br />

victory at Phillip Island in Race 1 in 2020,<br />

before following that up with two wins to<br />

end the season at Estoril. In 2021, he was<br />

engaged in a thrilling battle with Jonathan<br />

Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as<br />

he claimed his first world title while Alvaro<br />

Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) joined<br />

the fight in 2022 as he took Razgatlioglu’s<br />

crown despite the Turkish star winning<br />

more races in 2022 than his title-winning<br />

campaign. Now, after four seasons with<br />

Yamaha, Razgatlioglu will embark on a new<br />

challenge with BMW.<br />

Van der Mark made the switch from<br />

Yamaha to BMW for the 2021 campaign<br />

but he was not the first to do so. Marco<br />

Melandri made an instant impact in<br />

his rookie campaign with Yamaha but<br />

switched to BMW for the 2012 campaign<br />

and his switch proved to be a success as<br />

he led home BMW’s first ever 1-2 finish.<br />

Melandri’s stint with BMW means he<br />

remains the German manufacturer’s most<br />

successful rider, something Razgatlioglu<br />

will look to emulate and beat following his<br />

switch to BMW.


BMW SAYS: “A forward-looking step for<br />

our project… Toprak is undoubtedly one<br />

of the best riders”<br />

Razgatlioglu will line up on the M1000RR<br />

for the 2024 campaigns after four<br />

seasons with Yamaha as he joins up with<br />

BMW on the M1000RR to become the<br />

third manufacturer he has raced with in<br />

WorldSBK. Discussing his arrival to the<br />

team, Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad<br />

Motorsport Director, said: “Toprak is<br />

undoubtedly one of the best riders in<br />

the field at the moment, which he not<br />

only proved by winning the 2021 World<br />

Championship title. But he’s not just a<br />

fast motorcycle racer, he’s also a great<br />

personality off the track. We are convinced<br />

that Toprak will settle into the BMW<br />

Motorrad Motorsport family very quickly.<br />

We are looking forward to our collaboration<br />

and to our future together.”<br />

Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW<br />

Motorrad, added: “Welcome to the BMW<br />

Motorrad Motorsport family, Toprak<br />

Razgatlioglu. We are delighted to welcome<br />

him to our WorldSBK factory squad from<br />

next season on. I am very proud that<br />

Toprak has opted to join BMW Motorrad.<br />

This is a forward-looking step for our<br />

project and a strong commitment of BMW<br />

Motorrad Motorsport in World Superbike.”<br />

Plenty of questions, not many answers:<br />

the key topics to follow as Razgatlioglu<br />

goes to BMW in 2024<br />

Usually, breaks are used for testing, some<br />

would say a bit of relaxing, perhaps some<br />

marketing. Occasionally, there’s a rider<br />

announcement about a renewal, but very<br />

few times do we see a major bit of ‘silly<br />

season’ news that has come to fruition.<br />

Well, if you’ve been under a rock during<br />

recent hours, 2021 WorldSBK Champion<br />

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha<br />

Prometeon WorldSBK) is leaving Yamaha<br />

and heading to the ROKiT BMW Motorrad<br />

WorldSBK Team for 2024. As expected,<br />

there’s been a myriad of questions about<br />

the move, the reason and what’s next for<br />

the existing BMW and Yamaha riders.<br />

We’ve seen your questions and now, try our<br />

best to answer them.<br />

than in 2021’s title-winning season. The<br />

BMW isn’t short on top speed, and perhaps<br />

Razgatlioglu’s search of a “new target,<br />

a new challenge” means to develop the<br />

bike into a winner, getting it to turn better<br />

in the middle of the corner and getting the<br />

power down on corner exit. There may also<br />

be a new project underway for BMW in<br />

WorldSBK; the manufacturer brought major<br />

updates in 2023, it may have more lined up.<br />

Why has Toprak Razgatlioglu moved<br />

to BMW?<br />

It’s a fair question; the BMW hasn’t won<br />

a race in the dry and it has struggled to<br />

challenge regularly for podiums, unlike the<br />

Yamaha which is a proven Championship<br />

winning package and one of the easier<br />

bikes for rookies and graduates to ride.<br />

However, it’s clear that Razgatlioglu has a<br />

top speed deficit in comparison to Alvaro<br />

Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), and<br />

the Bautista-Ducati package make a<br />

Championship challenge trickier to mount<br />

Who will be Toprak’s teammate in 2024?<br />

It’s probably the biggest question right<br />

now in the paddock. Marc Bongers gave<br />

limited information when asked about the<br />

2024 line-up in Barcelona, and with Michael<br />

van der Mark out injured for a third stint<br />

in just a year and a half, the Dutchman<br />

could be feeling the heat. However, after<br />

Razgatlioglu’s announcement to BMW was<br />

made, the #60 shared “welcome Abi” to<br />

his Instagram story, suggesting that he may<br />

well be staying with BMW.


As for Scott Redding, the British rider is behind<br />

Independent rider Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action<br />

BMW) and in races where both Redding and van der<br />

Mark have finished, it’s 3-2 in Mikey’s favour, even<br />

if the #45 scored more points. He’s questioned his<br />

BMW future, saying he’ll “consider options” and it’s<br />

“hard to wait.” Redding and Razgatlioglu have got<br />

previous fallout, clashing on numerous occasions<br />

– notably at Most in Race 1 both in 2021 and 2022.<br />

Until an official statement is made, we can only go<br />

on what we know: both current riders aren’t signed<br />

for 2024. We could in theory see a whole new lineup.<br />

Gerloff, like van der Mark, “welcomed” Toprak to<br />

BMW and stated he “thinks he’ll like” the bike, even<br />

if the #31 will be in the Independent team. Redding<br />

hasn’t commented.<br />

If not Redding, what happens next for the #45?<br />

30-year-old Scott Redding came to WorldSBK and<br />

was instantly a Championship contender, winning<br />

races and finishing as runner-up in his rookie<br />

season. Third in his second year before moving to<br />

BMW, race wins seem a long time ago as Redding<br />

has undoubtedly struggle with the switch to inline<br />

four machinery, away from the Panigale V4 R<br />

which he came to WorldSBK aboard. Redding has<br />

questioned his own future as we’ve stated above,<br />

but what would those “options” be?<br />

A return to Ducati? Perhaps, emulating Bautista,<br />

who likewise had two years away on inline four<br />

machinery at Honda and upon returning, was a<br />

better rider for it. Redding’s also been vocal about<br />

the Ducati’s top speed advantage so if you can’t<br />

beat them, maybe (re)join them? Unlikely, as Ducati<br />

have plenty of riders already waiting, such as current<br />

rider Rinaldi, his arch-rival Axel Bassani (Motocorsa<br />

Racing), Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team)<br />

and WorldSSP Championship leader, Nicolo Bulega<br />

(Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). What about Yamaha<br />

or Honda? A straight swap with Toprak is always<br />

possible and Yamaha will want an established race<br />

winner, but does Redding fit with Yamaha’s ethos of<br />

developing young talent? As for Honda, they’re the<br />

one team that have been quiet, whilst Alex Lowes’<br />

(Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) contract expires<br />

at the end of 2023.<br />

Will Phil Marron move with Razgatlioglu to BMW?<br />

Phil Marron has been Razgatlioglu’s crew chief<br />

since 2019, when Toprak was at Puccetti Kawasaki.<br />

Marron moved to Yamaha with Toprak, as Les<br />

Pearson – previous crew chief to van der Mark<br />

within the team – moved over to the GRT outfit with<br />

Garrett Gerloff, and Andrew Pitt moved to van der<br />

Mark’s side. Marron came from working with Shaun<br />

Muir Racing in 2018, when he was crew chief to<br />

Eugene Laverty. It makes sense that Razgatlioglu<br />

brings Marron to BMW, with their close-knit<br />

relationship; after all, a rider’s crew chief is a vital<br />

personal link as much as technical and it’s about<br />

having understanding. Bautista and Giulio Nava are<br />

the same, as are Rea and Pere Riba. The current<br />

crew chiefs at BMW are Ian Lord for Redding and<br />

Marcus Eschenbacher for van der Mark.<br />

What happens to Yamaha and who will replace<br />

Razgatlioglu?<br />

It’s an obvious question with not an obvious answer.<br />

A day after it was publicised that Toprak will leave<br />

for 2024, Andrea Locatelli was announced as<br />

staying with the team until 2025, making him the<br />

longest-serving factory Yamaha rider in WorldSBK<br />

at five straight years. The only others currently with<br />

a 2024 deal are Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing<br />

Team WorldSBK), Alvaro Bautista and Garrett<br />

Gerloff. Team HRC’s Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge,<br />

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati),<br />

Alex Lowes and both 2023 factory BMWs Scott<br />

Redding and Michael van der Mark are all available.<br />

Lowes and van der Mark have been at Yamaha<br />

before as teammates, whilst the others haven’t.


Could Yamaha promote an<br />

independent rider?<br />

With Yamaha’s racing ethos, progression<br />

is key. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT<br />

Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was promoted<br />

from WorldSSP after two dominant titles<br />

and has been a strong in 2023, with two<br />

front rows and amazing late race pace<br />

seeing him with a best of P4. Teammate<br />

Remy Gardner is improving all the<br />

time too, whilst for Lorenzo Baldassarri<br />

(GMT94 Yamaha) and Brad Ray (Yamaha<br />

Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), it’s unlikely<br />

they move into the factory team. Of current<br />

Independent Yamaha riders, the bestplaced<br />

in the Championship is Aegerter,<br />

27 points clear of teammate Gardner, one<br />

ahead of Rinaldi and 18 from P5’s Axel<br />

Bassani.<br />

What is BMW’s strategy to success and<br />

why hire Razgatlioglu?<br />

A final thought on BMW’s unequivocal<br />

desire to win and challenge for titles from<br />

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport<br />

Director: “Toprak is undoubtedly one of<br />

the best riders in the field at the moment,<br />

which he proved by winning the 2021<br />

World Championship. He’s not just a<br />

fast motorcycle racer, he’s also a great<br />

personality off the track. We’re convinced<br />

that Toprak will settle into the BMW<br />

Motorrad Motorsport family very quickly.”<br />

Dr Markus Schramm, head of BMW<br />

Motorrad, added: “I’m very proud that<br />

Toprak has opted to join BMW Motorrad.<br />

This is a forward-looking step for our<br />

project and a strong commitment of BMW<br />

Motorrad Motorsport in WorldSBK.”


What conclusions can we<br />

draw from Tom Sykes’ return<br />

to BMW after Misano Test?<br />

Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad<br />

WorldSBK Team) stole the headlines the<br />

day before the recent Misano test as he<br />

was confirmed as Michael van der Mark’s<br />

replacement until the Dutchman is back<br />

from injury, after splitting with the Kawasaki<br />

Puccetti Racing team. The #66 was back on<br />

a BMW M1000 RR throughout two days of<br />

testing in Italy, so what can we expect going<br />

forward?<br />

ONE LAP PACE: Sykes’ best strength still<br />

strong, faster than Redding on Day 1<br />

Day one of action at Misano saw Sykes<br />

finish as the top factory BMW in P7, whilst<br />

full-time teammate Scott Redding was only<br />

P11. Whilst it was impressive from Sykes to<br />

get a lap in faster than his teammate – given<br />

the updates and changes that have been<br />

undergone in the team since Sykes left,<br />

such as a new brake supplier and new aero<br />

package – the race pace is slightly different.<br />

RACE PACE: Sykes competitive,<br />

Redding faster<br />

Perhaps as expected, Sykes wasn’t able to<br />

match his teammate. On day one, Sykes<br />

set 22 1’35s and four 1’34s, with a fastest<br />

lap coming as his final flying lap with a<br />

1’34.416. He set a five lap run, all in the<br />

1’35s and high 1’35s at that, whilst a six<br />

lap run followed straight after a trip in the<br />

pitlane and he was faster, with mid 1’35s.<br />

His final four flying laps were all inside<br />

the 1’34s, so it was a strong day for the<br />

returning #66.<br />

Teammate Scott Redding was quicker in<br />

overall race pace, with ten 1’34s and 26<br />

1’35s. In terms of his runs, Redding set a<br />

six-lap run with two laps in the 1’35s before<br />

getting down to the 1’34s, whilst a final run<br />

of the day saw the #45 set three mid 1’34s,<br />

where his fastest time came as a 1’34.637s,<br />

just over two tenths slower than Sykes over<br />

one lap. Sykes set fewer laps than Redding,<br />

with 61 (of which 40 were officially timed<br />

laps, vs Redding’s 83, of which 57 were<br />

timed. On the second day, the story was<br />

much the same, although Redding lapped<br />

faster than Sykes, albeit not quicker than<br />

day one’s time for either of them.<br />


Tom is there… he has got good pace”<br />

Speaking about Sykes returning, team<br />

principal Shaun Muir was happy to have<br />

him back: “For us, good to have Tom back<br />

and have him as a reference point. We can’t<br />

make any commitment long-term to Tom.<br />

It’s a big chance for him to prove what level<br />

he’s still at and I could see from only one<br />

hour on track, the old Tom is there. We<br />

know he’s quick, we know he has pace.<br />

That ticks one box.”<br />

Evaluating the opening day, Muir’s praise<br />

continued: “Tom started with a base bike<br />

and we made some very minor changes<br />

to the bike, mainly ergonomically. We got<br />

him feeling really comfortable and I’m really<br />

pleased for him. Everyone can question his<br />

level and his ability and his commitment,<br />

but what we saw on day one was that he<br />

has got good pace. He jumped on the<br />

bike and immediately, he was really good<br />

to get the feedback in the improvements<br />

the bike and the team have made over the<br />

last season whilst he’s not been with us.<br />

That was really strong. It is important to<br />

get technical feedback and we know Tom<br />

is a good feedback rider and test rider.<br />

His development skills we’ve had so far<br />

have contributed to the development of the<br />

M1000 RR.”<br />

SYKES WITH HIGH HOPES: “I hope to<br />

have some good results… I’ve been given<br />

a great opportunity”<br />

“I know the team and bike from previous<br />

years and everything has been relaxed<br />

and like clockwork on day one,” began<br />

Sykes after the opening day.”Lap by lap,<br />

I was getting the old feeling back with the<br />

package, but it’s clear that they’ve made<br />

steps forward from the last time I rode<br />

it. Ultimately, here at Misano, a circuit I<br />

enjoy, so it was a good, productive day.<br />

Compliments to all the guys and BMW,<br />

they’ve made a big step forward in a lot of<br />

areas and that was very easy for me to see.<br />

There’s been small changes to my position<br />

on the bike compared to Michael and some<br />

little tweaks to setup and that was literally it.


In the latter stages of the day, we got a good<br />

feeling with the race tyre and that brings a<br />

smile to my face.”<br />

Talking about what he wants to get out of<br />

his time back in the BMW saddle, Sykes<br />

was coy, but hopes that he can enjoy it:<br />

“Little personal goals but it all depends<br />

how many rounds I do. We all know Mikey,<br />

I couldn’t believe it when I saw him in the<br />

gym just after having his femur fixed. I wish<br />

him a speedy recovery as it wasn’t pretty at<br />

Assen. I’ll just take it round by round and<br />

see where that leads to. Ultimately, looking<br />

at the short term like Misano, Donington<br />

Park and Imola, which are all circuit that<br />

I enjoy, so hopefully we can work in the<br />

way we’ve done at the test, as it’s been<br />

really productive. If we can work like that<br />

in the next rounds, I really hope to have<br />

some good results. I’ve been given a great<br />

opportunity, I want to try and enjoy it and<br />

see where we go after that.”<br />

AT THE END OF THE… TEST: positivity is<br />

word of the day<br />

Speaking at the end of the whole test<br />

and after finishing day two in P11 and not<br />

improving his time, Sykes said: “Ultimately,<br />

I am very happy with the test and I’m<br />

getting a bit more of an understanding of<br />

where the guys have made some lovely<br />

steps since last riding the bike. Today, we<br />

went through some items so it took a bit<br />

of sting out of the tail as we spent some<br />

time evaluating that and then in between<br />

the rain and sunshine, the guys did a great<br />

job. Myself and Scott have been working<br />

on the items and it has gathered some very<br />

good information on how to improve some<br />

limitations. The guys have got time to react<br />

and from that, hopefully it’s moving forward<br />

all of the time. For me, it’s good to get an<br />

understanding for the next event. The goal<br />

is to be competitive and enjoy my racing,<br />

so we shall see. We’ve had some good<br />

results here in the past with the BMW both<br />

in Superpole and in the races, so it’d be<br />

lovely to repeat the podium success. I think<br />

that’d be a fantastic target. There’s a lot of<br />

competition but I think if we keep working,<br />

we can find more speed than what we<br />

showed during the test.”<br />


it go?<br />

In 2022, it was Scott Redding who replaced<br />

Sykes at BMW but in that proverbial ‘funny<br />

old world’, they’re now teammates. Sykes<br />

spoke about working in the box with him:<br />

“I’ve not really seen him much. We had<br />

a conversation on Instagram a couple of<br />

months ago but regarding in the box, I<br />

thought I might get a pot of tea and get<br />

to know him. But as soon as he’s finished<br />

riding, he’s on his push bike and gone, so<br />

I don’t really see him! Honestly, I think it’s<br />

good that we have very similar comments<br />

on the items, and that’s always good for the<br />

forward momentum.”

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />

N E W K T M 8 9 0 D U K E G P<br />


We at <strong>MRW</strong> are very familiar with<br />

KTM’s 890 Duke having not so<br />

long ago lived with one for over 6<br />

months as a long-termer. So when<br />

we found out there was a new<br />

variant, we just had to pop into<br />

RAD KTM and take it for a spin.<br />

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Beam Productions<br />


Now with a name ending in GP, you would<br />

be forgiven to think that this bike will be<br />

higher specced than the 890 Duke R.<br />

Unfortunately that’s not the case. So what<br />

is it then? KTM market the 890 Duke GP<br />

as an exciting visual alternative to the base<br />

890 and 890 Duke R. And that is essentially<br />

what it is. Fitted with KTM’s trademark “R”<br />

orange wheels, an orange paint job with a<br />

KTM MotoGP-inspired graphics kit, and a<br />

seat cowl as standard. The frame and swingarm<br />

remain unchanged as does most of the<br />

bike, to be honest. The overall design of this<br />

bike remains aggressive and intimidating<br />

but also manages to be one of the lightest<br />

bikes(169kg Dry) in its segment, which<br />

translates positively when riding it.<br />

Unfortunately, the WP suspension is rather<br />

basic and lacks adjustability, unlike the R’s<br />

fully adjustable WP suspension. A set of WP<br />

APEX 43mm open cartridge upside-down<br />

forks take care of things up front, making<br />

use of split function technology. The front<br />

fork makes use of linear springs which are<br />

not only lightweight but also guarantee<br />

intuitive feedback and feel, with the base<br />

valves improving high-speed damping. The<br />

brakes are also KTM branded and not the<br />

proper Brembos you get on the R. Even so,<br />

the two radially mounted four-piston fixed<br />

calipers​ and two 300 mm discs upfront<br />

single disc, and a single-piston floating<br />

caliper at the rear provide all the stopping<br />

power you’d ever need. But in case you<br />

need more, both ends are supported by<br />

KTM’s Cornering ABS. and Supermoto<br />

mode for those who like to go sideways.<br />

The details seem more subtle on the GP<br />

which is strange as they should have used<br />

the opportunity with its name to create<br />

something truly special.








The motor remains the same, albeit with less power and<br />

torque, 115HP/92NM of torque compared to 121HP/99NM<br />

of torque from the R mainly thanks to an increase in bore and<br />

stroke, higher compression, and a higher RPM limit. You still<br />

get 3 riding modes (Rain, Street, and Sport) plus the optional<br />

track package which I still believe should be standard. It’s like<br />

going to Spur, ordering a steak, and not getting your sauce<br />

or chips with it. The riding position remains aggressively and<br />

typically naked but still comfy enough to be in the saddle all<br />

day long. Speaking about the saddle the 820mm seat height<br />

remains modest and average in its segment. The fuel tank<br />

remains at 14 litres, 14 litres of fun and fury but if you ride<br />

nicely you will get around 250km on a tank.<br />

POWER<br />

114 bhp @<br />

10,500 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

92 Nm<br />

TANK<br />


14 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

820mm<br />

DRY<br />

WEIGHT<br />


It’s a KTM Duke - its<br />

front wheel has to be<br />

thrown in the air... like<br />

you just don’t care.<br />

After spending some time on the GP, and comparing it to<br />

the R, I could immediately notice a difference in the handling<br />

department. It wasn’t as direct and felt more plush and softer<br />

than the R, and lacked a certain amount of feedback. As did<br />

the brakes which worked well and were fade-free but still<br />

fell short when comparing them to the R’s Brembos. The<br />

GP is still a great, well-finished product, dont get me wrong,<br />

I was just expecting a little more, especially when I saw the<br />

word GP. The motor is still aggressively smooth as is the<br />

bidirectional quick-shifter which causes the GP, much like its<br />

siblings to pop on upshifts. The 890 Duke GP is still insanely<br />

quick and sporty in the corners ensuring knee-dragging fun<br />

around every bend - you just look better doing it now with the<br />

new “GP” inspired colour scheme.<br />

The GP is an enticing package and priced at R206 999.00,<br />

it still offers great bang for buck and is a rather enticing<br />

package for those who want something a bit more simple that<br />

doesn’t look it. Give RAD KTM a call today on (011) 234-5007<br />

to arrange a demo on this and the full range of KTM road and<br />

adventure bikes.

RACING<br />




German<br />



Read Marc Marquez and Mir’s comments as<br />

we take a closer look at the performance of<br />

Honda’s Kalex chassis in Le Mans

Honda’s much talked about Kalex chassis made<br />

its debut in a Grand Prix weekend at the French<br />

GP. After trying it on the Friday morning, both Marc<br />

Marquez and Repsol Honda Team teammate Joan<br />

Mir continued to use it throughout the weekend,<br />

including in the Tissot Sprint and GP race. So what<br />

does that tell us?<br />

We’ll start on the Friday, where both Marquez and Mir<br />

began MotoGP Practice 1 with their regular chassis<br />

before then switching over to the Kalex one and trying<br />

it out for size. The question we all wanted to know the<br />

answer to was: would the Kalex chassis provide a big<br />

change?<br />

At the end of Friday both Marquez and Mir offered<br />

some interesting comments when chatting to the<br />

media, with the latter mentioning that “he could feel<br />

a bit better” with the Kalex chassis and he was “able<br />

to ride more comfortable but it’s quite different.” That<br />

difference is always going to be trickier for the #36 as<br />

he’s still getting used to how a V4 should be raced,<br />

having made the switch from Suzuki’s inline-four for<br />

2023. On the other hand, Marquez has been riding V4s<br />

his whole premier class career, so the #93 was able to<br />

get stuck into the details a little more straight away.<br />

“It’s another step in some areas<br />

in this circuit, but we need<br />

more steps. It’s not the only<br />

step we need. We need more<br />

steps. We are still losing too<br />

much, we are [trying] too much<br />

on the brakes, because we are<br />

losing in acceleration and on<br />

the straight. So we are on the<br />

brakes a lot. For that reason<br />

we are pushing a lot the front,”<br />

said Marquez in Le Mans.<br />

Straight away, it appeared that while the Kalex<br />

chassis could be a step in the right direction, there’s<br />

still plenty more that Honda need to bring them up<br />

to the level they’re craving. That being said, it was no<br />

real surprise that both Marquez and Mir ran the Kalex<br />

chassis throughout Saturday.

On Saturday evening, Marquez seemed quite positive overall<br />

about what he had learned from the Kalex chassis, with his<br />

main feedback being that it allowed for more margin of error<br />

with the front end of his RC213V.<br />

“It looks like with the Kalex<br />

[chassis] you need to adapt the<br />

riding style a bit, you need to go<br />

fast into the corner, but it’s not<br />

necessary to push... you can do<br />

some more mistakes. You can go<br />

wide, come back. With the other<br />

one [standard Honda chassis],<br />

it’s so critical, and it’s so difficult<br />

to understand the front tyre. But<br />

with this one [Kalex chassis] it<br />

looks like you have more warning.”

However, while the eight-time World Champion<br />

talked up the better front end feeling, he also<br />

said that he preferred his standard chassis in<br />

the middle of the corner, noting that it had better<br />

turning performance.<br />

On the other side of the garage, after finishing<br />

P14 in the Sprint, this is what Mir had to say about<br />

the Kalex chassis.<br />

“I had some trouble to really<br />

stop the bike and hold the<br />

line and then I couldn’t…<br />

What I want to do, I can’t do<br />

it. I can’t do it. I think that at<br />

the moment the team don’t<br />

understand what I need<br />

to be strong. Also, I don’t<br />

understand what I have to do<br />

to ride this bike in a better<br />

way and to perform.”<br />

It’s interesting that Mir mentions about not<br />

being able to hold the line. Does this confirm he<br />

also feels the same way regarding Marquez’s<br />

comments about the standard chassis having<br />

better turning? Probably.<br />

On Sunday, it looked like Marquez managed to<br />

take another step forward with the Kalex chassis.<br />

Only a late Turn 7 crash stopped him from<br />

claiming a fantastic comeback podium. However,<br />

Marquez wasn’t getting carried away about the<br />

Kalex chassis post-race.<br />

“I mean of course the chassis has a small<br />

difference, and it’s a small help. But it’s not<br />

the solution. Mir was using the chassis, and<br />

Mir is a World Champion, and you saw he was<br />

struggling, he was in the back, and he crashed<br />

again. So we need to change something for<br />

the future, to be more competitive, to be safer,<br />

because every year, the Honda riders are at the<br />

top of the crash rankings.”<br />

More than anything this quote summed up exactly<br />

the step that the Kalex chassis has given Honda.<br />

Yes, it has given them a step forward and it has<br />

given them a great opportunity to now go away,<br />

study the data and come back with something<br />

that hopefully offers a big improvement. But as<br />

Marquez explains, it’s a small help and only a first<br />

step on what is still a very long road to get back<br />

to the top. The Spaniard also reiterated exactly<br />

where Honda are losing out to their rivals and just<br />

how much of a difference he’s making in limiting<br />

the other weaknesses.<br />

“It’s true that here is a bit better, because in the<br />

two main acceleration [zones], it’s one of my<br />

riding styles’ strong points. I was picking up the<br />

bike a lot, and I control the gas really well, and for<br />

that reason we were not losing a lot. But in Sector<br />

2 for example, where you are depending a lot on<br />

the grip of your bike, there I was losing a lot. But<br />

we didn’t have more.”<br />

One important thing to note regarding Mir was the<br />

progress he’d made throughout the weekend in<br />

terms of his pace. Another crash on Sunday was<br />

far from ideal, but his three laps before the crash<br />

were his best race laps all weekend. In addition,<br />

the lap before his crash was three and a half<br />

tenths quicker than his best Sprint lap.<br />

“The important thing is that<br />

in the race, I think we found<br />

something,” said Mir. “I was<br />

able to do 1:<strong>32</strong> lows until<br />

the crash, missing a bit the<br />

consistency to repeat it. But<br />

the speed was more or less<br />

there. Yesterday I was one<br />

second off the pace, and<br />

today two tenths from the<br />

top. So it’s a huge step.”

But more than that, Mir’s progression isn’t just<br />

about riding a chassis that works better. The bike<br />

is a total shift from what he’s used to and he’s still<br />

trying to figure out the basics of how to go fast on<br />

it and be comfortable at the same time.<br />

“We modified a bit the geometry, trying to<br />

understand a bit what I need. And I was able to<br />

ride better. This was the step,” confirmed Mir to<br />

the media.<br />

So then, a summary: Honda’s Kalex chassis.<br />

It’s provided the Japanese giants with a step<br />

forward, while it’s also allowed both riders to ride<br />

have more margin for error and ride in a more<br />

comfortable way.<br />

Crucial steps forward, but it’s far from the finished<br />

article and that golden ticket that is going to<br />

propel them back into the realms of being the –<br />

or one of the – quickest bikes every weekend. It<br />

remains a tricky motorcycle to operate, something<br />

Mir pointed out.<br />













“You are on a knife edge.<br />

More than physically, it’s<br />

more mentally. Mentally it<br />

destroys you, because you<br />

have to be super, super<br />

precise, always fighting<br />

with the front, trying<br />

to not over try, because<br />

then it’s worse. And it’s<br />

a little bit difficult and<br />

completely different from<br />

the bike that I experienced<br />

before.”<br />

Nevertheless, there does appear to be light at the<br />

end of the tunnel for Honda. Marquez boasted<br />

great speed straight away after a month and a<br />

half out of action, and Mir made a significant step<br />

forward on Sunday.

RACING<br />



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




2023 MotoGP is already deep into the next chapter<br />

of motorcycle aerodynamics as the quest for<br />

peak downforce, stability and speed continues at<br />

pace. How is KTM keeping in the game? We asked<br />

aerodynamic team leader, Dan Marshall, at the<br />

race workshop in Munderfing.

MotoGP machinery looks very different compared<br />

to ten years ago. Race fairings are now artfully<br />

and carefully structured sculptures, using curves,<br />

wings, and profile to bend airflow at 360 kmph<br />

around the motorcycle. Grand Prix bikes look<br />

low-slung, dragster-ish and at the same time<br />

futuristic and menacing as the battle for expensive<br />

aerodynamic superiority rushes ahead and within<br />

homologation guidelines (the bike has to fit into<br />

an agreed ‘stencil’ shape). The R&D work is not<br />

created simply by 3D printers, slung into a wind<br />

tunnel, and honed purely for performance: look<br />

at the lines of a KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR or<br />

– more specifically – the aero of the 2023 KTM<br />

RC 8C to see how MotoGP thinking has been<br />

able to penetrate production and end up in the<br />

customers’ hands.<br />

In the chase for the right amount of downforce to<br />

aid braking and turning and win precious tenths<br />

of a second KTM have expanded their efforts and<br />

engaged the know-how of Red Bull Advanced<br />

Technologies; a major technical body that have<br />

helped the Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 team to<br />

two titles in the last two seasons. The effort is<br />

necessary. At the Portimao pre-season test 18<br />

riders were separated by just one second in the<br />

time sheets. KTM then flew to top seven results<br />

at the same circuit and Brad Binder claimed the<br />

second-ever Sprint in Argentina a week later. The<br />

USA and Spain saw tight but exciting contests<br />

where KTM emerged as protagonists; Binder<br />

again the ‘Sprint King’ in Jerez.<br />

The all new KTM RC 8C honed for pure<br />

performance along with the new aero.<br />

When the guys are on the ragged edge, then a<br />

smooth and optimized edge is the only way…and<br />

there are only two chances to homologate aero<br />

packages during the campaign. To ask how KTM<br />

has worked with RBAT for the KTM RC16 MotoGP<br />

racer and why the collaboration was beneficial,<br />

we were able to corner Lead Aerodynamicist Dan<br />

Marshall, who heads a small team in Munderfing,<br />

to explain some of this secret, pricey and often<br />

undervalued world of expertise.<br />

Firstly Dan, how did you end up in charge of<br />

aero in the KTM Race Department?<br />

I worked for ten years in F1 and in aerodynamics<br />

for Force India. I’ve always had a passion for<br />

motorcycles, so I took my career into two-wheels<br />

and motorbikes when the opportunity with<br />

KTM came up. They wanted to push more into<br />

aerodynamics when it was becoming obvious<br />

around five years ago that there was a growing<br />

importance for competitiveness. Since then,<br />

I’ve been able to build a small but efficient team<br />

using all the different resources from KTM, KTM<br />

Technologies, KISKA and so on, as well as the<br />

recent partnership with Red Bull Advanced<br />

Technologies [RBAT].<br />

Jack Miller, long-slung and<br />

dragster-ish through the pure<br />

downforce created by the<br />

winglet on the rear.

Aerodynamics are now much more integrated into<br />

overall bike performance, right?<br />

Yes, through our journey in the last five years we<br />

have improved our understanding of a motorbike<br />

through the whole lap rather than solely looking at<br />

straight line speed, which was the focus of a lot of<br />

aerodynamic performance work in the past. With this<br />

understanding from the Vehicle Dynamic department,<br />

we know where we can apply aerodynamic loads<br />

in other places to make the bike quicker in braking<br />

or cornering or acceleration. You always get to a<br />

point in development where you have squeezed<br />

everything out of one area, so you start looking at<br />

other ones to find more speed. If you take the pure<br />

drag of a motorcycle then there a lot of things we’d<br />

like to do but then you’d end-up with something out<br />

of the 1950s again. So, we had to keep thinking of the<br />

general picture.<br />

It was no secret that KTM struggled in the preseason<br />

testing. They were missing something, and<br />

then they rocked up at the first race in Portugal<br />

with a new rear end winglet. Jack tried it from the<br />

word go with good results. Brad also went on to try<br />

it that same weekend and improved his times and<br />

feeling with the bike. Since then it has been apparent<br />

in every session. Below you can see the two different<br />

types KTM have tested. Dani (26) tested the<br />

latest version at Jerez, which both Brad and Jack<br />

went on to use at the following GP at LeMans.<br />

Different riders and different preferences<br />

– Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s test<br />

rider and MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa<br />

testing a slightly updated aero package.

It might be quite hard for some people to still<br />

accept that a shape of a MotoGP fairing is critical<br />

for performance, particularly when you consider<br />

the technical complexity of the bike inside…<br />

Yes, certainly until the last couple of years.<br />

I’ve analyzed the subject and if you look at the<br />

aerodynamic evolution of a race bike then nothing<br />

majorly significant happened from 1960s until the<br />

end of the millennium. Even when other brands<br />

started putting fins onto the bikes they were just<br />

bolting them onto an existing fairing. Now we<br />

understand a lot more about how the wings and<br />

the fairing interact and we don’t consider them<br />

independent but more as a singular body working<br />

aerodynamically. We are now trying to cast aside<br />

this perception of what a motorcycle should look<br />

like and consider what is better for performance.<br />

The other aspect is that a lot of people have a<br />

very emotional attachment to a motorcycle and<br />

how it looks. When you start applying all these<br />

appendages then it ruins it a little! I think at KTM<br />

we make a little bit more effort than some other<br />

competitors with regards to aesthetics. We work<br />

with KISKA a lot and for sure our bosses want<br />

to see a good-looking motorcycle. There is an<br />

emotional attachment and personal opinions<br />

going into the design and graphics.<br />

Can you really get hands-on with aero parts<br />

and 3D printing? Or is most of the work done in<br />

CAD design?<br />

You have to get hands-on. It’s about education as<br />

well, showing people that have a lot of knowledge<br />

– but maybe not so much racing experience –<br />

about development and simulations. It’s also<br />

about showing mechanics and then design<br />

specialists what we need from them. We have a<br />

good working relationship with these groups, but<br />

the form of the bike now has to be about much<br />

more than styling.<br />

KTM’s<br />

aerodynamics<br />

developed,<br />

tested and tried<br />

by none other<br />

than our very<br />

own Red Bull<br />

KTM Factory<br />

Racing riders.<br />

PC @KISKA<br />

So how does the collaboration with Red Bull<br />

Advanced Technologies work for you?<br />

How do you feel about it and what difference<br />

has it made?<br />

I’m grateful that we have fully realized how<br />

important aerodynamics is in MotoGP now. It’s<br />

always something I have fundamentally believed<br />

in. It’s good that we’ve reacted and asked: ‘how<br />

do we go about winning a world championship?’<br />

and then taking advantage of the fact that there<br />

was a possibility to work with Red Bull Advanced<br />

Technologies. We didn’t know how it would work<br />

initially but I was fully onboard; anything to help<br />

the race bike go faster around the track. We are<br />

still leading the project and specifying the targets.<br />

It has also been a learning experience for them.<br />

It is a two-way partnership and, of course, we<br />

have been trying to learn as much from them as<br />

possible and they have been learning from our<br />

greater understanding of motorcycle behavior.<br />

I believe they underestimated how detailed and<br />

complicated it can be. They didn’t realize the level<br />

that we’re working at.<br />

In terms of logistics how has it been?<br />

Pretty good considering we are 1000 kms apart.<br />

Since the pandemic the culture of online meetings<br />

has soared. Plus, we have a lot of tools set up to<br />

help with data transfer. They visit us periodically<br />

and when they do it’s a big help.<br />

You mentioned an ‘underestimation’; that was<br />

just about motorcycle dynamics?<br />

Yes, that’s one of the cool things about working<br />

at KTM because most of the people seem to<br />

be motorbike freaks and it gives that extra bit<br />

of understanding that can help with the job.<br />

Not everybody here is like that – and you don’t<br />

have to be – but it helps at a basic level. The<br />

RBAT engineers are really smart guys, and the<br />

advantage is that they can then think in alternative<br />

ways which might bring better performance. The<br />

good thing is that they are smart and experienced,<br />

which means they listen to us and try things. It’s<br />

not as though they have steamrolled in and said:<br />

‘this is the best package for you, go away and<br />

make it’. There has been a lot of give-and-take.

What has been the result?<br />

They have lots of resources, so they<br />

are designing and simulating at a much<br />

faster rate. They had our base package<br />

from 2022, started working and then<br />

took hold of our 2023 package which<br />

we had developed in-house. They saw<br />

what we were doing and homed-in on the<br />

performance that we’d found and evolved<br />

it faster to come up with a next-generation<br />

shape. We took that to Sepang to test. It’s<br />

nice for me to see because it validates<br />

what we have been doing and that our<br />

methods and understanding are correct<br />

because their team carried on in the<br />

same way.<br />

Brad Binder cornering smoothly<br />

around Circuito de Jerez with the<br />

2023 aerodynamic using resources<br />

from different KTM departments.<br />

How do you see the future with<br />

aerodynamics in MotoGP?<br />

I think it could go a couple of ways. With<br />

the racing now we have seen a trend of<br />

less overtaking and I believe this is partly<br />

due to the heavier aerodynamics of the<br />

bike and being harder to come out of the<br />

slipstream and complete the overtake.<br />

So, aerodynamics could be banned;<br />

hopefully not and how can you ban<br />

something that is naturally aerodynamic<br />

like a race bike pushing through the air?<br />

They could follow the F1 route and allow<br />

some active aerodynamics like a DRS<br />

system. I’m not a big fan of DRS or KERS<br />

because its manipulation of the racing.<br />

A route could be to allow some room for<br />

aerodynamic creativity and freedom but<br />

without the mass of wake and turbulence,<br />

which was the problem years ago with the<br />

original wings. Riders were complaining<br />

about the vortexes and turbulent air. They<br />

are still there and, if anything, probably<br />

worse than they were five-seven years<br />

ago because there are so many aero<br />

parts on the bike. The aerodynamic<br />

‘weight’ is getting bigger and bigger and<br />

we have to somehow agree on a sensible<br />

way to get this under control.

RACING<br />


Pics: TECH 3 GasGas Factory Racing<br />




30 points and a P4 in France – the reigning Moto2 World<br />

Champion and only MotoGP Rookie for the 2023 season has<br />

had a promising start to life as a premier class rider

Adapting to a MotoGP thoroughbred from Moto2 –<br />

or any other type of motorcycle – is a monumental<br />

challenge. Some riders can mould themselves into a<br />

premier class frontrunner sooner than others, and at<br />

the French GP, Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory<br />

Racing Tech3) proved he’s able to mix it with MotoGP<br />

established elite already.<br />

After just five races donned in GASGAS Tech3 red,<br />

the reigning Moto2 World Champion has notched up<br />

30 points. This is the best start to a rookie campaign<br />

since Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in<br />

2020 when the South African scored 41 points in the<br />

opening five rounds after his famous win in the Czech<br />

Republic. 2022 Rookie of the Year, Marco Bezzecchi<br />

(Mooney VR46 Racing Team), had eight points in his<br />

pocket this time last year. The title-chasing Italian,<br />

who currently occupies P2 in the Championship, had<br />

to wait until Round 8 to pass the 30-point mark.<br />

Very promising signs for Augusto Fernandez then.<br />

Some of you may be thinking, ‘Well, that’s not a fair<br />

comparison because we have the Tissot Sprint in<br />

2023?’ Correct, but Fernandez is yet to score in the<br />

Tissot Sprint, so drawing direct comparisons with<br />

some of his current rivals is a good way of gauging<br />

how well the Spaniard is riding in 2023.<br />

His P4 result in Le Mans was nothing short of<br />

exceptional. But it’s not just that six-second off-thewin<br />

result that has been impressive from the #37.<br />

Fernandez has been consistently scoring points on a<br />

Sunday afternoon this season and is one of only three<br />

riders to have bagged at least one point on Sundays<br />

in 2023. The other two? Monster Energy Yamaha<br />

MotoGP duo Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.<br />

P13, P11, P10, P13, P4. A very solid collection<br />

of results in your first five MotoGP races in what<br />

is arguably the most competitive field we’ve ever<br />

had. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was sat on<br />

Fernandez’s rear wheel for a lot of the French GP, and<br />

the 2022 title challenger had plenty of praise to offer<br />

for his compatriot after the race.<br />

“Yeah, Augusto’s race was crazy. Congratulations to<br />

him because it’s not just about starting at the front,<br />

but he was able to overtake the KTMs and have a<br />

really solid pace. So I was very happy for Augusto,”<br />

said Espargaro. The #41 referred to Fernandez’s best<br />














qualifying result of the season, with the GASGAS star getting<br />

himself into Q2 for the first time and launching from P12.<br />

“I know how difficult it is to stay and to maintain your position<br />

in this paddock, you have to fight like a lion… He’s the reigning<br />

Moto2 World Champion, so actually on the last lap I had some<br />

opportunities to overtake him in the last split, but I decided to<br />

don’t try because I think the risk was too high and I didn’t want<br />

to ruin his race because what he did today was amazing.”<br />

It’s safe to say Tech3 team boss Herve Poncharal agrees<br />

with Espargaro. After the French GP – Tech3’s home round –<br />

Poncharal offered his thoughts on the team’s and Fernandez’s<br />

best result of the season so far to motogp.com.<br />

“Since the beginning of the year he’s been putting in great<br />

performances that go unnoticed almost all the time. Some<br />

people will say: ‘Yes, he finished tenth because there were<br />

crashes…’ It’s true but not only that. Look, this weekend, he<br />

reached Q2, he left with the seventh best time in the race and<br />

finished very close to the top three,” stated Poncharal.<br />

“Clearly the performances were there… Of course, the rider<br />

needs his team and vice versa. Afterwards, whatever you say,<br />

once the lights go out, they are a bit on their own. And here,<br />

he clearly demonstrated what he was capable of. Hats off<br />

to him! Frankly, I’m glad to see it working so well. Augusto<br />

is such a likeable, discreet, hard-working guy... Like Dani<br />

(Pedrosa), he also brings a kind of serenity to the team. When<br />

you are in such an environment, it is so much more pleasant.”<br />

It’s been a great start to his rookie season for Fernandez.<br />

Now, it’s all about continuing the momentum gained from<br />

that P4 into the rest the of campaign – starting at one of the<br />

calendar’s finest venues: Mugello.

<strong>MRW</strong> MUST WATCH VIDEOS

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Beam Productions<br />


STREET<br />


Incorporating all the new technology,<br />

chassis and styling enhancements of this<br />

greatest ever generation, the 2023 Street<br />

Triple 765 RS adds the highest ever<br />

specification Brembo Stylema brakes,<br />

revised geometry for even more agility,<br />

and sets a new performance benchmark<br />

as THE most powerful Street Triple ever,<br />

with a category leading 128hp of thrilling<br />

triple power, thanks to Moto2 race engine<br />

derived upgrades.

Triumph’s overall build quality, design, and finish<br />

once again stands out in the new RS. The attention<br />

to detail is noteworthy - they are true masters.<br />

Triumph has been producing some real gems<br />

as of late and their latest gem is that of the new<br />

Street Triple 765RS which Triumph says is the<br />

most powerful Street Triple to date. It doesn’t<br />

seem that long ago since we last saw an updated<br />

Street Triple but for 2023 Triumph has given their<br />

765 Street Triple range a massive revamp. With<br />

the 2022 765 already being a brilliant package, it’s<br />

hard to see how the British Mark could improve<br />

on that, yet improve they have. The Street Triple<br />

was introduced to the world back in 2007, joining<br />

Triumph’s 675 line-up alongside the ever-popular<br />

Daytona 675. No one would have imagined that<br />

almost 15 years on, Triumph would release yet<br />

another one, the fourth generation of one of their<br />

most popular bikes to date. The 675 motor is the<br />

foundation of the next generation of Street Triples,<br />

now a 765 allowed Triumph to enter the Moto2<br />

World Championship as an engine provider to the<br />

“one-make series.” The data gained from all of the<br />

research and development<br />

from this has paved the way for MotoGP<br />

technology and know-how to make its way directly<br />

to the ‘Streets’, quite literally.<br />

Three variants were released, namely the<br />

entry-level Street Triple R, Street Triple RS, and<br />

the Street Triple Moto2 Limited Edition are all<br />

upgraded for 2023 with revised, more powerful<br />

engines, new chassis settings, better electronics,<br />

and updated styling, making the British machines<br />

a serious contender in its segment. Only two<br />

Moto2 Editions will hit our shores and both are<br />

sold out while the entry-level R will not be brought<br />

into SA. So that leaves us with the RS which is<br />

nothing if not good news. Developed on the track<br />

and perfected for the road the 765RS punches<br />

well above its category for 2023 and is available<br />

in three different colours: silver ice, carnival red or<br />

cosmic yellow.

The triple motors power output is increased over the 2022<br />

model ever so slightly to 128.2HP and 80NM of torque thanks<br />

mainly to internal changes derived from the Moto2 paddock.<br />

They have increased the compression ratio – from 12.65:1<br />

to 13.25:1 and altered the inlet port design to improve flow.<br />

The combustion chambers are revised, with new pistons to<br />

match, allowing the higher compression ratio to be used, and<br />

the conrods and gudgeon pins are also new. Redesigned<br />

camshafts increase valve lift, and the valves themselves are also<br />

new, while the intake trumpets are shorter than before. Deeper<br />

in the engine, the crankshaft gear, balancer gear, clutch gear,<br />

and gearbox are all modified. The 765 RS makes power from<br />

much lower down in the rev range now thanks to the changes<br />

made and this can be felt out on the roads.<br />

Other changes include that of a Euro 5-compliant exhaust<br />

and a revised transmission with shorter ratios to optimize<br />

performance. This paired with the changes listed above make<br />

for a truly orgasmic experience that only a triple of this nature<br />

can provide. The tone from the re-designed exhaust alone is<br />

enough to set your heart on fire.<br />

The silky smooth and responsive quick-shifter and auto-blip<br />

ensure that the experience only gets better as you flick between<br />

the gears. It’s wizardry how much better the Street Triple 765<br />

RS feels in real life than the specs dictate. It’s that good!<br />






Small setup changes for 2023 further amplify<br />

the experience. The frame and swingarm remain<br />

unchanged while the rear end is slightly raised to give<br />

a 23.2-degree head angle, down from 23.9 degrees on<br />

the previous model, while trail is reduced from 100mm<br />

to 96.9mm and the wheelbase is shortened from<br />

1405mm to 1399mm. The fully adjustable suspension<br />

remains unchanged with Showa 41mm BPF forks<br />

and an Öhlins STX40 rear shock. The feedback and<br />

response you get from the suspension, especially<br />

while out on our terrible JHB roads is instantaneous<br />

and well-balanced, stiff enough for the track yet soft<br />

enough for the road with minimal sag to boot.<br />






The RS is also light, one of the lightest bikes in its<br />

class at a mere 188kg wet. This paired with the perfect<br />

weight distribution make for a nimble and flick-able<br />

bike in the corners, ensuring you should never miss<br />

an apex again. The RS is fitted with top-of-the-range<br />

Brembo Stylema brakes, adding to the air of quality<br />

and focus on performance.<br />

POWER<br />

128 bhp @<br />

12,000 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

80 Nm<br />

@ 9500rpm<br />

TANK<br />


15 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

836mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />


One can simply not<br />

test a naked Triumph,<br />

or any naked bike for<br />

that matter, and not<br />

throw the front wheel<br />

in the air.... like you<br />

just don’t care.<br />






New optimized cornering ABS and switchable optimized<br />

cornering traction control ensure optimum control out on<br />

the roads or out on the track. The cornering ABS is allied<br />

to traction control – using the IMU to work in corners as<br />

well as in a straight line with the multiple riding modes and<br />

throttle maps. The four riding modes(road, rain, sport, and<br />

rider-configurable setting) have been upgraded with new<br />

and more dynamic throttle maps including the Track mode<br />

on the RS.<br />

The riding position is upright and comfortable with 12mm<br />

of length added to the handlebars to aid in control and<br />

give a little more leverage. The 836mm seat height is<br />

11mm higher than the 2022 model. The tank is new,<br />

slimmer, and 2.4 litres smaller, down to 15 litres. This aids<br />

in better movement and feel when riding but will obviously<br />

hamper range. But then again this isn’t a long-distance<br />

cruiser so that shouldn’t be a problem. The seat although<br />

slim is rather plush and we could ride the whole day with<br />

no sore behinds.<br />

It’s hard to believe that Triumph could make the 2022 Street<br />

Triple any better, but they haven’t just improved upon it<br />

slightly, they have knocked it out of the park. Priced from<br />

only R215 000.00 the 2023 incarnation of the original bike<br />

is better in every way! Get down to your nearest Triumph<br />

dealer to take the new 765RS for a demo today!

Watch it all on our<br />

YouTube Channel<br />


SA TEST<br />

WORK HaRD<br />

PLaY HaRD<br />


FRESH<br />



1050 DE & HONDA’S<br />



LATEST<br />

NEWS<br />


LIMITS<br />

Sporting 95% new components,<br />

the 2024 KTM EXC range is moving<br />

the goalposts further than ever<br />

before. Featuring an all-new frame,<br />

revolutionary closed-cartridge<br />

suspension, refined bodywork, LED<br />

headlight, and industry-defining<br />

technology, the latest generation of<br />

KTM Enduro machines are ready to<br />

accept any challenge.

With over three decades of racing experience<br />

and more than 126 World Enduro titles in<br />

the trophy cabinet, KTM has remained the<br />

weapon of choice when it comes to taking<br />

on the world’s toughest races. For the 2024<br />

model year, the KTM EXC nameplate continues<br />

to raise the bar in the areas of performance,<br />

development, and innovation with its most<br />

radical transformation to date.<br />

An all-new hydro-formed, laser-cut, and robotwelded<br />

frame forms the backbone of the 2024<br />

KTM Enduro range. This brings new longitudinal<br />

and torsional flex parameters for unmatched<br />

rider feedback, energy absorption, and straightline<br />

stability to the riding experience but also<br />

provides the foundation on which the 2024<br />

model range is built.<br />

Upfront, the KTM EXC and EXC-F range now<br />

boast an all-new 48 mm WP XACT Closed<br />

Cartridge spring fork, featuring a new mid-valve<br />

piston concept that optimizes oil flow within the<br />

cartridge.<br />

The KTM Enduro models continue to feature<br />

the proven PDS shock system, which for 2024 is<br />

updated and optimized to work fluidly with the<br />

new frame concept. This is mated to a new WP<br />

XPLOR PDS rear shock.<br />

As an industry first, the suspension at both<br />

ends remains fully adjustable for compression<br />

and damping by way of hand clickers, without<br />

the need for any tools, and easy set preload<br />

adjustability on the rear.<br />

An all-new lightweight 2-piece subframe,<br />

constructed from a combination of polyamide<br />

and reinforced aluminum. It delivers<br />

outstanding handling and rider feedback, as<br />

well as remarkable robustness. All electronic<br />

components, including an all-new Offroad<br />

Control Unit, are fully integrated into the<br />

subframe for easy access and improved<br />

protection.<br />

More notably, the 2024 KTM EXC range<br />

benefits from new bodywork all around. This<br />

has been developed with input from the Red<br />

Bull KTM Factory Riders to deliver an improved<br />

rider triangle for better knee contact, especially<br />

standing on the pegs.

A new front fender design now also features<br />

mud-repelling fins for expelling dirt and mud from<br />

hitting the rider or radiators, while a new 8.3 liter<br />

– 4-stroke – and 8.9 liter – 2-stroke – transparent,<br />

polythene (XPE) fuel tanks for easy fuel level<br />

monitoring complete the bodywork package.<br />

Monitoring the electronics comes courtesy of a<br />

totally independent OCU under the seat, which<br />

replaces the use of electronic fuses and relays.<br />

In the event of any electrical component failure,<br />

the outputs are deactivated individually, with the<br />

error status of each unit indicated by a red or<br />

green LED light. This makes for quick and easy<br />

troubleshooting on the trail.<br />

In terms of engines, the 2-stroke model range once<br />

again takes its place as the leader of the oil-burner<br />

paddock, debuting new electronic Throttle Body<br />

Injection technology. Dubbed TBI for short, it<br />

provides almost carburetor levels of ultra-smooth<br />

power delivery, while eliminating the need for rejetting<br />

at different altitudes.<br />

The reed valve case has also received an important<br />

design update, with new plastic flaps on the<br />

outside of the reed valve case for improved sealing<br />

of the intake tract. This new design avoids fuel<br />

excess in extreme up- or downhill sections which<br />

could lead to the fueling running rich.<br />

A beneficial side effect of the new electronic<br />

fuel injection and the ECU is implementing the<br />

new electronic exhaust control, allowing for two<br />

different engine maps, selectable via an optional<br />

Map Select switch.<br />

The 2024 KTM EXC 2-stroke range will once again<br />

consist of the following model line-up:<br />

•KTM 150 EXC<br />

•KTM 250 EXC<br />

•KTM 300 EXC<br />

The 4-stroke model range provides the most<br />

concise offering of models. All models in the<br />

4-stroke range benefit from class-winning engines,<br />

engineered to deliver massive torque down low<br />

with an explosive power delivery at higher RPMs.<br />

An improved center of gravity was achieved by<br />

tilting the engine 2° backward and repositioning<br />

the front sprocket 3 mm lower, for greatly improved<br />

handling and maneuverability. Together with<br />

the benefits of mass centralization and reduced<br />

weight, the anti-squat behavior of the chassis was<br />

significantly improved making for improved traction<br />

on extreme inclines and powering out of corners in<br />

special enduro stages.<br />

The 2024 KTM EXC-F also debuts the optional<br />

addition of Traction Control and for the first time<br />

ever on an enduro machine – a Quickshifter<br />

function. The latter makes for clutchless upshifts<br />

from 2nd to 6th gear, allowing riders to keep the<br />

throttle pinned open while changing through the<br />

gears for improved control. These can be toggled<br />

on or off via an optional and newly designed Map<br />

Select Switch.<br />

The 2024 KTM EXC-F 4-stroke range consists of<br />

the following models:<br />

•KTM 250 EXC-F<br />

•KTM 350 EXC-F<br />

•KTM 450 EXC-F<br />

•KTM 500 EXC-F<br />

The 2024 KTM EXC range is the culmination of<br />

many years at the top end of Enduro competition,<br />

bringing together a dynamic combination of racebred<br />

performance, ergonomics, and technology to<br />

challenge any terrain and redefine the limit.<br />

As always, and thanks to KTM’s global networks<br />

of dealers, the availability of support and parts<br />

needed to compete at the highest level is easily<br />

accessible, with the added availability of dedicated<br />

KTM PowerWear and KTM PowerParts which<br />

have been designed to allow for the highest levels<br />

of performance, protection, and mobility for all<br />

offroad riders and racers.<br />

The all-new 2024 KTM EXC and EXC-F range will<br />

be available at authorized KTM dealers from June<br />

onwards. For more information, visit ktm.com

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Beam Productions<br />

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


SA TEST<br />

WORK HaRD<br />

PLaY HaRD<br />

TGB BLADE 1000 LTX EPS 4X4<br />

Are you an avid adventurer or off-road enthusiast who<br />

spends most of your time in the great outdoors for<br />

work or play? TGB has a solution, to not only make your<br />

workload easier but your leisure time more enjoyable<br />

as well. I am talking about their brand new Blade 1000<br />

LTX EPS 4x4 utility quad bike of course. Brand new into<br />

the South African market for 2023 and we were lucky<br />

enough to be not only the first media company in SA to<br />

sample it, but I would also be the first person in SA to<br />

ride their new all-conquering behemoth.

The Blade LTX is TGBs latest offering into the SA<br />

Utility market and their flagship model. Available<br />

in 3 colours: Mountain Grey with Red Decals,<br />

Matte Black with Yellow decals, and Matte Black<br />

with Red decals which is the one we had on test<br />

here. The Blade 1000 LTX EPS is not only for<br />

the rider to enjoy though and is also designed<br />

for maximum passenger comfort, extending<br />

not just the seat and passenger backrest but<br />

also the entire companion riding experience.<br />

LTX stands for: Luxury Touring model and is<br />

standard with premium painted plastics, highquality<br />

aluminium 6-spoked 14” alloy wheels with<br />

27” Maxxis tires fitted, EPS(Electronic Power<br />

Steering), gripper thicker seat, standard winch,<br />

handguards, front bumper with bash guard, and<br />

EVO coil gas shocks to name a few. Powered<br />

by a 997cc V-Twin, SOHC, liquid, and oil-cooled<br />

motor producing a whopping 83HP(62KW) and<br />

90NM of torque and driven by a robust V-belt<br />

CVT automatic transmission, the Blade LTX<br />

goes as well as it looks. The engine on the new<br />

LTX features re-profiled camshafts specifically<br />

designed to increase bottom-end torque and give<br />

a more linear power curve. It’s no lightweight<br />

though, tipping the scales at 470kg wet, but then<br />

again, so are all quads of this nature and size.<br />

The Blade has a demanding presence thanks<br />

to its sleek yet aggressive styling. Fitted with a<br />

steel front rack(30kg load), steel rear rack(50kg<br />

load), steel engine protector plate, electric<br />

winch(1360kg pull force), passenger backrest,<br />

steel front bumper, and a tow bar as standard, the<br />

TGB Blade LTX will not let you down no matter<br />

the terrain and what you need to load and/or tow<br />

with its 230kg unbraked and 830kg braked towing<br />

capacity. No matter if it’s for work or play, the LTX<br />

will confidently carry your load.

The overall build quality<br />

and attention to detail on<br />

the TGB Blade 1000 LTX is<br />

breathtaking.<br />

It’s the perfect blend of<br />

rugged, tough, strong and<br />

brutal but also sporty,<br />

modern and sleek. A true<br />

case of beauty and a beast.<br />

The perfect machine to<br />

help turn work into play.

It’s no slouch when it comes to riding aids<br />

and standard features either. A 3 Mode EPS<br />

(Electronic Power Steering) with the ability<br />

to switch between HIGH, LOW, or even turn<br />

off the power steering, the Blade 1000 LTX<br />

gives full control to the rider, allowing them<br />

to configure the ATV to fit their needs in any<br />

situation or terrain. The modern digital dash<br />

and speedometer are both crystal clear and<br />

informative, displaying all the vital information<br />

one needs such as a digital tachometer,<br />

digital speedometer, maximum engine speed,<br />

maximum speed, average speed, total odometer<br />

distance, daily odometer, fuel gauge, clock,<br />

and EPS setting. Also displayed on the borders<br />

of the clock, are easy-to-identify indicators for<br />

transmission position, high temp, low battery,<br />

high beam, low oil pressure, check engine, and<br />

the 2wd/4wd and differential lock indicator. On<br />

the left handlebar switch you have your winch<br />

(in and out) button, override button, hooter, and<br />

indicator switch(Yes, the quad is fully road legal<br />

for countries where quad bikes are allowed on<br />

public roads as you can also tell by the carbon<br />

look mirrors fitted as standard), light switch and<br />

flash and a hazards light button. Located on the<br />

right handlebar are your two buttons to switch<br />

between 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive and this<br />

can only be done when stationary unfortunately.<br />

You also have two parking brakes, one located<br />

just above the throttle and another one on your<br />

front brake lever which is where it is traditionally<br />

located on all or most quad bikes.<br />

The Blade LTX has a feel of quality and luxury to<br />

it. The closer you look, the more you can pick up<br />

on subtle details and finely tuned finishes. It’s not<br />

until you climb onboard the TGB, that you really<br />

appreciate it and just how, well, humungous it<br />

is. We put the Blade LTX through its paces on<br />

both rough and smooth tarmac as well as dirt.<br />

We tested the LTX on A mixture of different riding<br />

terrain from deep sand, rocks, mud, forests, river

crossings, berms, ramps, divets, and fast and flowing<br />

dirt roads. The useability is what impressed me the<br />

most and more so the fact that I hardly ever had to<br />

engage 4-wheel drive but rather used the immense<br />

torque put through the shaft drive to get me out of<br />

most situations. Only on steep and slippery inclines<br />

and crossing the rivers did I use the 4-wheel drive<br />

which was simple enough to switch to while stationary<br />

at the press of a button. The V-Twin motor is punchy,<br />

low down as you would expect but also produces<br />

mind-blowing power and torque throughout the rev<br />

range, right until the top. The tone it produces out of<br />

the sporty single exhaust(the looks reminds me of<br />

the older Honda CBR1000RR superbikes) protruding<br />

smack-bang out of the rear of the bike gets deeper<br />

and louder as the revs climb.<br />

“The useability is what<br />

impressed me the most and<br />

more so the fact that I hardly<br />

ever had to engage 4-wheel<br />

drive but rather used the<br />

immense torque put through<br />

the shaft drive to get me out<br />

of most situations. “<br />

The suspension works independently and soaks up<br />

bumps and knocks better than even the toughest<br />

heavy-weight boxers. The 8.6-inch travel, front<br />

suspension, and dual arm 10.4-inch anti-roll rear<br />

suspension offer great feedback, comfort when you<br />

need it, and rigidity when you want to be a little more<br />

sporty and spirited with your riding. The brakes are<br />

hydraulic and work well enough to get the huge<br />

mass slowed down and stopped with zero fade. The<br />

steering is precise and I love the fact that I had 3<br />

settings of ESP to choose between, which I could

select depending on the terrain I was riding and whether I<br />

was riding fast or slow. I did get slapped around a bit while<br />

riding fast over whoop-type bumps but this is normal for<br />

quad bikes of this stature and weight. Most of the weight<br />

is down low and centralized meaning the Blade has great<br />

weight distribution which results in better and more stable<br />

handling. The 300mm ground clearance ensures that you<br />

will seldom scrape the metal bash guard but if you do,<br />

the underside of the Blade is well protected. The 23 litre<br />

fuel tank feeds through from the rear of the bike to a more<br />

central position, once again aiding in a more balanced ride.<br />

The winch which is standard works well and is a nice touch<br />

by TGB to get you or your friends out of tricky situations or<br />

even just to clear pathways or roadways. The winch finishes<br />

off what is a truly well-finished product. The TGB Blade<br />

looks set to create a stir in the utility market especially when<br />

you take into consideration its price compared to its rivals.<br />

Overall the TGB Blade LTX is a fantastic blend of sports<br />

and utility. It can work hard during the week and play even<br />

harder on the weekends! No job is too big and no hill is too<br />

big to climb for TGB’s impressive Blade.

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Black Rock Studio & Chris Kunn<br />

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


making<br />

a splash<br />

Make a splash definition: to attract a lot of attention in an<br />

exciting way. That’s exactly what the new Suzuki V-Strom<br />

1050DE has done. It’s more of a “simple yet effective”<br />

way to adventure compared to some of it’s bigger, more<br />

flamboyant (and expensive) rivals, but that’s what makes<br />

it so attractive to the market. At R259,000, Suzuki has a<br />

machine that is ready to take you on an exciting adventure.

The Suzuki V-Strom has been around for years<br />

now, just over 20 to be exact since the production<br />

of the DL1000 way back in 2002. A very popular<br />

bike worldwide, with a cult following, thanks<br />

mainly to its robustness and more importantly to<br />

some, its affordability. I am glad to report though<br />

that for 2023 there is a new one, more adventureready<br />

than ever before!<br />

We were invited out to Durban by Suzuki South<br />

Africa to sample the new V-Strom, put it to the<br />

test, see if it’s any good, and more importantly,<br />

see what has changed. The V-Strom makes a<br />

worthy companion, as it always has done. For<br />

2023 two letters make a difference, DE. The<br />

old XT falls away and now we have the DE. The<br />

V-Strom has received a few updates over the<br />

years with the latest being in 2020 but 2023’s<br />

changes could just be the most important to date.<br />

Let me explain. Effectively you can use any<br />

motorcycle on gravel in the broad spectrum of<br />

things, but if you want performance and comfort<br />

you need the correct tools for the job. Now the<br />

outgoing XT managed to do these things, as the<br />

V-Strom always has without the correct tools for<br />

the job. For 2023 though Suzuki says the V-Strom<br />

is more adventure-ready than ever before. It now,<br />

apparently has a toolbox full to the brim with the<br />

correct tools.<br />

At first glance things look pretty much the<br />

same, that is until you take a closer peek. The<br />

most important change is that of the addition<br />

of a 21”Tubed wheel, the correct size for more<br />

heavy-duty adventuring. The rear wheel remains<br />

a 17” and is tubeless. Odd, isn’t it but the<br />

reasoning behind it is quite genius. Tubeless<br />

tires are designed to be airtight. Tube-type tires<br />

are made to work with a separate air-holding<br />

component, like a tube that holds the pressurized<br />

air. Because there is another component added<br />

inside the wheel with a tube, it absorbs impacts and<br />

shocks a lot better than a tubeless wheel. The front<br />

wheel generally takes more impact than the rear as<br />

it’s the first to greet them. Also, a tube can be quite<br />

fussy to replace and this is why Suzuki has decided<br />

to make the rear wheel tubeless. There are many<br />

other reasons as well but the ones listed above are<br />

the most important. That’s also why the rake and<br />

trail numbers are relaxed for 2023, and the ground<br />

clearance is increased along with the seat height<br />

(880mm). The 21-inch front wheel gets a new front<br />

fender because of the bigger wheel. The subframe<br />

has also been changed, beefed up, and strengthened<br />

in spots to cope with the vigors of off-road riding.<br />

POWER<br />

106 bhp @ 8,000 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

100Nm @ 6,000 rpm<br />


880mm<br />


1,595mm<br />


20 L<br />


252 kg

Suzuki has finally added a new, easy-to-navigate<br />

and use 5” TFT dash with day/night modes, and<br />

a USB port on the side of it to run your GPS or<br />

phone. It literally is night and day over the older<br />

Casio-type dash and an upgrade that has been<br />

sorely missed over the years and now that it’s<br />

been added greatly appreciated. An electronic<br />

cruise control has also finally been added which<br />

only works from 2nd gear and up and at no<br />

faster than 160kph. Once again a nice addition,<br />

one Suzuki should have added years ago. A<br />

little gripe I have is that of no heated grips. This<br />

can be added as an accessory but why not just<br />

add it as standard, from the factory, which most<br />

manufacturers do nowadays. The screen is<br />

slightly shorter than that of the XT’s to aid in better<br />

wind flow to the rider and can be adjusted but not<br />

on the fly as tools are required, another little gripe<br />

as the older one could easily be adjusted(not<br />

when riding though).<br />

The DE weighs in at 252kg around 5kg heavier than<br />

the XT, not bad considering all the extra additions.<br />

Crash bars and a center stand is standard which<br />

is a nice touch and vital on a bike of this stature.<br />

On this test, we rode in a whole bunch of different<br />

terrain from rocks, sand, gravel, mud, rivers,<br />

tarmac, and pothole-infested everything. So<br />

typical SA roads then which the DE handled with<br />

the utmost ease. The DE is far more confident in<br />

its abilities now and doesn’t shy away from any<br />

In addition to geometry changes, Suzuki has<br />

added a longer cast-aluminium swingarm which<br />

also contributes to a much longer wheelbase<br />

than the XT. The legendary and distinctive<br />

liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 90° V-Twin DOHC<br />

engine remains unchanged for 2023 but they<br />

have tweaked the electronic suite quite a bit.<br />

The 3 original riding modes remain unchanged,<br />

A, B, and C remain and work in cahoots with<br />

the Traction Control. What Suzuki has done is<br />

introduced a Gravel TC to the original 4 settings<br />

(1,2,3 and off) which retards timing and allows<br />

for minimum slip allowing you to accelerate<br />

quicker on dirt and slippery surfaces. A bidirectional<br />

quick-shifter has been fitted and<br />

the 1st to 6th gear ratios altered for smoother<br />

shifting. Power hasn’t changed at all from<br />

106HP, but the DE seems to pull harder through<br />

the gears, almost as if the ratios have been<br />

shortened for more acceleration.

terrain. The changes Suzuki has made can be felt and<br />

change the whole character of the V-Strom. The 21”<br />

front wheel makes navigating over obstacles a breeze<br />

and definitely adds confidence to you the rider when<br />

riding off the beaten track. It gives the V-Strom the<br />

versatility needed to tackle any terrain which it lacked<br />

beforehand. The fuel tank remains at a healthy 20L<br />

meaning that over 300km can be obtained if riding<br />

at a normal and not brisk pace. I generally left the<br />

DE in A-mode, TC off, and ABS off as it is so easy to<br />

use and the power curve is predictable-plus I like to<br />

wheelie and be a general clown. It is easy to change<br />

between settings though and although it doesn’t have<br />

half the amount of features most of its rivals do, the<br />

interface is much easier to navigate and alter.<br />

“The perfect blend of comfort meets sport without compromising on<br />

feedback. Although top-heavy, the V-Strom is quite narrow, which comes<br />

in handy in the more beaten-up trails where you can hold onto the side of<br />

the tank with your knees and slide up and down the twin seat.”<br />

The riding position is typically adventure biased as it<br />

should be with handlebars slightly wider than those<br />

of the XT allowing for better stability and control.<br />

The perfect blend of comfort meets sport without<br />

compromising on feedback. Although top-heavy,<br />

the V-Strom is quite narrow, which comes in handy<br />

in the more beaten-up trails where you can hold<br />

onto the side of the tank with your knees and slide<br />

up and down the twin seat. KYB fully adjustable<br />

inverted front forks with 43mm inner tubes deliver a<br />

smooth, controllable ride and feature stable damping<br />

characteristics well suited to adventure riding.

The link-type mono-shock KYB rear suspension<br />

compliments the front, contributing to agility and stability<br />

with a dial to easily adjust its preload. The V-Strom 1050DE<br />

suspension adopts a longer stroke and more travel than the<br />

XT, with 170mm of front and 169mm of rear travel. Radialmounted<br />

Tokico four-piston front brake calipers are mated<br />

with 310mm floating-mount dual discs. The brakes are<br />

pin-point and fade-free and combined with the ABS, which<br />

even when turned on is barely noticeable and when turned<br />

off(on the rear) allows you to slide the back wheel whenever<br />

the mood strikes.<br />

As with all Suzuki’s, you get great reliability and great<br />

quality for a very reasonable price, especially when you look<br />

at its competitors. This is no different with the DE which will<br />

only set you back a very reasonable R259 000.00. Yes, it’s<br />

not the outright best adventure bike out there, but thanks to<br />

changes Suzuki has made for 2023, it’s not far off!

Words: Peter McBride | Pics: Beam Productions<br />

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


OUT OF THE<br />

SHadows<br />

Honda’s reborn XL750<br />

Transalp has finally graced the<br />

shores of SA and it was time<br />

for us to find out if all the hype<br />

surrounding this born again<br />

iconic original is justified<br />

“A usable midsize<br />

bike, that<br />

is a legitimate<br />

adventure and<br />

travel option, but<br />

still works really<br />

well as a daily<br />


An absolutely perfect early winter highveld day<br />

set the scene for the launch of the all new and<br />

completely re-designed Honda Transalp. We all<br />

Gathered in the early morning at the famous ADA<br />

training facility in Hartbeespoort, warm cups of<br />

coffee in hand we had a briefing on the route and<br />

plans for the day. Riaan from Honda SA gave us<br />

all a rundown on the bikes, and before you could<br />

say “Gentlemen, start your engines” we were on<br />

our way.<br />

The Initial Impression of the bike is that, this is a<br />

brand-new design from the ground up. The most<br />

obvious indicator of this is the all-new Parallel<br />

twin 750 motor, a big break in tradition from the<br />

V-twin that has been so closely associated with<br />

the Transalp since its inception all the way back<br />

in 1987. We learnt that the Transalp was Honda’s<br />

first foray into what us South Africans would<br />

call adventure bikes, and most of the rest of the<br />

world like to call Dual sport, and true to that initial<br />

design purpose. Honda have doubled down and<br />

built a bike that they are hoping will attract new,<br />

younger riders to discover the joys of motorcyclebased<br />

travel, while still having the functionality<br />

of a bike that would satisfy the demands of<br />

more experienced riders. The typical Japanese<br />

attention to detail has been paid to every aspect<br />

of the design on this bike. To the point that when<br />

wind deflection and protection from the elements<br />

was under the microscope, a factor that was<br />

taken into serious consideration was how best to<br />

eliminate flapping of clothing. A small detail, but<br />

important for anyone who has put in a long day on<br />

a bike, flapping clothing can become a distraction<br />

and it is testament to how much detail was put<br />

into every aspect of this build.<br />

With the traditional adventure wheel setup of a 21-<br />

inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, coupled with<br />

43mm Showa front forks with 200 mm of travel<br />

and a rear shock delivering 190 mm of travel, a<br />

seat height of 850 mm and ground clearance of<br />

210 mm. All built around a parallel twin 755cc<br />

motor that delivers 90 Hp @ 9500 RPM and 75nm<br />

of torque @ 7250 rpm, and lastly a kerb weight of<br />

208 kgs. These numbers are all singing the song<br />

of the adventure bike faithful. I will add a detailed

spec’s list at the end of this for everyone who<br />

really wants to study the numbers.<br />

The Route for the day was really well<br />

constructed and encompassed almost every<br />

real-world scenario you would reasonably<br />

encounter on this bike. Urban riding, concrete<br />

hiways, B-Roads, gravel hiways and dirt roads<br />

that were really beat up. the first coffee break<br />

was in Somabula Nature reserve outside<br />

Cullinan, a beautiful property with camping<br />

facilities, general game and most importantly<br />

some tricky roads that we were able to test<br />

the bikes’ ability in the kind of slow, tricky<br />

conditions the majority of the people who buy<br />

this bike would be likely to encounter when<br />

venturing off the beaten track to an out of the<br />

way destination. Predictability was the key word<br />

here, with the suspension soaking everything<br />

up comfortably and the low-down torque<br />

keeping things low key. No high revving of<br />

motors or sudden changes of direction.<br />

The five rider modes available on the bike are<br />

Standard, Rain, Gravel, Sport and User. With the<br />

User setting being fully adjustable to the riders<br />

preferred settings. ABS, Engine breaking, Power<br />

and traction control are all fully adjustable in this<br />

setting and it is a simple process. All modes are<br />

able to be selected on the fly and you only need<br />

to shut the throttle off completely for a second<br />

for the selected mode to start functioning. It is<br />

pretty remarkable that motorcycles have become<br />

this advanced that suspension, brake and power<br />

settings are so easily manipulated. In my opinion<br />

this really adds an incredible amount of value<br />

to the motorcycle as you can adapt the bike to<br />

your skill levels and abilities rather than having to<br />

just grit your teeth and hope you wrap your head<br />

around the bike before it bites you. This kind of<br />

accessibility and having the option to progress at<br />

a pace comfortable to the individual user can only<br />

bode well for the future of motorcycling.<br />

POWER<br />

90 bhp @ 9,500 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

75Nm @ 7,250 rpm<br />


850mm<br />


1,560mm<br />


20 L<br />


208 kg

Two interesting features that I really liked were the<br />

self-cancelling indicators, a very welcome luxury to be<br />

able to indicate your turn initially and then forget about<br />

it, without realising ten kays down the road that your<br />

indicator is still on, a small luxury but a very welcome<br />

one. The second was a safety feature where the hazard<br />

lights are automatically initiated under hard breaking. I<br />

noticed this when a rider about 100 meters ahead of me<br />

had to slam on anchors when a tractor towing a massive<br />

trailer with hay bales on it pulled out in from of him<br />

unexpectedly. Fortunately, speeds were at a sensible<br />

level and there was no real drama. But the hazards<br />

lighting up really drew my attention to the situation, a<br />

quality safety feature indeed.<br />

When you get to the 6 hour plus mark of ride time for the<br />

day. You really get familiar with the bike and the route<br />

does start to all blend into one. Rider mode changes<br />

became second nature and you find the range in the<br />

bike where it becomes comfortable to get settled in and<br />

watch the miles and the scenery go by. On this bike 4th<br />

gear really spoke to me, it suits my travelling style down<br />

to the ground. On long open dirt roads I like to hang out<br />

in the bottom of the midrange, in a high gear, but the<br />

motor has to be able to respond positively when you<br />

roll on the throttle and this is exactly where the Transalp<br />

excels. As an experiment I slowed the whole way down<br />

to 40kph in 4th on a flat road. No visible incline and<br />

rolled on the throttle pretty enthusiastically the motor<br />

responded really well. Accelerating smoothly until it<br />

hit 7000rpm and the motor really lit up and I shut off<br />

because things started happening pretty quickly and I<br />

was on an unknown dirt road.<br />

On dirt and on tar the bike feels very planted and stable,<br />

hitting rain damage “ruts” on dirt roads or potholes on<br />

tar apart from the initial bump of the impact the bike<br />

stays true. around the corners on tar the bike held its line<br />

perfectly. Just look where you want to go, stay positive<br />

on the throttle and it feels like its on a rail. It’s very<br />

typically “Honda” in how it just ticks all the boxes.<br />

A very special treat at the end of Day 1 was a quick<br />

spin on the red star raceway short circuit, which was<br />

so much fun that even the most hardened and grizzly<br />

motor journos were grinning mischievously. Fortunately,<br />

no bikes were harmed on the track and it was a great<br />

opportunity to really wring the Transalp’ s neck as<br />

hard as possible in a safe setting. As far as you can<br />

reasonably push an adventure bike on a race track, the<br />

bike was a lot of fun to ride and handled the demands<br />

of the track well. This is an aspect of adventure riding<br />

that is often ignored, but comes highly recommended<br />

by almost everyone in the industry. Riding on race tracks<br />

with your adventure bike or commuter is very accessible,<br />

safe and well catered for by every track day provider.

Fun and a great way to build skill I cannot<br />

recommend it highly enough. There were also<br />

a few Honda hornets available at the track that<br />

we were given the opportunity to ride around the<br />

track. Absolutely fantastic bikes that will no doubt<br />

get a full review and feature in this magazine when<br />

they are released for sale in SA very soon.<br />

In conclusion, Honda have had a big gap in their<br />

product line up for a little while now. The Old<br />

Transalp was far more of a hard-core commuter<br />

that could go down a dirt road if necessary. The<br />

NC750 will go down in motorcycling history as<br />

one of the greatest Commuters/introductory<br />

motorcycles ever built and the CBX500 fills an<br />

important role as an entry level Adventure/travel<br />

motorcycle. Then on the sharp edge of the range,<br />

the Africa twin is a proven top quality big bore<br />

adventure motorcycle on a par with any premier<br />

brand offering on the market. The mid-size<br />

adventure market is growing strongly in South<br />

Africa and world wide as market demands slowly<br />

move away from the 150HP fire breathing animals<br />

at the top of the adventure food chain. This bike<br />

complements the Honda product range perfectly<br />

fitting comfortably between the CBX500/NC750<br />

entry point and Africa Twin pinnacle. A usable<br />

mid-size bike, that is a legitimate adventure and<br />

travel option, but still works really well as a daily<br />

commuter. Another solid option for people<br />

looking to upgrade from small CC machines that<br />

won’t disappoint more experienced riders looking<br />

for something a little less intense than the 1000 cc<br />

plus machines available today.<br />

The Honda Transalp is already available for sale<br />

at your nearest Honda Motorcycle dealer at a<br />

suggested retail price of R209 999.00 and there will<br />

be a variety of all the usual accessories available<br />

that you would expect on an adventure bike to suit<br />

all individual needs. Ask your salesman about the<br />

“accessories packs “similar to cars, Honda are<br />

grouping sets of accessories that are normally<br />

bought together into packs and will be pricing<br />

them aggressively to get the customer sorted with<br />

regards to your specific needs. Many thanks to<br />

Honda SA for hosting and to Hein and his crew at<br />

ADA for setting the route and keeping us safe.

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