MRW Issue 36

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

ISSUE <strong>36</strong><br />









Hello <strong>MRW</strong> fans and welcome to issue <strong>36</strong> of<br />

SA’s only motorcycle magazine.<br />

The big news is finally out and even though<br />

we all knew it was coming, it’s still been a<br />

massive shock to the system.<br />

Marc Marquez will be leaving the Repsol<br />

Honda team and HRC at the end of the<br />

2023 season after 11 very successful<br />

seasons together. Never thought I would be<br />

typing that message out, but there you are.<br />

It’s a subject that has so many topics and<br />

unanswered questions to it, way too many<br />

for me to go on about here so make sure<br />

you watch the full “Talking MotoGP Marc<br />

Marquez” video we have up on our YouTube<br />

channel (or click on the video link featured<br />

here in my column) where both myself,<br />

Paul Scott, and all our fans who tuned into<br />

the live chat go through all the topics of<br />

discussion surrounding this.<br />

Now that Marc has announced he will be<br />

leaving that leaves Honda in crisis mode.<br />

Who will they get to replace Marc, how do<br />

they replace an 8-times world champion,<br />

who leads the project going forward, etc...<br />

All these questions and more were touched<br />

upon in the video we did but we also take<br />

a closer look at the Honda project and its<br />

failings in this issue highlighting the fact that<br />

so many top riders, and world champions,<br />

have come to the Repsol Honda team<br />

and failed. How did Honda not see what’s<br />

happening now not coming? Were they just<br />

blinded by Marc’s success? Did they not<br />

heed the warnings shown by the failures of<br />

Lorenzo and Pol?<br />

Oh, sorry to sidetrack a bit but as I type this<br />

I see the official announcement of Marc<br />

Marquez joining the Gresini Ducati team has<br />

just come in. See the news section for more<br />

on this...<br />

A great feature done by Paul Scott for you<br />

all to enjoy. On top of that, we have plenty<br />

of great features as always packed into this<br />

digital magazine - from the latest motorcycle<br />

tech and features to the latest models<br />

revealed and tested - road and dirt. So, go<br />

now and enjoy the magazine and I will catch<br />

up with you all on our social media channels<br />

and in next month’s digi magazine.<br />

Cheers for now.<br />

Rob Portman<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

Beam Productions<br />

Adam Child “Chad”<br />

Sheridan Morais<br />




Rob Portman<br />

082 782 8240<br />

rob@motoriderworld.com<br />


Shaun Portman<br />

072 260 9525<br />

shaun@motoriderworld.com<br />

Copyright © Moto Rider World:<br />

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

publication may be reproduced,<br />

distributed, or transmitted in any<br />

form or by any means, including<br />

photocopying, articles, or other<br />

methods, without the prior written<br />

permission of the publisher.<br />


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

KISKA.COM Photo: R. Schedl Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!<br />

The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.<br />



Class-leading power and a massive electronic<br />

package mean the world just got a whole lot smaller.<br />

On pristine new asphalt or a broken-up old track,<br />

the new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S is ready<br />

to rip through it all. #DARE2ADV<br />






– WITH “E-BOOST”<br />

Kawasaki has managed to squeeze both a<br />

combustion engine and a full electric powertrain<br />

into its new Ninja 7 Hybrid streetbike – and it<br />

doesn’t look as ungainly as you’d think. The<br />

benefits? Fuel economy, electric boost, and some<br />

other neat tricks.<br />

This middleweight, sparsely faired roadster –<br />

which we first saw as a prototype in 2020 – runs<br />

a newly designed 451cc parallel twin combustion<br />

engine capable of outputting a fairly reasonable<br />

43.5 kW (58.3 hp) on its own. Right behind the<br />

cylinder heads sits a 9-kW (12-hp) electric motor,<br />

running off a 48-V lithium-ion battery mounted<br />

under the seat, and when both are combined, the<br />

hybrid system will make up to 51.1 kW (68.5 hp).<br />

For a little while, anyway. Like Kawasaki’s piddly<br />

E-1 and Z E-1 electric bikes, peak power is only<br />

available in a temporary “e-boost” that shuts down<br />

to prevent the motor from overheating. On the<br />

E-1s, there’s a 15-second time limit. On the Ninja 7<br />

hybrid, it’s not specified – but it may well be less,<br />

given that the motor’s sitting in such a hot spot<br />

behind the engine.


Either way, Kawasaki says the new hybrid will rocket off the line like a<br />

literbike thanks to a helping of electric torque, and that in regular use<br />

it’ll give you the “overall performance” of a 650-700cc class bike, with<br />

the fuel consumption of a 250. That certainly sounds nice.<br />

There’ll be sport-hybrid, eco-hybrid and full-electric modes to choose<br />

from, and a “walk mode” that’ll assist riders in pushing the thing<br />

around, in forward or reverse. The combustion engine will run an<br />

auto stop/start system to avoid wasting fuel.<br />

The gearbox is interesting too – it doesn’t come with a clutch lever,<br />

but Kawasaki says it’ll have “manual or automatically selected gears,”<br />

and that it’ll also run an “Automatic Launch Position Finder” system<br />

that instantly makes sure you’re in first gear every time you stop.<br />

Questions remain. Kawasaki is yet to specify the weight of the Ninja<br />

7 Hybrid, for starters, or the price, or the size of the battery, or how<br />

far it’ll go in full-electric mode, or how far it’ll go on a tank of gas. In<br />

particular, it’ll be fascinating to know what kind of weight penalty and<br />

sticker shock a hybrid system might represent for a streetbike.




The idea of a clutchless motorcycle just feels wrong<br />

to some riders. After many years trying to sell fully<br />

automatic motorcycles, Honda has come up with a<br />

“best of both worlds” E-Clutch system that lets you<br />

use or ignore the left lever as you please.<br />

Honda is the only motorcycle manufacturer still<br />

pushing the option of fully automatic dual-clutch<br />

“DCT” transmissions for two-wheelers, but<br />

according to ADV Pulse, it’s had some success; in<br />

2019, customers took the DCT option on 45% of<br />

Africa Twins, 52% of NC750Xs and 67% of Gold<br />

Wings sold in Europe.<br />

The DCT, as frequently seen in the automotive<br />

world, is a six- or seven-speed gearbox with two<br />

separate electronically-controlled clutches. It<br />

can do near-seamless gearshifts with very little<br />

interruption of the power delivery, since, for<br />

example, second gear can be disengaging at the<br />

same time that third gear is engaging. You can<br />

run it in fully automatic twist-n-go mode, or hit<br />

little thumb buttons to take a bit more control, like<br />

paddle-shifting a sports car.<br />

But it takes away the clutch lever from the left<br />

handlebar, as well as the gear lever from the left<br />

foot. And while that’s just fine and dandy for some<br />

riders, others (us included) bristle a little at the idea.<br />

We’re a conservative lot, bikers, when it comes<br />

to new ideas. To many folk, if a bike doesn’t have<br />

a clutch lever, well it’s a stinkin’ scooter and we<br />

don’t want nothin’ to do with it. To others, the left<br />

lever serves as a one-finger trigger for clutchup<br />

wheelies, so to remove it is to cripple a key<br />

capability of our vehicles.<br />

On the other hand, we don’t think many of us<br />

would argue that we’re desperate to keep hanging<br />

on to clutch levers in stop-start traffic. And that<br />

might be the genius of Honda’s latest attempt, the<br />

E-Clutch, which it describes as “the world’s first<br />

automatic clutch control system for a multi-gear<br />

manual motorcycle transmission.”<br />

Essentially, you keep your regular manual gearbox<br />

and clutch lever, and you should be able to ride<br />

exactly as per normal if you use the clutch lever.<br />

But if you don’t, the bike will electronically control<br />

the clutch for you, handling starts, stops, upshifts<br />

and downshifts in a way Honda describes as “more<br />

natural than a rider’s manual clutch operation.”<br />

So presumably, any time you touch the lever,<br />

you’re overriding the automatic clutch. But you<br />

can easily stop at the lights in first, and take off<br />

again like a twist-n-go if you feel like it, and you’ve<br />

effectively got a bidirectional quickshifter once<br />

you’re on the move.<br />

Honda says the E-Clutch system is lightweight<br />

and compact, and it can be installed “without<br />

major changes to existing engine layouts.” It’ll<br />

obviously need to talk to the bike’s ECU a lot,<br />

so I doubt it’ll become a retrofit accessory,<br />

but Honda says it’ll start building this tech into<br />

its “FUN motorcycle models over time.” So,<br />

presumably things like the Grom.<br />

We reckon it sounds like a great idea, a more<br />

relaxing way to get around, without any real penalty.<br />

Beginners can hop on, zoom about without fear<br />

of stalling, and still develop a feel for the clutch<br />

lever that they’ll need if they move to another bike.<br />

And hooligans can merrily hoist their front wheels<br />

skyward by flicking the clutch when inspiration<br />

strikes – not that Honda’s the kind of company that<br />

would encourage such shenanigans.<br />

There’s no word yet on when it’ll hit the road.





Well, not all of the rest of the bike, because it looks<br />

like the battery box, slung underneath the central<br />

spine of the Motoroid 2, can also swivel, so as to<br />

dynamically alter the weight balance of the bike.<br />

The swingarm and battery box seem to be linked<br />

so they tilt together, in what Yamaha calls an Active<br />

Mass Center Control System (AMCES).<br />

The front wheel appears to steer in a mercifully<br />

normal fashion despite its chunky, girdery looks...<br />

That is, until you look up at the handlebars and<br />

realize they’re rigid handgrips, and there’s no<br />

mechanical connection to steer the front wheel.<br />

It’s unclear how exactly you’d be supposed to<br />

control this thing, but through a combination of<br />

electronic steering and the AMCES, Motoroid 2<br />

can self-balance, hop up off its own kickstand<br />

and ride around of its own accord. Through facial<br />

recognition and gesture control, riders can ask it to<br />

follow them around and such.<br />

All of this was in evidence, in one form or another,<br />

on the original Motoroid concept, first presented<br />

nearly six years ago. So what’s new? Well, new<br />

cosmetics and bodywork, for one, plus a brutally<br />

large pair of gleaming training-wheel sidestand legs.<br />

The handgrips have been reshaped and relocated,<br />

and there’s now a pretty sick-looking headlight unit<br />

up front.<br />

Where the original Motoroid shown in the video<br />

above had a pair of gentle-looking arms that would<br />

fold down behind you and grip your hips like a<br />

prison roommate, the new version drops this idea<br />

and forces you to outsource any such assistance.<br />

One of the strangest concept bikes in all of<br />

motorcycledom has been reworked for 2023.<br />

Yamaha has unveiled a second version of its<br />

futuristic Motoroid concept, complete with a<br />

twisting swingarm, AI facial recognition, and the<br />

ability to self-balance.<br />

The company says the Motoroid 2 is an exploration<br />

of the question “what will human-machine<br />

interfaces actually be like in the future?” The<br />

answer, by the looks of things, is “weird.” So what<br />

the heck is this thing? Well, an electric motorcycle<br />

with a hub-driven rear wheel, that seems a good<br />

place to start. But that hub is mounted on a<br />

swingarm that runs up to a motorized, pivoting<br />

mount point right under the seat that allows the<br />

entire swingarm and rear wheel to be swiveled<br />

back and forth, effectively tilting independently of<br />

the rest of the bike.


Instead, now there’s a very futuristic-looking set of<br />

translucent white bodywork, impregnated with blue<br />

mood lighting, and this appears able to fold right<br />

upward, tilting the seat backward toward the rear<br />

wheel in the process. Yamaha doesn’t feel it needs<br />

to explain why exactly you’d want to flip the “tank”<br />

like this; maybe there’s some storage under there,<br />

or perhaps it’s just a mating display.<br />

The company says the Motoroid 2 has “a distinctly<br />

lifelike feel when somebody is riding on its back,”<br />

and “a presence more like a lifetime companion”<br />

despite the new lack of hip-gripping.<br />

Where does it all lead? Certainly not toward a<br />

production bike. But Yamaha has built a working,<br />

self-balancing version of this bonkers AI moto<br />

concept, and seen fit to spend some more time in<br />

the intervening years tarting it up into a secondgen<br />

concept, which is something you don’t see all<br />

that often.<br />

Very odd stuff. It’ll be on display later this month at<br />

the Events Japan Mobility Show 2023.


YART WINS 2023 FIM<br />



Austria-based YART was one of six teams in<br />

EWC title contention starting the legendary<br />

24-hour event, but it endured a nervy<br />

conclusion to the race due to a temperature<br />

issue that forced the team to make multiple<br />

pit stops for running repairs.<br />

With defending champion F.C.C. TSR<br />

Honda France retiring at 03h30 following<br />

a technical failure and the BMW Motorrad<br />

World Endurance Team dropping out of<br />

the lead fight due to two unscheduled pit<br />

visits, YART essentially needed a top-nine<br />

Formula EWC finish to secure the EWC’s<br />

biggest prize.<br />

Running with a special livery to<br />

commemorate the 25th anniversary of the<br />

Yamaha R1, the Bridgestone-equipped<br />

YART trio of Niccolò Canepa, Marvin<br />

Fritz and Karel Hanika rode faultlessly,<br />

eventually finishing in fourth position to<br />

secure EWC gold, having held the race<br />

lead on numerous occasions.<br />

“The team did an amazing job, I’m<br />

really proud of them and my teammates<br />

were riding superbly,” said Czech<br />

Hanika. “Big thanks to Yamaha for this<br />

opportunity. Every rider participates in<br />

this championship because they want to<br />

win and that’s why we are here trying to<br />

do our best.”<br />

Having experienced a season of more lows<br />

than highs, Yoshimura SERT Motul was<br />

determined to end the 2023 campaign<br />

on top of a race that would mark Sylvain<br />

Guintoli’s final EWC outing with Suzuki<br />

power. Despite Gregg Black and Étienne<br />

Masson competing as a duo for the final<br />

nine hours after Guintoli fell ill, Yoshimura<br />

SERT Motul triumphed by a clear margin.<br />

That was despite Black being one of eight<br />

riders to fall on oil at the end of the Mistral<br />

Straight yesterday morning, which triggered<br />

a lengthy safety car period.<br />

“It’s incredible,” said UK-born, Francebased<br />

Black. “We’ve had a pretty hard<br />

season but we’ve been performing, so to<br />

finish the season like this with this result is<br />

just incredible. The team did a great job,<br />

my team-mates also. It was a hard one but<br />

we got it and we got the pace and we could<br />

win the Bol d’Or. We’re really happy.”<br />

Having taken the coveted EWC crown<br />

at Circuit Paul Ricard 12 months ago,<br />

F.C.C. TSR Honda France hit trouble<br />

shortly before 3am when Mike Di Meglio<br />

was forced to push the #1 Honda after<br />

it stopped at the entrance to the pitlane.<br />

Despite its best efforts, the team was<br />

forced to retire with a terminal technical<br />

issue at 03h26. Along with team-mates<br />

Josh Hook and Alan Techer, Di Meglio<br />

knew hopes of another EWC title would be<br />

salvaged if its main rivals also stopped. In<br />

the event, it was a frustrating finish to an<br />

otherwise strong season.


BAUTISTA LIKE WINE: better with age and<br />

more impressive each round<br />

WHAT WE LEARNT: tenacious<br />

Toprak exceptional, Bautista<br />

doing his generation proud<br />

11 rounds down, one round to go – but what<br />

are the key takeaways since World SBK got<br />

back from our August break?<br />

The sun is setting on the 2023 MOTUL FIM<br />

Superbike World Championship season but<br />

there’s still one round remaining; in the last<br />

three rounds – which have been in four weeks<br />

– there have been an abundance of stories<br />

right the way through the order. We’ve put<br />

some of the key themes since we came back<br />

from the August break below, with them also<br />

serving as things to watch out for in the final<br />

round of the season.<br />

TOPRAK’S TENACITY: a remarkable effort<br />

It’s always been clear that Toprak Razgatlioglu<br />

(Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will<br />

never give up but Race 2 at Portimao elevated<br />

the meaning of that. He duelled with Alvaro<br />

Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) like we’ve<br />

never seen before, with some of the latest<br />

braking witnessed. It’s the race that everyone<br />

has been talking about for just how good<br />

Toprak Razgatlioglu was in combat and<br />

just how much he pushed himself, the bike<br />

and emptied the tank to try and topple the<br />

Championship leader. Resilient, relentless<br />

and irrepressible, the 2021 World Champion<br />

performed to the highest level.<br />

As the reigning World Superbike Champion,<br />

Alvaro Bautista has already demonstrated<br />

that he can perform at an amazingly high and<br />

hard level late on in his career. The Spaniard,<br />

who is 38 years of age and will be 39 by<br />

the end of the year, is one of the last of his<br />

generation to come through the 125cc class<br />

and up through the 250cc Championship<br />

and then MotoGP. The same era as Dani<br />

Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner<br />

and whilst they were often ahead of him in<br />

MotoGP, Bautista’s transition to WorldSBK<br />

has seen him become the best version of<br />

himself, with more understanding, different<br />

approach but still having a mindset to stay<br />

young in his training and keep adapting in<br />

his racing. As he said in the most recent Hot<br />

Headlines at Portimao: “The devil knows<br />

more for being old than for being the devil”,<br />

whilst in comparison to other rivals, he said<br />

Toprak was one of the toughest ever.<br />


sign of a bright future<br />

BMW may have struggled in recent years<br />

for consistency but one rider is doing the<br />

business; Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action<br />

BMW) has been fast since Donington Park<br />

but since Magny-Cours, he’s been getting<br />

the results to back it up. A pole in France,<br />

fighting well at Aragon – a track they struggle<br />

at – and taking a best of the year in P4,<br />

the American has been riding very well<br />

and is edging the manufacturer closer to<br />

the podium and doing so on merit. Toprak<br />

Razgatlioglu moves to BMW in 2024 and<br />

it’s going to be very interesting to see what<br />

he’ll be able to do if uptick in performance<br />

continues. Gerloff has great feel, a great team<br />

around him and is a good development rider<br />

and BMW are coming good, with some of it


owed to him. He could still finish P8 overall in<br />

the standings.<br />

REA ON THE LIMIT: Kawasaki’s shortfalls<br />

too big for Rea to make up?<br />

A Sunday to forget at Portimao for Jonathan<br />

Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)<br />

and an Aragon Round where he wasn’t able<br />

to make the difference, although he gave<br />

it an astonishing attempt in the Superpole<br />

Race. Rea is having to be so perfect to get<br />

the maximum out of his bike – which isn’t<br />

enough at every track – that mistakes are<br />

coming because to be on the limit like that<br />

for an entirety of a race is almost impossible.<br />

A small mistake at Turn 12 in the Superpole<br />

Race backs that thesis up from Aragon,<br />

when he just ran fractionally wide, giving<br />

Bautista the momentum to be closer by the<br />

time they got onto the back straight on the<br />

last lap. It may not have changed anything<br />

in the outcome but it looked like Rea had<br />

it sorted until then. The two mistakes at<br />

Portimao also come from each opportunity<br />

being critical. However, even WorldSBK’s<br />

GOAT can’t make miracles. We remain to see<br />

what Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) will<br />

bring to KRT when he arrives in 2024.<br />

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and his teammate<br />

Xavi Vierge will also help. Jerez is much the<br />

same. The Honda is competitive but some<br />

tracks make it seem worse than what is real.<br />

HONDA IMPROVE: what’s the key?<br />

Honda have had a better last couple of<br />

rounds and we can perhaps expect them<br />

to continue that form at Jerez. So, why the<br />

improvement? Donington Park, Imola, Most<br />

and Magny-Cours are all extremely quirky<br />

tracks, where a rider’s experience can make<br />

the difference but where the setup of a bike<br />

has to be perfect. A set-up generally always<br />

has to be perfect but at tracks like Aragon<br />

and Portimao, which both have quirks to<br />

them but are much more ‘European’ or<br />

‘Grand Prix’ in style seems to suit the Hondas<br />

better. Plenty of testing at the tracks for both




1.<br />

DESIGN<br />

DOUBLE SUCCESS: Ducati<br />

celebrates WorldSBK and<br />

WorldSSP Manufacturers’ titles<br />

2.<br />


3.<br />


& DEPOSIT<br />

4.<br />


The MOTUL FIM Superbike World<br />

Championship paddock descended on the<br />

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve last<br />

weekend and it was a weekend for Ducati<br />

to celebrate. The Italian brand wrapped<br />

up the Manufacturers’ Championship in<br />

both WorldSBK and WorldSSP on Saturday<br />

during the Pirelli Portuguese Round. Perhaps<br />

Twocati would be more appropriate given<br />

their double Manufacturers’ Championship<br />

celebrations at the weekend but, terrible puns<br />

and wordplay aside, it was a memorable<br />

achievement for Ducati especially given their<br />

WorldSSP crown came in only their second<br />

season back.<br />


successive crown in WorldSBK<br />

After taking the 2022 title, when they claimed<br />

it from Yamaha, Ducati set out to retain it in<br />

2023. A new Panigale V4 R was introduced<br />

and that bike, in the hands of Alvaro Bautista<br />

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

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, has won 25 out<br />

of a possible 33 races this year with one<br />

round spare (although the Manufacturers’<br />

Championship was won with their 23rd win of<br />

the season, in Race 1 at Portimao). Bautista<br />

has 24 of them as he goes in search of a<br />

second Riders’ Championship in two years.<br />

5.<br />










Rinaldi’s sole win came at MotorLand Aragon<br />

as he took advantage of his teammate’s crash<br />

to win the race. It means Ducati now have 19<br />

titles to their name, 13 more than their nearest<br />

competitors.<br />


Independent stars shine<br />

On the rare occasions where Ducati’s<br />

factory riders faltered, two Independent<br />

stars were there to pick up the baton for the<br />

manufacturer. Kawasaki-bound Axel Bassani<br />

(Motocorsa Racing) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni<br />

Spark Racing Team) both scored valuable<br />

Manufacturers’ Championship for the factory.<br />

Bassani was top Ducati on two occasions –<br />

when he finished fifth in the Tissot Superpole<br />

Race at Mandalika and second at Imola – while<br />

‘Petrux’ was on one occasion, when he took<br />

third at Most in Race 1.<br />


TOP: WorldSSP title goes to Bologna<br />

With the introduction of a new ruleset for<br />

2022, Ducati returned to WorldSSP with their<br />

Panigale V2 machine. They finished second<br />

in the Manufacturers’ standings with no wins<br />

and 17 podiums, but with a year of experience<br />

under their belt, 2023 was a different story.<br />

15 wins so far this year meant they secured<br />

the Manufacturers’ Championship – their first<br />

in WorldSSP – with three races to go, having<br />

won it in the same race Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.<br />

it Racing WorldSSP Team) won his title.<br />

Bulega took 14 wins for Ducati with the other<br />

coming from Federico Caricasulo (Althea<br />

Racing Team), who was top Ducati on three<br />

occasions: Mandalika in both races, including<br />

his Race 2 win, and Barcelona in Race 2<br />

when he was sixth. Federico Fuligni (Orelac<br />

Racing VerdNatura) also contributed to the<br />

Manufacturers’ standings with his seventh in<br />

Race 2 at Most.<br />

DUCATI SAYS: “a special thank you to our<br />

riders, who with their results, have allowed<br />

us to reach these goals”<br />

Reflecting on Ducati’s 2023 success, Gigi<br />

Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager<br />

said: “Today is a really important day for us.<br />

For the second consecutive year, Ducati are<br />

the best manufacturer in WorldSBK with the<br />

Panigale V4 R, but not only that. The Aruba.<br />

it Racing WorldSSP Team rider Nicolo Bulega<br />

was crowned World Supersport Champion<br />

and for the first time we too are Champions<br />

in WorldSSP with the Panigale V2, which<br />

made its debut in the World Championship<br />

last year. We are extremely proud of these<br />

results, a sign of the great commitment we<br />

have always put into the production-based<br />

World Championship. I thank all the men and<br />

women at Ducati Corse who, with passion,<br />

did their job impeccably. Congratulations<br />

to Nicolo and his team for this incredible<br />

success and a special thank you to our<br />

WorldSBK and WorldSSP riders, who with<br />

their results, have allowed us to reach these<br />

goals. Now we just have to stay focussed: the<br />

WorldSBK riders’ title is still open, and we will<br />

do our utmost to defend the title obtained by<br />

Alvaro last year.”




Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Ducati WorldSSP<br />

Team) has been crowned the 2023<br />

Champion and the Italian takes the honours<br />

of being Ducati’s first title winner in the FIM<br />

Supersport World Championship. Bulega<br />

made his debut last season and, while he<br />

did not stand on the top step of the rostrum,<br />

showed his potential with plenty of podiums<br />

and a big step forward was made this season<br />

as he claimed the title in stunning fashion.<br />

GET TO KNOW: all about the latest<br />

Champion…<br />

23-year-old Bulega was born in Emilia-<br />

Romagna and is the son of former WorldSSP<br />

rider Davide Bulega, who competed between<br />

1999 and 2001. He rose through the ranks<br />

and made a name for himself in Moto3 and<br />

Moto2 before two seasons in WorldSSP<br />

from 2022 where he was crowned Champion.<br />

Speaking to the Official Programme for<br />

the Indonesian Round, Bulega described<br />

his heroes as Valentino Rossi and Zlatan<br />

Ibrahimovic while he races with the #11 as it’s<br />

the same number that his dad raced with.<br />

THE EARLY YEARS: a 2015 title and<br />

promotion to the World Championship<br />

After showing his potential in Italy and across<br />

Europe, Bulega stepped up to what was<br />

then the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World<br />

Championship in 2014 and finished sixth<br />

in the standings. He returned for a second<br />

year and won the title ahead of Grand Prix<br />

stars Albert Arenas, Aron Canet and 2020<br />

MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir. Bulega<br />

took one win that season, at Jerez, compared<br />

to Arenas’ three but his consistency helped<br />

him to the title with the Italian only outside<br />

the top five on two occasions out of 12 races,<br />

with this characteristic echoed in 2023. On<br />

the back of his success, Bulega took part in<br />

the 2015 Valencian Grand Prix with the Sky<br />

Racing Team VR46, scoring four points on<br />

debut.<br />

PODIUMS IN Moto3: Bulega’s potential on<br />

display<br />

He remained with the same team for 2016,<br />

his first full season in Moto3, and got off to<br />

a stunning start. Sixth in Qatar was followed<br />

up with second at Jerez in Round 4, and a<br />

consistent run of top-ten finishes followed.<br />

He took third at the Japanese Grand Prix<br />

but 2017 proved to be more challenging<br />

with no podiums, on his way to 12th with 81<br />

points. His final year in the lightweight class<br />

was marred by retirements with Bulega not<br />

scoring points until Assen, the eighth race of<br />

the season.<br />

A THREE-YEAR STINT: a move to<br />

Moto2 beckons<br />

It took until just his fourth Moto2 race in<br />

2019 to score his first points, with ninth at<br />

Jerez, and he followed that up with tenth at<br />

Le Mans. He finished the campaign with 48<br />

points with a best finish of seventh at Brno;<br />

it would turn out to be his best Moto2<br />

campaign in three years. He was 20th with<br />

32 points and 26th with 12 points in 2021 in<br />

what proved to be his final Moto2 campaign<br />

before a switch to WorldSSP for the 2022<br />

campaign, coinciding with the return of Ducati<br />

to World Supersport as he linked up with the<br />

Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team. It would<br />

prove to relight his career path.<br />


podium contender from the start<br />

Bulega’s first WorldSSP round came at<br />

Aragon in 2022 and he was immediately on<br />

the pace with fifth in Race 1 and a maiden<br />

podium in Race 2. Nine visits to the rostrum<br />

came that year for the #11 but a first win<br />

eluded him as Dominique Aegerter (GYTR


GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and<br />

Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha)<br />

diced for the title. He finished his rookie<br />

year fourth in the standings, 22 points<br />

behind Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti<br />

Racing) in third.<br />

A TITLE-WINNING CAMPAIGN: a multiple<br />

race winner and a consistent season<br />

With the Ducati Panigale V2 now in its<br />

second WorldSSP season, refinements<br />

were made and the year of experience<br />

Bulega put in his pocket allowed him to<br />

take the next step as he became a race<br />

winner. Victory came at Phillip Island,<br />

with a double, at the opening round of<br />

the season before a podium in Indonesia.<br />

Another double at Assen, plus victories at<br />

Barcelona and Misano despite the best<br />

efforts of title rival Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate<br />

Racing Yamaha) put him in pole position<br />

for the title. The Ducati star was able to<br />

keep winning with more visits to the top<br />

step at Donington, Most and Magny-<br />

Cours, allowing him to pull out a 60-point<br />

lead heading into the Aragon Round. A<br />

double at Aragon extended his lead to 85<br />

points, with Manzi P11 and P2, but it wasn’t<br />

enough to win the title and the fight lasted<br />

one more round. With Bulega needing<br />

to leave Portimao Race 1 with a 75-point<br />

advantage over Manzi, he wrapped up the<br />

2023 title in style on Saturday with victory;<br />

becoming Ducati’s first Champion in<br />

WorldSSP.<br />


factory Ducati seat guaranteed…<br />

Bulega’s future was known before the<br />

title was wrapped up. For next year, the<br />

Italian will partner Alvaro Bautista at the<br />

factory Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team,<br />

replacing Michael Ruben Rinaldi. He<br />

follows in the footsteps of 2020 Champion<br />

Andrea Locatelli, who moved straight into<br />

the factory Yamaha seat and has been<br />

a regular top-six finisher, and two-time<br />

Champion Dominique Aegerter who moved<br />

to WorldSBK for 2023 after his second title.




WAYS IN 2024<br />

With a year still remaining on the four-year<br />

contract between HRC and Marc Marquez,<br />

both parties have mutually agreed to end their<br />

collaboration upon completion of the 2023<br />

MotoGP World Championship season. Both<br />

parties agreed it was in their best interests<br />

to each pursue other avenues in the future<br />

to best achieve their respective goals and<br />

targets.<br />

This brings an end to 11 years of<br />

collaboration between the #93 and HRC in<br />

which they achieved six premier class World<br />

Championships, five Triple Crowns, 59 wins,<br />

101 podiums and 64 pole positions together.<br />

Marquez took his debut victory in the premier<br />

class aboard the Honda RC213V at the Grand<br />

Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas in 2013<br />

to become the youngest premier class winner<br />

and would become the youngest premier<br />

class World Champion later that year. In 2014<br />

he defended his title and won the opening 10<br />

consecutive races of year, going on to also<br />

claim titles in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as<br />

an HRC rider with the Repsol Honda Team.<br />

Both parties will continue to give their full<br />

support for the remaining rounds of the 2023<br />

MotoGP World Championship season.<br />

HRC wish Marc Marquez the best in his future<br />

endeavors.<br />

There are still so many questions surrounding<br />

this. Watch our special “Talking MotoGP -<br />

Marc Marquez” episode where we dive into<br />

this very complex and very exciting topic.




The Gresini Family is pleased to announce<br />

the arrival of Marc Marquez for the 2024<br />

season. The Spanish rider, a multi-time World<br />

Champion, recently announced his separation<br />

from Honda and starting next season, he will<br />

be the new standard bearer of Gresini Racing<br />

MotoGP alongside his brother Alex.<br />

The Marquez brothers make a dream pairing,<br />

with Marc joining a satellite team that has<br />

already shown it belongs with the<br />

best since the squad’s return to the<br />

status of independent team in the<br />

premier class.<br />

is absolutely fantastic and I’m extremely<br />

happy to be able to make it official. In less<br />

than a season we got really close to his<br />

brother, and we’ll welcome Marc the same<br />

way, as we’re sure he has all the potential to<br />

be competitive on the GP23 from the get-go.<br />

Last but not least, I would like to thank Fabio<br />

Di Giannantonio for his professionalism, and<br />

we wish him all the best for the continuation<br />

of his career.”<br />

Marc Marquez: “I’m excited about<br />

this new challenge. It wasn’t an<br />

easy decision because it’s a big<br />

change in every way. But sometimes<br />

in life, it’s important to get out of<br />

your comfort zone and put yourself<br />

through the paces in order to keep<br />

growing. Bike-chance-wise, I know I<br />

will have to adapt my riding style to a<br />

few things, and it won’t be easy. But<br />

I’m also sure that the whole Team<br />

Gresini will help me a lot. I can’t wait<br />

to get to know the team and start<br />

working with them. I’d like to thank<br />

Nadia, Carlo and Michele for the<br />

trust and respect they showed me.<br />

Nadia Padovani: Gresini Racing<br />

Team Owner: “This is a historical<br />

moment for the Gresini Family. The<br />

fact that Marc Marquez chose to<br />

race with us in the upcoming season


Here’s all the main talking points from what he<br />

had to say at the press conference:<br />

The dream partnership comes to an end<br />

“It has been a super difficult decision, the<br />

toughest decision of my career because to<br />

break 11 years of relationship with Honda, a very<br />

successful relationship was super difficult. Yes,<br />

last week was hard on the emotional side because<br />

all my staff, friends and family are there inside that<br />

box.”<br />

A difficult decision<br />

“Sometimes you need to leave your comfort<br />

zone. And yeah, my comfort zone was Honda<br />

but yeah, it’s true that it’s been a while and I’m<br />

suffering a lot.”<br />

The reasons behind the decision<br />

“I’m not enjoying it so I made a change to enjoy<br />

my racing again because if I’m not there’s no<br />

point in continuing my racing and continuing my<br />

career, and what I want is more and more racing<br />

in my career. The first target will be to try to enjoy<br />

it. So for that reason, I chose the Gresini team<br />

because it’s a big family. They have the best bike<br />

on the grid and my brother is there so.”<br />

New challenges on the horizon<br />

“It will be a big challenge for me and a big<br />

challenge for the Gresini team but they’ve already<br />

done very good results with Alex my brother and<br />

with Enea Bastianini in the past. But it’s what I say,<br />

it will be a big change in every aspect and what<br />

I’m looking for is to enjoy it, and to smile in the<br />

helmet. If I smile, everything will come.”<br />

Tough times<br />

“When you’re injured and you’re in a difficult<br />

moment, you can’t make decisions. That’s what I<br />

learned in the past. There you have to be patient.<br />

But then in the second part of the season, of<br />

course, we’ve had some nice talks with Honda.<br />

Race by race it was super difficult because every<br />

weekend my mentality was changing a bit, with a<br />

lot of doubts. But at the same time, I had contact<br />

with the Gresini team and I told them I wouldn’t go<br />

forward with any contract, just if you want to wait<br />

for me, wait for me, but I can’t promise anything.<br />

My decision was last Tuesday after the Japan GP.”<br />

Onto pastures new<br />

“The easiest way was to stay at Honda with the<br />

situation under control, the bike under control, my<br />

team there, and a big salary, so that was the easy<br />

solution. But then if I want to take care of myself<br />

and my career I need to find a new challenge and<br />

the new challenge and best place was the Gresini<br />

team in 2024.”<br />

Options on the table<br />

“One year off was one of the possibilities. As I<br />

said, racing without enjoying has no meaning. I’ve<br />

enjoyed many things in the past, but I want to fight<br />

in the present. It doesn’t matter if you have one or<br />

eight World Championships, you have to fight for<br />

the present. This was my target. But yeah, I had<br />

different options. I won’t say because I respect all<br />

those teams and all those options.”<br />

The key moment<br />

“On Wednesday I had the phone call with Japan,<br />

which we thought was the best option for the<br />

project because I believe that they need time,<br />

they need to put all the budget on the bike. A<br />

manufacturer or brand has a lot of time, but<br />

athletes, we don’t have a lot of time. If you lose<br />

a year, that’s one year less that you have in your<br />

career. So yeah, look, I’m looking forward to<br />

finishing these last few races well with Honda<br />

because it has been 11 years where we have we<br />

won six World Championships. We will discover<br />

how the future will be with a new team and the<br />

new bike.”<br />

The dream team continues?<br />

“I am trying to bring at least one mechanic that I<br />

think won’t be a problem, but I can’t bring all the<br />

team for two reasons: One, I will not destroy the<br />

Repsol Honda Team because we’re in October.<br />

And reason two I won’t destroy the Gresini team<br />

because they are a family where they already have<br />

their mechanics.”<br />

An ever-changing situation<br />

“The decision was not clear. It looked like the last<br />

two months I was playing with you, but honestly,<br />

every week the situation was changing. When<br />

I showed that video in Misano, I was 90% at<br />

Honda. Even at the Test, I was there, but then<br />

the situation changed... in the end last Tuesday I<br />

made the decision.”




Former MotoGP commentator Nick<br />

Harris takes a deep dive into other great<br />

World Champions that jumped to different<br />

machinery during their careers<br />

The news on Wednesday afternoon still came<br />

as a shock. The rumours had been rife for<br />

a couple of months but seeing it in black<br />

and white made me fully realise this was<br />

big, very big. After 11 years HRC and Marc<br />

Marquez are parting company. Six premier<br />

class world titles, 59 Grand Prix victories<br />

and 101 podiums relegated onto the history<br />

book pages. One of the truly great World<br />

Champions still hungry to win more titles<br />

making a monumental decision to leave his<br />

extended family. A 30-year-old Champion<br />

seeking fresh pastures to give him the chance<br />

to join a very exclusive club.<br />

In the 74-year history of Grand Prix racing only<br />

five riders have won the premier class world<br />

title on two different makes of machinery.<br />

It’s a very special list. Geoff Duke, Giacomo<br />

Agostini, Eddie Lawson, Valentino Rossi and<br />

Casey Stoner need no introduction. Next<br />

season Marquez grabs the chance to join<br />

them realising time was running out at Honda.<br />

He had to move before he was too old.<br />

Duke switched to Gilera in 1953 after winning<br />

the 1951 500cc world title for Norton. It was<br />

a great move for both. The combination went<br />

on to dominate the Championship for three<br />

successive years. In 1972 Ago won his last<br />

500cc Championship for MV Agusta. The<br />

two-strokes were coming, and he switched to<br />

Yamaha in 1974. It was a massive moment for<br />

the sport, and a year later Ago became the<br />

first two-stroke winner of the premier class<br />

winning the last of his 15 world titles.<br />

Without a doubt, Lawson’s move to Honda<br />

from Yamaha in 1989 was the biggest<br />

surprise. I was the Media Manager of the<br />

Rothmans Honda team at the time. Lawson<br />

had won three 500cc World titles for Yamaha<br />

and was expected to continue meeting Honda<br />

head on. I was dispatched to California on a<br />

secret mission to interview, photograph, and<br />

film Eddie at home in Uplands before the<br />

announcement he was joining his great rival<br />

Wayne Gardner in the same team. Eddie just<br />

loved the new challenge and made it world<br />

title number four with second place in that<br />

final round in Brazil.<br />

Rossi’s move to Yamaha was so brave and the<br />

defection of a rider brimming with confidence<br />

and at the very top of his game. Typically, Vale<br />

had been drip-feeding his intention to leave<br />

Honda for months. His bye-bye baby helmet<br />

was a clear indication he was leaving a Honda<br />

team that he had brought three premier<br />

class titles on both two and four-stroke bikes.<br />

The move to Yamaha was announced after<br />

that final Grand Prix of the 2003 season in<br />

Valencia. The rest is history.<br />

Stoner’s move to Honda from Ducati was<br />

certainly no such shock but produced the<br />

same result. Casey had brought Ducati<br />

their first premier class title in 2007 but<br />

the Italian factory was struggling, and the<br />

Australian switched to Honda in 2011. He<br />

dominated the Championship in typical style,<br />

and was 90 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo<br />

at the finish. The biggest bombshell from<br />

Casey came just two years later when he<br />

announced his retirement in a shocked press<br />

conference in Le Mans.<br />

It’s now certain that Marquez will be on Ducati<br />

next season. As with those five other World<br />

Champions, some people will question his<br />

ability to make the switch. Great riders are<br />

World Champions for a reason. Eddie Lawson<br />

proved his point by winning the title for Honda<br />

in that first year and then returned home to<br />

Yamaha the next season.<br />

Could Marc do the same? Don’t rule it out.





The MotoGP 2024 Rider Market has unfolded<br />

as a whirlwind of activity. Despite initial<br />

expectations that the grid would remain<br />

relatively stable due to existing contracts<br />

with key Championship riders extending until<br />

2024, MotoGP continues to be a realm of<br />

uncertainty, where change can occur in the<br />

blink of an eye.<br />

Early Rumors<br />

In the early part of the season, speculations<br />

about potential rider changes started<br />

circulating. Would Jorge Martin (Prima<br />

Pramac Racing) make a move to Yamaha?<br />

Was Franco Morbidelli’s (Monster Energy<br />

Yamaha MotoGP) future in MotoGP<br />

secure? What about Moto2 starlet Pedro<br />

Acosta’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) prospects?<br />

How would KTM fare in the mix? The air<br />

was filled with uncertainty, and just when<br />

it seemed that puzzle pieces were falling<br />

into place, unexpected moves shook up the<br />

status quo. Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol)<br />

signing with Yamaha and Marco Bezzecchi’s<br />

(Mooney VR46 Racing Team) decision to<br />

forgo a latest-specification bike in favor of<br />

staying with his current team added further<br />

twists to the market.<br />

With all these developments and more, the<br />

silly season was in full swing, but the most<br />

surprising turn of events was yet to come. In<br />

2020, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)<br />

announced a four-year partnership that<br />

bound him to the golden-winged factory until<br />

2024. That contract was inked just before he<br />

embarked on a challenging journey marred<br />

by injuries and numerous technical issues<br />

with his bike.<br />

In this scenario, the idea of the #93 potentially<br />

departing from the Japanese factory gained<br />

momentum. Initially, there were speculations<br />

about the Spaniard moving to KTM and later<br />

to Gresini Racing alongside his brother, Alex<br />

Marquez. However, a pertinent question<br />

arose: Is being part of a factory team a<br />

prerequisite for success in MotoGP?<br />

Throughout the history of the MotoGP era,<br />

an independent team has never secured the<br />

Riders’ World Championship, and no rider<br />

with Marquez’ level of accomplishments<br />

has ventured down a similar path. It’s worth<br />

recalling that when Valentino Rossi left<br />

the factory Yamaha team to join Petronas,<br />

he had a bike identical to the factory ones<br />

and unwavering support from the factory.<br />

Similarly, Jorge Martin currently benefits<br />

from similar support. While the #46 may not<br />

have had as fruitful an experience, the #89 is<br />

enjoying an outstanding season, supported<br />

by impressive statistics. Currently, the<br />

Spaniard sits second in the standings, trailing<br />

leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo<br />

Team) by just three points, showcasing<br />

impeccable form.<br />

The most recent instance of capturing the<br />

premier class title without belonging to<br />

a factory team dates back to 2000 when<br />

Valentino Rossi made his rookie debut with<br />

the Nastro Azzurro team, managed by Honda<br />

Europe. A year later, he secured the final<br />

title of the 500cc era. Rossi followed in the<br />

footsteps of Eddie Lawson, who claimed<br />

three 500cc titles with Yamaha in 1984, 1986,<br />

and 1988. Lawson transitioned to Honda in<br />

1989 under the guidance of Erv Kanemoto.<br />

Despite the factory team already having<br />

Wayne Gardner and rookie Mick Doohan,<br />

Lawson managed to clinch his fourth World<br />

Championship with Rothmans Honda.<br />

At first glance, it might seem far-fetched to<br />

entertain the idea of winning a Championship<br />

with an independent team in the current<br />

landscape. However, within the highly<br />

competitive era of the World Championship,<br />

one thing is clear: anything is possible. Just<br />

ask Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi.<br />

Both have genuine opportunities to claim the<br />

Championship in 2023. Additionally, in the<br />

case of the Italian, he could achieve this feat<br />

in the current season with his Desmosedici<br />

GP 22, a machine that, in theory, possesses<br />

inferior technical equipment.<br />

How far can Marquez go with a Ducati? Can<br />

he rewrite MotoGP history with his ninth<br />

World Championship alongside Gresini<br />

Racing? The 2024 season promises to deliver<br />

exhilarating excitement!




FOR 2024 MOTOGP<br />

project next year. The likeable 32-year-old<br />

was part of this joint decision for both the<br />

short and long-term future of the company’s<br />

MotoGP goals. Pol is greatly appreciated for<br />

his commitment and experience; right from the<br />

very first days of the Pierer Mobility Group’s<br />

MotoGP entry up until his dedicated quest to<br />

return to competitiveness after injury sustained<br />

earlier in 2023. The #44 is an important asset<br />

for supporting talented young athletes and<br />

maintaining the strength of the current racing<br />

set-up and his humility is evidenced by his<br />

willingness to assist the next generation hoping<br />

to follow in his footsteps. Pol’s character,<br />

energy and abilities mean he will still be a<br />

prominent member of the MotoGP program<br />

on both sides of the pit wall.<br />

Pit Beirer, GASGAS Motorsports Director:<br />

“We had an important and difficult decision<br />

to make for our GASGAS team for 2024.<br />

Augusto has made impressive first steps in<br />

MotoGP and we are totally convinced he has<br />

the speed and the intelligence to keep on<br />

progressing. Pedro is a very special talent<br />

who has already won so much, so quickly<br />

and 2024 will be about him learning to take<br />

the next step with the big boys in MotoGP. I<br />

want to thank Pol for everything he has done<br />

and all he continues to do for us. This guy is<br />

super-tough and super-determined and that’s<br />

why we want to count on him as an important<br />

part of our structure. Pol’s openness and<br />

proactiveness deserves my deepest respect.<br />

It underlines his greatness as a person that<br />

he gave us a helping hand in this situation.<br />

It also shows his passion for the sport and<br />

his thoughts for the future. With these pieces<br />

in place and with Hervé, Nicolas, and all the<br />

team and their experience we have an exciting<br />

year ahead for the GASGAS brand.”<br />

Reigning Moto2 World Champion and<br />

notable 2023 MotoGP rookie, Augusto<br />

Fernandez, will remain with the GASGAS<br />

Factory Racing Tech3 squad for his second<br />

term at the highest level. The 26-year-old<br />

Mallorcan caught the eye with points-scoring<br />

performances in all but two of the 14 Grands<br />

Prix so far this season and has posted a<br />

personal best of 4th place at the French<br />

Grand Prix. In Japan last weekend he notched<br />

his second-best classification with 7th place<br />

through tricky rainy conditions at Motegi.<br />

Augusto has shown potential and maturity<br />

while also progressing with his adaptation to<br />

the 2023 GASGAS RC16. He will be joined<br />

by the man who could be next in line for the<br />

Moto2 gold medal.<br />

Pedro Acosta is in only his third full season<br />

of World Championship competition but<br />

the prolific 19-year-old won the Moto3 title<br />

(2021), Moto2 Grands Prix as a rookie<br />

(2022) and has snared 11 podiums from 14<br />

rounds this year to head the standings by<br />

more than 50 points. Acosta has the ability,<br />

the racecraft and the sheer natural talent<br />

to join the MotoGP grid and complete a<br />

remarkable journey through the company’s<br />

talent structure from being Red Bull<br />

MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion in 2020 to<br />

premier class racer in 2024.<br />

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 rider, Pol<br />

Espargaro, will fill a crucial and very valued<br />

position for the Pierer Mobility Motorsport






The Superbike Commission, composed of<br />

MM. Gregorio LAVILLA (Dorna, WorldSBK<br />

Executive Director), Paul KING (Director of<br />

the FIM Circuit Racing Commission), Biense<br />

BIERMA (General Secretary of the MSMA),<br />

coordinated by Paul DUPARC (Manager<br />

of the FIM Circuit Racing Commission<br />

– SBK Secretary of the Commission), in<br />

the presence of Ludovic REIGNIER (FIM<br />

WorldSBK Technical Director), Dominique<br />

HEBRARD (FIM CTI Technical Manager) and<br />

Roland BERGER (FIM CTI Director) met on<br />

numerous occasions in recent weeks.<br />

With the Superbike World Championship now<br />

being mature, the FIM, Dorna and the MSMA<br />

have decided to work on the long term and<br />

have defined some concepts on which this<br />

Championship will have to evolve.<br />

The stakeholders are keen to include them in<br />

an even more virtuous policy with regard to<br />

the environment and to continue to balance<br />

the performance of the machines while<br />

limiting their performances for safety.<br />

For the WorldSBK class, the following<br />

concepts have been then decided and will be<br />

appropriately drafted in the Technical Rules<br />

that will be written for the 2024 season:<br />


To incentive the environmental guidelines<br />

and give a platform for manufacturers to<br />

increase their machine developments in these<br />

areas for the future, it has been decided that,<br />

from 2025, a fuel flow control system will be<br />

mandatory to use. Therefore, in 2024, two<br />

bikes from each manufacturer will be required<br />

to fit a fuel flow meter and log data during<br />

both practices and races to validate the<br />

concept and define the value for 2025.<br />



In 2024, a new fuel tank maximum capacity<br />

will be set at 21.0 litres.<br />


In 2024, a combined weight for rider and<br />

machine has been defined by FIM-DWO-<br />

MSMA agreement.<br />

RPM LIMITS (this point was discussed in<br />

combination with the combined weight)<br />

In 2024, RPM limits will be set prior to the<br />

beginning of the 2024 season by FIM-DWO-<br />

MSMA agreement and will not be reduced<br />

during that season (with the exemption of<br />

FIM-DWO RPM reduction intervention in case<br />

of superconcession overshooting). Article<br /> (balancing calculation) related to RPM<br />

reductions will be cancelled.<br />


Crankshaft and balance shaft weight<br />

may be modified by +/- 20% from the<br />

homologated weight measured during<br />

the FIM homologation inspection and the<br />

corresponding parts ‘kit’ must be a listed part<br />

in the FIM eligible parts list.<br />



From 2024, this will be reviewed every two<br />

events instead of three as present.<br />



The outline approval will be one month prior<br />

to the event and final detailed approval 14<br />

days prior to the technical control day of the<br />

event removing the necessity to describe<br />

the super concession parts in the FIM SBK<br />

regulations. A specific communication will be<br />

put in place instead.<br />

On Saturday October 28th, a formal meeting<br />

of the SBK Commission will take place during<br />

the final round of the Championship. During<br />

this meeting, various sporting and disciplinary<br />

points will be raised and possible additional<br />

technical points could also be discussed.<br />

The resolutions of this Superbike Commission<br />

have been approved by the Permanent Bureau.<br />

A regularly updated version of the FIM SBK<br />

Regulations which contains the detailed text<br />

of the regulation changes may be viewed<br />

shortly on the FIM website.

HJC i100<br />

HJC’s new i100 is a clear departure from its<br />

regular system helmet range.<br />

Modern styling makes it look like a premium<br />

full-face lid when closed, its angular shape<br />

and muscular profile giving it an aggressive,<br />

sporty look and feel.<br />

When in the open position, the chin guard<br />

swings all the way back keeping the top of<br />

your head free from wind buffeting. The i100<br />

is double homologated, meaning it can be<br />

worn both in the open and closed position.<br />

From a safety perspective, the i100 complies<br />

with the latest ECE 22.06 standard and<br />

features a large visor that offers a wide<br />

field of vision. Furthermore, it comes with a<br />

Pinlock anti-fog film, and an anti-fog dropdown<br />

visor for sunny days.<br />

A powerful channel ventilation system can<br />

easily be adjusted according to temperature<br />

and the helmet’s inner liners are completely<br />

removable (and machine-washable), with<br />

eyewear compatibility.<br />

The i100 is offered from sizes XS-2XL in 3<br />

shell sizes to minimise weight and to benefit<br />

from its engineered weight distribution for all<br />

day riding comfort.<br />

To complete the easy-to-live-with package,<br />

it attaches securely via a quick-release<br />

micrometric buckle and is fully compatible<br />

with HJC’s SMART 10 & 20 Bluetooth comms<br />

systems.<br />

Now available from all Powered By<br />

Autocycle Centre accredited stores.<br />

Visit poweredbyautocycle.co.za for full<br />

dealer listing.

FIVE RFX2 Road/<br />

Track gloves<br />

The RFX 2 AIRFLOW has considerably<br />

evolved and echoes the characteristics<br />

of the latest RFX 2, making it a standard<br />

in ventilated gloves. For sport and road<br />

use, it features the ventilated topside TPU<br />

shells of the RFX 1 and RFX 2, but includes<br />

specific materials (perforated leather,<br />

mesh fabric) that offer optimal airflow.<br />

The mixed-material palm, in full-grain<br />

leather, perforated leather, and synthetic<br />

leather reinforcements for optimal grip,<br />

features a TPR protective slider shell on<br />

the hypothenar. Its PU cuff, a legacy of the<br />

exceptional RFX Race glove, offers extra<br />

protection on the forearm and gives the<br />

RFX 2 a truly sleek and stylish look. The<br />

thumb and topside are in mesh fabric for<br />

maximum airflow. It also features gel<br />

reinforcements on the thumbs, for greater<br />

comfort at the controls.<br />

The RFX2 Airflow offers high-level<br />

protection, excellent fit, and, more than<br />

anything, effective ventilation that makes<br />

it the perfect glove for riding a sport bike<br />

in summertime.<br />

Now available from all Powered By<br />

Autocycle Centre accredited stores.<br />

Visit poweredbyautocycle.co.za for<br />

full dealer listing.

THE FIVE<br />

EFFECT<br />


“We think that each type of<br />

motorcycle and rider deserves a<br />

specifically adapted glove. But this<br />

hasn’t stopped us from offering<br />

certain multipurpose, cross-category<br />

products. Our ambition is to offer you<br />

the widest possible selection, so you<br />

can determine the perfect type of<br />

glove for…YOU.”<br />

Franck Fazio – Founder

FIVE craft: we are Glove specialists.<br />

FIVE: The name rings out loud and clear, since the<br />

company’s mission is to protect hands (and the<br />

FIVE fingers that come with it…) during activities<br />

that require high-performance technical gloves,<br />

such as riding a two-wheeled machines. For over<br />

fifteen years now, FIVE has been helping riders<br />

enhance their enjoyment at the handlebar, while<br />

protecting hands from injury in case of a fall, by<br />

equipping millions of motorcycle enthusiasts<br />

around the world.<br />

Gloves are an item designed for safety, but also<br />

for comfort - this is their vision.<br />

Their commitment can be stated<br />

in three words:<br />


PROTECTION – because your hands are<br />

essential. Imagine having to spend even a single<br />

day without using one of your hands due to an<br />

injury, even one that’s not serious. The smallest<br />

activity would be truly difficult, and the discomfort<br />

would be highly distressing. Protecting your hands<br />

is crucial. We don’t always think about it, but as a<br />

reflex, we tend to put our hands out in front of us<br />

if we fall. They are, therefore, particularly exposed.<br />

Our goal is to reduce the risk of specific injuries<br />

related to motorcycle riding.<br />

each time you touch the controls, whether you’re<br />

accelerating, braking, or changing direction.<br />

Feeling every move at the controls (and, by<br />

extension, every movement of your motorcycle) is<br />

essential. It’s even further proof of safety. And this<br />

should happen with a certain amount of comfort.<br />

Their desire is clearly to enhance the enjoyment<br />

you feel when riding your motorcycle.<br />

DESIGN – because FIVE consider a functional<br />

aesthetic to be especially important. In their view,<br />

the shape of each piece that makes up a glove<br />

stems from the role it plays in its use (protection,<br />

comfort, ventilation, abrasion resistance, etc.).<br />

This is why FIVE design and craft each element<br />

independently, without using any standard<br />

pieces, so that a FIVE glove is exclusive and<br />

distinctive. Their designs are often imitated, but<br />

never equaled! So, you might as well choose the<br />

original, FIVE.<br />

Hands have the particular complexity of being<br />

extremely sensitive parts of the body (sensitive to<br />

cold, heat, and collisions), highly exposed in case<br />

of a fall, and replete with a number of small, fully<br />

articulated elements (bones, tendons, muscles,<br />

blood vessels). More than anything, it’s through<br />

our hands that we experience one of our five<br />

senses, the sense of touch. In other words, the<br />

very least element of a glove that’s badly designed<br />

or wrongly placed is immediately uncomfortable.<br />

A badly fitting glove or one that’s not right for<br />

your body type or riding style can considerably<br />

diminish your riding pleasure, or even ruin<br />

what promised to be a great ride, because your<br />

attention would be focused on the discomfort<br />

rather than the beauty of the landscapes you’re<br />

experiencing. A glove should therefore perfectly<br />

mold to the curves of your hand as it grips the<br />

handle bars and controls and allow for total<br />

freedom of movement of each and every joint.<br />

This is why FIVE gloves are pre-shaped and why<br />

they take care to perfectly position protective<br />

elements.<br />

As you can see, you can’t just design a pair of<br />

gloves like you do a piece of clothing. The glove<br />

is not just a simple extension of your jacket,<br />

contrary to what non-specialist brands may lead<br />

you to believe. In terms of gloves, the approach<br />

has to be even more technical, due to the small<br />

size of the pieces assembled, their number, and<br />

the freedom of movement of the hand that is<br />

hard to obtain, yet indispensable. Because, by<br />

definition, layering levels of fabric and protective<br />

elements can swiftly end up hindering the<br />

mobility of the hand, if real expertise isn’t used.<br />

This is why FIVE made the choice to become<br />

THE Glove Specialist, because they believe in<br />

the virtues of specialization and expertise.<br />

It’s hard to imagine how complex designing<br />

an effective, high-performance glove can be.<br />

Designing an “aesthetically pleasing” glove,<br />

like many brands do, is relatively easy. Creating<br />

a glove that’s functional and both elegant,<br />

comfortable, and protective, no matter the size,<br />

and for mass production, presents a whole other<br />

challenge. This is their vocation. They are no<br />

smarter, nor more intelligent, than general gear<br />

providers. They want to offer gloves that are far<br />

better than average, because that’s all they make.<br />

FIVE dedicates all their efforts and endless hours,<br />

day after day, with each passing month and every<br />

year, to just one product: gloves! And this is how<br />

they can keep developing our expertise and<br />

constantly improving the quality of their products.<br />

FITTING – because gloves form the link between<br />

you and your motorcycle. To truly savor piloting<br />

your motorcycle, this connection should be<br />

seamless, allowing for perfect responsiveness

A FIVE glove frequently offers<br />

just that much more.<br />

Beyond the idea of comfort and perfect fit, a<br />

FIVE glove often offers so much more than<br />

competitors’ gloves, if you truly look at the details.<br />

It’s not necessarily obvious when you purchase<br />

them, but this makes a huge difference when you<br />

wear and use them, in terms of comfort, the level<br />

of protection, and durability. When you compare<br />

the materials that make up FIVE gloves from the<br />

rest of what’s out there on the market, you’ll see<br />

that, compared to products that are “supposedly<br />

comparable” (in terms of price, for example),<br />

FIVE frequently offers so much more. From<br />

authentic, full-grain leather, when competitors<br />

are offering synthetic leather…to real Carbon,<br />

when others only offer basic plastic with a carbon<br />

look…to Kevlar lining, when other manufacturers<br />

offer no reinforced lining. And then, there’s the<br />

external stitching, which offers greater comfort<br />

but is harder to make, as opposed to standard<br />

seams, etc. Their motto: offering the best possible<br />

product at the best possible price. The qualities<br />

of a FIVE glove can truly be appreciated once it’s<br />

worn, even more than in-shop.<br />

Using the finest components<br />

and materials: this is the FIVE hallmark.<br />

FIVE utilize optimal technology in our products,<br />

which leads them to select renowned technical<br />

partners, such as GORE-TEX (weatherproof<br />

membrane), PRIMALOFT®, 3M® Thinsulate<br />

(thermal lining), and Dupont de Nemours®<br />

(Kevlar) Gütermann® (for threads that are durable,<br />

yet don’t cut into the skin), and adopt their<br />

innovations for our most advanced products. For<br />

example, FIVE were the first to use Nanofront®,<br />

an absorbent, non-slip material from Japan, on<br />

the palm of our high-end motocross glove, for<br />

peerless grip.<br />

Not content to simply design products –<br />

They make them in their own factories.<br />

FIVE technicians and colleagues are on site to<br />

make sure that each glove that emerges from<br />

our production lines is consistent with the initial<br />

guidelines set forth by our R&D department<br />

in France and the technical lab in Italy, which<br />

has developed expertise in gloves over several<br />

generations and ensures that our patterns (and<br />

our gloves) are in perfect working order…from the<br />

smallest to the very largest sizes!<br />

FIVE gloves are designed to cover the hand, but<br />

they are also “hand” made, by expert workers<br />

and seamstresses. Making a glove requires a<br />

considerable number of manual steps, whether<br />

it’s making pieces of the protective elements,<br />

cutting, embellishing, assembling, or sewing<br />

the elements that compose it. These workers<br />

handle the fabrics and rigid pieces and assemble<br />

them using a “plain old” sewing machine,<br />

with almost unbelievable dexterity. One of the<br />

essential aspects of the comfort and proper fit<br />

of a glove is the attention given to its assembly.<br />

At FIVE, the precision standard in terms of the<br />

stitches assembling the fingers, for example, is<br />

two times more precise than standard practices<br />

in the industry. This lower tolerance for gaps<br />

in the alignment of stitches creates an extra<br />

constraint for our workers and requires them to be<br />

particularly attentive. Nevertheless, it is absolutely<br />

essential for a perfect fit, and this is one of the<br />

keys to FIVE’s expertise.<br />

At FIVE, the precision<br />

standard in terms of the<br />

stitches assembling the<br />

fingers, for example, is<br />

two times more precise<br />

than standard practices<br />

in the industry.<br />

Producing in our own factories allows us to<br />

maintain perfect control over our output, including<br />

in quality management. It is precisely because<br />

our gloves are assembled by human beings, and<br />

not by robots (which would be unable to copy the<br />

movements of a seamstress), that sometimes a<br />

slight gap identified at the moment of assembly<br />

creates the need for stitching that may loosen over<br />

time. This remains an exception and affects less<br />

than 1% of our total output (0.6%, to be exact), a<br />

level well below industry averages. We are proud of<br />

this low rate (zero errors simply does not exist) and<br />

take responsibility for it, to the advantage of our<br />

clients, with Premium product support through our<br />

international sales network, in order to provide total<br />

satisfaction to users of FIVE gloves.

The development of FIVE gloves<br />

is based on real feedback.<br />

It’s in collaborating with top-level riders and<br />

listening to the needs of and feedback from<br />

thousands of users throughout the world that<br />

FIVE are able to develop ever more comfortable<br />

and protective gloves. They test the gloves under<br />

the extreme conditions offered by top-level<br />

competition, before FIVE bring them to market.<br />

And the innovations they decide to use for racing<br />

benefits the amateur products in our range.<br />

Their official riders take part in MotoGP, Moto3,<br />

Superbike, Supersport, Endurance, Supermoto,<br />

Motocross, and Enduro world championships…<br />

They wear FIVE gloves on racetracks throughout<br />

the world and actively contribute to the evolution<br />

of their products.<br />

And so, when Michele PIRRO took a spill at over<br />

300 kms/h at Mugello in 2018, and got up without<br />

a scratch on his hands, FIVE were truly happy and<br />

proud to be his equipment partner. Unwittingly,<br />

he helped them study how their gloves perform<br />

in a real-life situation, well beyond any they we<br />

carry out in a lab. In the same way, when Peter<br />

HICKMAN or Dean HARRISON won the Isle of<br />

Man Tourist Trophy (the fastest and undoubtedly<br />

most dangerous road race in the world), when<br />

Jeremy GUARNONI triumphed at the 24 Hours of<br />

Le Mans in 2019, and when Thomas CHAREYRE<br />

was crowned 7-time Supermoto World Champion,<br />

or Steve HOLCOMBE took the Enduro 3 and<br />

Enduro GP World Championship titles, all of them<br />

wearing FIVE gloves, we can’t help thinking that<br />

their products do, in fact, deliver the goods for the<br />

most demanding riders and athletes. The proof<br />

is in the pudding they say, and there is plenty<br />

pudding there.<br />

Though riders are at the very heart of their<br />

product development strategy, it’s also a matter<br />

of passion. Because all everyone at FIVE share<br />

a love affair with motor sports. In fact, they have<br />

several former professional riders now working<br />

for them, and they feel blessed to share great<br />

friendships with a number of champions, who<br />

have worn or still wear their gloves. FIVE are<br />

always proud to see their official riders raising up<br />

their trophies and breaking out the champagne on<br />

the podium, wearing FIVE gloves, a sign that these<br />

gloves have truly done their job during the race.<br />

But, above all, they design and make their gloves<br />

for their clients. For you, who ride every day or<br />

simply for pleasure. Thus, FIVE always listen<br />

to you and want to have your feedback on the<br />

products, so they can learn from experience and<br />

ensure that future generations of their gloves<br />

include all these evolutions.<br />

FIVE glove users represent a large community, a<br />

family, that just keeps growing all over the world.<br />

And so, they’ve included a “sign of recognition<br />

and belonging” on some of the styles (not on all<br />

of them, so they don’t go over-the-top with it…) in<br />

the form of a V-Sign: a red V that can be spotted<br />

from afar, obtained by applying the color red to the<br />

inside of the index and middle fingers. The V for<br />

victory or the friendly gesture that two bikers make<br />

when they cross paths in some parts of the world.<br />

Make the right choice in gloves.<br />

To choose the right glove for you, several factors<br />

come into play. The type of motorcycle you’re<br />

riding. The season you’ll be using it in (Should it<br />

be ventilated? Does it need to be heated?). The<br />

average distance you’ll be covering. How often<br />

you’ll be using it. The level of protection and<br />

comfort required. Your budget. Though, in theory,<br />

the more a glove protects, the less comfortable<br />

it is, their entire job at FIVE is about flipping this<br />

equation and making an ultra-protective glove truly<br />

comfortable…and vice-versa.<br />

Obviously, no glove can totally protect you in case<br />

of an accident. That being said, FIVE gloves are<br />

designed to limit the risks of injury and meet CE<br />

Moto standards (with the corresponding label sewn<br />

inside, which features the Moto icon required in<br />

certain countries) on 3 different levels: CE (gloves<br />

without protective shells), CE KP1 (gloves with<br />

protective shells, providing an adequate level of<br />

protection), and CE KP2 (gloves with protective<br />

shells, providing a superior level of protection).<br />

Choosing a FIVE glove shows a certain pragmatic<br />

spirit: You want the best possible glove for riding<br />

your motorcycle, and you know that you’ll find<br />

it among the many styles that make up their<br />

collection and that are available in the SA market<br />

through all “Powered by Autocycle” dealerships<br />

across the land. For more information, feel<br />

free to pop into your nearest dealer or visit<br />






Words: Paul Scott | Pics: HRC & Box Repsol<br />

What do Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Marquez,<br />

Pol Espargaro, Joan Mir, Alex Rins, and<br />

Marc Marquez all have in common? Their<br />

careers at Honda were all cut short, or<br />

limited, due to serious injuries received<br />

whilst piloting the RCV213 MotoGP bike.

Now I am fully aware that MM93 is still active on<br />

a Honda as is JM<strong>36</strong> and AR42. HOWEVER at<br />

what level are they riding …… 75%, 90%, certainly<br />

not 100% of their capabilities, and after more<br />

than 3 months off the bike, AR42 tried to make<br />

a comeback in Japan, but his injury is still not<br />

healed enough to allow him to participate at<br />

anywhere near the level required in MotoGP today.<br />

But let’s wind back the clock a few years.<br />

From 1983 until 2019 Honda had won 24<br />

Constructors championships. The most by any<br />

manufacturer in the modern era, and up until that<br />

point it had all come fairly easily. By that I mean<br />

Honda was always a force to be reckoned with,<br />

and fighting for the championship consistently.<br />

Was 2019 the turning point, or was it just the 1st<br />

year that we got to see how exposed Honda was?<br />

So yes, the constructors championship went to<br />

Honda in 2019, but it had cut short the career<br />

of arguably one of the smoothest riders ever to<br />

grace MotoGP. Jorge Lorenzo.<br />

Jorge had been lured to Honda midway through<br />

2018 and in his second year of a 2-year contract<br />

with Ducati. A 3 times MotoGP champion with<br />

Yamaha, he had been expected to conquer the<br />

Duke with ease … a task more difficult than he,<br />

and Ducati, had anticipated. However, in 2018<br />

he won 3 races and put this down to the fact that<br />

even though it had taken time, Ducati had listened<br />

to him, and made the changes he asked for. The<br />

most obvious being the change to the fuel tank.<br />

But by the time he won on the Ducati, the ink from<br />

his signature on the Repsol Honda contract was<br />

already dry, and unbeknownst to him, the writing<br />

was now on the wall.<br />

Jorge, a very smooth, precise, and consistent<br />

rider unfortunately found the Honda to be a rather<br />

difficult bike to master. He missed the first test<br />

due to injury, and then just never seemed to gel<br />

with the bike. He found the bike difficult to turn,<br />

especially mid-corner to corner exit, and this was<br />

one of his biggest strengths, which had now been<br />

negated. He felt the adaptation to the Honda<br />

was too slow and he started over-riding the bike<br />

resulting in many crashes and ultimately injuries

that forced him to re-look at his options and by<br />

mid-August he had decided to throw in the towel.<br />

This was the last hurrah for the 5 times world<br />

champ, and not a fitting end to what had been a<br />

stellar career.<br />

Due to Lorenzo bailing out at a rather late stage,<br />

the pickings for Honda were limited, but one Alex<br />

Marquez stepped up to the plate. No doubt with a<br />

few encouraging words from 6 times world champ<br />

and older brother Marc. The dream family team<br />

was complete. But fate stepped in and at round 1<br />

in Spain Marc suffered an almost career-ending<br />

fracture to his right humerus. Younger Brother<br />

Alex was now the sole representative in the<br />

Factory Honda team, with no MotoGP experience,<br />

and no Marc to get help from. Alex persevered,<br />

but like Lorenzo, found the bike very difficult to<br />

understand. He felt by the time he thought he was<br />

near the limit, he was down and in the gravel. The<br />

feedback from the bike not being what he had<br />

hoped for and he was severely lacking front-end<br />

feel. The results were not there, too many crashes,<br />

and after just one season Alex was banished to<br />

the privateer LCR team, but still on an RCV.<br />

2021 saw the almost return of the still injured Marc<br />

Marquez, and now with the vastly experienced<br />

Pol Espargaro (2013 Moto 2 world champ) as<br />

his teammate. Pol was fresh off the KTM where<br />

he had shown some flashes of brilliance, but<br />

being a new package, always felt the KTM project<br />

wasn’t progressing fast enough, and so HE felt<br />

he would be the difference Honda and HRC<br />

were looking for. Pol started 2021 with a steady,<br />

albeit unimpressive 8th and had a very mediocre<br />

year, with the best result being 5th at Silverstone.<br />

2022 started well with a 3rd in Qatar but never<br />

progressed from there, and soon Pol was<br />

complaining about the other side of the garage<br />

getting preferential treatment. Pol has always<br />

been known to crash a few times per year, but<br />

2022 put him right up there with the second most<br />

crashes for MotoGP, Alex Marquez (LCR HONDA)<br />

was third highest for the year. Pol went on to sign<br />

a 2-year contract with Gas Gas and left Honda,<br />

saying that the 2 years at Honda were the 2 most<br />

stressful years of his life.<br />

Enter Joan Mir. Due to the demise late in 2022<br />

of the Factory Suzuki team, the 2020 world<br />

champ was left with limited options for 2023.<br />

Would he have chosen the Repsol Honda ride if<br />

a Ducati seat was available? I somehow doubt<br />

it, but beggars can’t be choosers and so Joan<br />

signed for the Factory Honda team. His Suzuki<br />

teammate and then 4 times GP winner (now 5)<br />

Alex Rins, put pen to paper on an LCR Honda<br />

deal. Probably also due to limited options after<br />

the Suzuki bombshell.<br />

Well, halfway through 2023 Joan Mir must be<br />

thinking he would have been better off staying at<br />

home. So far he has only seen the chequered flag<br />

on 3 out of 28 occasions. (the new sprint format<br />

included) . A dismal time by anyone’s standards,<br />

but specifically for a rider who on the Suzuki was<br />

silky smooth and very seldom out of shape. His<br />

ex-Suzuki teammate had managed to win in COTA<br />

on the LCR Honda but then suffered a severe leg<br />

fracture in the Mugello sprint race ruling him out<br />

of any other races to date.<br />

In the meantime, 2023 has seen a fully fit, 6-time<br />

MotoGP champ, return to action. He has been<br />

very vocal about the Honda and was demanding

ig changes almost from the first test day. He, like<br />

the other Honda riders has suffered from grip and<br />

traction problems, and is finding that the 2023 bike is<br />

just not competitive against the new crop of European<br />

machines. And by new I mean bikes that have evolved<br />

so fast over the last 3 to 4 years that they almost<br />

seem like new bikes to the championship.<br />

I think Honda has progressed at the same rate,<br />

from 2010 till today. As per the norm, their lap<br />

times year on year have improved. This takes into<br />

account changes in tyre manufacturers over the said<br />

period. The problem is that the opposition European<br />

manufacturers have progressed at a far faster rate,<br />

thus making the Honda almost obsolete vs the Duke,<br />

KTM, and Aprilia. Please note that the other Japanese<br />

bike, Yamaha, is in a very similar situation at present<br />

regarding results.<br />

2014 saw a certain Gigi DallÍgna leave Aprilia to<br />

become CEO of Ducati Corse ( Race Division ).<br />

2015 saw the first aerodynamic wings appear on<br />

the Ducati MotoGP bike, and as they say, the rest is<br />

history. Many other firsts were seen on the Ducati in<br />

the following years. Holeshot devices, rear ride height<br />

adjustments, etc., and all the other manufacturers<br />

were forced to play catch-up.

They need to work, still we are far. If<br />

this is the base. Or the bike. We are far.<br />

Honda it seems, was reactive to all these changes, as opposed to<br />

proactive. At the same time, Shuhei Nakamoto retired after being<br />

at the helm of HRC for 7 years. Now did this upset the balance and<br />

ambiance within HRC? Takeo Yokoyama was the Technical Director for<br />

HRC from 2013, but he was the first to be relieved of his post at the<br />

end of 2022. Marc and I have no doubts the other Honda riders, were<br />

putting pressure on Honda to listen to the riders and make changes<br />

faster. With the demise of the Suzuki MotoGP project, Honda quickly<br />

grabbed Ken Kawauchi hoping this would be the end to their troubles.<br />

Well, 9 months later Honda is no closer to a solution than they were in<br />

Nov 2022. In mid-September 2023 Shinichi Kokubu had been booted<br />

from his position as Technical Director at HRC. Calls are being made<br />

by Marc for Honda to hire European engineers to help sort out the<br />

problems as soon as possible. But will this help? Yes and no. Yes,<br />

in that no matter who they hire, it is a long-term project. Just look at<br />

Ducati. Big changes from 2015, but only reaping the real rewards from<br />

basically 2021 onwards. That’s a six-year journey. If Honda thinks they<br />

are going to change it in 3 or 6 months, well NO, ain’t gonna happen.<br />

Honda and HRC have clearly taken note that they have a bike that in<br />

this formula, is uncompetitive. Just what they will ultimately do, and<br />

how long it will take, is the million-dollar question.<br />

The King is Dead, Long Live the King !!!!!!

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

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />

CITY<br />


YA M A H A X- M A X 3 0 0<br />

It has been a while since we last had a scooter on<br />

test here at <strong>MRW</strong>. With the ever-increasing cost of<br />

fuel and living, we were eager to find a solution to<br />

save both time and money on your weekly commute.<br />

Let me explain before all the die-hard bikers say- but<br />

it’s a scooter? Firstly, it’s not just any scooter, it’s a<br />

Maxi scooter, and more importantly than that, it’s a<br />

Yamaha X-Max 300. Scooters like the Yamaha X-Max<br />

are the perfect utensil to replace your current car or<br />

motorcycle for the weekly trip to and from the office.<br />

They offer great protection from the elements with<br />

their bodywork, are cheap to maintain, easy to ride,<br />

have more than ample storage compartments, and<br />

most importantly, are simply sublime on fuel.

POWER<br />

27.6 bhp @<br />

7,250 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

29 Nm<br />

@ 5,750rpm<br />

TANK<br />


13.2 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

795mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />

183kg<br />

The amount of money and time you will save while<br />

using a bike like this as your primary commuter<br />

means that the bike will essentially pay for itself<br />

with the money you save. In the long run, this<br />

will translate to you having this as your everyday<br />

commuter, leaving your special pride and joy to be<br />

enjoyed on the weekends, reducing mileage and<br />

wear and tear on it.<br />

The Yamaha X-Max has been around since 2006,<br />

available in four different engine capacities (the<br />

125, 250, 300, and the 400, not in SA though,<br />

unfortunately). The X-Max line-up is enjoying<br />

strong commercial success in Europe but in other<br />

countries, not so much. Why is this? Well, people<br />

have yet to catch on to the practical and moneysaving<br />

side of things when it comes to scooters<br />

of this caliber. It is also an ego thing, especially in<br />

South Africa where excuse the pun- the “bigger is<br />

always better” mentality comes to the forefront and<br />

people do not want to be seen on a scooter as it’s<br />

seen as not cool or something only a lady will ride.<br />

This couldn’t be further from the truth though and if<br />

you spend enough time, as I did on the X-Max 300,<br />

your mindset would completely change.<br />

First off, looks-wise, and I am sure that you will<br />

agree, the X-Max is a pretty bike, the best-looking<br />

maxi scooter on the market today in my opinion<br />

with the Ducati Supersport looking front LED<br />

headlights, sleek lines, and edgy sporty looks.<br />

From the front, you wouldn’t say it’s a scooter at all,<br />

only when looking at it from the side you see that

typical maxi scooter shear size and length which<br />

gives it away. It’s rather heavy for a 300 at 183kg<br />

and the 2180mm length might be off-putting for<br />

most but it’s important to remember that it is<br />

not your typical maxi scooter, being lighter and<br />

more nimble than your normal run-of-the-mill<br />

maxi scoot. It’s the perfect ‘in-between’ scooter<br />

in terms of size and capacity, still being powerful<br />

enough to be ridden as far as you want or need to<br />

go. If you have never ridden a scoot of this nature,<br />

I urge you to.<br />

Anyway, let’s get back to the road test of<br />

Yamaha’s new X-Max Scooter. I lived with the<br />

X-Max for just over a week, riding it on both short<br />

commutes and longer highway trips, clocking<br />

just over 600km in our time together. Power from<br />

the Blue Core 292cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled,<br />

SOHC, 4 valves, single-cylinder motor is gutsy,<br />

producing 27.6hp and 29Nm of torque. You<br />

can safely lane split and pull off ahead of traffic,<br />

which is important as a motorcyclist. The power<br />

is delivered so smoothly, smoother than a baby’s<br />

bottom as they say, and I never felt like I needed<br />

more power out on the roads at any point. A<br />

perfect tool for the job then out on the roads,<br />

cruising on the highway at speeds between<br />

120kph and 150kph. Down some longer<br />

downhills I topped the X-Max out at 165kph<br />

which is mightily impressive for a 300cc scooter.<br />

The riding position is comfy and typical scooter<br />

as you can stretch your legs out when needed.<br />

The seat is thick and soft and finished off in a<br />

high-quality non-slip leather material with detailed<br />

stitching you would only expect to find on much<br />

higher specced machines. It has a narrower<br />

profile up-front allowing shorter riders’ legs to<br />

be closer together, making it easier to reach the<br />

ground from from the 795mm high seat. The<br />

rider’s backrest has been placed further back,<br />

giving more space for the rider to move about as<br />

they so wish without compromising passenger<br />

space and comfort. The storage facilities are also<br />

ample, with under-seat storage being big enough<br />

The power is delivered so<br />

smoothly, smoother than<br />

a baby’s bottom as they<br />

say, and I never felt like I<br />

needed more power out<br />

on the roads at any point.<br />

to accommodate two helmets and some. You also<br />

have two cubby holes, one situated in front of<br />

you on the left which is operated and lockable on<br />

your keyless ignition switch, which also features<br />

a 12v auxiliary point, and one on the right, which<br />

isn’t lockable and does tend to open slightly if the<br />

roads get bumpy. The keyless ignition is simple<br />

to operate, just push and twist the dial to start<br />

the 300, open the fuel cap, lock the steering, and<br />

unlock/open your left-hand cubby hole and seat.<br />

The X-Max 300 doesn’t lack gizmos for a scoot<br />

and boasts two screens on the dash. The upper<br />

one is a 3.2-inch speedo and clock which also<br />

displays your fuel gauge and ODO, Trip, or Trip F<br />

reading, depending on what you want displayed.<br />

The lower is a 4.3-inch TFT which does everything<br />

else. It’s linked to the MyRide app so once<br />

connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth,

you can get detailed trip information, and<br />

bike information or connect to the turn-byturn<br />

Garmin-powered navigation as well as<br />

read messages, play music, and make or<br />

receive calls so long as you are using an<br />

intercom system, which will also make the<br />

X-Max 300 viable as the perfect delivery bike<br />

for companies. You can toggle through the<br />

system via buttons on the switchgear. Believe<br />

it or not, the X-Max also has Traction Control,<br />

which can also be turned on or off in the<br />

settings menu. I think it’s there more as a<br />

gimmick as I couldn’t feel a difference whether<br />

it was engaged or not. There are additional<br />

functions as well with regards to the graphics<br />

for the Tacho, Eco, and a speed visualizer that<br />

uses GPS to inform you if you are exceeding<br />

speed limits. The brighter it gets the more you<br />

are exceeding speed limits.<br />

The X-Max handles well, better than most<br />

scooters, mainly thanks to its 15” front and<br />

14” rear wheels which are bigger than most.<br />

The suspension is plush allowing you to throw<br />

the bike into corners and ground clearance<br />

is ample enough to not worry about scraping<br />

the centre stand which is normally a concern<br />

on maxi scooters of this type. Nothing is<br />

adjustable though and when riding hard,<br />

especially on bumpy surfaces you can feel the<br />

suspension protesting with a knock here and<br />

there. The X-Max also has the added benefit of<br />

ABS which cannot be disabled. It’s competent<br />

as are the brakes in general which all add up<br />

to help give a quality feel to the ride.<br />

Fuel economy is the biggest plus with the<br />

X-Max though. Riding flat out on mostly<br />

highways, I achieved over 300 km on a<br />

13.2-litre tank, generally averaging around 3.7<br />

litres per 100km. With more subtle and normal<br />

riding, I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw close<br />

to 400km out of a tank. Keeping costs down in<br />

a world where everything else generally seems<br />

to be going up? Now that’s a win in my book!<br />

Priced from just R114 950.00 the Yamaha<br />

X-Max 300 is a viable and practical option in<br />

an ever-changing world.





Our inside man, Mr. James, recently<br />

attended the Motegi MotoGP round in<br />

Japan and whilst there took in some<br />

of the best motorcycle eye-candy on<br />

the planet; The Honda Collection Hall<br />

- a Honda Enthusiast Dream Museum.

The Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi<br />

in Japan houses 350 examples of Honda’s<br />

engineering prowess, from motorcycles to<br />

automobiles to robots and beyond. Part of Honda’s<br />

Mobility and subsidiary that operates Twin Ring<br />

Motegi and the Suzuka Circuit, the Honda Collection<br />

Hall opened in 1998 with inspiration provided by<br />

Honda founder Soichiro Honda. The head person<br />

at the Honda Collection Hall is Kuniyoshi Iwata, and<br />

he has a unique perspective on one of the most<br />

important motorcycle museums in the world.<br />

Iwata earned his position via success as a Grand<br />

Prix mechanic in the 1980s and 1990s. After a<br />

career distinguished by working in the GP paddock<br />

on the NSR500s ridden by Freddie Spencer (1983<br />

and ’85 500cc GP Champion) and Mick Doohan<br />

(1994-8 500cc GP Champion), Iwata now supervises<br />

a five-man team that keeps the all machines at the<br />

Honda Collection Hall in running order.<br />

The Rossi<br />

NSR500 they<br />

won’t let him have<br />

“We maintain the machines, so they are ready for<br />

running at any time,” Iwata says. “I think it’s a very<br />

important job and I’m proud of it. The machines are<br />

strong and tough, but maintaining them when they<br />

are very old is difficult. Most of the parts we use in<br />

the machines are one-off parts. Luckily, we get a<br />

lot of support from Honda R&D Center Asaka [for<br />

motorcycles] and from Honda Racing Development<br />

Sakura [for cars].”<br />

In addition to the NSR500 two-stroke Grand Prix<br />

racers, the Honda Collection Hall has Honda racing<br />

motorcycle dating back to the 1960s and forward<br />

to the RC213V ridden to MotoGP championships<br />

by Marc Márquez. Of the wide range of Honda<br />

motorcycles, Iwata does have a soft spot for the firstyear<br />

Honda NSR500 Grand Prix racer. He explains<br />

his fondness for the 1984 NSR500 is “because<br />

it’s the very first Grand Prix bike I worked on as a<br />

mechanic.”<br />

The Honda Collection Hall isn’t only for racing<br />

motorcycles. It has Monkey bikes, scooters, the<br />

first CB750, and many other crucial motorcycles in<br />

Honda’s history. It all starts with a generator-engine<br />

powered Honda motorcycle from 1948 that began<br />

Soichiro Honda’s fabled career.

Automobiles are also an essential part of the museum,<br />

and it all starts with the 1963 Honda T<strong>36</strong>0 pick-up<br />

truck. It also happens to be Iwata’s favorite four-wheeler<br />

on display. “I like the T<strong>36</strong>0 because it was the first<br />

Honda four-wheeler on sale. I remember seeing a T<strong>36</strong>0<br />

delivering rice when I was a kid,” Iwata recalls, “and I<br />

understand the philosophy that Soichiro Honda used in<br />

the development of the car.” There are plenty of fourwheeled<br />

machines on display, for the modest T<strong>36</strong>0 to a<br />

throng of championship cars from Formula 1.<br />

One of the reasons all of the vehicles at the Honda<br />

Collection Hall run is for events such as Honda Racing<br />

Thanks Day at Twin Ring Motegi. Last November, 17,000<br />

people cheered as Eddie Lawson’s 1989 500cc GP<br />

Championship motorcycle went out on the track—piloted<br />

by retired MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa. Another crowd<br />

favorite was Ayrton Senna’s 1998 Formula 1 World<br />

Championship winning McLaren-Honda MP4/4.<br />

“I feel very happy when I see the machines we maintain<br />

being ridden and driven,” Iwata admits. “Also, it makes<br />

me very happy when I see people enjoying watching the<br />

historic machines. Our machines run at events in many<br />

countries, but the Honda Racing Thanks Day is always<br />

very special for us because it happens so close to the<br />

Collection Hall, and it gives us the chance to run many of<br />

our historic machines.”<br />

In case you were wondering, Kuniyoshi Iwata does get<br />

to ride some of the motorcycles at the Honda Collection<br />

Hall. While he doesn’t put in hot laps on the NSR500, he<br />

does do low-speed shakedown runs to make sure they<br />

perform as expected at events.

Watch it all on our<br />

YouTube Channel<br />


GASGAS<br />


2024 MODEL LAUNCH<br />

a king<br />

reborn<br />


BMW R<br />

1300 GS<br />


2024<br />



SECOND<br />

LOOK<br />

in the<br />


spotlight<br />




Triumph’s new 250cc motocross bike was<br />

revealed in public for the first time, at the<br />

SuperMotocross World Championship<br />

Final on Saturday 23 September, at the Los<br />

Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.

Triumph’s new 250cc motocross bike was<br />

revealed in public for the first time, at the<br />

SuperMotocross World Championship<br />

Final on Saturday 23 September, at the Los<br />

Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.<br />

Spectators witnessed two new Triumph<br />

motocross bikes enter the arena to a blaze<br />

of pyrotechnics and fanfare.<br />

The hotly anticipated new productionspecification<br />

bike was ridden by Jeff<br />

‘Six Time’ Stanton, who won his last<br />

Championship at the Coliseum and is the<br />

current manager of Triumph’s Adventure<br />

Experience in the US. He was joined<br />

by the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael, whose<br />

bike featured his own graphics and nonstandard<br />

specification components.<br />

Below is the latest picture<br />

realeased of the new Triumph<br />

MX racer - it looks so good.<br />

The date for the full reveal of the new bike<br />

was announced as 28 November 2023 on<br />

giant screens around the stadium.<br />

Talking to his fellow commentators after<br />

his ride, Ricky Carmichael said: “I’m so<br />

happy to finally show the fans what we’ve<br />

been working on for the past 4 years. The<br />

bikes feels great, it looks great, and it’s<br />

fast. I’m really pleased with what we’ve<br />

delivered and I can’t wait until we can<br />

share the final details on November 28th.”<br />

Jeff Stanton added: “The Coliseum is a<br />

special place for me, and to be back here<br />

on the Triumph is an absolutely honour for<br />

me. The new graphics look like nothing<br />

else in the paddock and give the bike a<br />

really sharp and distinctive new look that I<br />

think the fans are going to love.”<br />

To mark the moment, Triumph also<br />

launched its new Triumph Racing website<br />

and social channels. Follow the action @<br />

OfficialTriumphRacing on Instagram and<br />


FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

sEeing<br />

red<br />

Pics by ZC<br />

Marketing<br />


DIRT TOUR 2023!<br />

The GasGas United in Dirt festival<br />

hit South Africa! For the first time<br />

ever, a motorcycle launch was<br />

open to the public free of charge.<br />

Big Red Barn in Olifantsfontein<br />

is where the brand new 2024<br />

motocross, cross country, and<br />

enduro range were launched, with<br />

media and public alike getting the<br />

ride the new machines for the first<br />

time on the following Demo day<br />

at Legends Adventure farm. The<br />

event was a great success!

For the first time in SA, the GASGAS United in<br />

Dirt Tour took place giving the media and public<br />

alike the chance to sample the new 2024 range<br />

and give them a real flavor of what GASGAS is<br />

all about. It’s not often that anyone, including the<br />

media, has the opportunity to ride all kinds of<br />

different dirt bikes in a single day, which is just<br />

one of the reasons why the GASGAS United in<br />

Dirt Tour is so awesome! If you’ve never seen<br />

what goes on at the United in Dirt Tour, check<br />

out our highlight video from the event on our<br />

YouTube channel.<br />

The event kicked off with an unveling of all the<br />

new 2024 machines on the Friday night followed<br />

by an open invite for all to come and sample the<br />

new range. A great mix of shredding laps around<br />

a motocross track aboard one of the awesome<br />

new-generation dirt bikes, while also mastering<br />

a loop through the woods aboard a class leading<br />

(and world championship winning) enduro bike.<br />

Besides the riding aspect, the United in Dirt<br />

Tour is also about bringing like-minded people<br />

together – the thrill seekers out there who have a<br />

serious passion for dirt bikes and love anything<br />

with two wheels, just like everyone at GASGAS.<br />

As the sun set on what was a fantastic day,<br />

stories from the day are shared over a cold beer,<br />

ensuring everyone has a super-chilled finish to<br />

what’ll be a day to remember.<br />

On hand at the event was a team of<br />

GASGAS product experts. This friendly and<br />

knowledgeable group of guys and girls really<br />

know their stuff, so any help that was required<br />

with bike set-up, or questions, or maybe some<br />

feedback to share, they were on hand to help.<br />

A massive well done to the team from GASGAS<br />

South Africa for putting on a great event for all to<br />

enjoy and experience first-hand the quality of the<br />

new 2024 model range.

SPICED UP! 16<br />


BIKES FOR 2024!<br />




GASGAS revealed an all-new generation of<br />

motocross, enduro, and cross country bikes<br />

for 2024 at the united in the Dirt event for the<br />

SA public and media to enjoy! Listening to the<br />

reaction from all on the day, the new range is<br />

more red, more awesome, delivering incredible<br />

performance. It’s safe to say that things have<br />

well and truly been spiced up, with every model<br />

equipped with the latest technology. There’s<br />

barely a single part on any bike that hasn’t been<br />

improved or refined, which just goes to show<br />

how new these dirt bikes really are. Oh, and<br />

they’ve also expanded their enduro range too!<br />

Motocross | Turning up the heat!<br />

To GASGAS, it doesn’t really matter if you ride<br />

motocross for fun or race to win. What matters<br />

most is making sure that all five of our new bikes<br />

deliver the very best performance for guaranteed<br />

good times in the dirt. For 2024, they have<br />

turned up the heat in the moto scene. Starting<br />

with the little 2-stroke ripper – the beloved MC<br />

125 – through to the MXGP race winning MC<br />

450F 4-stroke, GASGAS have a bike to suit all<br />

types of riders.<br />

The motocross models are already considered<br />

among the best handling dirt bikes out there<br />

but that didn’t stop their engineers from<br />

making them perform even better! With each<br />

one assembled using new steel frames, new<br />

aluminum subframes, and new swingarms, the<br />

perfect combination of razor-sharp cornering<br />

and straight-line stability is further refined to<br />

maximize the fun factor. And to bring the MC<br />

125 and MC 250 2-strokes bang up to date,

Enduro | It’s time to rock ‘n’ roll!<br />

So easy, and so much fun to ride. That’s what<br />

makes our the generation of enduro bikes so<br />

competitive! Spicing up the riding experience<br />

in the woods, on the trails, and through every<br />

extreme section, these new bikes are as good<br />

as it gets when it comes to enduro performance.<br />

New bodywork not only makes these bikes easy<br />

on the eye, but once you’re onboard, you’ll soon<br />

notice the larger, and smoother, contact areas,<br />

which allow you to grip the bike tighter as you get<br />

on the gas across challenging terrain. It’s 2024.<br />

It’s time to rock ‘n’ roll!<br />

The outgoing generation of GASGAS enduro<br />

bikes was already super agile through the trees<br />

and super stable at higher speeds. However,<br />

thanks to the new motors across the range that<br />

are both lighter and more powerful, the handling<br />

characteristics are amplified further! This was<br />

achieved by our engineers repositioning the<br />

motors inside the new frames to centralize<br />

weight and balance things out a little better.<br />

Sounds like a small change, but it’s something<br />

you’ll really notice when you hit the trails.<br />

both bikes fire into life with the simple press of the<br />

new electric start button. There’s none of that kickstart<br />

nonsense here anymore. Plus, they’re now fueled<br />

by cutting-edge throttle body injection for a crisper<br />

response and much-improved on-track performance.<br />

Across the board, all 2024 models are now powered by<br />

new, lighter motors, which produce both more torque<br />

and high-revving power than ever before. They’re then<br />

fitted neatly inside new frames with a slight backwards<br />

tilt to lower the front sprocket, centralize the weight, and<br />

make the best handling motocross bikes on the planet<br />

handle even better!<br />

“Across the board, all 2024<br />

models are now powered<br />

by new, lighter motors,<br />

which produce both more<br />

torque and high-revving<br />

power than ever before.”<br />

GASGAS also added two new models – an EC<br />

450F and an EC 500F. Both big-bore bikes are<br />

more suited to open going and flowy trails and<br />

feature all the same top-level components as the<br />

rest of the range. We’re talking Braktec brakes,<br />

WP suspension, and enduro-specific PANKL<br />

transmissions. Knowing just how beneficial a<br />

rear suspension linkage is, you’ll find one fitted<br />

to every GASGAS enduro bike, to make sure that<br />

each one soaks up small chop and hard hits with<br />

ease. Make no mistake, the best enduro bikes<br />

out there just got even better for 2024!

Cross Country | Spice it up!<br />

The awesome line-up of five cross country bikes doesn’t<br />

go unchanged either. Brand new from front to back and<br />

top to bottom, all five models are designed to perform<br />

in both the tight stuff, and wide open spaces. Built to<br />

the same high standard as our motocross and enduro<br />

bikes, the cross country models combine essential parts<br />

from our motocross and enduro ranges such as the fuel<br />

injection, larger fuel tank, and 18” rear wheels, to make<br />

riding cross country more fun than it’s ever been.

RACING<br />

NEWS<br />

on<br />

the<br />

gasgas<br />


2023 MXGP WORLD<br />


Jorge Prado has been the class of the MXGP pack<br />

since the first round of the 2023 FIM Motocross<br />

World Championship and cemented that position<br />

earlier on – he was crowned world champion with<br />

three motos to spare. The championship was the<br />

first for GASGAS’ MC 450F.

Jorge Prado clinched his world title via a brilliant<br />

victory in the first moto – the power within his MC<br />

450F helped him jump into the early lead and<br />

he controlled proceedings from that point on. A<br />

minor fall in the second moto robbed him off the<br />

overall victory – he eventually ended sixth and<br />

lost the win via a tiebreak – but the grand prize<br />

was firmly within his grasp. 10 pole positions,<br />

219 laps led, 16 Grand Prix podiums and 14<br />

moto wins underline the dominant campaign<br />

that resulted in him being crowned champion.<br />

The statistics that Prado compiled will become a<br />

benchmark for years to come.<br />

Jorge Prado: “I am so<br />

happy! It is a pity about<br />

that mistake in the second<br />

moto, but I am the new<br />

world champion. So much<br />

hard work has gone into<br />

this, from myself and the<br />

team, and I knew that I<br />

could make this happen.<br />

I have held the red plate<br />

since round one – I<br />

cannot ask for anything<br />

better. This is a dream.”

FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

the perfect<br />

start<br />




Designed for children (between 90-130 cm in height<br />

with a maximum weight of 35 kg), the EE 2 is built<br />

to the highest of standards and offers multiple<br />

adjustment options, ensuring different sized riders<br />

and riders of greater or lesser ability enjoy riding<br />

a machine that fits them perfectly. Offering fast<br />

recharging and expertly assembled with premium<br />

components throughout, the EE 2 is ultimately<br />

designed to ensure youngsters learn the essential<br />

skills needed to competently ride offroad.

The new EE 2 is the smallest of three models in<br />

Husqvarna Motorcycles’ electric minicycle line-up,<br />

standing alongside the proven and popular EE 3 and<br />

EE 5 machines. To set itself apart, the EE 2 features<br />

an innovative motor that is housed inside the rear<br />

wheel hub and offers a peak power output of 1.8 kW.<br />

The motor is both dust and waterproof, and most<br />

importantly for parents, it is maintenance-free.<br />

A quick-to-recharge and easily swappable Husqvarna<br />

BLi300 battery provides power for children to enjoy<br />

up to 100 minutes of riding time aboard the EE 2.<br />

Additionally, the battery utilises the same design as<br />

most modern power tools, which means non-stop<br />

riding is possible when fully charged spare batteries<br />

are available. The battery fitted as standard can<br />

achieve an 80% recharge in just 35 minutes with a full<br />

charge taking one hour.<br />

The EE 2 can be quickly adjusted in multiple ways<br />

for a personalised riding experience. For taller riders,<br />

the seat height can be increased from the standard<br />

height of 470 mm to 500 mm with a couple of simple<br />

steps – lowering the WP forks through the triple<br />

clamps and repositioning the WP shock. The power<br />

delivery can also be altered easily using the Multi-<br />

Functional Display unit. Conveniently positioned in<br />

front of the seat, this intuitive device allows parents to<br />

select one of three power modes. These begin with<br />

a walking pace option, through to the least restrictive<br />

setting that allows for a top speed of 33 km/h.<br />

For the highest levels of reliability and performance,<br />

the EE 2 is assembled with an aluminium frame,<br />

swingarm, and skid plate, with hydraulic disc brakes<br />

and a Rollover Sensor ensuring complete control<br />

and safety. Rounding out the construction of the<br />

new model are components from specialist offroad<br />

brands including WP suspension, KENDA tyres, and<br />

ODI grips.<br />

Husqvarna Motorcycles is proud to now offer a trio of<br />

exciting electric minicycles following the introduction<br />

of the entry-level EE 2. For when riders outgrow this<br />

new machine, the larger EE 3 and EE 5 models are<br />

designed to deliver pure motocross performance with<br />

their premium WP suspension, powerful motors, and<br />

comprehensive specification.<br />

Ensuring children of all ages can ride<br />

with unrestricted comfort and a high<br />

level of safety, the Functional Offroad<br />

Apparel Collection is a concise range<br />

of high-quality riding gear complete<br />

with modern styling. Additionally, a<br />

selection of Technical Accessories<br />

is available for all three minicycles<br />

with each component designed to<br />

personalise the ergonomics for a<br />

customised riding experience.<br />

The 2024 EE 2 arrives in October<br />

with the larger machines in the<br />

e-powered minicycle line-up, the<br />

EE 3 and EE 5, already available at<br />

authorised Husqvarna Motorcycles<br />

dealerships worldwide. Availability<br />

may differ from country to country.<br />

For details on pricing and availability,<br />

please refer to your national<br />

Husqvarna Motorcycles subsidiary or<br />


FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

freshly<br />

ground<br />




The front wheel on the 2024 Africa Twin<br />

Adventure Sports model is now 19 inches in<br />

size instead of 21 inches. Riders who primarily<br />

utilise these bikes for long-distance trips on<br />

paved roads will benefit from this update.

Honda has unveiled its updated 2024 Africa Twin<br />

range, highlighting significant enhancements<br />

made to the Adventure Sports model. This<br />

motorcycle has been around for a long time<br />

and represents Honda’s premier dual-sport<br />

option. Both the CRF1100L Africa Twin and the<br />

Africa Twin Adventure Sports, two of Honda’s<br />

motorcycle offerings, have received substantial<br />

upgrades to improve the riding experience. The<br />

improvements have taken the shape of a better<br />

appearance, engine modifications, and some<br />

alterations to certain components. The Africa<br />

Twin’s front fairing has been tweaked slightly to<br />

enhance its aesthetic.<br />

On the styling front, this touring motorcycle<br />

has undergone minor changes to its upper<br />

fairing and side panels. Improvements for longdistance<br />

riding are anticipated with the addition<br />

of the new five-position changeable screen and<br />

other upgrades. Additionally, the Electronically<br />

Equipped Ride Adjustment function is now<br />

included as standard. The rider can adjust the<br />

system’s stiffness to their liking, with options:<br />

Hard, Soft, Off-road, and Mid. When it comes<br />

to the mechanicals, the Adventure Sport<br />

model is offered with a 19-inch front wheel and<br />

shorter suspension travel all around. Showa<br />

fully-adjustable manual suspension is now an<br />

available option for the motorcycle, as is the<br />

Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment<br />

(EERA) kit, which allows the rider to make<br />

instantaneous changes to the motorcycle’s<br />

damping both on and off pavement.<br />

The new Africa Twin is offered in two colour<br />

options: Matt Ballistic Black Metallic and Grand<br />

Prix Red. On the other hand, the Adventure<br />

Sports variant is available in Pearl Glare White as<br />

well as the iconic Tricolour option. Both of these<br />

variations are anticipated to be introduced in<br />

India at some point in the upcoming year.<br />

improvement of the Dual Clutch Transmission<br />

(DCT) gearbox, resulting in raised smoothness<br />

specifically in the initial two gears. Moreover,<br />

the engine’s compression ratio has been<br />

slightly increased, leading to a higher peak<br />

torque at 112Nm, now achieved at 5,500rpm as<br />

opposed to the previous 103Nm at 6,250rpm.<br />

Both motorcycles also feature a new 5-position<br />

adjustable front windscreen and minor<br />

adjustments have been made to the front fairing.<br />

The 2024 bikes underwent significant<br />

mechanical tweaks. One notable change is the

FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

adventure<br />

without<br />

limits<br />




The Ducati DesertX is a relatively new entry in the<br />

motorcycle segment. The Italians first showed the<br />

bike back in 2021, introducing it as a stylish offroader,<br />

a motorcycle for the dunes, if you will.

In the few years that have passed since that<br />

time the bike maker didn’t bother to increase<br />

the offering in the range, so up until now we’ve<br />

only had a single model to properly enjoy. Come<br />

January of next year, though, that will change<br />

thanks to the introduction of the bike’s Rally<br />

version.<br />

What that means is that soon enough the model<br />

will have its own, purpose-built cross or enduro<br />

version, one that could just as easily be used for<br />

recreational purposes or during high-intensity<br />

competitions. And the gear Ducati installed on<br />

the bike is so impressive that we’re pretty certain<br />

the Rally can make short work of any terrain.<br />

At first glance the bike feels the same as the<br />

DesertX it is based on. We have the same tubular<br />

steel trellis frame as the core of the ride, holding<br />

in its embrace the 937cc Testastretta twincylinder<br />

engine. Just like in the standard version,<br />

it is rated at 110 hp and 92 Nm of torque.<br />

The engine makes the spoked rims of the bike<br />

spin. Keeping true to the original DesertX, which<br />

by all intents and purposes was the first Ducati<br />

to wear a 21-inch front wheel in conjunction with<br />

an 18-inch rear one, the Rally uses the same<br />

dimensions. As standard, they are equipped with<br />

Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, but optionally<br />

people can go for Scorpion Trail II ones.<br />

The centerpiece of the Ducati DesertX Rally<br />

however is the suspension system. Ducati<br />

went to KYB to supply the hardware, and what<br />

resulted is impressive to say the least.<br />

At the front, the Italians used a closed cartridge<br />

fork which helps increase the wheel travel by 20<br />

mm compared to the standard version, bringing<br />

it to a total of 250 mm. The shock absorber at the<br />

opposite end, backed by a larger piston and an<br />

aluminum swingarm, brings travel to 240 mm, also<br />

up by 20 mm compared to the regular DesertX.<br />

Aside from increasing the bike’s capability of<br />

going over uneven terrain, the new suspension

system also keeps it higher off the ground. As<br />

per Ducati, the ground clearance of the Rally is<br />

280 mm, 30 mm more than what we got before.<br />

Despite fitting the above gear on the ride, the<br />

Rally is just one kg heavier in terms of dry weight<br />

– the regular DesertX tips the scales at 211 kg.<br />

As far as the systems backing up the ride go,<br />

we get the usual goodies, including cornering<br />

ABS, traction control, and wheelie control. Some<br />

of these functions, alongside all the others that<br />

require rider input for configuration, can be<br />

controlled by means of a 5-inch TFT screen.<br />

There are six riding modes to choose from<br />

(Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, and Rally),<br />

and the bike supports smartphone connectivity,<br />

allowing access to functions such as music<br />

control, call management, and turn-by-turn<br />

navigation.<br />

Although even in standard configuration the bike<br />

is impressive, Ducati offers a wide choice of<br />

personalization options for the DesertX Rally. For<br />

instance, the bike’s range could be increased by<br />

up to 40 percent thanks to an optional 8-liter fuel<br />

tank - the one fitted on the frame is rated at 21<br />

liters.<br />

Then, the engine’s power output, both hp and<br />

torque, can be increased by as much as seven<br />

percent when choosing to fit a Termignoni<br />

aftermarket exhaust system instead of the<br />

original one.<br />

And finally, luggage capacity, when all the<br />

case options are exercised, grows to as much<br />

as 120 liters (4.2 cubic feet).<br />

As said, Ducati will release the DesertX Rally<br />

into the wild in January next year, but the<br />

bike has already proven what it is capable of.<br />

During this summer’s Iron Road Prolog held<br />

as part of the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2023 in<br />

Austria, a DesertX Rally prototype ridden by<br />

enduro and supercross champion Antoine<br />

Meo managed to snatch the win in the twincylinder<br />

category.<br />

But that’s a feat for the most experienced<br />

of riders. The rest of them will have to start<br />

from the ground up, and Ducati has thought<br />

about these guys and gals as well: the Ducati<br />

DesertX Rally will also be offered in a detuned<br />

version for A2 license holders. This one has<br />

all the capabilities of the larger bike, but can<br />

only develop 47 horsepower.<br />

The Italian bike maker keeps one key aspect<br />

about the new bike under wraps, and that’s<br />

the price. We’re told nothing about how much<br />

the Rally will cost, meaning that as usual<br />

when it comes to Ducatis such a piece of<br />

information is something to be discussed<br />

between buyer and dealer.

FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

more<br />

adventure<br />




Following the launch of its all-new V-Strom 800DE<br />

earlier this year, Suzuki has announced a new<br />

V-Strom 800RE that will further expand its adventure<br />

bike stable, ensuring the V-Strom range is truly ready<br />

for any terrain, any horizon, any adventure.

Born to roam, the V-Strom 800RE will provide a<br />

more road-focussed offering than its more offroad-ready<br />

sibling. With DE denoting the V-Strom<br />

800DE’s positioning as a dual explorer, the<br />

adoption of RE for the latest V-Strom 800 model<br />

highlights its abilities as the road explorer.<br />

At its heart, the new V-Strom 800RE uses the<br />

same new 776cc parallel twin engine as its<br />

stablemate, with its double overhead cam and<br />

270° crankshaft design delivering a broad<br />

spread of torque throughout the rev range –<br />

peaking at 78Nm at 6800rpm – and a rumble<br />

and character more akin to Suzuki’s famed<br />

V-twins. Peak power is 83.1HP at 8500rpm.<br />

It also uses the same steel main frame,<br />

engineered for a balance of straight-line stability<br />

and agile handling. The narrow steel tubes also<br />

help maximise fuel tank capacity, which comes<br />

in at 20 litres. However, the new V-Strom 800RE<br />

differs from its more rugged counterpart most<br />

notably by swapping 21” and 17” spoked wheels<br />

and tubed tyres for 19” and 17” cast aluminium<br />

wheels, wearing Dunlop tubeless tyres.<br />

Like the V-Strom 800DE, high quality suspension<br />

is still provided by Showa, but with a focus on<br />

delivering superior on-road performance. 150mm<br />

of travel at the front and rear comes courtesy<br />

of preload-adjustable inverted front forks and<br />

a link-type monoshock adjustable for preload<br />

and rebound damping, delivering sure-footed<br />

roadholding and a plush ride for long days in the<br />

saddle. Stopping power comes from radiallymounted<br />

four piston Nissin calipers.<br />

Further underlying the V-Strom 800RE’s prowess<br />

as the tool to explore all roads it comes with a<br />

seat height of 825mm, while aluminium, rubbercovered<br />

footpegs are set 14mm further rearward<br />

and 7mm higher than the V-Strom 800DE, and<br />

aluminium tapered handlebars are 13mm lower<br />

and 23mm further forwards. They’re also 15mm<br />

narrower. A taller and wider screen offers more<br />

weather and wind protection on longer rides.<br />

Nestled underneath the screen is a 5” colour<br />

TFT screen with dual display modes for day and<br />

nighttime riding. All the navigation of menus and<br />

features is done via a simple, easy-to-use rocker<br />

switch on the left-hand handlebar. There’s also a<br />

handy USB port located on the left-hand side.<br />

Displayed on the bright, clear screen is all the<br />

information required by the rider, including the<br />

current setting selected from its three-mode<br />

traction control system – which can also be<br />

switched off – and the current power mode<br />

selected, from Active (the more sportier and<br />

direct throttle map), Basic (ideal for cruising or<br />

city riding), and Comfort (perfect for wet or cold<br />

conditions). There are also two ABS settings,<br />

providing differing levels of intervention.<br />

Sharing a similar DR Big-inspired look as the<br />

800DE, complete with iconic beak and full LED<br />

lighting front and rear, the V-Strom 800RE will<br />

come in Pearl Vigor Blue, Metallic Matt Steel<br />

Green, and Glass Sparkle Black.<br />

There will also be a full suite of genuine<br />

accessories available including a choice of<br />

three-piece aluminium or plastic luggage, heated<br />

grips, and a centre stand.<br />

A ride-by-wire throttle connection provides a<br />

natural feel and connection to the rear wheel,<br />

while a standard-fit bi-directional quickshifter –<br />

allied to a slipper clutch – makes gear changes<br />

slick and seamless. There’s also Suzuki’s low<br />

rpm assist and easy start function.

FIRST<br />

LOOK<br />

a king<br />

reborn<br />




BMW Motorrad likes to call itself the inventor of the touring<br />

enduro segment, something that happened more than four<br />

decades ago, when the R 80 G/S first came to life. As such, it<br />

must also feel great pressure to keep leading the segment.<br />

And this is where the new R 1300 GS comes in.

Built on what the previous iteration had to offer,<br />

but significantly improved, the ride should at<br />

least in theory ensure the German’s domination<br />

of the segment. Especially since the changes<br />

made to the new variant have to do with the<br />

bike’s most important assets: the engine and its<br />

suspension system.<br />

For the new R 1300 GS BMW will continue to<br />

offer the mighty boxer engine configuration it’s<br />

so fond of. In this case, we’re talking about a<br />

unit exactly 1,300cc in displacement, only now<br />

rocking a new camshaft drive arrangement and<br />

the gearbox located underneath.<br />

This setup, along with some other tweaks BMW<br />

is likely unwilling to share, places the engine’s<br />

output at 145 hp and 149 Nm of torque. Those<br />

are numbers that make the unit the most<br />

powerful boxer engine BMW ever made, taking<br />

the R 1300 GS with it to the same title.<br />

As far as the suspension system is concerned,<br />

it has been revised to include a new and stiffer<br />

steel shell main frame, while the rear frame,<br />

made of steel until now, was replaced by a<br />

diecast aluminum one.<br />

It’s when it comes to optional equipment that<br />

the differences make themselves felt the<br />

most. For instance, riders can opt to get the<br />

Dynamic Suspension Adjustment (DSA)<br />

handling the front and rear damping with a<br />

corresponding adjustment of the spring<br />

rate. Furthermore, the new adaptive<br />

height control system allows the ride<br />

to be gifted with 20 mm more<br />

spring travel.<br />

The bike can now be set up<br />

in four riding modes instead<br />

of three, namely Rain,<br />

Road, Eco, and Enduro. It<br />

comes fully loaded with Active<br />

Cruise Control (ACC), Front<br />

Collision Warning (FCW)<br />

and Lane Change<br />

Warning (SWW).<br />

The new BMW R 1300 GS:<br />

“Next level GS” featuring<br />

new boxer engine and new<br />

suspension, with significantly<br />

reduced weight and increased<br />

GS competence all round.<br />

“With the new BMW R 1300 GS we will once again take the<br />

competition by surprise. It is defined by an even broader spread<br />

of product substance, while the reduction in complexity and<br />

vehicle weight, combined with focused equipment, enable the<br />

essence of the boxer GS to be showcased even more strikingly.<br />

With a new engine, outstanding handling and impressive ride<br />

qualities, it will set the pace both on and off the road.”<br />

Thilo Fuchs, Head of Water-cooled Boxer Models.

Visually, the new enduro king sets itself apart from<br />

its predecessor thanks to a new aluminum fuel tank<br />

and a redesigned LED headlight. There is a 6.5-inch<br />

TFT screen on board for infotainment needs, but<br />

also a charging compartment with an integrated USB<br />

socket for the rider’s smartphone.<br />

Overall, with the many changes it made BMW<br />

managed to shave 12 kg off the R 1300 GS<br />

compared to the previous version making it an even<br />

more solid proposition in its segment.<br />

The bike will be offered in four variants, namely<br />

Basic, Triple Black, GS Trophy, and Option 719<br />

Tramuntana. As far as colors are concerned, the<br />

entry-level comes in Lightwhite solid paint, the<br />

Triple is painted black, the Trophy shows up in<br />

Racingblue metallic, while the top-of-the-range<br />

Tramuntana is wrapped in Aurelius Green.<br />

The German bike maker is asking $18,895<br />

(R350,000 converted - SA price not confirmed<br />

yet) for the cheapest of them all, and the bikes are<br />

expected to be on the dealers’ lots in early 2024.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!