MRW Issue 33

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ISSUE <strong>33</strong><br />

Watch it all on our<br />

YouTube Channel<br />

Two<br />


Cool Bikes<br />


MOTOGP<br />

2024 SILLY SEASON<br />





Shaun Portman<br />

Beam Productions<br />

Adam Child “Chad”<br />

Sheridan Morais<br />

Hello <strong>MRW</strong> fans and welcome to issue <strong>33</strong><br />

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

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

packed with reviews, all the latest news, and<br />

features from the wonderful world of MotoGP<br />

and World SBK.<br />

Headline topics are once again from the<br />

MotoGP paddock where the silly season is<br />

in full force. So many big question marks up<br />

in the air - Marc Marquez to leave Honda?<br />

Where does he go if he does? Franco<br />

Morbidelli to VR46 Ducati or Gresini Ducati?<br />

Alex Rins to Monster Energy Yamaha? Joan<br />

Mir to quit Repsol Honda? Pedro Acosta?...<br />

I get asked these questions all the time and<br />

honestly, I don’t know the answer. I think<br />

the relationship between Honda and Marc<br />

is gone and neither party are good for the<br />

other. Honda needs a fresh approach and<br />

needs to focus on a more long-term solution,<br />

like Pedro Acosta, rather than Marc who is in<br />

a rush and needs results now. Honda can’t<br />

give that to Marc so for his own sanity and his<br />

career he needs to move on, and quick. The<br />

problem is, where does he go? There are no<br />

options out there for him in MotoGP at the<br />

minute, other than staying at Honda for the<br />

remaining year on his contract, which again is<br />

not ideal for both. Honestly, I am so intrigued<br />

to see what happens with this story as it will<br />

no doubt shock the world.<br />

So much to digest and for sure big talking<br />

points which I address in our Talking MotoGP<br />

show, which you can find on our YouTube<br />

channel. With the summer break upon us<br />

it’s time to catch up on all the household<br />

chores the wife, or hubby, has been hassling<br />

you to do. But don’t worry. It’s not all doom<br />

and gloom. We are here to keep you as<br />

entertained as possible so keep an eye<br />

out on our Facebook page, Instagram, and<br />

YouTube channel for exclusive quality content<br />

from rider interviews to special guests on our<br />

Talking MotoGP show.<br />

I’ve just come back from my first visit to the<br />

famous Donington Park circuit here in the UK<br />

and I can 100% confirm it’s one of the most<br />

magical places I have ever been to in my life.<br />

As a fan growing up Donington Park was<br />

my favourite circuit to watch on TV. So many<br />

great races by icons of the sport. Watching<br />

World SBK there and the likes of Alvaro,<br />

Toprak, and Rea in action was a real treat.<br />

One of the best fan-friendly circuits I have<br />

visited to date for sure.<br />

Stay tuned to the <strong>MRW</strong> YouTube channel<br />

for the Bautista and Aegerter interviews I did<br />

over the race weekend.<br />

Cheers for now.<br />

Rob Portman<br />




Rob Portman<br />

082 782 8240<br />

rob@motoriderworld.com<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

072 260 9525<br />

shaun@motoriderworld.com<br />

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Buell Freedom<br />

Edition Hammerhead<br />

Back in 1983, somewhere in Grand Rapids,<br />

Michigan, a new motorcycle company was<br />

born. Spawned from the mind of former<br />

Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell,<br />

the company adopted the man’s name,<br />

and went on to live a pretty complicated<br />

existence to our time.<br />

Somehow, the small company survived<br />

everything, and this year it is celebrating<br />

its 40th anniversary. It does so with a<br />

lineup of five distinct models, namely<br />

the Hammerhead 1190, 1190SX, Super<br />

Cruiser, Supertouring, and the Baja Dune<br />



Of all five bikes, the Hammerhead is perhaps the<br />

most important, and that’s why it was probably<br />

chosen by the company to be the base for a<br />

special edition version meant to celebrate both<br />

the anniversary and the “lifeblood of American<br />

freedom.”<br />

The model is officially called Freedom Edition<br />

Hammerhead 1190, and the main (and only)<br />

thing that sets it apart from its siblings is the paint<br />

scheme.<br />

Normally, the Hammerhead 1190 can be had in<br />

a variety of color schemes, binding together in<br />

various shapes grey, yellow, white, and red. The<br />

Freedom Edition however goes all in to celebrate<br />

the colors of the American flag, red, white and<br />

blue, but also the stars that dot it.<br />

The colors are skillfully applied directly on the<br />

bike’s carbon fiber bodywork, and can be seen<br />

almost everywhere, from the fairing up front to<br />

the fender at the rear. I said “skillfully” because<br />

this has got to be the most interesting use of the<br />

Stars and Stripes colors and design I’ve seen on a<br />

motorcycle.<br />

Underneath all that patriot guise however, the<br />

same Hammerhead 1190 can be had. The bike<br />

is powered by a liquid-cooled V-Twin engine<br />

72.6ci (1,190cc) in displacement. The powerplant<br />

develops 185 hp at 10,600 rpm and almost 138<br />

Nm of torque at 8,200 rpm.<br />

The two-wheeler is supported by an aluminum<br />

frame with an integrated fuel tank. Showa<br />

supplied the suspension hardware (inverted fork<br />

at the front and single shock at the rear).<br />

In normal configuration, the cheapest<br />

Hammerhead 1190 there is starts at $19,995, and<br />

can reach up to $25,995 fully loaded. Naturally,<br />

the Freedom Edition is a tad more expensive.<br />

As is, customers can have a 2023 Buell Freedom<br />

Edition Hammerhead 1190 from R525,000<br />

($24,990). Provided some enhancements and<br />

customizations are made, that price jumps to at<br />

least R565,000 ($26,775).<br />

Buell says the new iteration of the Hammerhead<br />

will become available on July 1, shortly before<br />

the U.S. celebrates its Independence Day. It’s<br />

unclear how many of them will be made, but we<br />

are informed the first 40 of them will be offered<br />

with a special four-year warranty. Additionally, the<br />

underside of the bikes will be signed by the Buell<br />

factory team.


There Are Now One Million<br />

Boxer-Engined BMW GS<br />

Motorcycles in the World<br />

Exactly a century ago, in 1923, another<br />

motorcycle maker officially became a<br />

company: BMW Motorrad. Born in a<br />

country known for its passion for motorized<br />

vehicles, the brand is now the only German<br />

bike maker that matters in this world.<br />

Given how Motorrad is celebrating its<br />

centenary this year, all eyes are on BMW<br />

to see what else it is up to to mark the<br />

occasion. And BMW seems eager not to<br />

disappoint, as somehow it managed to<br />

reach an important production milestone<br />

right when it needed to.<br />

Earlier this week, BMW Motorrad<br />

announced the production of a BMW R<br />

1250 GS in Triple Black Style. Rolling off<br />

the production lines at the company’s<br />

facility in Berlin-Spandau, this particular<br />

bike will go down in history as the onemillionth<br />

Bavarian two-wheeler of the GS<br />

family to be powered by a boxer engine.<br />

The GS breed was born in the 1980s as a<br />

“new motorcycle genre of touring enduros.”<br />

It all started with the R 80 G/S, and then<br />

the breed quickly grew to become one of<br />

the most successful models in its class,<br />

or, as BMW itself says, “the most soughtafter<br />

touring enduros in the world to this<br />

day.” And this week’s achievement is an<br />

important testimony to that.<br />

The GS saga will continue, of course,<br />

and at the end of September, while it still<br />

has reason to celebrate its anniversary,<br />

BMW will reveal the latest addition to the<br />

family, the R 1300 GS. The Germans will<br />

pair the unveiling with the opening of the<br />

new BMW Motorrad Welt museum in the<br />

country’s capital.<br />

The opening takes place on September<br />

28, during a special exclusive event, but<br />

two days later the place will be open to all<br />

visitors as well.<br />

Before that happens though, the German<br />

bike maker will be hosting the BMW<br />

Motorrad Days in the Messe Berlin<br />

Summer Garden. Scheduled to take place<br />

on the weekend of July 7, it is a gathering<br />

expected to draw in thousands of people.<br />

Back to the BMW GS line, until the new R<br />

1250 GS gets here customers still have a<br />

wide choice of models to go for. Included<br />

in the Adventure range the bike maker<br />

is now selling, no less than eight models<br />

(six for the American market) take center<br />

stage, from the G 310 GS to the R 2150 GS<br />

Adventure. Two special edition models, the<br />

R 1250 GS Adventure - Edition 40 Years GS<br />

and R 1250 GS - Edition 40 Years GS are<br />

also on the table.


are instantly recognisable thanks to their<br />

timeless Triumph silhouettes, signature<br />

sculpted fuel tanks and classic engine<br />

profiles and have been designed to deliver<br />

all of the quality, feel and presence of their<br />

larger capacity stablemates.<br />

Traditional touches, like the distinctive<br />

finned cylinder head and traditional exhaust<br />

header clamps combine with contemporary<br />

details like the upswept silencer, bold<br />

graphics and sensitively-incorporated<br />

technology, such as concealed liquidcooling<br />

and a flowing exhaust run with<br />

hidden primary silencer. All combining to<br />

deliver that unmistakeable Triumph modern<br />

classic style.<br />

The high-quality finish and elegant detailing<br />

continues with the trademark black<br />

powder-coated engine casings, tough gold<br />

anodised forks, high-quality paint and logo<br />

detailing which ensure the finish on these<br />

new models is premium throughout.<br />

The Speed 400’s two-tone paint schemes,<br />

each featuring a prominent Triumph tank<br />

graphic, reflect its dynamic roadster style,<br />

with Carnival Red, Caspian Blue and<br />

Phantom Black colours available.<br />

Accentuating the Scrambler 400 X’s allroad<br />

attitude are lots of purposeful and<br />

practical features, including protection for<br />

the headlight, radiator and sump, as well as<br />

handguards, a handlebar brace with pad<br />

and a longer front mudguard.<br />

The Scrambler 400 X is available in three<br />

stylish and contemporary colour schemes,<br />

Triumph release new Speed<br />

400 and Scrambler 400X<br />

The Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X: two<br />

all-new models joining the Triumph range<br />

in 2024. Born into a peerless bloodline,<br />

the Speed 400 roadster joins Triumph’s<br />

most successful modern classic line-up,<br />

the Speed Twin 900 and 1200 while the<br />

Scrambler 400 X takes its rugged design<br />

cues from the Scrambler 900 and 1200,<br />

with an off-road pedigree that goes back to<br />

the first factory Scramblers of the 1950s.<br />

Designed from the ground-up with a brandnew<br />

single engine platform at their heart,<br />

these new models are designed to deliver a<br />

fun, agile and confidence-inspiring ride for<br />

riders of all ages and experience levels.<br />

Together, with class-leading capability,<br />

rider-focused technology and categoryleading<br />

quality and detail, and with a<br />

high level of standard specification, long<br />

service intervals and a comprehensive<br />

warranty, these accessible new models<br />

represent incredible value for money and<br />

bring Triumph’s iconic style, quality and<br />

performance to a whole new generation of<br />

Triumph riders.<br />

Conceived and designed in Hinckley, UK,<br />

these two new additions to the modern<br />

classics line-up have been developed with<br />

the same exacting attention to detail as<br />

Triumph’s most celebrated models. They


each featuring Triumph’s distinctive<br />

‘Scrambler’ tank stripe and triangle badge,<br />

with Matt Khaki Green and Fusion White,<br />

Carnival Red and Phantom Black, plus<br />

Phantom Black and Silver Ice options.<br />


Named to celebrate the historic Triumph<br />

‘Trophy’ bloodline, whose roots can be<br />

traced back to the racing singles of the<br />

early twentieth century, and in particular<br />

Six Day Trial offroad competition. This allnew<br />

fuel-injected and liquid-cooled 398cc<br />

single-cylinder engine combines Triumph’s<br />

trademark modern classic style with state-ofthe-art<br />

engineering to deliver class-beating<br />

performance with a responsive, fun and<br />

characterful power delivery along with an<br />

evocative, rich and distinctive exhaust note.<br />

Technical highlights include a four-valve,<br />

DOHC cylinder head and a crankshaft<br />

that has been perfectly weighted and<br />

balanced to optimise inertia for low-speed<br />

rideability. A finger-follower valvetrain with a<br />

low reciprocating mass and DLC coatings<br />

that reduce friction also contribute to this<br />

free-revving yet tractable engine’s capacitydefying<br />

performance.<br />

The six-speed gearbox delivers light,<br />

precise gear selection with ratios<br />

perfectly spread to make the most of this<br />

characterful and torque-rich engine.<br />

For more information on the new 400s and<br />

the full range of Triumph motorcycles email<br />



2024 MotoGP silly season:<br />

what we know so far<br />

As we enter the summer break, MotoGP<br />

silly season for the 2024 campaign is alive<br />

and kicking. So, motogp.com decided to<br />

break down what we already know – and<br />

what could potentially happen in the rider<br />

market over the coming weeks and months.<br />

was the much-talked-about destination<br />

for the Spaniard, but those rumours have<br />

significantly cooled in the last couple of<br />

months. Now though, Martin has pretty<br />

much extinguished any conversation about<br />

him moving away from Ducati.<br />


Let’s start with the easy stuff – who’s<br />

going nowhere in 2024? Reigning World<br />

Champion Francesco Bagnaia will be<br />

riding a Ducati Lenovo Team-painted<br />

Desmosedici next season, with Aprilia<br />

Racing’s factory line-up of Aleix Espargaro<br />

and Maverick Viñales also unchanged.<br />

The same goes for Red Bull KTM Factory<br />

Racing, they’ll be lining up with Brad Binder<br />

and Jack Miller, while Fabio Quartararo<br />

will remain as a Monster Energy Yamaha<br />

MotoGP rider.<br />

Now, we’ll take a factory-by-factory look at<br />

what’s the latest in the 2024 rumour mill.<br />

DUCATI:<br />

We know that Enea Bastianini (Ducati<br />

Lenovo Team) has a 2024 contract in place<br />

with Ducati, but not directly with the factory<br />

team. That being said, it would be a huge<br />

shock to see ‘The Beast’ not racing in<br />

Bologna red alongside Pecco next season.<br />

Earlier on in the year, Jorge Martin (Prima<br />

Pramac Racing) had been strongly linked<br />

with a move away from Ducati. Yamaha<br />

There’s a question mark over Martin’s<br />

current teammate Johann Zarco. The<br />

Frenchman doesn’t currently have a 2024<br />

MotoGP contract, so he’s a name that<br />

could potentially leave. The same goes<br />

for premier class sophomore Fabio Di<br />

Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP),<br />

with fellow Gresini star Alex Marquez also<br />

not currently signed up to Ducati for 2024 –<br />

but there’s a reason for that.<br />

Gresini Racing MotoGP aren’t yet<br />

confirmed to be racing Ducatis in 2024,<br />

but Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo<br />

Ciabatti hinted that Gresini looks set to<br />

continue being an Independent Ducati<br />

Team. Once that is 100% confirmed by<br />

both Ducati and Gresini, rider news should<br />

follow shortly after.<br />

One name that has been heavily linked<br />

to Gresini is current Moto2 World<br />

Championship leader Tony Arbolino (Elf<br />

Marc VDS Racing Team). “I would love to<br />

be there… I will sit and see in July, a long<br />

summer break,” said Arbolino ahead of<br />

the Italian GP. His personal manager, Carlo<br />

Pernat, is closely linked with Gresini, with<br />

the wise Italian also Bastianini’s manager.<br />

Then we come to Mooney VR46 Racing<br />

Team’s Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini.<br />

The latter looks like it’s all but confirmed<br />

that he’ll be staying in VR46 black and<br />

yellow in 2024, but in recent weeks, talk of<br />

title-chasing Bezzecchi moving elsewhere<br />

in the Ducati family have gathered a bit of<br />

pace.<br />

YAMAHA:<br />

We come to Yamaha next because if<br />

Bezzecchi was to move out of the Mooney<br />

VR46 squad, then Franco Morbidelli’s<br />

(Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)<br />

name has been mentioned as a possible<br />

replacement. It would make sense.<br />

Morbidelli is part of the closely knit VR46<br />

Academy and if there’s an open seat,<br />

Valentino Rossi and co would obviously<br />

welcome Morbidelli with open arms.<br />

If Bezzecchi stays put, though, then<br />

the options for Morbidelli aren’t as<br />

straightforward. When pressed about his<br />

future at the Italian GP, the 2020 MotoGP<br />

runner-up said “WHO SAYS I WANT<br />


Once Toprak Razgatlioglu had confirmed<br />

he’d be switching to BMW in WorldSBK,<br />

Morbidelli signing up for another year<br />

with Yamaha naturally became a stronger<br />

possibility. However, that interview raised<br />

plenty of questions about Morbidelli even<br />

wanting to stay at Yamaha.


Yamaha obviously have a decision to make.<br />

Speaking to motogp.com back in Austin,<br />

Yamaha’s Lin Jarvis said their “number one<br />

choice” would be Morbidelli. Jarvis also<br />

said, “All of these type of considerations,<br />

really, happen at the end of the first half<br />

of the season. Then we need to know, he<br />

needs to know, everyone needs to know for<br />

their planning for next year.”<br />

The end of the first half of the season has<br />

arrived, so Morbidelli is one of the big<br />

names to keep an eye on.<br />


As we’ve already discussed, the factory<br />

team are set. Binder and Miller aren’t going<br />

anywhere, so that means it’s all eyes on<br />

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3.<br />

One name in particular has given the KTM<br />

and GASGAS hierarchy some headaches:<br />

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Acosta<br />

and his camp have made it clear that<br />

Moto2 “isn’t an option” for 2024, and<br />

it’s well documented that the deadline for<br />

KTM to offer Acosta a MotoGP seat is<br />

June 30th. The ball is firmly in KTM’s court<br />

on this one. Acosta will be moving to the<br />

premier class in 2024, but will it be with the<br />

KTM family?<br />

With Pol Espargaro having a contract for<br />

2024, it’s unlikely we’ll see the #44 – who<br />

hasn’t raced so far in 2023 due to the<br />

injuries he sustained in Portimao – not<br />

dressed in GASGAS Tech3 red again next<br />

year. That, then, more than likely leaves one<br />

seat for Acosta to fill if KTM decide to keep<br />

the Spanish starlet – and that’s the one<br />

currently occupied by reigning Moto2<br />

World Champion Augusto Fernandez.<br />

Fernandez has been impressive in his<br />

rookie premier class campaign, with the<br />

highlight coming with a superb P4 at the<br />

French GP. This is where KTM’s very tough<br />

decision comes into play. Do they risk<br />

losing Acosta to a rival manufacturer and<br />

keep Fernandez, or do they opt to bring<br />

Acosta into MotoGP and decide to let<br />

Fernandez go? It won’t be long before we<br />

know the answer.<br />

HONDA:<br />

The obvious, main topic of conversation<br />

when it comes to Honda is Marc Marquez’s<br />

situation. The eight-time World Champion<br />

has a contract with HRC for 2024, but after<br />

what’s unfolded in recent weeks – most<br />

notably the five crashes in Germany and<br />

subsequent injuries – the #93’s future isn’t<br />

certain.<br />

As Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto<br />

Puig admits, Honda are in a “really bad”<br />

situation with their RC213V. That’s led to<br />

Marquez being in one of his “most difficult<br />

professional moments.” The summer break<br />

feels like a crucial five weeks for Marquez<br />

and Honda’s future. If a premature break<br />

up was to happen, and that’s a big if, the<br />

2024 silly season would rev into overdrive.<br />

Marquez leaving Honda before the end of<br />

2024 is a highly complex avenue. But it’s<br />

not an impossible one.


Elsewhere, Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team)<br />

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

have Honda contracts for 2024. With both<br />

Spaniards sustaining injuries at the Italian<br />

GP, we’ve not had the chance to quiz them<br />

about where they currently sit in the 2024<br />

jigsaw puzzle, but it would be a surprise<br />

to see either not riding at their current<br />

respective teams next season.<br />

Then we come to Takaaki Nakagami (LCR<br />

Honda Idemitsu). The Japanese rider’s<br />

HRC contract is up at the end of 2023, so<br />

Nakagami is one of the riders we might<br />

not see on the grid in 2024. Ai Ogura<br />

(Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) is the standout<br />

candidate for that seat, but has the<br />

Japanese rider’s serious wrist injury that<br />

has plighted his 2023 Moto2 campaign<br />

put a move to MotoGP in 2024 on hold?<br />

Possibly. Does Ogura also feel like moving<br />

to Honda – after his injury woes and given<br />

the factory’s current situation – in 2024?<br />

We don’t know the answer to that yet. An<br />

interesting decision lies ahead of Honda<br />

here.<br />

APRILIA:<br />

As mentioned, Aleix Espargaro and Viñales<br />

will spearhead the Noale factory’s efforts<br />

in 2024. Therefore, we turn our attention to<br />

CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team’s Miguel<br />

Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.<br />

Earlier this season, speaking at Aprilia’s<br />

All Star event in Misano, Aprilia Racing<br />

CEO Massimo Rivola shut down any talk of<br />

tweaks to their rider line-up being made for<br />

2024. Both riders penned two-year deals,<br />

so it doesn’t look like anything will change<br />

at RNF next season.<br />

With the summer break here, we’re going<br />

to begin to find out where some of the<br />

riders in question will be racing in 2024 and<br />

beyond. Keep your eyes peeled!


Carlos Ezpeleta<br />

reveals 2024 plans for<br />

Concessions and more<br />

Ahead of the annual MotoGP summer<br />

break, Dorna Sports Chief Sporting<br />

Officer Carlos Ezpeleta has been chatting<br />

with Catalunya Radio about a number of<br />

interesting topics. Most notably, potential<br />

plans for Honda and Yamaha to receive<br />

Concessions.<br />

“We are working on being able to help, not<br />

only Honda, but also Yamaha, so that they<br />

can be competitive again in a faster way,”<br />

said Ezpeleta.<br />

“Honda and Yamaha were very considerate<br />

with the concession rules in the past, and<br />

that was vital for Ducati to be competitive<br />

and also for Suzuki to be competitive so<br />

quickly, and for KTM and Aprilia to officially<br />

enter the World Championship and be<br />

competitive as well. Dorna’s official position<br />

is that the concessions system should be<br />

updated,” continued Ezpeleta.<br />

Ezpeleta also explains that having more<br />

than 22 bikes – the current allocation – on<br />

the grid next year “isn’t planned”, and what<br />

that means for Marc Marquez’s Repsol<br />

Honda Team future. In addition, Ezpeleta<br />

touched on the potential of a Friday<br />

Free Practice MotoGP session being<br />

introduced into the weekend schedule.


Pirelli to become exclusive tyre<br />

supplier to Moto2 & Moto3<br />

Pirelli will become the official, exclusive tyre<br />

supplier to the Moto2 and Moto3 classes<br />

from 2024 to 2026 inclusive. This new threeyear<br />

agreement, currently being finalised,<br />

will see the Italian tyre marque become<br />

an integral part of the lightweight and<br />

intermediate classes of Grand Prix racing.<br />

Pirelli already has a long legacy as the<br />

sole supplier for all classes of the MOTUL<br />

FIM Superbike World Championship and<br />

now extends their two-wheeled portfolio to<br />

include Moto2 and Moto3, the strongest<br />

feeder classes in global motorsport. Pirelli<br />

will supply their DIABLO Superbike slick<br />

tyres to both classes, reflecting a choice in<br />

line with Pirelli’s philosophy ‘We sell what<br />

we race, we race what we sell’.<br />

Thanks to this agreement, Moto2 and<br />

Moto3 will become an important driver<br />

for the further enhancement of the Pirelli<br />

brand in terms of both commercial growth<br />

and technological development. The<br />

MotoGP paddock offers the best racing<br />

laboratory on two wheels, ensuring the<br />

sport continues to drive innovation in safety,<br />

performance and sustainability that reaches<br />

real customers on the street.<br />

The deal also extends across the Road to<br />

MotoGP as Pirelli become the official<br />

and sole tyre supplier for all classes of<br />

the Finetwork FIM JuniorGP World<br />

Championship, the Idemitsu Asia Talent<br />

Cup, the Northern Talent Cup and the Red<br />

Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, joining their<br />

established commitment to the FIM MiniGP<br />

World Series. Unrivalled in motorsport,<br />

the Road to MotoGP is a global talent<br />

promotion initiative opening doors and<br />

widening access to motorcycle racing<br />

across the world.<br />

Further details on the supply and type of<br />

tyres that will be used will be disclosed in<br />

due course.<br />

Aldo Nicotera, Senior Vice-President and<br />

Head of Moto and Cycling Pirelli: “We<br />

are proud that Dorna has chosen us to<br />

become the new Moto2 and Moto3 supplier<br />

for the next three seasons. This is further<br />

recognition of our authority in motorsport<br />

and also a clear sign of appreciation for<br />

the work we have been carrying out in the<br />

Superbike World Championship for 20<br />

years. With this new supply agreement,<br />

we will accompany the young hopefuls<br />

of motorcycling to the top competitions,<br />

WorldSBK and MotoGP. And, faithful to the<br />

philosophy that has distinguished us for<br />

years, we will do so by continuing to use<br />

standard products on sale in the market and<br />

available for purchase to all motorcyclists.”<br />

Carlos Ezpeleta, Chief Sporting Officer,<br />

Dorna Sports: “We’re super happy to<br />

welcome Pirelli to the paddock as the sole<br />

tyre supplier for Moto2 and Moto3. These<br />

Championships are the best example in<br />

motorsport of strong feeder classes that<br />

also stand alone as high-level competitions,<br />

in terms of both their sporting and<br />

commercial value. So we’re very happy<br />

to have seen such a high level of interest<br />

from Pirelli and to reach this agreement.<br />

Welcoming a new partner also underlines<br />

our sport’s strong connections and<br />

relationships with the industry, and we’re<br />

very much looking forward to working with<br />

Pirelli across a number of areas, including<br />

performance, road-relevance and, of<br />

course, sustainability.”<br />

Dorna Sports would also like to thank<br />

Dunlop, exclusive supplier to the Moto2<br />

and Moto3 classes since their inception,<br />

and the most successful tyre brand of the<br />

previous era of 125cc and 250cc racing, for<br />

their loyal and outstanding collaboration up<br />

until and including 2023.


Iannone linked with Barni<br />

Spark Ducati? “He is a great<br />

talent… never say never!”<br />

After stating his own claim to be on the<br />

grid in 2024 back at Misano, could Iannone<br />

have found a home to go to for his return to<br />

racing?<br />

We’re halfway there in the 2023 MOTUL FIM<br />

Superbike World Championship; six rounds<br />

down and six waiting in anger. As is always<br />

the case, the rider market for the following<br />

year is always active and looking to 2024,<br />

that’s no different. However, it’s not just from<br />

riders who are on the grid or are looking to<br />

move from other paddocks, its riders wanting<br />

to return to the sport as a whole.<br />

MORE THAN A RUMOUR: could ‘The<br />

Maniac’ cause the craziest jolt in the rider<br />

market?<br />

Andrea Iannone has been one of the names<br />

banded around the WorldSBK paddock for<br />

a few rounds now and was actually seen at<br />

the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”<br />

in May for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna<br />

Round. There, he stated his aim to be on the<br />

WorldSBK grid for 2024 and that he enjoyed<br />

his experience within the paddock, even if<br />

it was as a guest for the time being. Now,<br />

after the Prosecco DOC UK Round, Marco<br />

Barnabo has said “never say never” on the<br />

possibility that ‘The Maniac’ joins up with his<br />

Barni Spark Racing Team.<br />

Speaking about the possibility of Andrea<br />

Iannone coming to join the WorldSBK<br />

paddock and potentially doing so with his<br />

team, Marco Barnabo said: “He is a great<br />

talent rider and I am sure he could be really<br />

good in this Championship. However, now<br />

my focus is on the work with Danilo. So, as<br />

the project is not well defined and until we<br />

start getting the results we set, I don’t know<br />

if we’ll be able to do something more of this.<br />

Never say never!”<br />

It comes after current rider Danilo Petrucci, in<br />

his Saturday afternoon debrief at Donington<br />

Park, responded to a question about Iannone<br />

being his potential teammate in a two-bike<br />

Barni Ducati line-up, as well as his good<br />

friendship with his ex-MotoGP rival: “He’s<br />

already texted me! We were texting just five<br />

minutes ago. He said ‘I wish I can be there<br />

next year’; it would be fun! It’s not my job this<br />

time for sure! Jokes apart, Andrea is a really<br />

a good talent. I would like to see him in this<br />

Championship. It would be a good step.”<br />

BARNI BACK ON THE BOX: “We never<br />

gave up in these five years”<br />

It was an emotional return to the podium for<br />

the team, with Marco Barnabo elated at the<br />

good turn in fortune for the team in 2023<br />

after a difficult period of time: “The project<br />

with Petrucci started a while ago. I tried for<br />

several years to bring him back with me after<br />

2011. Clearly, he had great opportunities<br />

but we always kept in contact, we trust each<br />

other and we’re friends. When this chance<br />

emerged, we took it.<br />

“I am very happy; we worked a lot on the<br />

bike as it’s very different compared to<br />

Bautista’s, and we still have to work to adapt<br />

it to Danilo. I’m sure if we can go on like now,<br />

we’ll get very good results in 2023 with him.<br />

We are very happy about this podium; it has<br />

been missed for a long time! I’m very proud<br />

of the team, we never gave up in these five<br />

years and this podium is a reward for all the<br />

sacrifices we did.”<br />

The five years that Marco talks about have<br />

been long; Xavi Fores taking second in 2018<br />

during the inaugural Argentinian Round’s<br />

Race 2 was the last visit to the podium for<br />

the Italian team. Top ten results came with<br />

Michael Ruben Rinaldi in 2019 but in 2020,<br />

Leon Camier’s star-signing for the team<br />

ended in the British rider getting injured<br />

in testing at Aragon, never recovering and<br />

thus retiring from the racing side of the<br />

sport. Marco Melandri was drafted in and<br />

achieved a top ten, but later went back to<br />

his own retirement, as Matteo Ferrari and<br />

Samuele Cavalieri stepped in. For 2021,<br />

Tito Rabat’s headline signing for the team<br />

ended in disappointment with a handful<br />

of top ten finishes, as Samuele Cavalieri


once again returned, whilst a year later,<br />

Sammarinese rider Luca Bernardi was<br />

given an opportunity after an impressive<br />

WorldSSP campaign, but later replaced by<br />

Xavi Fores for the final three rounds.<br />


Misano misfortune, Donington Park<br />

delight<br />

Already in 2023, Danilo Petrucci has returned<br />

the team to some kind of form, regardless<br />

of the podium achieved at Donington Park.<br />

Two top ten finishes at Phillip Island were a<br />

solid start, whilst a top five at Mandalika saw<br />

the team back towards the pointy end. Assen<br />

was consistent whilst Barcelona was difficult,<br />

but it was perhaps Misano where it was all<br />

about ‘what could’ve been’ for the team.<br />

Crashing out of a podium-contending fourth<br />

in Race 1, ‘Petrux’ salvaged a P7 in Race 2<br />

after a crash in the Superpole Race.<br />

The drought was almost ended in Race 1<br />

at Donington Park but Petrucci, back at the<br />

track for the first time since 2009, had one<br />

clear image from Misano stopping a late,<br />

potentially race-costing charge to Jonathan<br />

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

who eventually took P3: “I had a clear image<br />

in my mind of the team owner, Marco, with<br />

his head in his hands from Misano, and I<br />

thought, ‘I don’t want to repeat that again!’.<br />

So, I was on the limit. Maybe Jonny, when<br />

I was able to catch him, made two or three<br />

mistakes and I was able to catch him but<br />

then, the last two laps, I said, ‘I have nothing<br />

more to give.’ I decided, OK, maybe it is<br />

better to score some points!”<br />

Donington Park welcomed the 32-year-old<br />

double MotoGP race winner onto the front<br />

row for the first time, before a hat-trick of<br />

top five finishes and a first podium in Race<br />

2, with the #9 stating that he’ll “drink a lot of<br />

beers” in celebration. It’s the first time the<br />

Barni Spark Racing Team have achieved<br />

three consecutive top five finishes since<br />

Assen and Imola in 2018 with Fores, who<br />

achieved four in a row with 5th, 4th, 5th,<br />

4th. With Imola up next for Petrucci and<br />

Barnabo’s team, do bigger achievements<br />

lies ahead?





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

Every Ducati is a magical mix of beauty and<br />

technology. A unique balance that the Bologna-based<br />

company has been able to build up over the years,<br />

combining attention to design with the constant work<br />

of R&D in the field of innovation. From the Multistrada<br />

V4 to the Scrambler, passing through the Panigale<br />

V4, each model is designed to offer Ducatisti only<br />

the best, thanks to sophisticated solutions capable<br />

of giving them unforgettable experiences every time<br />

they are on the bike.<br />

Every Ducati is a magical mix of beauty and technology. A unique balance that<br />

the Bologna-based company has been able to build up over the years, combining<br />

attention to design with the constant work of R&D in the field of innovation. From<br />

the Multistrada V4 to the Scrambler, passing through the Panigale V4, each model<br />

is designed to offer Ducatisti only the best, thanks to sophisticated solutions<br />

capable of giving them unforgettable experiences every time they are on the bike.<br />

In this sense, electronics play a fundamental role, and it is for this reason that,<br />

especially in the last 15 years, Ducati has invested daily in the development of<br />

cutting-edge technologies.<br />

The electronic solutions make it possible to refine the character of each bike<br />

according to the intended use: whether it is to enable the best performance on the<br />

track with the Panigale V4 or to provide the most comfortable and exciting journey<br />

possible with the Multistrada V4.

Thanks to this awareness, over the years Ducati has<br />

introduced many of the solutions that later became<br />

standard on motorcycles in the various segments.<br />


In 2008, with the 1098R, Ducati was the first<br />

motorcycle manufacturer to introduce Traction Control<br />

on a motorcycle, moving the performance and safety<br />

benchmarks of super sports bikes forward. Just<br />

one year later, the LED headlight introduced on the<br />

Streetfighter 1100 represented another Ducati world<br />

first. In 2010, Ducati presented the first motorcycle<br />

in the world capable of “changing character” thanks<br />

to the presence of the Riding Modes: the Multistrada<br />

1200 S. Other electronic innovations introduced by<br />

Ducati include the TFT instrumentation of the Diavel,<br />

in 2011, another example of a technical solution that<br />

has now become a standard on motorcycles in every<br />

segment. In 2012, the 1199 Panigale, which received<br />

the prestigious design award, the Compasso d’Oro,<br />

saw the introduction in the motorcycle field of the<br />

Full-LED light cluster and electronic engine brake<br />

management.<br />

In addition to working to introduce new technical<br />

solutions to the market, Ducati R&D works every<br />

day to evolve and perfect existing bikes, improving<br />

them year after year. This is what happened, for<br />

example, with Multistrada V4 owners, who received<br />

the Minimum Preload and Easy Lift systems free of<br />

charge when they were introduced on later models,<br />

and who continue to benefit from navigation system<br />

upgrades. Or the evolution that the Panigale V4 has<br />

undergone from 2018 to today.<br />

Creating safe, high-performance and accessible<br />

motorcycles is the basis of the development of every<br />

Ducati, which thanks to all these innovations and the<br />

continuous development of solutions already on the<br />

market, today offers a range in which each model<br />

represents a technological benchmark in the segment<br />

to which it belongs, also in terms of safety, given that<br />

all Ducati motorcycles are equipped as standard with<br />

ABS Cornering and Traction Control.<br />

Since safety is a very important aspect for Ducati,<br />

in 2014 the Bologna-based company, together with<br />

Dainese, introduced the first motorcycle with an<br />

integrated system capable of communicating with<br />

the airbag in the jacket: the Multistrada 1200 Touring<br />

D|Air. At the time, airbag systems did not guarantee<br />

current safety standards, while the sophisticated<br />

Multistrada 1200 Touring D|Air system sent the<br />

activation signal in just 20 milliseconds in the event<br />

of a crash or slide. In 2018 Ducati introduced the<br />

Slide By Brake system that allows controlled power<br />

sliding under braking on the Panigale V4, while<br />

in 2020, with the Multistrada V4, Ducati was the<br />

first motorcycle manufacturer to introduce radars<br />

to the world of two wheels, which allowed the<br />

implementation of the Adaptive Cruise Control and<br />

Blind Spot Detection systems. 2023 saw the arrival<br />

of extended deactivation on the Multistrada V4 Rally,<br />

a sophisticated system which, by switching off the<br />

two rear cylinders, reduces fuel consumption and<br />

heat. These are the innovations introduced by Ducati<br />

in the world of two wheels, many of which are now<br />

standard on motorcycles “over 500 cc”.<br />



•2008, DTC Traction Control - 1098 R<br />

•2009, LED headlight - Streetfighter 1100<br />

•2010, Riding Modes - Multistrada 1200 S<br />

•2011, TFT instrumentation - Diavel<br />

•2012, Electronic Engine Brake<br />

Management (EBC) and full-LED headlight<br />

- Panigale 1199<br />

•2021, Adaptive Cruise Control/Blind<br />

Spot Detection - Multistrada V4<br />

•2023, Extended Deactivation -<br />

Multistrada V4 Rally

Ducati’s approach is to develop internally the<br />

technologies to be introduced on its motorcycles,<br />

together with its suppliers, simultaneously<br />

creating know-how within the Company. Concrete<br />

examples are the close collaboration with Pirelli,<br />

Brembo, Bosch and other suppliers with which<br />

the Bologna-based manufacturer participates in<br />

the development of components which are first<br />

mounted on the Ducati bikes. This approach is<br />

even more valuable when it comes to electronics<br />

because it allows Ducati to have full control over<br />

the technologies implemented, thus being able<br />

to customize them without constraints depending<br />

on the application, from the Panigale V4 to the<br />

Scrambler via the Streetfighter, Diavel, DesertX<br />

and the Multistrada V4, which represents the<br />

maximum expression of Ducati electronic<br />

technology.<br />




The drive towards innovation in electronics goes<br />

hand in hand with the growth of the Electrical &<br />

Electronic Systems department, which has seen<br />

its resources quadruple in just over ten years.<br />

Through the work of this department, which<br />

is part of R&D, Ducati studies, develops and<br />

introduces new and often innovative systems<br />

into series production, obviously also drawing on<br />

experience from racing competition. The constant<br />

work of developing and refining the technical<br />

and technological solutions has introduced<br />

a very broad range of functions and devices<br />

across the entire range, which today varies from<br />

the state-of-the-art available on the Panigale V4<br />

and Multistrada V4, to systems such as Ride-bywire,<br />

Traction Control, Quickshift, Riding Mode,<br />

Cornering ABS and TFT instruments also on more<br />

accessible models such as the Scrambler.<br />

Ducati innovation also involves new working<br />

methods. In addition to developing new<br />

technologies internally, Ducati has had several<br />

internal laboratories within the company for several<br />

years to carry out tests during the development<br />

phase, without necessarily having to rely on<br />

external resources or suppliers. One of these is<br />

Electrical & Electronic Testing which is responsible<br />

for testing the electrical and electronic components<br />

of the bikes in the range, putting them to the test<br />

to measure their quality and duration over time.<br />

The purpose of this activity is twofold: to quickly<br />

solve the problems that may arise during the<br />

development phases and to monitor the quality of<br />

the already existing models.<br />

Among the tests that are carried out by highly<br />

specialized personnel in the Electrical & Electronic<br />

Testing laboratory there are those for verifying the<br />

functioning of the components in extreme thermal<br />

and environmental conditions, made possible<br />

thanks to the use of cells capable of replicating<br />

temperatures ranging from –40°C to 180°C and<br />

atmospheric events such as heavy rain or salt<br />

mist. The components are also put under stress<br />

by means of robots which repeat operations<br />

thousands of times, such as, for example, the<br />

rotation of the handlebar to check the correct<br />

reliability of the wiring, or other operations such as<br />

the brake lever to turn on the brake light, in order<br />

to verify its resilience in real conditions of use.

Furthermore, inside the laboratory, we go as<br />

far as controlling each individual chip, even<br />

by sectioning them to analyse them under a<br />

microscope and verify their exact composition<br />

and consistency with the development<br />

specifications.<br />

Software debugging and mobile app activities<br />

are also carried out within Electrical & Electronic<br />

Testing. Over the years, connectivity is also<br />

becoming an increasingly important aspect in the<br />

motorcycle field and, given the growing number<br />

of smartphone manufacturers and the constant<br />

updating of the various operating systems,<br />

the presence of a group of people within the<br />

Company who deal with this aspect represents an<br />

added value to always keep up with the times. An<br />

example of this work can be found in navigation<br />

systems: from the Phone Mirroring solution<br />

adopted on the Multistrada V4, which makes it<br />

possible to transform the dashboard into a colour<br />

map navigator containing all the information<br />

required for riding the motorbike, to the Turn-by-<br />

Turn system which was introduced in 2023 on the<br />

DesertX and Diavel V4. These two solutions allow<br />

Ducati not to be bound to a specific operating<br />

system but allow compatibility with iOS and<br />

Android systems and the continuous evolution of<br />

the software which is then updated free of charge<br />

for customers.<br />

All of this is “the Ducati way”. A working<br />

methodology that has allowed Ducati to create<br />

increasingly innovative products with improved<br />

quality year after year, testifying to how the<br />

strategic commitments of the Bologna-based<br />

manufacturer, from racing competition to R&D,<br />

passing through investments in experimentation,<br />

are aimed, year after year, at giving Ducatisti the<br />

bikes of their dreams.

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


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

RETRO<br />


The market for modern retro or sport<br />

heritage motorcycles as Yamaha calls them<br />

is on the rise worldwide. Styling cues from<br />

models of years gone by have been at the<br />

forefront of designing these bikes for years<br />

now, with most, if not all the manufacturers<br />

jumping on the bandwagon to get involved<br />

with this latest craze. Yamaha is the latest<br />

manufacturer to update one such model,<br />

which they released to the world back in<br />

2016, the XSR900 and we got our hands on it.

The XSR900 pays homage to Historic Yamaha<br />

models of years gone by thanks to its 1980’s<br />

inspired design and famous racing colour<br />

scheme, inspired by Yamahas legendary Deltaboxed<br />

framed bikes of the 80s. It’s strange to<br />

think that even today, motorcycle designs and the<br />

way they perform are influenced by a different era,<br />

in the case of the XSR, that of the 1980s with its<br />

old-school paint job and iconic Deltabox chassis.<br />

It’s effectively a mashup of different bikes, almost<br />

as if someone went back in time, stole a Yamaha<br />

in the 80s, brought it back into our time, stripped<br />

it back, and built it up again combining the best<br />

of modern and classic elements to bring you what<br />

we have in front of us today.<br />

The XSR900 is class-leading when it comes to<br />

electronics. Let’s face it most manufacturers<br />

don’t include fancy electronics on their modern<br />

retro bikes as they want a true analog experience.<br />

With the XSR900 though you get the best of both<br />

worlds. It’s like one of those watches that are both<br />

analog and digital, meaning you get the best of<br />

both worlds. It uses a YZF R1-derived IMU which<br />

allows it to have a plethora of riding aids and<br />

electronic aids. This includes Yamaha’s Traction<br />

Control System (TCS) with 3 settings, Slide<br />

Control System (SCS), Lift Control System (LIF),<br />

and Brake Control (BC). Each can be adjusted<br />

for different levels of intervention or turned off<br />

completely depending on rider preference. There<br />

are also four ride modes to choose from (1,2,3 and<br />

4)which adjust throttle sharpness and sensitivity<br />

according to the mode selected. The 3.5-inch<br />

TFT is rather small but does fit in with the 900’s<br />

retro looks. It’s also easy to read and displays all<br />

the information you could need. Other electronics<br />

include the addition of cruise control as standard,<br />

LED lighting, ABS brakes, and an up/down quickshifter<br />

which add more value and convenience.<br />

It’s a match made in heaven when you throw the<br />

XSR’s electronic suite in with the 890cc DOHC,<br />

liquid-cooled, inline three-cylinder; 12-valve motor.<br />

Yamaha increased the displacement for the new<br />

model from 849cc to 890cc which now produces<br />

just over 117hp and 93NM of torque. The changes<br />

internally include tweaked shorter conrods which<br />

increase the camshaft inertia by around 6%, a<br />

more aggressive camshaft, concave-top forged<br />

pistons, a hydraulic cam chain tensioner that<br />

replaces the older mechanical unit, and a more<br />

narrow and compact combustion chamber which<br />

aids in an increase of torque and help burn fuel<br />

more efficiently. Further updates and changes<br />

include that of the Airbox which now features<br />

three tuned intake snorkels which allow the<br />

XSR to breathe better and also create a better<br />

and more rageful intake note. Updated throttle<br />

bodies with a new injector angle also aid in better<br />

combustion efficiency while 3% taller gear ratios





smoothen out the ride and jerkiness the old XSR was<br />

plagued with at lower rpm and speeds. The motor is<br />

feisty and thanks to the changes, more eager than ever<br />

to be revved and explored. The addition of a bilateral<br />

quick-shifter enhances the XSR’s theme and fun factor<br />

as well. It’s both smooth and direct and creates the<br />

perfect wingman for the triple motor as they both work<br />

together in perfect harmony to create an orgasmic<br />

soundtrack as you race through the gears. The triple<br />

motor is a thing of beauty, silky smooth and soft when<br />

you want it to be, and then aggressive and sporty as you<br />

get more adventurous with it.<br />

The handling isn’t bad either as the XSR900 shares<br />

most of its chassis with the MT-09 but uses a bespoke<br />

subframe, a longer swingarm, and a lower steering head.<br />

It also uses Yamaha’s spin-forged wheels. The MT09-<br />

derived cast alloy Deltabox frame offers the right amount<br />

of flex and rigidity which aids in more predictable and<br />

better handling. In addition, the 900 is lighter than its<br />

predecessor weighing in at just 193kg. The suspension<br />

is rather basic but at the same time gets the job done.<br />

Up front, you have an upside-down fork that is adjustable

for preload, compression, and rebound. The rear shock<br />

is rather basic though and lacks compression damping<br />

adjustment. This is a place where it needs it the most as<br />

big bumps or sudden directional changes cause the rear<br />

travel to blow through the compression damping causing<br />

you to scrape the footpegs unexpectedly, especially<br />

around the track. The rebound is also a little quick<br />

causing the rear to snap, meaning you have to tone<br />

down your aggression more than you would like through<br />

the corners. The riding position is comfy and upright and<br />

that retro-designed seat unit also aids in supporting your<br />

lower back and prevents you from sliding around on the<br />

seat. The standard footpegs are also adjustable(2 levels)<br />

as standard which is a nice touch to dial the ergonomics<br />

in to suit your leg length while the 810mm seat height<br />

makes the XSR accessible to most riders, short or tall.<br />

POWER<br />

117.4 bhp @<br />

10,000 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

93 Nm<br />

@ 7,000rpm<br />

TANK<br />


14 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

810mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />

193kg<br />

The XSR900 uses dual four-piston calipers and 298mm<br />

rotors in the front with a radial Brembo master cylinder<br />

and a single 245mm disc and single-piston caliper<br />

in the rear. Cornering ABS is standard and has two<br />

modes: BC-1 is standard ABS, not utilizing the IMU data,<br />

and BC-2 adds lean sensitivity and modulation as the<br />

bike leans. The brakes are direct and fade-free, even<br />

though the lines aren’t braided. The brake lever is reach<br />

adjustable and consistent to the touch. The ABS doesn’t<br />

interfere a lot but having the option to disable it would<br />

have been a nice touch from Yamaha.

The LED headlight lights up the night in such a way that<br />

Eskom could only dream of. Cars flash you, even when<br />

set to dims which can become a nuisance but hey at<br />

least they have noticed me riding. The LED tail light is<br />

snuggly fitted underneath the reto-styled tail unit and fits in<br />

perfectly and more importantly is still visible to the traffic<br />

behind you. The fuel tank is rather small in capacity at<br />

only 14 liters (+-200km range) but quite long and narrow,<br />

pretty much as most tanks were back in the 80s which is<br />

aesthetically pleasing and makes you feel like you are in a<br />

James Dean production. The real only issue for me is that<br />

of the nasty-looking standard underslung exhaust which<br />

would be the first thing I change. Also, the addition of a<br />

belly pan, seat cowl, and fly screen as standard would be<br />

nice and finish the looks off properly in my opinion.<br />

Attention to detail is great and it slowly seems as though<br />

the Japs are getting this right and taking styling cues<br />

from the Italians. No cables or wires sticking out creating<br />

an obvious eyesore. The styling is sleek, yet sharp and<br />

contemporary. Priced at only R219 950.00, the XSR is the<br />

perfect blend of modern meets retro and that makes me<br />

really happy indeed.<br />

Keen to go for a ride? Then call 011 259 7855 and book<br />

your demo ride on the Yamaha XSR 900, and if you do, let<br />

us know what you think of it. Email your impressions plus<br />

a photo of you with the bike to rob@motoriderworld.com<br />

and we might even put it in the next issue.

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

FINE<br />

TUNED<br />

RACER<br />

INDIAN<br />

FTR1200<br />

R CARBON<br />

Indian Motorcycles is America’s first motorcycle company<br />

and over the years they have created some mouth-watering<br />

models. Perhaps the most sporty and unique of these models<br />

is the FTR1200, first released way back in 2019. The FTR can be<br />

seen racing in the Super Hooligan’s Class in the Moto America<br />

Series, racing against machines like the KTM 890 Duke R,<br />

Harley Davidson Pan America/XR1200, Energica Eva Ribelle<br />

RS, Energica Eva Ribelle RS, BMW R nineT and the Ducati Hyper<br />

Motard. Born from the Championship winning FTR750 Flattracker<br />

the Indian FTR1200 is a complete rethinking of the FTR<br />

platform from when it was initially launched. Is it a cruiser? Or a<br />

Naked Sportsbike? Both or neither? We thought we would pick<br />

it up, test it and see for ourselves.

The Indian FTR1200 R Carbon is<br />

dressed to impress and it most<br />

certainly does that. It’s a gorgeous<br />

motorcycle, from every angle.<br />

There are four models to grace the FTR line-up.<br />

Namely the Standard, S, R Carbon, and Rally.<br />

The Rally retains the dirt-track accouterments<br />

that Indian now call the “scrambler aesthetic”<br />

and is no doubt aimed at taking on Triumphs<br />

and Ducati’s Scramblers. The model we had<br />

on test was the Carbon R model. A very stylish<br />

bike from any angle, the R Carbon incorporates<br />

stylish aesthetics with high-tech engineering and<br />

components. Now fitted with a 17” wheel set<br />

as opposed to the 19” front and 18” rear and<br />

receiving less suspension travel the FTR is lower,<br />

meaning a lower center of gravity which aids in<br />

better handling and a 35.5mm lower seat height<br />

of just under 820mm, making it more accessible<br />

to a variety of different riders. The wheelbase<br />

is also slightly longer at 1540mm, making the<br />

FTR stable. This does however make the FTR<br />

nervous in tight corners and a little tricky to be<br />

aggressive with. Front suspension is taken care<br />

of by a fully adjustable Öhlins inverted 43mm fork<br />

while the rear suspension is by a Cantilevered fully<br />

adjustable Öhlins piggyback reservoir IFP shock.<br />

The suspension works well and is adaptable and<br />

firm, and it has to be as the FTR is no lightweight<br />

at just over 230kg. It soaks up the bumps well,<br />

however, is slightly too stiff for the road in my<br />

opinion. The FTR is sure-footed and stable but<br />

you cannot just throw it into corners aggressively.<br />

Small mistakes are smoothed over without a<br />

second thought by the FTR. However, with all<br />

that weight, big mistakes can be a bit more of a<br />

problem to correct. You have to think about your<br />

line, be smooth and carry momentum. Other<br />

goodies exclusive to the R Carbon include a black<br />

Akrapovič muffler setup, an upgraded seat cover,<br />

and lots of carbon fiber.<br />

The seat is wide and supportive, and Indian<br />

have kept the headers from intruding on your<br />

legs, except at stops where the heat does get<br />

rather hot, especially on warmer days. Without

any doubt, the FTR feels like a sportbike with<br />

its upright ProTaper handlebars, positioned just<br />

right for that sporty yet comfortable positioning.<br />

The seat hugs and supports your posterior well<br />

meaning that you don’t slide back under heavy<br />

acceleration. The footpegs are tucked in and<br />

sportbike positioned meaning you won’t often be<br />

scraping them around bends. Taller riders might<br />

find this a bit of a tight fit as the space down from<br />

the seat to the pegs isn’t what you would call<br />

first-class spacious but more economy-like, to<br />

be frank. The riding position is still more naked<br />

sports bike rather than cruiser or a blend of them<br />

both leaning more towards the sportier side, much<br />

like your Ducati Diavel and Triumphs<br />

new Rocket R.<br />

nervous rider. Rain mode is pretty self-explanatory<br />

and delivers the lowest power and slowest<br />

throttle response for when things get slippery.<br />

The Traction Control works well and doesn’t limit<br />

the amount of fun while riding and can be turned<br />

on or switched off on the fly on the FTR’s easyto-navigate<br />

system. Cruise Control is also a nice<br />

addition to the FTR and works great, although<br />

there is a slight delay and abruptness while trying<br />

to disengage it while on the move.<br />

The 1203cc, 60-degree V-twin produces 120hp<br />

and 118NM of vibratious torque. Power does<br />

seem quite low when you compare it with other<br />

The R Carbon also shares electronic<br />

rider aids enhancements with the S,<br />

along with a 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen<br />

dash that interfaces with your<br />

smartphone via Bluetooth for phone<br />

calls and music. You have access to<br />

three riding modes- Sport, Standard,<br />

and Rain. Sport mode is where I spent<br />

most of my time in, although it can get<br />

quite snappy at times with an aggressive<br />

power delivery and throttle response.<br />

Standard mode is far more laid back<br />

with a much smoother power and<br />

throttle delivery perfect for everyday<br />

riding or for the more laid-back and<br />








1200cc sportbikes but that’s not what the Indian FTR<br />

is all about. It’s more comparative to your middle<br />

naked sportbikes with regards to those aspects.<br />

Torque is where the FTR comes out to play at any<br />

rpm, in any gear, the torque and pull in thunderous.<br />

The six-speed gearbox is a bit industrial and finding a<br />

gear can sometimes be tricky and clunky, especially<br />

when riding aggressively, highlighted even more by<br />

the fact that there isn’t a quick-shifter and auto blip<br />

fitted. On an R405 000.00 motorcycle fitted with topspecced<br />

components, this is rather disappointing.<br />

A quick shifter, even just upwards would have<br />

transformed the riding experience and taken it to<br />

another level completely.<br />

The FTR accelerates quickly from robot to robot and<br />

has a top speed of around 235kph, although saying<br />

this it is at its happiest just cruising along at highway<br />

speeds or being ridden hard from robot to robot. It<br />

vibrates with the utmost confidence and has the same<br />

character you would expect from your old-school<br />

muscle cars.<br />

POWER<br />

120 bhp @<br />

6,000 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

117.9 Nm<br />

@ 6,000rpm<br />

TANK<br />


12.9 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

780mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />


The brakes up front are 320mm discs with radially mounted<br />

Brembo calipers and a radially mounted Brembo master<br />

cylinder. The brakes need to be good to stop this behemoth<br />

and that they are. They provide good feedback although do<br />

require a firm pull of the delver to stop at their finest. The<br />

brake pedal can be difficult to locate at times and operate<br />

due to the exhaust header guard being in the way. The nonadjustable<br />

ABS does interfere quicker than most bikes and<br />

disappointedly cannot be turned off. More often than not I<br />

used the front brake and downshifts to slow me down. The<br />

engine braking is inconsistent and generally doesn’t exist<br />

below 3000rpm.<br />

The fuel tank is rather small at 12.9L so longer trips might<br />

be few and far between with around 150km on a tank<br />

possible. But then again this bike isn’t about long distance.<br />

It’s a phenomenal point A-to-B bike that is guaranteed to<br />

put a smile on your face and at the same time make those<br />

around you envious with its top-notch build quality and<br />

glamourous looks- ART on wheels effectively.<br />

Overall the Indian FTR is a great package but does fall<br />

short of 1 or 2 amenities that will elevate it to another level.<br />

So what is it then? Well, it’s not a cruiser, nor is it a naked<br />

sports bike. I would put it in the same category as that of<br />

the Diavel or Rocket with a little modern retro thrown in<br />

the mix as well. So effectively a retro naked sports cruiser<br />

would be the best way for me to describe it.<br />

Keen to go for a ride? Then call 011 259 7855 and book<br />

your demo ride on the FTR 1200 R Carbon, and if you do,<br />

let us know what you think of it. Email your impressions plus<br />

a photo of you with the bike to rob@motoriderworld.com<br />

and we might even put it in the next issue.

RACING<br />

LINE<br />

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



LIMITS<br />

Round 4 of the MRSSA(Motorcycle<br />

Racing Series South Africa) was<br />

recently held at many rider’s favorite<br />

track in SA, also a track that is rare<br />

to ride on in this country. Many riders<br />

will be lucky if they get to ride around<br />

Kyalami more than once or twice in one<br />

year. It’s a track that’s hard to access<br />

but the best track in South Africa<br />

according to many. With only three<br />

rounds left for the year, including the<br />

doubleheader at Aldo Scribante in PE, a<br />

good points hall is more vital than ever<br />

if the riders wish to place highly in their<br />

respective championships.

Sub 500<br />

For the Sub 500 riders, Kyalami is one of the<br />

fastest tracks in the country where they and their<br />

machines are put to the ultimate test. Who out of<br />

these future SA stars would emerge victorious at<br />

the end of the day? We will find out soon enough,<br />

but first, they headed out for qualifying.<br />

Pole man with a lap time of 2.00.473 was the<br />

talented Ryan van Nieuwkerk on his Kawasaki 400<br />

Ninja followed by teammate, Diego De Ponte in<br />

second, KJ Mononyane in third, Tyler Richardson<br />

making his debut in fourth, Oratilwe Phiri after a<br />

crash in fifth and lady rider Nicole Fourie in sixth<br />

who was battling with some mechanical issues on<br />

her Kawasaki.<br />

Race 1 was dominated by over 16 seconds by van<br />

Nieuwkerk who also set a very impressive 1.59.6<br />

lap time on his way to victory. De Ponte had a<br />

lonely ride into second with KJ Mononyane also<br />

with a lonely ride into third. The battle out on the<br />

track that everyone had their eyes on was between<br />

young Phiri and Richardson who were glued<br />

together the whole race. Eventually, Phiri crossed<br />

the line in fourth, less than two-tenths of a second<br />

ahead of Richardson in fifth. Fourie, unfortunately,<br />

had to retire due to a mechanical issue.<br />

Race 2 was once again won by van Nieuwkerk,<br />

the only man to set a sub-2-minute lap time. This<br />

time his victory would be 8.3 seconds over De<br />

Ponte in second. The biggest battle out on track<br />

this time was for third as Phiri found great pace in<br />

the second race and after a race-long battle with<br />

Mononyane took a well-deserved third place by<br />

less than 3 tenths of a second over Mononyane.<br />

Richardson had a lonely ride to fifth and a day to<br />

forget for Fourie who didn’t start race 2 due to the<br />

mechanical issue she encountered in qualifying<br />

and race 1.<br />

Super 600 SBK’s<br />

The Super 600 Superbikes which were combined<br />

with the Sub 500s for the day’s action would<br />

put on great racing, as always. Qualifying saw a<br />

new rider on Pole Position, with Keo Mokonyane<br />

setting an impressive 1.52.9 lap time to take his<br />

first Pole ahead of Clinton Fourie, Keegan Mills,<br />

Tristin Pienaar, and Matthew Schultz, all believe it<br />

or not on Yamaha R6s.<br />

Lap times dropped for race 1 as the riders<br />

fitted new, fresh rubber. Clinton Fourie took a<br />

comfortable win, setting a PB lap time of a 1,51,7<br />

on his way to victory. The race for second was<br />

covered by only 2 tenths of a second but was<br />

eventually taken by Mills ahead of Pienaar who<br />

looked to have solved the electronic issues he<br />

was having before the race. Poleman Mokonyane<br />

had to settle for fourth despite improving on his<br />

qualifying lap time. The ever-improving Schultz<br />

took fifth also setting a PB lap time.

Race 2 was a tighter affair with the top three riders all<br />

separated by less than a second over the line. Pienaar this time<br />

took a fine victory ahead of Fourie and Mills, with Mokonyane<br />

not too far behind the leading trio in fourth. Schultz took a<br />

lonely fifth but was still super impressive and will no doubt be<br />

one to watch in the future.<br />

Open Superbikes Novice<br />

Seven riders exited Pitlane for what proved to be an exciting<br />

qualifying session. Muhammed Essop took Pole Position on<br />

his new BMW S1000RR ahead of Donovan van der Merwe<br />

in second, Darryl Barrington in third, Thouca Mechanicos in<br />

fourth, Kevin Collings in fifth, Richard Wicks on his CBR600RR<br />

in sixth and Martyn Parry in seventh.<br />

Essop dominated race 1 by over 13 seconds and was the only<br />

man able to dip under the 2-minute mark with a 1.59.0 lap<br />

time. Barrington crossed the line in a lonely second ahead of<br />

van der Merwe in third, Mechanicos in fourth, Collings in fifth,<br />

Parry in sixth, and Wicks in seventh.<br />

Race 2 saw lap times plummet but it was once again Essop<br />

who took victory and the double win for the day, this time only<br />

1.6 seconds ahead of Barrington. Mechanicos had a fine ride<br />

to third ahead of van der Merwe, Wicks, Collings, and Parry.<br />

Open Superbikes Premier<br />

Seven riders headed out for the hotly contested Open<br />

Superbike Premier qualifying session which was combined<br />

with the Open Superbike Novice Class for the day’s action.<br />

Pole Position went to Warren Maasdorp, the only man able to<br />

set a sub-2-minute lap on his Yamaha R1. Jordan King took<br />

the first runners-up spot on the grid in second followed by<br />

Ryan Futter in third. Clive Turnbull took fourth ahead of Bradley<br />

Rehse in fifth, Danie Koekemoer in sixth, and Nkululeko Majola<br />

in seventh.<br />

Race 1 saw Maasdorp dominate the race, taking victory by<br />

over 17 seconds with a 1.55.1 lap time, ahead of King, Futter,<br />

Rehse, Turnbull, Koekemoer, and Majola.<br />

Maasdorp once again took the victory in race 2, this time by<br />

only 9.8 seconds and a PB lap time of a 1.54.3 ahead of King,<br />

Futter who just edged out Rehse for third, Turnbull in fifth,<br />

Koekemoer in sixth, and Majola 5 laps down with an issue and<br />

not finishing the race.

Masters<br />

One of the largest classes for the day was the<br />

Masters, with a 13-rider strong presence. Jaco<br />

Gous took Pole Position on his Suzuki with a<br />

1.52.310 lap time ahead of the ever-impressive<br />

Bradley Dawson on his BMW S1000RR in second,<br />

John Krige in third on his Suzuki. Tyron Piper<br />

put his BMW into fourth on the grid and is slowly<br />

getting back to the times and positions he is<br />

accustomed to after a couple of troubled years.<br />

Leon Horn took fifth ahead of Sfiso Themba who<br />

normally races in the Sunbets ZX10 Class in<br />

sixth, Derek Jacobs in seventh, Augustin Ntwari in<br />

eighth, Robert Ferreira in ninth, Jacques Schutte<br />

in tenth, Mornay Jonker in eleventh, Tim Green in<br />

twelfth and Wayne Morgan rounding out the grid<br />

in thirteenth.<br />

Race 1 and it was Gous who got the best start<br />

and used his early advantage to gap the field and<br />

take the victory by over 6 seconds. The battle for<br />

second was hotly contested and taken on the<br />

last corner by Krige who edged out Dawson for<br />

second. Piper had a great ride to fourth ahead of<br />

Horn, Themba, Ferreira, Jacobs, Ntwari, Schutte,<br />

Jonker, Green, and Morgan in last and thirteenth<br />

place.<br />

Race 2 saw the race get red flagged after only a<br />

couple of laps after a crash by Siphiwe Tom on his<br />

Ducati who was racing in the BOTTS class which<br />

was combined with the Masters for the days<br />

racing. It was a much closer affair up front after<br />

the restart but Gous once again took victory after<br />

a long battle with Dawson who took second and<br />

Krige in third. Piper took fourth ahead of Themba,<br />

Horn, Jacobs, Ferreira, Ntwari, Green, Jonker,<br />

Morgan, and Schutte with an issue, 1 lap down in<br />

thirteenth.<br />

BOTTS<br />

As he gets older, he seems to just get quicker, and<br />

taking Pole Position in the BOTTs with a lap time<br />

of a 1.54.7 went to Peter Bosch. Mick Landi took<br />

second place on the grid on his return to racing<br />

ahead of Alan Hulscher, Frans Fourie, Kaz Hauzer,<br />

Gavin Aab, Jaco Hennings, Desmond Acutt, and<br />

Siphiwe Tom rounding out the nine-rider grid.<br />

Race 1 was decided over the line by less than<br />

two-tenths of a second with eventual winner<br />

Bosch just edging out Hulscher. Landi took third<br />

on his return ahead of Fourie, Hauzer, Aab, Acutt,<br />

Hennings, and Tom.<br />

Race 2 was red-flagged due to Sipiwe Tom<br />

crashing out at the esses. After the race was<br />

restarted it was Landi who took top honors ahead<br />

of Bosch, Fourie, Hulscher, Hauzer, Aab, Acutt,<br />

Hennings, and Tom, 5 laps down after his crash.

Unlimited 1000s<br />

The Unlimited 1000s saw Kyran de Lange take Pole<br />

Position with a 1.49.387, on a road BMW S1000RR,<br />

indicators and all. Luca Bertolini took second with Tiaan<br />

Fouche in third, Tristan Mathews in fourth, and Tieme<br />

Nankervis in fifth. Lady rider Mo Mahope wouldn’t take<br />

part in Saturday’s action as she crashed during Friday’s<br />

practice and her BMW couldn’t be repaired in time.<br />

Race 1 saw Kyran de Lange improve his lap time to<br />

a 1.48.9, mixing it with the Ultimate 1000 riders and<br />

taking victory over Bertolini by over 4 seconds. Fouche<br />

took third ahead of Nankervis in fourth who had a good<br />

battle with Mathews in fifth.<br />

Race 2 was all about de Lange again ahead of Bertolini<br />

and Nankervis, with Mathews in fourth. Unfortunately,<br />

Fouche couldn’t get his R1 started before the race and<br />

therefore didn’t start the race.<br />

Ultimate 1000 Superbikes<br />

Marius Lloyd Racing rider Morne Geldenhuis took Pole<br />

in the Ultimate 1000 Superbike Class with a 1.46.303<br />

ahead of team mate Adolf Boshoff in second, Michael<br />

White on his Yamaha R1 in third, Damion Purificati on<br />

his BMW in fourth, AD van Dalen in fifth, defending<br />

champion Clinton Seller in sixth and lady rider Nicole<br />

van Aswegen in seventh.<br />

Race 1 was a close affair but eventually won by<br />

defending champion Clinton Seller on his King Price<br />

Xtreme Honda, ahead of Geldenhuis, White, Purificati,<br />

van Dalen, and van Aswegen who set her PB lap time of<br />

a 1.49.508. Unfortunately, Boshoff had a huge high side<br />

while exiting turn 1 and a nasty crash forced him out of<br />

the race.<br />

Race 2 was a tricky one. The race was red-flagged<br />

after Seller had a huge crash coming out of Wesbank,<br />

going down the mineshaft, forcing the marshalls to redflag<br />

the race. This created a little bit of confusion with<br />

regards to the results which will be announced ASAP.<br />

The next race of the MRSSA will be held at Redstar<br />

Raceway out in Delmas on the 18th-19th of August. See<br />

you all there!!!

Watch it all on our<br />

YouTube Channel<br />


GETTInG<br />

STUng<br />


SUZUKI<br />

V-STROM<br />

250SX<br />



& KTM<br />


Words: KTM Blog (Adam Wheeler) Pics: KTM Press<br />

RIDER<br />


all orange<br />


On the 25th April, 2010, at 15 years of<br />

age, Jeffrey Herlings won the MX2 Grand<br />

Prix of the Netherlands at Valkenswaard.<br />

It was just his third GP and would be<br />

the first of nine victories in the Dutch<br />

Eurocircuit sand alone. Forward on to<br />

May 7th, 2023, in Madrid and round six of<br />

the current MXGP campaign, the 28-yearold<br />

climbed the top step of a world<br />

championship podium for the 102nd time<br />

and put his name at the top of the record<br />

books. Here is what he had to say about<br />

the feat…<br />

It’s round two of 2023 MXGP, the FIM Motocross<br />

World Championship, in Sardinia during late<br />

March. Jeffrey Herlings has won with his KTM 450<br />

SX-F for the first time since the final round of his<br />

2021 title-clinching season. The revered Dutchman<br />

had missed all of 2022 with a broken heel and<br />

elective surgery to improve the condition of both<br />

of his battered feet. Sardinia brought relief but also<br />

surprise that he had scaled the rostrum so quickly<br />

again and after missing such a big amount of race<br />

mileage.<br />

The Sardinia success was also notable for<br />

delivering Herlings’ 100th triumph. He is only the<br />

second rider ever to ‘top the ton’ in the history of<br />

the FIM series that began back in 1957.<br />

One month later Herlings climbed to 101 for round<br />

five in Portugal. In doing so he equaled the great<br />

Stefan Everts’ record haul, set by the Belgian with<br />

his final world championship race appearance in<br />

France and the last event of the 2006 campaign.<br />

Herlings did not stop. His best Grand Prix<br />

performance in recent years came with a 1-1<br />

scorecard just seven days later in the heat of<br />

Arroyomolinos south of the Spanish capital on<br />

May 7th. With 102 wins now next to his name<br />

the #84 is the most decorated individual in world<br />

championship history. The figures could have<br />

been higher. Injuries prematurely ended his racing<br />

seasons in 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Put<br />

simply though: when Herlings has raced, he has<br />

won. Importantly, every single one of his victories<br />

have been achieved in Red Bull KTM Factory<br />

Racing colors and with largely the same technical<br />

crew or management in place.<br />

The team has watched Herlings grow from a<br />

cheeky teenager with limitless potential to become<br />

the best sand rider in the sport, the most relentless<br />

and ambitious racer, a five times world champion,<br />

a dominator (his 2018 MXGP championship raised<br />

the level of Grand Prix) and a true ambassador of<br />

the performance of KTM SX-F technology. He has<br />

won in 23 different countries and at 43 different<br />

circuits. He has conquered Italian rounds on 18<br />

occasions and sent his home fans crazy 14 times.<br />

On the eve of the fateful, milestone Grand Prix of<br />

Spain and then directly afterwards we grabbed<br />

thoughts and reactions from KTM’s motocross<br />

talisman. A man from the Netherlands that painted<br />

the sport in his (and KTM’s) colors in his own<br />

words…<br />

Is the first one the most special? I would say<br />

‘yeah’ because it’s the moment you live for from<br />

the time you start. When I was small – five-six years<br />

old – the ultimate dream was to become world<br />

champion and to win a GP. One of the things you<br />

really fight for at the beginning is that GP, and the<br />

first one coming for me at home in Holland in just<br />

my third attempt, and being fifteen, was pretty<br />

amazing.<br />

If someone had said then: “yeah, this is the first<br />

and you’ll have one hundred more…” I would<br />

have said: “man, what have you been smoking?”<br />

It wasn’t realistic. But we made it…and we are still<br />

going strong. I also feel that I missed out on some<br />

wins. We could have reached this point some time<br />

ago. We’re still in a good position to win more in the<br />

future.<br />

“…the moment you live for from the time you start.” – Jeffrey Herlings about his first GP win; a<br />

special one for him in front of his home crowd (Valkenswaard, NL, 2010).<br />

One of Jeffrey Herlings’ favorite GP wins: Faenza 2012 – it brought him his very first World Championship title.

When did you first think the record might be<br />

possible? I would say in 2018, towards the end of<br />

that season I reached 84 wins, and I was only 23-24. I<br />

knew I was coming up fast and I had another seveneight<br />

years ahead. My average win rate was ten GPs<br />

a year until then. I also thought ten championships<br />

might be possible but that’s done now.<br />

When things do not go well, and you have<br />

setbacks and injuries then the motivation for<br />

training also drops. When I start winning then it’s<br />

like a snowball; it just gets bigger and bigger. I don’t<br />

need to do it for the money anymore. I do it because<br />

I’m still passionate about racing and winning. Even<br />

though I make some huge crashes that cause me to<br />

think ‘why the hell am I still doing this?!’ I get back<br />

up, and for moments like in Portugal when I lead and<br />

really dominate like I used to I’m like ‘yeah boy, this is<br />

why I’m out here’.<br />

I won today [Sunday in Spain] but tomorrow<br />

morning I’ll be back on the cycle…we don’t get<br />

time to really enjoy a win as much, that’s how racing<br />

goes. It’s the game, but this record has been on<br />

my bucket list for a while. I’m very happy to have<br />

accomplished that. Stefan was one of the best ever<br />

and he had strong opponents but so does every era.<br />

For me I had the likes of Jorge [Prado], Tony [Cairoli],<br />

Tim [Gasjer], [Gautier] Paulin, [Arnaud] Tonus; they<br />

were fast guys too, especially Tony, to fight with him<br />

was not easy. Some people say “Yeah, but you have<br />

60 MX2 wins…” Bull***t. A GP win is a GP win.<br />

Stefan won 500s and 125s. Everyone is in MXGP<br />

now whereas in those days it was split because there<br />

were good guys in 125s, good guys in 250s and<br />

500s. Yes, a 250 win is easier than a 450 win now,<br />

but a win is a win. I hope I can win one or two more<br />

championships and then I will be pretty satisfied.<br />

We’ll see where we end up.<br />

The ‘journey’ rather than the destination? It’s<br />

true. Especially all the hard work. On Friday morning<br />

before Spain, I did a huge interval training session<br />

and I was so tired but I told myself to keep pushing<br />

because, for me, the sacrifice and the journey to win<br />

a race and the tiredness and the training during the<br />

week brings the satisfaction and happiness on the<br />

Sunday.<br />

The orange crew celebrating a big milestone – all of Jeffrey’s 102 GP wins were achieved with<br />

the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team.<br />

Of all the wins I honestly don’t have one<br />

favourite…but if you asked me to make a list of five<br />

or ten then I could do it! Valkenswaard and my first<br />

one, the first 1-1 that brought me a championship<br />

in Faenza [2012], the 1-1 in Lierop [2012, where<br />

he lapped most of the field], the 1-1 at Assen that<br />

brought my first championship in MXGP [2018] and<br />

in front of so many home fans…then beating Tony at<br />

Matterley Basin [2018] was special. There have been<br />

plenty of nice ones, but apart from the first, not many<br />

that standout strongly.<br />

In Portugal I had matched the record…but<br />

someone else had already won 101 so I wanted to<br />

beat it! I wanted the next six days to go quickly. If I<br />

could not make it happen in Spain, then I at least<br />

wanted to try. 101 was a goal but I wanted to go<br />

beyond it and 102 means way-more than 101. I think<br />

100 was even nicer than 101.<br />

Celebrating his first MXGP title on home ground in Assen (NL), 2018, was a remarkable<br />

milestone for Jeffrey Herlings.

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Black Rock Studio & Chris Kunn<br />

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


making<br />

a splash<br />

While out in Durban on the recent launch of Suzuki’s new<br />

DL1050DE V-Strom, they surprised us by bringing in the<br />

brand new and only V-Strom 250SX in South Africa for us<br />

to sample. Now, although we wouldn’t get to spend much<br />

time on the 250, it did in fact leave a positive and lasting<br />

impression on us. The addition of the 250SX to Suzuki’s<br />

line-up means there will soon be four capacities available<br />

in the V-Strom range, the 250, 650, and soon-to-bereleased<br />

800, and the big bruiser 1050 which we also have<br />

on test in this issue. So one for every rider wherever they<br />

are on their riding journey or financially.

“Weighing in at a<br />

mere 167kg the<br />

lightness and<br />

therefore nimbleness<br />

of the 250SX really<br />

does shine through<br />

especially when riding<br />

the 1050 V-Strom<br />

back to back.”<br />

POWER<br />

26 bhp @ 9,300 rpm<br />

Let me start with the price, which is by far the<br />

most impressive thing about the 250SX. R58<br />

900.00!! No, that is not a typo, you did in fact read<br />

that correctly. That is by today’s standards the<br />

same price as a mid-level mountain bike(bicycle).<br />

And if you think that it is no good because of how<br />

well-priced it is, then think again.<br />

I only did around 40-odd kilometers on the 250<br />

but right from the moment I sat on it for the first<br />

time, I knew I was going to be in for a treat and<br />

be pleasantly surprised. Weighing in at a mere<br />

167kg the lightness and therefore nimbleness of<br />

the 250SX really does shine through especially<br />

when riding the 1050 V-Strom back to back. The<br />

little V-Strom is as well-balanced as it is polite.<br />

Powered by the same 4-stroke, single-cylinder,<br />

4-valve, SOHC motor which is found in the Gixxer<br />

SF250, it’s not what you would call aggressive<br />

but it is rather peppy and exuberant with 26.5HP<br />

and 22.2NM of torque. It just loves to be revved<br />

through its 6-speed constant mesh gearbox to<br />

a top speed I achieved of 154kph. It will happily<br />

cruise at legal highway speeds all day long, even<br />

on long highway commutes.<br />

The 835mm seat height makes it adaptable and<br />

user-friendly, so even if you are held down by<br />

gravity you should have no problem getting your<br />

feet firmly on the ground. The tank is rather slim,<br />

meaning plenty of space for your knees, even if<br />

you are a Yetti. The riding position is upright and<br />

comfy and both seats are thick and plush. I would<br />

have liked a more anti-slip material to be used on<br />

them, but that is just me nitpicking. Now it’s no roughand-tumble<br />

adventure bike with its 205mm ground<br />

clearance and fitted with 19” Front/ 17” inch rear<br />

tubeless mag wheels but it can hold its own when<br />

things get dirty and a little bit rough much like your<br />

smaller cousin when you wrestle and play rough. As I<br />

said before it’s adaptable! Suzuki themselves market<br />

the 250SX as a ‘Crossover’ bike. The front telescopic<br />

forks spring are non-adjustable and the rear swing<br />

arm, coil spring, and oil-damped suspension are very<br />

basic and do bottom out when you ride the 250 with<br />

enthusiasm, but this doesn’t matter. It all adds to the<br />

charm and charisma that captivates you when you<br />

ride the SX.<br />

TORQUE<br />

22.2Nm @ 7,300 rpm<br />


835mm<br />


1,440mm<br />


12 L<br />


167 kg

The fuel tank is large enough at 12 Litres, not<br />

that it matters as the V-Strom 250SX isn’t thirsty<br />

at all. You should see around 250km on a tank<br />

or more if you ride normally and weigh less<br />

than, well I do. The maintenance will be low<br />

and reliability will be legendary as with most<br />

Japanese small-capacity motorbikes. The build<br />

quality is also typically Japanese with everything<br />

well thought out and bolted on properly. The<br />

controls are basic and so is its electronic suite<br />

or lack thereof should I say. The only modern<br />

addition is that of the Dual-Channel ABS which<br />

cannot be turned off and it is rather strict<br />

interfering quite a lot as does a boarding school<br />

headmaster. The modern dash is digital and<br />

very hard to see when dusty or in direct sunlight.<br />

However, it’s still a nice touch and still better<br />

than most in its class displaying all the important<br />

information you need like time, gear indicator,<br />

speed, rev counter, warning lights, ABS, odo,<br />

fuel gauge, trip, and a RPM shift light.<br />

The V-Strom 250 is made by Suzuki India, a<br />

subsidiary of Suzuki Japan. As with most Jap<br />

brands, Suzuki is very popular in India both with<br />

their two-wheeled and four-wheeled product.<br />

This means that they churn out millions of units<br />

per year and generally sell all of them and I can<br />

see why. Affordable quality is what you get in<br />

abundance with the new Suzuki V-Strom 250SX.

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

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />


GETTInG<br />

STUng<br />

Im sure that you’ve seen them on videos all over the<br />

internet, not bicycles and at the same time not a<br />

motorcycle. In fact, they are the perfect blend of both<br />

and are becoming more popular worldwide daily thanks<br />

to them offering freedom in a simplistic, yet quiet and<br />

efficient way. Electric bikes are taking the world by storm<br />

and have finally hit SA shores thanks to Cadenz Electric<br />

and the ever-increasingly popular Talaria Sting MX3. We<br />

took the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about<br />

and took the Sting to Benoni Country Club for the day to<br />

put it through its paces.

Featuring top-of-the-line components and expert<br />

craftsmanship, the Talaria Sting MX3 is a bike you<br />

can rely on and have fun on. Its strong lightweight<br />

aluminum frame(forged by over 6000 tons of<br />

pressure) and responsive adjustable(Compression,<br />

pre-load, and rebound adjustment) suspension<br />

system provide a smooth, comfortable ride, while<br />

the high-capacity 60v 38amp battery delivers<br />

hours of uninterrupted fun and combined with<br />

the 3000-6000W(Eco or Sport mode) of power<br />

delivered by the silent but powerful LPMSM motor<br />

(linear permanent magnet synchronous motor).<br />

With a range of up to 100km on a single charge,<br />

a quickly changeable battery pack, and a charge<br />

time from empty to full of only 3 hours, the Sting<br />

ensures minimal intervals in between riding fun.<br />

But the Talaria Sting MX3 isn’t just about<br />

performance - it’s also about style. With its sleek,<br />

modern design and attention to detail, this bike<br />

turns heads wherever you go as it did with us<br />

while riding around the outskirts of a golf coursetry<br />

doing that on a motorcycle!<br />

The Sting is a powerful toy but is suitable for<br />

the young and inexperienced as well as the<br />

seasoned rider and can be ridden in either Eco or<br />

Sport mode. It’s easy to maneuver and handles<br />

surprisingly well for a 63kg mass thanks to its stiff<br />

frame, fully adjustable suspension, 19” wheels,<br />

and grippy tyres. The model we had on test<br />

was standard except for a change in gearing/<br />

sprockets and wider, grippier tyres which made<br />

a huge difference in the terrain we were riding in. We<br />

also had access to a spare battery pack which we<br />

managed to change in less than 1 minute, meaning<br />

we were back out, enjoying the trails in no time. The<br />

ground clearance of 280mm is adequate but you do<br />

need to be careful over obstacles to ensure you don’t<br />

ding the thin metal bash plate. Seat height isn’t really<br />

an issue and it actually feels lower than the 870mm<br />

claimed.<br />

The thing about an electric vehicle is that you always<br />

have the maximum torque on hand, always and<br />

without hesitation. The 34NM of torque as standard<br />

on the Sting propels you to a top speed of 80-85kph.<br />

While accelerating though you can be certain that<br />

the front wheel will point skywards more often than

not. The Sting also boasts a 4-level regen system,<br />

adjustable in the Speedometer ensuring that<br />

you can get the most out of your battery life.<br />

The speedometer is small but visible, displaying<br />

all the important information you would need<br />

such as your speed, battery level, voltage, cycle,<br />

and odometer. For added security, the Sting<br />

also has an ignition and key, which is handy for<br />

those parents who wish to keep an eye on their<br />

grounded children and prevent joyrides.<br />

Overall build quality is great and you can be rest<br />

assured that the Sting can handle any or most<br />

abuse thrown its way, even when things get wet.<br />

All of the electric points are sealed off, watertight,<br />

and for the most part, will prevent water from<br />

damaging the electronics, meaning that it can be<br />

easily washed or dirtied through river crossings.<br />

The hydraulic brakes(much like those fitted to<br />

modern bicycles) are good and do their job,<br />

however, you can tell that they take strain. I do feel<br />

that the front brake especially could be better, but<br />

that’s the joy of the Sting. You can add, upgrade<br />

and customize it to your heart’s content.<br />

So the standard Sting is impressive but Cadenz<br />

Electric had a little surprise in store for us with<br />

a modified Sting, fitted with a conversion kit<br />

consisting of an upgraded controller unit, 72V<br />

57Amp battery, 21” front and 18” rear wheel fitted<br />

with wide and grippy MX tyres and seat brackets.<br />

What this does is take an already electrifying bike<br />

and put it on steroids. The whole bike is taller<br />

thanks to the wheels and seat brackets(needed<br />

to accommodate the larger battery) and this<br />

just aids in increased comfort, ergonomics,<br />

aggression, and increased ground clearance.<br />

This combined with the astronomical increase in<br />

power(10 000W-15 000W) is a match made in<br />

heaven and around a 200% increase over stock.<br />

The bigger wheels and grippier tyres now make<br />

sense and come into their own. The conversion<br />

kit transforms the Sting into a take-no-prisoner<br />

electric monster capable of speeds in excess<br />

of 120kph and makes it possible to wheelie all<br />

the way up to those speeds while you hang on<br />

for dear life. So with the updated controller, you<br />

get 3 riding modes as well as a reverse(Yes you<br />

heard correctly).<br />

The standard hydraulic brakes at this point<br />

take serious punishment and don’t cope well at<br />

all with this increase in power and speed and<br />

would also definitely need to be upgraded, as<br />

with the suspension if you are going to ride it<br />

aggressively. Have no fear though as Cadenz<br />

Electric is working on these upgrades as we<br />

speak on both the suspension and brakes, so<br />

stay tuned as we at <strong>MRW</strong> will revisit the Sting<br />

when pimped out in all her glory.<br />

Priced from just R89 900.00 the standard Sting<br />

is great value for money, for yourself or your<br />

child whether you live on a farm or in an estate,<br />

and that’s the joy about owning an electric bike<br />

like this. It’s a go-anywhere-at-anytime piece of<br />

kit. When I say go anywhere, it’s not road legal,<br />

not yet anyways!<br />

For more information on the Talaria Sting and<br />

the conversion kits or to arrange a test ride, you<br />

can call Cadenz Electric on 063 896 0626 or<br />

email them at jethson9@gmail.com.

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