MRW Issue 37

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ISSUE <strong>37</strong><br />

F I R S T L O O K<br />

NEW<br />

BIKES<br />

R E V E A L E D<br />

FIRST<br />

SA TEST<br />



MILLER<br />



Hello <strong>MRW</strong> fans and welcome to issue <strong>37</strong> of<br />

SA’s only motorcycle magazine.<br />

Whew! Qatar’s main MotoGP race last<br />

Sunday left me still catching my breath. Can<br />

this MotoGP season get any more intense?<br />

It’s shaping up to be the best in the history<br />

of the sport, with the championship taking<br />

us on a wild ride, destined for a nail-biting<br />

finale at Valencia. My heart goes out to<br />

Martin, robbed of his chance to shine due<br />

to a faulty rear tire. As he rightly expressed,<br />

“It’s a pity the championship might be<br />

decided by a bad rear tire.” We’ll delve into<br />

this on our Talking MotoGP Podcast airing<br />

live on Tuesday night. Join the conversation<br />

on our Facebook page and YouTube<br />

channel—it’s a dynamic show with fantastic<br />

interaction. If you haven’t tuned in yet, you’re<br />

missing out!<br />

For those who can’t catch the live stream,<br />

fret not. Full re-runs are available on both<br />

Facebook and YouTube, standing the test<br />

of time. Exciting news—we’ve launched a<br />

Spotify Podcast channel for the show. Now<br />

you can enjoy the audio while driving, on the<br />

train, or wherever your adventures take you.<br />

the man doesn’t even have a confirmed<br />

ride for 2024 yet. Rumors circulate about<br />

a possible slot in the VR46 team, filling<br />

the shoes of the departing Marini (almost<br />

certain for Repsol Honda). However, I can’t<br />

shake the feeling that he might find himself<br />

without a MotoGP paddock seat, especially<br />

considering he held out for the Repsol ride<br />

for so long. Unfortunately, his prolonged<br />

pursuit may have dashed his chances for a<br />

solid World SBK ride. It’s a tough break for<br />

the guy, but let’s not jump the gun. While<br />

he’s had a stellar end to the season, the<br />

inconsistency over a full season might be<br />

what ultimately cost him a ride.<br />

As I write this, I’m at the Motorcycle Live<br />

Show 2023—the UK’s largest motorcycle<br />

show. Expect some captivating walkaround<br />

videos showcasing the stands and new<br />

motorcycles. Keep an eye on our YouTube<br />

channel, and don’t forget to hit the like and<br />

subscribe buttons—every click counts.<br />

Off to the show now. I hope you relish the<br />

magazine we’ve crafted for you this month,<br />

loaded with tantalizing features and bike<br />

tests, as always. Until next time, ride safe.<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 />

And Digi, what a ride that was! A<br />

commanding performance, comfortably<br />

clinching victory over the world’s best, and<br />

Cheers,<br />

Rob<br />


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

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 />



EICMA SHOW 2023<br />


In a thrilling showcase of the motorcycle industry’s<br />

prowess, the 80th edition of this exhilarating<br />

exhibition took place at Fiera Milano Rho from<br />

November 7th to 12th, 2023. The event not only<br />

hosted present and future industry titans but also<br />

provided endless entertainment for the hundreds<br />

of thousands of eager guests.<br />

More than 1,300 brands from the motorcycle<br />

industry commanded the stage at EICMA,<br />

revealing their current and upcoming models in<br />

a dazzling display of innovation and power. Last<br />

year’s event was nothing short of a spectacle,<br />

featuring a myriad of mouthwatering new<br />

production models alongside a collection of weird<br />

and wonderful concept bikes that pushed the<br />

boundaries of imagination.<br />

In the pages that follow, we’ll delve into<br />

the highlights of the event, exploring the<br />

groundbreaking releases from renowned<br />

manufacturers such as Honda, Suzuki, Ducati,<br />

and more. From the roar of production models to<br />

the avant-garde allure of concept bikes, EICMA<br />

2023 was a rollercoaster ride through the cuttingedge<br />

landscape of the motorcycle industry.

It was a very busy Eicma 2023 show for Honda<br />

who unveiled its complete range of motorcycles<br />

for 2024, which includes four new models,<br />

significant updates to four other models – two of<br />

which will be available with world-first technology<br />

in the world of motorcycles – and a concept<br />

version of the next all-electric vehicle destined to<br />

join Honda’s unique, wide and varied range.<br />


2024 CBR1000RR-R & SP<br />

The year 2024 sees the CBR1000RR-R<br />

Fireblade and its SP version move further up the<br />

development curve with a series of upgrades to<br />

the engine and gearbox; these updates lead to<br />

a huge increase in mid-range performance and<br />

improved throttle response. Can these changes<br />

finally make this a Blade of Glory and bring some<br />

much needed success to the brand and model.<br />

Taking advantage of the huge amount of<br />

development and HRC expertise, the 113 Nm<br />

torque and 217hp Fireblade SP have been<br />

substantially altered to generate even more<br />

acceleration out of corners, along with its dizzying<br />

top-end power. This was further reinforced by<br />

new, shorter gear ratios as well as the primary<br />

transmission, a redesigned middle fairing with new<br />

fins and a revised, lighter and more flexible frame.<br />

The addition of 2 motors to the TBW system<br />

increases control when only partially accelerating<br />

and gives a greater brake-engine effect. The block<br />

crankcases, crankshaft and connecting rods, all<br />

lighter, together with the revised camshaft and<br />

increased compression ratio, ensure that the<br />

CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP delivers the best<br />

performance with every combustion cycle, while<br />

changes to the standard Akrapovič silencer<br />

reduce the sound of the exhaust by 5 dB.


The SP version of the CBR1000RR-R<br />

Fireblade is the first bike in the world to<br />

use the new third generation Öhlins Smart<br />

Electronic S-EC3.0 (SV) NPX 43 mm inverted<br />

fork. There’s also a function on the instrument<br />

panel that digitally helps us to fine-tune<br />

the spring preload and which has been<br />

developed so that the rider can easily set up<br />

their Fireblade to perfection. The new Brembo<br />

Stylema R four-piston radial brake calipers<br />

offer consistent, high performance braking.


2024 CBR600RR<br />

After a six-year absence from Honda’s European<br />

model range, the much-loved – and sharp –<br />

CBR600RR now returns in 2024 to reinvigorate<br />

the medium-displacement supersport category.<br />

Time will tell if this will be a popular return or if the<br />

supersport category is indeed no longer valid.<br />

Equipped with state-of-the-art electronic systems<br />

and featuring cutting-edge aerodynamics inspired<br />

by MotoGP, the new CBR600RR is a “pearl” of fourcylinder<br />

motorcycling, with a free-revving engine,<br />

substantially improved over the previous version<br />

and with a maximum power of over 120 hp at<br />

14,250 rpm and 63 N-m of torque at 11,500 rpm.<br />

The CBR600RR has a new and comprehensive<br />

electronics package, taking full advantage of the<br />

6-axis IMU unit, as found on the CBR1000RR-R<br />

Fireblade; this mid-cylinder model has TBW<br />

throttle, 5 riding modes, cornering ABS, HSTC<br />

variable traction control system with 9 levels of<br />

intervention, Wheelie anti-wheelie control, rear<br />

wheel anti-lift control system and ESS emergency<br />

braking flashers. The Honda Electronic Steering<br />

Damper (HESD), an assisted clutch with slipper<br />

function and a Quickshifter system are also<br />

standard equipment.<br />

Its very docile cycling offers excellent<br />

maneuverability, with instant changes of direction<br />

and high stability, thanks to its double-braced<br />

aluminum frame, aluminum swingarm, Showa Big<br />

Piston inverted front fork with 41 mm diameter<br />

columns and Showa monoshock with Pro-Link<br />

system, as well as front fins derived from MotoGP<br />





Headlining the unveiling is the introduction of the<br />

new head of Honda’s growing Hornet family – the<br />

CB1000 Hornet.<br />

The new flagship naked will be powered by<br />

a retuned version of the in-line four-cylinder<br />

powerplant from the 2017YM CBR1000RR<br />

Fireblade, that delivers peak power of over 134hp<br />

and more than 100Nm of torque.<br />

Wrapping the engine is an all-new steel twin spar<br />

frame that will offer a unique blend of dynamic<br />

cornering performance and stability, via Showa<br />

41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP)<br />

suspension adjustable for both compression and<br />

rebound, matched to a Pro-link rear Showa shock.<br />

The styling is pure and aggressive. Led by the<br />

piercing gaze of super-compact dual LED projector<br />

headlights, the Hornet-signature fuel tank – with<br />

wings folded forward – is broad shouldered up<br />

front but tapers radically to the rear, mirrored by<br />

the minimal seat unit that underlines the traditional<br />

narrow-waisted Hornet look. The new frame is also<br />

used as a design feature, but subtly blacked out –<br />

like the tubular trellis-style rear subframe.<br />

Electronic aids will run via Throttle By Wire and<br />

allow the rider to choose between 3 riding modes,<br />

displayed on the 5-inch TFT colour display;<br />

connectivity is available for both Android and iOS<br />

devices via Honda RoadSync.


NEW CB500 HORNET<br />

The Hornet family will have a new third member in<br />

Honda’s 24YM line-up - the CB500 Hornet, which<br />

brings new, aggressive styling inspired by its two<br />

bigger siblings, and aerodynamic performance that<br />

befit the iconic Hornet name.<br />

The CB500 Hornet’s fairing incorporates headlight<br />

side ducts that channel air to the upper fuel tank<br />

area, contributing to a linear steering feel with<br />

outstanding handling agility. A new LED throws its<br />

light out wider for increased visibility.<br />

Power and torque for the 471cc engine meet<br />

maximum A2 licence requirements – at 35kW<br />

and 43Nm – while updated fuel injection settings<br />

improve acceleration feel from low down, and the<br />

CB500 Hornet now features HSTC for increased<br />

peace of mind.<br />

The high-quality chassis specification includes<br />

41mm Showa SFF-BP USD forks, Showa rear<br />

shock and dual discs up front with four-piston<br />

calipers, while a new 5-inch TFT screen offers<br />

Honda RoadSync smartphone connectivity.

NEW NX500<br />

The iconic ‘NX’ designation returns to Honda’s lineup<br />

in the form of the new NX500.<br />

Meaning ‘New X-over’, the NX500 is designed to<br />

be enjoyed on everything from a winding road to a<br />

gravel trail or long-distance adventure. Building on<br />

the popularity of the outgoing CB500X, it features<br />

new styling and a range of specification and<br />

performance upgrades.<br />

Handling dynamics and feel are improved thanks<br />

to a 3 kilogram reduction (1.5kg of which comes<br />

from new lightweight 5-spoke cast aluminium<br />

wheels) in kerb weight to 196kg, revised spring<br />

rate and damping for the Showa 41mm Separate<br />

Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) upside down<br />

forks, and sharper acceleration thanks to new fuel<br />

injection settings.<br />

Further spec upgrades come in the form of a new<br />

5-inch TFT screen, Honda RoadSync smartphone<br />

connectivity and HSTC. Led by a new headlight,<br />

the styling is completely refreshed, with new<br />

plastics from front to back mixing compact<br />

adventure-style usability with an imposing<br />

silhouette and solidity of form.


CB650R and CBR650R<br />

Honda’s CB650R naked middleweight and its<br />

sibling, the CBR650R, both receive a style refresh<br />

and new technology for 24YM.<br />

The CB650R’s Neo Sports Café unique look has<br />

evolved to make it a sinuous, more dynamic and<br />

purposeful-looking machine. Led from the front<br />

by the new slanted LED headlight, it features new<br />

radiator shrouds and a sharper new rear fairing<br />

complete with new taillight.<br />

For its CBR sibling, redesigned dual LED<br />

headlights are matched with updated upper and<br />

lower fairings that, along with the redesigned tail<br />

unit, combine muscularity with slim lines and<br />

attractive angles to ramp up the CBR650R’s pure<br />

sporting appeal.<br />

Both bikes feature Honda RoadSync connectivity<br />

a new 5-inch full colour TFT screen designed for<br />

optimal readability on bright days.<br />


The CB650R and CBR650R are also the first<br />

Honda motorcycles to be available with the<br />

innovative Honda E-Clutch technology, the world’s<br />

first fully automatic clutch for a multi-geared<br />

motorcycle, designed to make motorcycling,<br />

from beginner right through to expert, even more<br />

enjoyable and exciting.<br />

The clutch lever is also not needed when pulling<br />

away or coming to a stop. Becoming active as soon<br />

as the engine is switched on, the Honda E-Clutch<br />

system manages both scenarios smoothly, and if<br />

the rider desires, they are able to operate the clutch<br />

lever as normal. Should the rider want to turn off<br />

the system for a particular ride, this is also possible<br />

via the instrument panel.<br />

Honda E-Clutch takes away the need to use the<br />

clutch lever to make a shift either up or down the<br />

gearbox. The rider simply has to operate the shift<br />

pedal for ultra-fast, consistent gear changes,<br />

exactly as if using a quickshifter. During the<br />

gear change, it uses a harmonised combination<br />

of ‘half-clutch’ operation, fuel injection cut and<br />

ignition control to eliminate shift shock for an<br />

ultra-smooth ride.




With a design and product concept of the ultimate<br />

sports crossover, the GSX-S1000GX is set to<br />

become the benchmark in the category, as Suzuki<br />

moves into the crossover sector of the market for<br />

the first time.<br />

It boasts Suzuki’s most sophisticated electronics<br />

package to date, with a number of new and<br />

innovative systems enabled by a six-axis Bosch<br />

IMU and electronic suspension from Showa.<br />

The GSX-S1000GX is the first Suzuki to adopt<br />

Suzuki Advanced Electronic Suspension (SAES).<br />

The GX gets 150mm front and rear suspension<br />

travel to create an upright riding position,<br />

broadening the rider’s field of view and providing<br />

all-day riding comfort. The longer suspension<br />

travel also helps the GX smooth out bumps when<br />

riding over uneven surfaces.<br />

There are four selectable modes of SAES: hard,<br />

medium, soft, and a customisable user setting<br />

which offers +/- three increments on the selected<br />

base setting of hard, medium, or soft.<br />

Further helping smooth out those bumps and<br />

undulations is Suzuki Road Adaptive Stabilisation<br />

(SRAS). An original Suzuki system, in use for<br />

the first time on the new GX, it detects uneven<br />

road surfaces based on input from the IMU and<br />

wheel speed sensors, and, if required, triggers<br />

the Suzuki Floating Ride Control (SFRC) to help<br />

smooth out the ride. As part of the SFRC it also<br />

adjusts the electronic throttle valve settings to<br />

deliver softer, more controllable throttle response.

The rear suspension’s spring preload settings are<br />

also electronically controlled, making it easy for a<br />

rider to use a handlebar switch to quickly choose<br />

between auto or one of the four available modes<br />

they find best suited to their immediate needs or<br />

preferences.<br />

Riders can select between single rider, single<br />

rider plus luggage, or tandem (with or without<br />

luggage). In addition, the preload setting for auto<br />

mode can be adjusted by +/- three increments<br />

and the three manual modes can be adjusted by<br />

+/- four increments to match the rider’s needs<br />

more finely.<br />

The GSX-S1000GX also uses an alpha version of<br />

the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector. SDMS-a provides<br />

three riding modes: active, basic, comfort. Those<br />

three integrated riding modes control power<br />

output characteristics, as well as the level of<br />

traction control, which, on the GX, is integrated<br />

with Lift Limiter (anti-wheelie) and Roll Torque<br />

Control, and electronic suspension settings.<br />

Riders can opt to use the default settings of many<br />

of those systems or customise them to match<br />

their needs or preferences more closely. There<br />

are seven selectable modes of traction control –<br />

integrated with Roll Torque Control and Lift Limiter<br />

– and three selectable throttle maps.<br />

Making its debut on the GX is Suzuki’s new Roll<br />

Torque Control. Based on data received from the<br />

IMU and wheel speed sensors, this new system<br />

calculates the bike’s lean angle and speed to<br />

predetermine what level of power output and<br />

acceleration is optimal at that time, for example,<br />

when exciting a corner. It then reduces torque<br />

output before the motorcycle exceeds the amount<br />

of power the system deems necessary to clear the<br />

corner effectively. One key benefit of this system<br />

is a smooth operation and uninterrupted drive.<br />

With regular traction control the system is reactive,<br />

cutting in when rear wheel slip is detected. This<br />

can create a jerkiness or ‘on and off’ feeling as<br />

the power comes in and out. It can also cause<br />

the rear suspension to compress and rebound.


This is reduced significantly with the introduction of<br />

Roll Torque Control, as the torque ceiling is set, and<br />

then raised as the bike exits the corner and as speed<br />

increases and lean angle decreases. It is an extra layer<br />

of pre-emptive protection that operates silently in the<br />

background, with its settings determined by the level of<br />

traction control selected.<br />

Completing the GX’s comprehensive suite of<br />

electronics is a ride-by-wire throttle, bi-directional<br />

quickshifter, cruise control – updated on the GX to<br />

allow the system to continue operating when the<br />

rider changes gear – lean angle-sensitive ABS, Slope<br />

Dependent Control, which prevents rear wheel lift<br />

when braking downhill, easy start, and low RPM assist.<br />

Monitoring all of the GSX-S1000GX’s electronic<br />

systems is done via a 6.5-inch colour TFT screen,<br />

which also offers smartphone connectivity, allowing<br />

riders to access maps, view contacts and make and<br />

receive phone calls, see their calendar, and play music.<br />

All this is done via the free Suzuki mySPIN app. A USB<br />

socket in the side of the instrument cluster makes for<br />

easy phone charging.

Powering the new GSX-S1000GX is Suzuki’s creamy<br />

smooth, 999cc, inline four-cylinder, superbike-derived<br />

engine. Known for its abundance of lowdown and<br />

midrange power, it produces 152PS at 11,000rpm and<br />

106 Nm of torque at 9,250rpm.<br />

That engine is housed in a twin spar, aluminium frame<br />

mated to a race-proven aluminium swingarm from the<br />

GSX-R range and a lightweight subframe.<br />

All of that is wrapped in new, aggressive bodywork,<br />

with full LED lighting front and rear. Hand guards and a<br />

spacious luggage rack add extra practicality. Luggage<br />

capacity can be increased with genuine accessory<br />

36-litre panniers.




Immediately highlighting the R element of the<br />

new GSX-8R is its full fairing, wind tunnel-tested to<br />

increase aerodynamic performance and provide<br />

weather protection for the rider. Bold 8R logos<br />

adorn the side panels, while fairing-mounted<br />

mirrors also aid in reducing drag.<br />

Perched in the middle of the angular face is<br />

the recognisably GSX series stacked LED<br />

headlight, topped by an LED position light. The<br />

rear combination light is also full LED, as are the<br />

indicators.<br />

At the heart of the new GSX-8R is the 776cc<br />

parallel twin engine – which it shares with the<br />

GSX-8S – with its long stroke and 270° crankshaft<br />

design providing an abundance of low-down<br />

torque, usability, and flexibility, while a free-revving<br />

nature comes from a DOHC and four valves<br />

per cylinder. Peak torque is 78 Nm, delivered at<br />

6800rpm, with peak power of 82.9PS coming at<br />

8500rpm.<br />

The 270° crankshaft also provides a power<br />

delivery, character, and rumble reminiscent<br />

of Suzuki’s much-lauded V-twin ranges, while<br />

a patented cross balancer design ensures a<br />

smoothness, as well as aiding in a compact,<br />

lightweight engine design.<br />

A two-into-one exhaust system with dual-stage<br />

catalytic converter keeps the 8R conforming<br />

to Euro 5 emissions standards, and ends in a<br />

short, underslung silencer further enhancing the<br />

compact, slimline look.

All of that is housed in a steel frame engineered<br />

for direct handling characteristics. Those handling<br />

characteristics are further enhanced by low,<br />

forged aluminium handlebars that provide positive<br />

control and a sporty riding position, placing more<br />

of the rider’s weight over the front wheel. Bolted<br />

into the rear of the steel frame is a lightweight<br />

aluminium subframe and lightweight aluminium<br />

swingarm,<br />

Dealing with the increased weight bias towards<br />

the front, Showa provides the suspension, with<br />

SFF-BP* (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston)<br />

inverted forks and monoshock in the rear.<br />

Mounted radially to the forks are Nissin four-piston<br />

calipers, providing stopping power by biting<br />

310mm discs. Tyres are Dunlop Roadsport 2s.<br />

Aiding rideability, usability, and flexibility is a suite<br />

of electronic systems that includes a bi-directional<br />

quickshifter as standard, three selectable engine<br />

power modes, and three selectable traction<br />

control settings, plus the ability to disengage the<br />

system entirely. There’s also Suzuki’s low RPM<br />

assist and easy-start function.<br />

The GSX-8R’s settings are easy to navigate via a<br />

single rocker switch on the left-hand handlebar,<br />

with the information displayed clearly on a colour<br />

5” TFT screen.


NEW KTM 990 DUKE - THE NEW<br />


The Duke range of two-wheelers is at the moment<br />

one of the most successful in the portfolio of<br />

Austrian bike maker KTM. Introduced 30 years<br />

ago, in 1993, it rapidly grew to include at the<br />

time of writing no less than 12 models. With the<br />

exception of the 1290 Super Duke GT, which is<br />

sold as a sports tourer, all the others play in the<br />

naked segment.<br />

As of now, you can add another naked Duke to<br />

the list of available two-wheeled wonders: the<br />

990. Freshly introduced into the family, just as the<br />

world’s most prominent bike makers are in Milan,<br />

Italy, for the EICMA show taking place there, the<br />

bike is described as a “massive leap forward for<br />

the KTM naked range.”<br />

That’s because the ride targets one of the most<br />

lucrative sub-segments of the naked segment, the<br />

one with bikes powered by 1,000cc engines. The<br />

990 does this with an updated version of the LC8c<br />

engine that’s also deployed in the 890 Duke R.<br />

The powerplant is 947cc in displacement, but<br />

features, compared to the existing variant, new<br />

pistons, crankshaft, and conrod. In this setup,<br />

power ratings stand at 123 hp and 103 Nm of<br />

torque.<br />

The engine sits in an all-new stiff trellis frame<br />

that’s light enough to allow the ride to tip the<br />

scales at just 179 kg (395 pounds). That lightness<br />

is also achieved thanks to the new closed-lattice<br />

swingarm installed at the rear, supporting a<br />

wheel that, just like the front one, is dressed in<br />

Bridgestone S22 tires.


The suspension of this thing is your usual KTM<br />

hardware overkill. The WP Apex gear comes<br />

as a 43 mm front fork that can be adjusted for<br />

rebound and compression, and a monotube<br />

shock at the rear.<br />

The bike is not only equipped to handle various<br />

terrains but also has a lot of convenience features<br />

to make it a solid choice as a daily. There is a new<br />

5-inch screen up front, rocking revised graphics, a<br />

USB-C plug, and a sort of follow-me-home system<br />

that keeps the LED headlight lit for a few more<br />

seconds after the bike is turned off.<br />

The screen mentioned earlier now displays lean<br />

angle data, and also supports an optional Track<br />

mode complete with lap timer and telemetry.<br />

The “ultimate mid-class naked machine,” as<br />

KTM describes the 990 Duke, will be available<br />

in two color choices, namely Black and Electric<br />

Orange. The latter one has been specifically<br />

developed to be a nod to the 30-year<br />

anniversary of the Duke range.<br />

The bike is already available on the KTM<br />

configurator, but if you’re looking for pricing<br />

information and even availability, dealers are the<br />

way to go, as the bike maker did not reveal any of<br />

these details.


2024 YAMAHA MT-09<br />

Yamaha is not one to shy away from the hypernaked<br />

segment of the motorcycle industry. In<br />

fact, it’s one of the most present names in this<br />

field, with no less than eight models presently on<br />

offer. Of interest to us today is the “original hyper<br />

naked,” as Yamaha calls it, the MT-09.<br />

The model was first introduced a decade ago, and<br />

has come to be known elsewhere, especially in<br />

the U.S., as the FZ-09. The Japanese have always<br />

called the ride a product of their country’s dark<br />

side, a reference not only to the power of the<br />

beast, but also to the no-nonsense appearance.<br />

And now, for the 2024 model year, the MT-<br />

09 gets a boost in everything, and that’s<br />

understandable, seeing how this is the model’s<br />

tenth anniversary year. That means the ride has<br />

been updated both visually and mechanically, in<br />

a bid to allow it to carry the torch into its second<br />

decade on the market.<br />

As per Yamaha, the new but still limited bodywork<br />

of the ride was inspired by what’s used on the<br />

YZ range of motocross bikes. These elements<br />

are topped off by a new LED headlight, held<br />

inside a newly designed cover. The design of this<br />

element is replicated at the rear, which now shows<br />

separate tail and brake lights.<br />

Up on the aluminum frame the fuel tank has been<br />

redrawn as well, showing up as a sharper version<br />

of its former self. For a refined riding position, the<br />

handlebar is now lower than it used to be, and the<br />

footpegs have been moved further back.

As a departure from what we’ve had before,<br />

the seats for the rider and passenger are now<br />

separated.<br />

When it comes to the engine the bike uses,<br />

Yamaha relies on the same one as before, the<br />

890cc three-cylinder, liquid-cooled CP3. It did<br />

however get some revisions, made first and<br />

foremost to make it sound a lot cooler than it<br />

ever did.<br />

For instance, there is now a revised airbox with<br />

new air intake ducts that help enhance the highfrequency<br />

sounds of the powerplant.<br />

Mechanical bits were changed to a greater degree<br />

elsewhere. We’ve got a new Brembo braking<br />

system to help the thing come to a stop, the front<br />

and rear suspension system has been revised,<br />

and the bike has been propped on Yamaha<br />

SpinForged wheels wrapped in new Bridgestone<br />

Battlax Hypersport tires.<br />

The bike can still be configured in one of three<br />

factory-preset riding modes (Sport, Street, and<br />

Rain), or one of two custom modes. A new<br />

5-inch TFT screen has been added to help with<br />

interaction between rider and bike, and there’s a<br />

Type-C USB plug under the rider’s seat.<br />

Yamaha says the new MT-09 will be sold in three<br />

color schemes, namely Midnight Cyan, Icon Blue<br />

and Tech Black. There is no mention of when<br />

deliveries will begin, or about the price tags for the<br />

new hyper naked.



698 MONO<br />

If you’re gonna name a bike “Mono,” you’d better<br />

deliver – but we’d expect nothing less from<br />

Ducati. It’s nearly 20 years since Ducati decided<br />

what the heck, let’s make a supermotard with a<br />

massive sportsbike engine in it and built the first<br />

Hypermotard.<br />

The motorcycle world reeled in awe as the first<br />

press images came out, showing ex-MotoGP<br />

riding god Ruben Xaus getting heavily sideways in<br />

a corner, knee down, smoke pouring off the rear<br />

wheel, with one hand off the handlebar giving a<br />

cheeky thumbs-up.<br />

That’s how you advertise a motor sickle, people.<br />

And Ducati certainly hasn’t decided to play<br />

it safe and politically correct with the latest<br />

Hypermotard either.<br />

The new Hypermotard 698 Mono is the<br />

company’s first-ever roadgoing single, featuring<br />

a brand-spankers 659-cc Superquadro Mono<br />

engine, derived from the barnstorming Panigale<br />

1299 Superquadro engine. Its 116-mm bore, says<br />

Ducati, is the widest ever featured on a roadgoing<br />

production single, and as a result, it’s able to rev<br />

up to a ridiculous 10,250 rpm, and produce a<br />

frankly silly 77.5 horsepower in stock form, or 84.5<br />

with a Termi pipe on the back.<br />

Your other key metric is 151 kg without fuel –<br />

the Mono is heavy compared to proper racing<br />

motards, but a featherweight when lined up<br />

against most road bikes.<br />

There’s Brembo and Marzocchi written where<br />

you’d expect, and the bidirectional quickshift<br />

means you don’t have to sully your clutch fingers<br />

once you’re moving other than to salute the sky<br />

with your front wheel. There’s also traction control,

wheelie control and ABS braking – which can be<br />

set in many modes, some of which you could put<br />

your grandma on and she’d feel safe, and others<br />

that are there chiefly to make the bike easier to<br />

control in a back-wheel-out powerslide, making<br />

sure the bike stays within a predetermined yaw<br />

angle so that beginners can start throwing the<br />

thing in sideways with merry abandon. What a<br />

wonderful world.<br />

Indeed, the wheelie control system appears to<br />

be a bit of a cheat code itself, complete with a<br />

mode you can unlock in software that’s actually<br />

called Wheelie Assist. “In this case,” said Ducati,<br />

“the electronics assist the rider in executing and<br />

maintaining a prolonged wheelie, regulating the<br />

angle using the engine torque delivered.” Um,<br />

yes please.


2024 DUCATI PANIGALE V4 SP2 30TH<br />


Three decades ago, Italian designer Massimo<br />

Tamburini crafted the Ducati 916, a milestone<br />

that etched its place in Ducati’s history and set<br />

the stage for future sportbikes from the renowned<br />

brand. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the<br />

iconic 916, Ducati is unveiling the 2024 Ducati<br />

Panigale V4 SP2 30th Anniversario 916, a limited<br />

edition of only 500 units, adorned in a special livery<br />

inspired by Carl Fogarty’s victorious ride in the<br />

1999 Superbike World Championship.<br />

The heart of the 30th Anniversario 916 is the<br />

same liquid-cooled 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale<br />

90-degree V4 found in the Panigale V4 SP2,<br />

boasting a claimed 210 hp at 12,500 rpm and<br />

90.6 lb-ft of torque at 11,000 rpm. What sets this<br />

celebratory edition apart are several distinctive<br />

features, including the captivating tricolor fairing<br />

and white numberplate reminiscent of the 1999<br />

Superbike World Championship 916. The tank<br />

cover proudly displays the laurel logo as seen on<br />

the original 916, and a modernized 3D-like effect<br />

adds a contemporary twist to the fairing logo.<br />

Crafted for performance excellence, the<br />

motorcycle features top-tier components, including<br />

a billet aluminum racing fuel tank cap, air ducts<br />

for front brake cooling, and wings with a doubleprofile<br />

design. The carbon-fiber 5-spoke wheels<br />

reduce weight significantly, enhancing overall<br />

performance. The braking system comprises two<br />

330mm front discs paired with Brembo Stylema<br />

4-piston monoblock calipers, Bosch Cornering<br />

ABS EVO, and a Brembo MCS 19.21 master<br />

cylinder with a remote adjuster.<br />

The Panigale V4 SP2 30th Anniversario 916,<br />

weighing 381 lb according to Ducati, maintains<br />

a seat height of 33.5 inches, a wheelbase of


57.8 inches, and a 24.5-degree rake with 3.94<br />

inches of trail. The motorcycle features Öhlins<br />

NPX25/30 43mm fork and an Öhlins TTX36<br />

rear suspension unit, both with electronic<br />

compression and rebound damping adjustment.<br />

Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres wrap around<br />

the 17-inch wheels.<br />

This exclusive motorcycle includes the Ducati<br />

Quick Shift Up & Down, a Ducati Data Analyzer+<br />

system for rider performance tracking, and comes<br />

with a track-ready kit featuring billet aluminum<br />

mirror caps, a license plate holder removal kit,<br />

and an open carbon clutch cover. The single-seat<br />

configuration is complemented by adjustable<br />

billet aluminum footpegs.<br />

Each bike is uniquely engraved with a billet<br />

aluminum steering plate showcasing the model<br />

name and number, accompanied by a certificate<br />

of authenticity and a bike cover. The 2024 Ducati<br />

Panigale V4 SP2 30th Anniversario 916, limited to<br />

500 units, will be available with an MSRP of $45,995<br />

(+/- R850k), hitting dealerships in March 2024.




In 2022, Bimota unveiled the Tera concept,<br />

signaling a shift beyond sportbikes into the<br />

realms of touring and adventure. Fast forward to<br />

EICMA 2023, and the Tera has materialized in all<br />

its grandeur. Notably, Bimota has successfully<br />

translated its sleek and unconventional styling,<br />

reminiscent of sportbikes like the Tesi, into the<br />

adventurous domain of touring models.<br />

Similar to the Bimota Tesi H2, the new Tera<br />

incorporates technology from Japanese<br />

manufacturer Kawasaki. At its core is a 999cc,<br />

liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, inline-four cylinder<br />

engine with a supercharger, delivering an<br />

astounding 197 horsepower and 101 pound-feet<br />

of torque. With such power at its disposal, Bimota<br />

ensures the Tera is equipped to handle the<br />

performance demands. The suspension features<br />

a distinctive front end borrowed from the Tesi,<br />

including an Ohlins TTX 36 gas-charged shock


with an external reservoir. A comparable setup<br />

manages the rear suspension. In the event that<br />

the Tera’s suspension needs are not met, Bimota<br />

provides an optional semi-active suspension<br />

system from Marzocchi, increasing wheel travel<br />

to 145mm and 165mm at the front and rear,<br />

respectively. The standard Ohlins system offers<br />

114mm and 135mm of suspension travel at the<br />

front and rear.<br />

With nearly 200 horsepower, the Tera is designed<br />

to come to a swift stop, boasting a Brembo<br />

braking system equipped with Kawasaki’s<br />

Intelligent Anti-lock Braking system (KIBS). The<br />

setup comprises two four-piston Brembo Stylema<br />

calipers gripping semi-floating 330-millimeter<br />

rotors, with a single two-piston caliper at the rear.<br />

Turning attention to the Tera’s aesthetics, it<br />

aligns with Bimota’s distinctive design language,<br />

featuring a unique front end and a menacing<br />

fascia. The bike exhibits a muscular design with<br />

visual mass concentrated at the front. The Bimota<br />

Tera will be available in two versions – one in<br />

red with road-focused touring tires and another<br />

adventurous khaki version equipped with built-in<br />

side panniers.<br />

Given its exclusivity, the new Bimota Tera<br />

may pose a challenge to acquire, and official<br />

pricing information has yet to be disclosed. For<br />

enthusiasts keen on owning this model or any<br />

other exclusive Bimota machines, the company’s<br />

website or authorized dealers provide avenues for<br />





Two years after unveiling the Lucky Explorer<br />

9.5 concept, MV Agusta has revealed its first<br />

production adventure motorcycle, the LXP Orioli.<br />

Named after four-time Dakar winner Edi Orioli, the<br />

931cc three-cylinder bike draws inspiration from<br />

the Cagiva Elefant that propelled Orioli to victory<br />

in 1990. This machine is set to be the precursor<br />

for a range of models sharing the same engine.<br />

Limited to just 500 units, each priced around<br />

€30,000, the LXP Orioli carries the signature of<br />

Orioli and a certificate of authenticity, making it<br />

more of a coveted collectors’ item than a direct<br />

competitor to models like the KTM 890 Adventure<br />

or BMW’s F900GS.<br />

While sharing only a few components with MV<br />

Agusta’s existing 798cc triple, the new 931cc<br />

engine weighs a mere 57kg, producing 122.3bhp<br />

at 10,000rpm and 75.23lbft of torque, with 85%<br />

available from 3000rpm. The engine features<br />

counter-rotating crank technology, DLC-coated<br />

cams, and a hydraulic clutch. MV Agusta plans<br />

to incorporate variations of this engine in other<br />

naked and sporty derivatives.<br />

Controlling the power on and off-road is a six-axis<br />

IMU, offering lean-sensitive electronic aids, five<br />

levels of on-road traction control, two for rough<br />

terrain, and one for rain. The bike includes three<br />

default rider modes and a ‘Custom All-Terrain’<br />

setting. Engine braking, cornering ABS, and more<br />

can be adjusted via a mobile-connectable 7-inch<br />

color TFT dash and LED backlit switches.

The steel alloy perimeter frame houses the<br />

engine, featuring a removable rear subframe and<br />

fully adjustable Sachs front and rear suspension<br />

with 210mm of travel at each end. The bike offers<br />

230mm of ground clearance and an adjustable<br />

seat height ranging from 850mm to 870mm.<br />

Equipped with tubeless Takasago Excel rims (21-<br />

inch front, 18-inch rear) fitted with Bridgestone<br />

Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tires, the LXP<br />

Orioli relies on Brembo Stylemas for braking.<br />

The package includes aluminum side cases<br />

with 39 liters on the left and 32 liters on the<br />

right, accommodating the exhaust. A special<br />

Termignoni option is available to reduce the bike’s<br />

weight by over 4kg.




The accessory manufacturer Puig presents a new<br />

design concept that will mark its future products<br />

and that aims to open the debate on the features<br />

and accessories that the motorcycles of tomorrow<br />

must have.<br />

The spectacular Diablo is the first result of this<br />

EVERFLOWING DESIGN project, created with<br />

exclusive accessories for a riding experience and<br />

improved aerodynamic performance.<br />

Under the name EVERFLOWING DESIGN, Puig<br />

has just presented its most ambitious design<br />

project materialized in the Diablo, an exercise in<br />

creativity without limits developed by the brand’s<br />

design department. True to its philosophy of<br />

improving production motorcycles both in terms<br />

of aesthetics and performance, Puig’s designers<br />

and engineers have let their imagination run wild<br />

to show what the accessories of tomorrow’s<br />

motorcycles will be like.<br />

The Diablo is a motorcycle that leaves no one<br />

unmoved. Developed from a Yamaha MT-09 SP,<br />

Puig has modified the riding position after an<br />

ergonomic study to improve aerodynamics and<br />

rider protection. As an exercise in style of the<br />

reference firm and specialist in accessories, it<br />

incorporates a whole series of elements, such<br />

as innovative mobile wings, to shape a dream<br />

naked motorcycle that offers an improved riding<br />

experience and performance.


“With involvement and passion. The DNA of a<br />

family business like ours, which today is leaded by<br />

the second generation with the same commitment<br />

from the beginning to be a benchmark for<br />

motorcycle accessories worldwide”, pointed out<br />

Joan Puig, Commercial Director of Puig during the<br />

presentation ceremony of the Diablo.<br />

In the words of Berta Perarnau, head of design:<br />

“This is the first time that we have faced such a<br />

free design project, it has been a very interesting<br />

challenge and learning for the whole team that<br />

has allowed us to see what we are capable of<br />

doing and new lines of design and many ideas for<br />

the future have emerged from it.”<br />

For his part, Miquel Vallribera, main designer,<br />

highlights that “we wanted to open the debate<br />

on what the motorcycle and accessories of the<br />

future can be like, showing how we imagine it<br />

at Puig and the result, the Diablo, I think is the<br />

perfect exponent, with active aerodynamics,<br />

protection, functionality, and aesthetics as<br />

designing principles”.


NEW TIGER 900 RANGE FOR 2024:<br />


Delivering more power, torque, capability and<br />

comfort, the new Tiger 900 range from Triumph<br />

Motorcycles is raising the bar for middleweight<br />

adventure bikes in 2024. The new line-up<br />

includes the Tiger 900 GT, GT Pro and Rally<br />

Pro, each providing a significant step-up in<br />

performance and specification.<br />

The Tiger 900’s trademark three-cylinder engine<br />

has received a major update, including revised<br />

engine components, which provides 13% more<br />

power than the previous generation, giving 108PS<br />

of peak power and a higher peak torque of 90Nm.<br />

The new engine also offers greater tractability<br />

lower in the rev range. With its T-plane crank and<br />

offset firing intervals, the Tiger 900 maintains<br />

its characterful and distinctive performance<br />

and sound, as well as achieving enhanced<br />

performance throughout the whole rev range and<br />

up to 9% better fuel economy.<br />

All-new active safety features provide more<br />

capability across the range, including enhanced<br />

braking for better control and reduced stopping<br />

distances, and a new emergency deceleration<br />

warning system, which activates the hazard<br />

lights when braking rapidly and automatically<br />

deactivates when you pull away.<br />

New marker lights provide a prominent silhouette<br />

especially at night and in poor visibility. The new<br />

range also features new 7” TFT instruments, with<br />

new graphics and menu system and a new USB-C<br />

cockpit charger, as well as My Triumph Bluetooth<br />

connectivity as standard on all models.<br />

The new rider seat is flatter and roomier, with<br />

heated seats on both Pro models, designed<br />

specifically to provide more long-distance<br />

comfort. With 20mm adjustability on the seat<br />

height for all models, and an accessory heated

low rider seat available which reduces the seat<br />

height by a further 20mm. This offers GT models<br />

with a potential seat height as low as 800mm,<br />

which combined with the narrow stand over width,<br />

improves accessibility.<br />

A new damped handlebar mounting system<br />

creates a more comfortable ride, plus the<br />

enhanced handlebar position on the Rally Pro,<br />

with the bars 15mm closer, facilitates a more agile<br />

ride while sitting or standing.<br />

Bringing even more Tiger attitude, the 2024 range<br />

has new bodywork across the beak, cockpit<br />

and side panels in an integrated design that<br />

gives each motorcycle an aggressive, adventure<br />

focused stance. New contemporary and dynamic<br />

paint schemes and graphics complete the look.<br />

A new Akrapovič silencer heads up the<br />

comprehensive list of more than 50 accessories,<br />

plus customers can choose from four tailored<br />

accessory packs, the Performance, Protection,<br />

Trekker and Expedition kits.



AND NEW REGS FOR 2024<br />

Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. When the FIM<br />

Superbike World Championship started in 1988,<br />

motorcycle sales in Europe and North America<br />

were still dominated by sportsbikes. Back then<br />

winning machinery on the track translated into the<br />

sales of bikes on the roads. The world is different<br />

now but the challenge facing manufacturers<br />

is to find a way to showcase their speed and<br />

development. No-one in WorldSBK disputes<br />

that the resources Ducati has ploughed into the<br />

WorldSBK programme deserves success but is it<br />

what’s best for the series?<br />


CHANGES: two major headlines for 2024<br />

Solving a problem of a dominant team and<br />

rider isn’t a new challenge in WorldSBK. With<br />

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) all but<br />

confirmed as a double WorldSBK Champion,<br />

the series has made moves to create a more<br />

competitive field in 2024. The new technical<br />

package for 2024 – set out by the FIM, Dorna<br />

WSBK Organisation the MSMA and wider<br />

members of the SBK Commission – is headlined<br />

by the introduction of a combined bike and rider<br />

minimum weight limit, similar to what we already<br />

have in the Supersport and Supersport 300<br />

classes, but there is also a collection of other<br />

technical regulations which should help. In a bid<br />

to increase the importance of fuel consumption<br />

and reducing performance there has been<br />

a reduction of three litres to fuel capacity.<br />

Combined with the introduction of E40 fuel (40%<br />

Ethanol) it will be an interesting engineering<br />

challenge for teams to maintain performance for<br />

the full race distance.

NOT ANTI-BAUTISTA: moving with the<br />

times and needs<br />

It’s easy to view the changes in a vacuum and<br />

think this is an anti-Ducati or anti-Bautista shift in<br />

ideology. It would also discount what we’ve seen<br />

in the past. This is just the latest in a long line of<br />

such changes. When Kawasaki had the dominant<br />

bike, from 2012 until 2018 the green machine was<br />

the best bike on the grid, the attention they faced<br />

was on par with Ducati now. With the dice rolling<br />

slightly differently, Tom Sykes could have been<br />

a triple World Champion before Jonathan Rea<br />

started his run of six consecutive titles.<br />

For Sykes, the changes – which saw limits to<br />

development of the crankshaft, fixed gear ratios<br />

and lower revs – hurt him. He moved from being<br />

the top dog in the series to a supporting cast<br />

member. That Rea could still win showed his<br />

talent and speed but year on year the ZX10-RR<br />

was restrained more and more. It was subtle and<br />

gradual rather than the new raft of changes.<br />


different on the face of it<br />

Whilst the technical changes were gradual, the<br />

sporting changes were where the real teeth<br />

of regulation changes were made. For 2017,<br />

the podium finishers from Race 1 had to start<br />

Race 2 from the third row of the grid. Coming<br />

through the pack would, in theory, make for more<br />

exciting races and make it harder for one rider to<br />

dominate. It didn’t quite work out that way and as<br />

a result, the Superpole Race was introduced with<br />

an extra 12 points available each weekend. It has<br />

helped to maintain a title race for longer. The 10-<br />

lap race has been a great success and something<br />

that has genuinely been met by enthusiasm by<br />

teams and riders.<br />

LOOKING AHEAD: testing starts<br />

immediately after Jerez<br />

Hopefully the new technical package for 2024<br />

will be met with similar success. The goal for<br />

manufacturers in the series is to sell more<br />

motorcycles. If you aren’t winning races and<br />

showing your speed it’s harder to sell bikes. The<br />

new package should maintain integrity, create a<br />

more competitive balance front to back and still see<br />

the best team and rider winning. We might have<br />

one round to go in 2023 and a World Champion to<br />

be crowned but I’m already excited for 2024. With<br />

two days of testing coming immediately after the<br />

race it will be interesting to see the testing plans<br />

for manufacturers. It’s highly unlikely that teams<br />

will bring full specification of machinery for 2024<br />

but they’ll use the test to evaluate some new parts<br />

and gear up for the full winter testing which started<br />

straight after the final round at Jerez....




Day one of testing at the Circuito de Jerez –<br />

Angel Nieto turned into a bit of a damp squib<br />

after rain fell on the MOTUL FIM Superbike<br />

World Championship field in Spain. Running was<br />

severely limited with riders taking to the track<br />

only in the morning, with Remy Gardner (GYTR<br />

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) setting the pace.<br />

Elsewhere, there were three crashes at Turn 13<br />

with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), Alvaro<br />

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

Rea (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) all<br />

going down; two-time Champion Bautista bringing<br />

out the red flags.<br />

YAMAHA ON TOP: three R1s in the first four<br />

positions as Rea makes debut<br />

While all eyes were on the Pata Yamaha garage<br />

for Rea’s debut with the team, the GYTR GRT<br />

Yamaha WorldSBK Team were continuing their<br />

impressive form from the Spanish round with<br />

Gardner and teammate Dominique Aegerter in the<br />

top three. The #87 led the way with a 1’39.8<strong>37</strong>s<br />

as he completed 25 laps, while Aegerter, fresh<br />

from his double podium celebrations on Sunday,<br />

was 0.269s back. The #77 had some new items<br />

to try for Yamaha and also the GRT Yamaha

team, while there was also a different swingarm<br />

available to allow for different linkages. Next door<br />

at the factory Yamaha team, Rea was fourth after<br />

completing 12 laps. His time of 1’40.302s was<br />

0.465s down on Gardner as the Northern Irishman<br />

focused on getting comfortable on his new bike<br />

after spending so long with the Kawasaki ZX-<br />

10RR. Brad Ray (GMT94 Yamaha) was also in<br />

action on the YZF-R1 machine, completing 27<br />

laps and setting a 1’42.295s.<br />


Independent star second, Bautista fifth<br />

after crash<br />

Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s future with Motocorsa<br />

Racing was only announced on Monday<br />

afternoon, but the #21 wasted no time in getting<br />

on track with the team. One of the first to leave<br />

the pits when the session started at 10am Local<br />

Time (GMT+1), the five-time race winner was<br />

consistently at the sharp end of the timesheets.<br />

His best time was a 1’40.034s to take second spot<br />

after lapping 36 times, the most of anyone. Down<br />

the pitlane at the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati squad,<br />

Bautista was fifth. He set a 1’40.564s but his day<br />

was disrupted by a Turn 13 crash which briefly<br />

brought out the red flags. Despite this, he racked<br />

up 24 laps. His new teammate, Nicolo Bulega,<br />

took eighth spot with a 1’41.244s, lapping around<br />

seven tenths slower than his two-time Champion<br />

teammate. His plan was to understand the V4<br />

R more on Tuesday and adapt his riding style,<br />

while also aiming for a good base setup. Tuesday<br />

marked Andrea Iannone’s (Team GoEleven) return<br />

to a race bike in difficult conditions, with ‘The<br />

Maniac’ setting a 1’41.922s and racking up 26<br />

laps. His plan was to complete a lot of laps and<br />

rediscover the feeling, but despite completing<br />

one of the highest totals, the weather disrupted<br />

this plan. Also, from WorldSSP, Adrian Huertas<br />

(Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) was testing as<br />

the first time as a Ducati rider. He completed 30<br />

laps with a 1’44.157s on the Panigale V2.<br />

GERLOFF HEADS BMW DUO: Redding makes<br />

Bonovo Action BMW debut<br />

American star Garrett Gerloff’s (Bonovo Action<br />

BMW) recent form has been nothing short of<br />

stellar, often finishing as the top BMW rider,<br />

or fighting for that honour, since the August


break. He was the lead rider for the German<br />

manufacturer on day one as he finished in sixth<br />

place after posting a 1’41.193s. However, most<br />

eyes would’ve have been on the rider next to him.<br />

Scott Redding made his first appearance with the<br />

Independent BMW outfit after his switch from the<br />

factory team, with the Brit in a new environment<br />

but on the same M1000RR machine. The #45 was<br />

ninth after setting a 1’41.333s, with just two tenths<br />

separating the teammates.<br />


makes his factory team debut<br />

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)<br />

heads into the new season as the de facto team<br />

leader at KRT, and he was the faster of the two<br />

on day. He took P7 as he completed 14 laps with<br />

his best time, a 1’41.229s, almost 1.4 seconds<br />

back from Gardner’s fastest time. Teammate Axel<br />

Bassani, making his first appearance with the<br />

team, was three places and six tenths down on his<br />

teammate. There’s been a reshuffle of staff within<br />

the KRT box. After working with Marcel Duinker<br />

for four seasons, Lowes has moved into Pere<br />

Riba’s side of the box with Bassani working with<br />

the Dutchman for his maiden campaign.<br />


WorldSBK machine<br />

After a year in WorldSSP with the PETRONAS<br />

MIE Racing Honda Team, Tarran Mackenzie tried<br />

out the team’s Honda CBR1000RR-R machine<br />

at Jerez. He’s tested the bike before, notably at<br />

Misano when he stood in for Eric Granado and<br />

Hafizh Syahrin, as well as with Honda in testing<br />

for the Suzuka 8 Hours. The #95 was the slowest<br />

rider in the WorldSBK field on Tuesday as he set a<br />

1’44.266s and completed just seven laps.

After a disrupted day on Tuesday things were<br />

more of the same on Wednesday morning until<br />

around midday local time, when the MOTUL<br />

FIM Superbike World Championship riders took<br />

advantage of a drier track to complete, for the<br />

most part, around six hours of valuable running<br />

time at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Remy<br />

Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team)<br />

was again the quickest rider as he used an SCQ<br />

tyre to full effect, while Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.<br />

it Racing – Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Team<br />

GoEleven) put in their own impressive times on<br />

day two.<br />

GARDNER LEADS THE WAY: #87 goes<br />

quickest again, Rea P5<br />

Yamaha had enjoyed a strong showing at the<br />

Spanish Round last weekend and that’s continued<br />

into day two of testing. Once again, Gardner was<br />

the lead rider on the YZF-R1 machine, and the<br />

fastest of everyone. His time of a 1’38.448s was<br />

two tenths away from the all-time lap record and<br />

under Bautista’s pole time from Saturday as he<br />

led the field by 0.278s. Teammate Dominique<br />

Aegerter was in tenth place despite his strong<br />

pace on day one, with the #77 having a Turn 1<br />

crash. It provided a small disruption to his day, but<br />

he was able to return to track action on his second<br />

bike. Jonathan Rea (Pata Yamaha Prometeon<br />

WorldSBK) had another fruitful day on his first<br />

appearance with Yamaha, finishing in third place<br />

and lapping in 1’39.179s with his last lap of the<br />

day as he continued adjusting to the R1. Brad Ray<br />

(GMT94 Yamaha) had a quietly strong day as he<br />

finished inside the top ten, setting a best time of<br />

1’40.007s and lapping the Jerez venue 59 times.<br />

Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha<br />

Team) was second in the WorldSSP field, joining<br />

Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team)<br />

and finishing six tenths back.



impresses, Iannone shines<br />

Bulega was one of the stars on Wednesday as<br />

the #11, on only his second day as a factory<br />

Ducati rider, posted a 1’38.726s using Pirelli’s<br />

SCQ tyre. His time was only a tenth down on<br />

teammate Alvaro Bautista’s pole lap from just<br />

a few days ago. Both riders tested from 14:00<br />

(Local Time, GMT+1) onwards to use half-a-day<br />

of their allocation. In total, Bulega completed 52<br />

laps while Bautista, who had a focus on the 2024<br />

ruleset, was in seventh place with a best time<br />

of 1’39.962s, which included a long run on the<br />

SCX tyres as he racked up 48 laps. Elsewhere,<br />

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) was fifth on<br />

his Panigale V4 R. Lapping in 1’39.335s, the<br />

#29 had been as high as third on a couple of<br />

occasions before other riders usurped him as<br />

he completed 70 laps. ‘The Maniac’ was one of<br />

the first to take to the track in the morning but<br />

his meaningful running came in the afternoon.<br />

Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s (Motocorsa Racing)<br />

life back at an Independent Ducati continued<br />

with sixth on Wednesday as he lapped 1.359s<br />

down on Gardner’s best time, completing 69<br />

laps. In WorldSSP, Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it<br />

Racing WorldSSP Team) was the fastest of two<br />

competitors. He completed 77 laps as he set a<br />

1’42.470s.<br />

LOWES ON TOP AT KRT: the Brit’s inside<br />

the top four<br />

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)<br />

continued to be the lead KRT rider at the test as<br />

he finished in fourth with a 1’39.211s. The #22<br />

had some different rpm limits to test as the team<br />

looked to 2024, while there were also what he<br />

described as “lots of ideas” to try between now

and January ’24 before it all gets pieced together.<br />

Teammate Axel Bassani was around two seconds<br />

slower than his teammate as he adjusts from<br />

the V4 R to the ZX-10RR machine, with the #47<br />

racking up 54 laps. Between them, Lowes and<br />

Bassani completed more than 120 laps to gain<br />

important information heading into their next test.<br />

REDDING THE FASTEST BMW: #45 leads<br />

teammate Gerloff, the American crashes<br />

Just two BMW riders took to the track during<br />

the two-day test, with Scott Redding making<br />

his Bonovo Action BMW debut alongside<br />

new teammate Garrett Gerloff. It was the #45<br />

who finished as the lead rider for the German<br />

manufacturer as he took tenth place with a<br />

1’40.291s, around half-a-tenth quicker than his<br />

teammate. The #31’s day was disrupted by a<br />

crash in the final 30 minutes at Turn 3 with the<br />

bike brought back to the pits on a truck. His best<br />

time was a 1’40.334s to take 11th place. The<br />

American had hoped to work on some setup<br />

items on day two of the test following yesterday’s<br />

limited running.





Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) returned to<br />

the track as some of the MOTUL FIM Superbike<br />

World Championship paddock remained at the<br />

Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for two days of<br />

testing. The #29 was one of these and he enjoyed<br />

a strong day two in Spain, running inside the top<br />

three on occasions on Wednesday and finishing<br />

the day in an impressive fifth place after getting<br />

to try Pirelli’s SCQ tyre as well as being able to<br />

complete a solid six hours of testing.<br />

STRONG SECOND DAY: running in the top<br />

three, finishing P5<br />

‘The Maniac’ was one of the first to venture onto<br />

the track when the green flags waved at 10am<br />

Local Time, but, with wet patches still on the<br />

circuit from rain on Tuesday, completed just an<br />

in and out lap. His action really got underway<br />

at around midday, as it did for the rest of the<br />

competitors, with the sun shining and the track

getting drier as the day progressed. In the end,<br />

Iannone put in a 1’39.335s to claim fifth, although<br />

he was in the top three a couple of times on<br />

Wednesday.<br />

Discussing his day, where he completed 69 laps,<br />

the Italian admitted he was a bit surprised about<br />

his performance: “It was really fun, I enjoyed today<br />

a lot. My feeling with the bike improved exit by exit<br />

and run by run. It’s really interesting because I’m a<br />

little bit surprised about the result, also the feeling<br />

with the tyre and everything. We have a lot of<br />

work in front of us, but we start from a really good<br />

point. It’s good.”<br />

THE GOALS FOR 2024: “we have really<br />

big ambitions…”<br />

The 2024 season will mark Iannone’s return<br />

to competition after four years away and, after<br />

Wednesday’s running concluded, discussed<br />

his and the Team GoEleven’s potential for next<br />

season as well as where he wants to be in the<br />

pecking order. He also expanded on what’s<br />

impressed him so far in his two days on the<br />

Panigale V4 R and using Pirelli tyres as he looks<br />

to be in the best possible shape ahead of his<br />

racing return next year.<br />

Discussing ambitions, potential and pleasant<br />

surprises, ‘The Maniac’ said: “We have really big<br />

ambitions. I want to comeback, but I want to try to<br />

comeback at a high level. I want to achieve these<br />

results and I want to try to arrive at the top. In any<br />

case, I know it’s really difficult because the level<br />

is really high. Everybody is close but, I think, for<br />

us and the first test, it’s difficult to achieve a little<br />

bit more. The bike impressed me on the positive<br />

side, and also the tyres. They’re friendly. You felt<br />

where the limits of the tyres are and the bike and I<br />

think this is a good point.”





With the MOTUL FIM Superbike World<br />

Championship remaining at the Circuito de<br />

Jerez – Angel Nieto for two days of testing, it<br />

gave some riders the chance to evaluate the<br />

new 2024 regulations. One of these was Alvaro<br />

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

double Champion looking at next year’s rules,<br />

including adding weight to his Panigale V4 R.<br />

After Wednesday’s action had concluded, the #1<br />

explained how his team were working with the<br />

additional weight and how it impacted him on<br />

track.<br />

A NEW CHALLENGE: “the bike feels different<br />

especially in the fast corners”<br />

The newly-announced rules for 2024 include<br />

a new weight system, where riders under the<br />

reference weight of 80kg have to add 50% of the<br />

difference. The reigning double Champion said<br />

previously that he would like to try the new rules,<br />

especially when it comes to weight, and he was<br />

able to start that on the second day of Jerez test.<br />

The Spaniard finished the day in seventh place<br />

after setting a best lap of 1’39.362s, 1.5s slower<br />

than Remy Gardner’s (GYTR GRT Yamaha<br />

WorldSBK Team) fastest time, as he completed<br />

58 laps.<br />

Expanding on how he and Ducati worked towards<br />

the new regulations, Bautista said: “Today, we<br />

were focused on the 2024 regulations especially<br />

with the weight. We tried many solutions with the<br />

weight. Putting some weight on some areas of the<br />

bike, also trying inside the engine, and did many<br />

tests to understand how the bike’s working. It’s<br />

not easy because when the bike’s working well,<br />

if you add 7kg, the bike feels different especially<br />

in the fast corners. We made some distribution<br />

to have more data and we got that data for this<br />

winter to try to work and try to see what could be<br />

the base for starting 2024.”<br />


corners, but anywhere else?<br />

With the Ducati star now able to talk about the<br />

difference the additional weight makes, he spoke<br />

about the differences he felt on the Panigale V4<br />

R compared to when he was riding without it. In<br />

his first answer, he alluded to feeling different in<br />

fast corners and he was later asked where else<br />

on track he might feel a difference, such as under<br />

acceleration, or if it makes bringing updates and<br />

changing the setup more difficult.<br />

Discussing this, he said: “I didn’t feel a difference<br />

on acceleration, I think it’s more the inertia I feel<br />

on the fast corners. Especially here at Jerez,<br />

the fast sector, I felt it was more difficult. But on<br />

acceleration, there’s not a big difference. Also<br />

under braking, there’s maybe more inertia to stop<br />

the bike but, for me, I struggled more in the fast<br />

corners. At the moment, there are no updates<br />

from Ducati. We are focusing on this. They now<br />

have a lot of data from today and they have to<br />

analyse and play with the setup of the bike. We<br />

didn’t touch anything on the bike, just put the<br />

weight and changed the area where we put the<br />

weight. Now we have to start to think about the<br />

setup to have a better feeling with the bike.”




YRE<br />


How often should we check tyre<br />

pressure? What time is best to<br />

check? Should we follow the different<br />

manufacturer recommendations? Is it<br />

the same for all motorcycles?

The only contact between our motorcycles and<br />

the surfaces they travel on is its tyres. And unlike<br />

cars, which have four wheels and are supported<br />

on a flat surface, motorcycles only have two and<br />

the area of contact with the road is curved so that<br />

we can tilt them on turns and other manoeuvres.<br />

That’s why safety while riding a motorcycle<br />

depends not only on the state of the tyres but on<br />

their respective pressures, which for the majority<br />

of bikes isn’t the same for the front and rear<br />

wheels.<br />

On top of that, the tyres’ area of contact with<br />

the surface we’re riding on is quite small, so it’s<br />

fundamental that they have the proper pressure.<br />

And at the same time, they should be adjusted<br />

depending on the type of bike, the usual speed,<br />

and the total weight of the bike and rider. We<br />

should also consider additional factors like<br />

passengers, luggage, and other approved<br />

accessories added to our bike. In that regard, we<br />

always have to take into account the maximum<br />

load of the vehicle, which should appear in its<br />

technical data sheet and which should never be<br />

surpassed. To calculate this, we should consider<br />

the total weight of the rider, passenger, luggage,<br />

and any accessory installed on the bike such as<br />

tail bags, panniers, security elements, etc.<br />

What happens if the tyre pressure is lower<br />

than recommended levels?<br />

If we ride our motorcycle with improper pressure,<br />

it could cause us to lose control of the bike<br />

and possibly get into an accident, so it’s very<br />

important that we don’t let this important aspect<br />

slip. If we ride with a low front tyre, we may notice<br />

that the bike understeers, or in other words,<br />

that it’s difficult to stick to the inner curve when<br />

making turns and the bike tends to hug the<br />

outside of lines on the road before it should.<br />

When it’s the back tyre that’s low, the sensation<br />

of struggling to manoeuvre the bike on turns will<br />

be even more obvious; and it will be hard to tilt<br />

the bike and balance it from one side to another<br />

on turns.

And, of course, if the pressure are low on both,<br />

the bike will generally be difficult to ride and will<br />

feel like it’s braking, even when pushing it with the<br />

engine off.<br />

And if the tyre pressure is too high?<br />

In the event that we drive with higher-than-ideal<br />

tyre pressure, it’s most likely that we won’t have<br />

trouble when it comes to handling turns or leaning<br />

the bike from one side to the other. What we will<br />

notice is that bumps and other irregularities in the<br />

asphalt will be felt more intensely, which is to say,<br />

we lose driving comfort, directly affecting our own<br />

comfort.<br />

On the other hand, we have to keep in mind<br />

that riding with incorrect pressure could cause<br />

improper wear on the tyres. If the pressure is low,<br />

the sides of the tread will wear more than they<br />

should; and if the pressure is high, the centre<br />

of the tread will wear first. Additionally, low tyre<br />

pressure increases petrol consumption since<br />

there is greater friction.<br />

How often should we check tyre pressure<br />

on our bikes?<br />

To keep our bikes healthy, it’s typical to read in<br />

the owner’s manual that tyre pressure should be<br />

checked before every use and always adjusted<br />

when necessary, but in reality that’s not necessary<br />

if we use our bike daily and with great care. If<br />

that’s the case, checking tyre pressure every 10<br />

to 15 days should be sufficient. If we only ride on<br />

weekends, then yes, it’s recommended that we<br />

have a look each time before we hop on. And if<br />

the time between one use and another is even<br />

greater, that’s even more reason to verify that the<br />

pressure is correct every time we plan to take a<br />

ride. It’s not unusual that a sitting motorcycle’s<br />

tyres deflate faster than one that’s used daily.

How can we measure the<br />

pressure of<br />

our tyres?<br />

Not everyone who rides has an<br />

air compressor at home with a<br />

good quality pressure gauge<br />

to ensure proper pressure.<br />

Many of us need to check<br />

our tyre pressure at service<br />

stations or at a trusted shop.<br />

If we do it at a gas station,<br />

many times the machines<br />

aren’t so easy to use, so<br />

it’s recommended that you<br />

over-inflate them, then adjust the<br />

pressure manually with your own pressure gauge.<br />

These instruments, which cost around R200 from<br />

Bike Tyre Warehouse, are small in size and weigh<br />

little. There are analogue and digital versions;<br />

and they’re usually pretty simple to use. They can<br />

decrease pressure, but they don’t increase it, so<br />

you have to be careful not to release too much air<br />

than you should.<br />

It’s true that on some bikes, getting<br />

to the valves can be tricky, given the<br />

wide-diameter brake disks and the<br />

design of the wheels. To make this<br />

task simpler, you can install some 90<br />

Degree Valve Extensions, R60 each,<br />

which are angled to the outside of the<br />

tyre and help us to check the pressure<br />

easily and reliably. To avoid spending too<br />

much money putting them in, just have<br />

them installed the next time you change<br />

tyres.<br />

How should motorcycle tyre pressure<br />

be measured?<br />

Tyre air pressure should be checked and adjusted<br />

when tyres are cold, that is, when they are at<br />

ambient temperature. If we have no other choice<br />

and need to check the pressure when the tyres<br />

are hot, we should always keep in mind that the<br />

pressure may be increased by between 0.2 and<br />

0.3 kgf/cm2, which means we should inflate them<br />

just over the proper pressure.

Once you’ve<br />

compared the<br />

pressures, you<br />

should also check<br />

to see if the valves are leaking. We<br />

can do this just by listening, but it’s<br />

more reliable if you wet them a little<br />

with water, or if you don’t have any, with<br />

some saliva. If we detect a leak, it’s most likely<br />

we can stop it by pushing the valve core with a<br />

special key. This simple tool takes up very little<br />

space and costs around R60, so you should<br />

definitely have one on hand. A similar and<br />

even easier solution is a cap that has two small<br />

pins for pushing or loosening the valve cores.<br />

Regardless, we should tighten the caps well<br />

on each valve to avoid dust from getting in and<br />

losing air from the centrifugal force that the valve<br />

core suffers when the wheel spins at fast speeds.<br />

Today, there are bikes that have valve sensors<br />

that constantly control the pressure and transmit<br />

information to the instrument panel so they<br />

we are always aware of it, even in gear. In the<br />

event that our bike doesn’t have this feature,<br />

there are wireless systems on the market with<br />

two valve caps that have a sensor and a small<br />

LCD screen that lets us know the air pressure<br />

at all times. It alerts us when they are lower than<br />

recommended and also when there is a rapid<br />

loss of air. These “plug and play” systems are<br />

fast and easy to install.<br />

Should we follow manufacturer<br />

recommendations for air pressure?<br />

If so, what is the ideal pressure for<br />

motorcycle tyres?<br />

The most common manufacturer pressure<br />

recommendations are 2.5 kgf/cm2 for the front<br />

wheel and 2.9 kgf/cm2 for the back. These are<br />

ideal pressures for travelling at high speeds on<br />

fast roadways and with the maximum allowed<br />

load. However, if we plan to be on the motorcycle<br />

alone without constantly travelling at high speeds,<br />

we can play with the pressure a bit. If we’re going<br />

to stick to curvy roads and our bike is medium<br />

displacement or not excessively heavy, then we

can lower the pressure up to 2.3 kgf/cm2 for the<br />

front and 2.5 kgf/cm2 for rear. That way, we’ll<br />

ensure that the contact area of the tyre with the<br />

asphalt is greater so the tyres can reach their<br />

optimal operation temperature sooner, thus<br />

improving their grip when tilting the bike on curves<br />

and building traction when speeding up.<br />

When it comes to bigger and heavier bikes like<br />

off-road or Grand Touring, we can lower the<br />

pressure slightly, but no lower than 2.4 kgf/cm2<br />

for the front and 2.7 kgf/cm2 for the rear. It’s<br />

also true that when you ride an off-road bike on<br />

sandy or wet terrains, we can lower the pressure<br />

just a little more, but we shouldn’t forget to<br />

increase it when we get back on the road. For<br />

sport scooters, we can lower the pressures to<br />

2.2 and 2.5 kgf/cm2, and if we’re talking about<br />

even lower displacement bikes, we can decrease<br />

the pressures up to 2.0 and 2.2 kgf/cm2. These<br />

are ideal pressures if we’re going to ride alone<br />

and with little extra load. If that’s not the case, we<br />

should inflate them more and follow manufacturer<br />

recommendations.<br />

If we don’t have our hands on the owner’s manual,<br />

we can follow recommendations from the tyre<br />

manufacturer, which are typically indicated on<br />

the side of the tyre, along with the rest of its<br />


Are they the same for all motorcycles?<br />

Depending on the characteristics of each bike<br />

and the type of tyres it has, tyre pressure can vary.<br />

If we’re going to lower the pressure more than<br />

recommended, we should do it slowly and keep<br />

trying it out to see how our bike responds. This is<br />

easier than it sounds. We just need to find out the<br />

manufacturer recommendation and keep testing it<br />

out from there.<br />

On the other hand, sports tyres that have been<br />

designed to be used on asphalt circuits can<br />

have pressures below 2.0 kgf/cm2 given their<br />

carcasses are designed to support pressures<br />

this low. If we must follow tyre manufacturer<br />

recommendations, the rear wheel should be<br />

inflated higher than the front, unlike on the road.<br />

In this case, we can use pressures of around 1.5<br />

kgf/cm2 for the rear and 1.9 kgf/cm2 for the front.<br />

An interesting fact is that in MotoGP, per<br />

regulations, minimum pressure limits are 1.9 kgf/<br />

cm2 for the front tyre and 1.7 kgf/cm2 for the<br />

rear. These limits are set to avoid teams from<br />

lowering pressures more than they should and<br />

causing major safety issues for riders. In fact, in<br />

the past there have been some high-speed rear<br />

tyre blowouts when riding straight, which forced<br />

a change in the regulations and random pressure<br />

checks at the end of races.

FIRST<br />

RIDE<br />

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Ryno Albrecht & George Hadji<br />

BMW M1000R<br />



BMW, a renowned name in the automotive realm, is synonymous with<br />

performance, thanks to its iconic M acronym. In 2021, the German brand<br />

expanded its line of supersport bikes with the introduction of the M1000RR,<br />

designed as the cornerstone for the World Superbike championship. This<br />

groundbreaking model marked a historic moment as the first motorcycle ever to<br />

proudly bear the distinguished M emblem.<br />

Fast forward to the close of 2022, and BMW had once again made waves by<br />

unveiling the world’s inaugural naked bike adorned with the coveted M. Embarking<br />

on dodgy JHB roads, we undertook the exhilarating challenge of unleashing the<br />

full potential of this hypernaked marvel.

POWER<br />

210 bhp @<br />

13,750 rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

113 Nm<br />

@ 11,000rpm<br />

TANK<br />


16.5 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

840mm<br />

WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />


The aggressive looks instantly grabbed my attention<br />

with the new M winglets, which BMW claims not only<br />

enhance aesthetics but also generate aerodynamic<br />

downforce to prevent the bike from taking flight. At<br />

a speed of 220 km/h, these winglets increase the<br />

front-wheel load by 11 kg, providing maximum riding<br />

stability, reducing the tendency for the front wheel to<br />

lift off the road surface, and enabling later braking<br />

and earlier acceleration when cornering.<br />

We previously tested the new spec S1000R a few<br />

months ago and were thoroughly impressed with<br />

the bike as a whole. Thus, our expectations for<br />

BMW’s flagship naked bike were sky-high. The<br />

S1000R, introduced in 2021, shared the 163hp 999cc<br />

inline four-cylinder engine with BMW’s S1000RR<br />

superbike. Some riders found it relatively tame, but<br />

the anticipation grew when BMW announced the<br />

M1000R variant, boasting close to 210hp—a gamechanger<br />

that left enthusiasts, including myself,<br />

grinning from ear to ear. Despite the increased<br />

power, the S1000R and M1000R retained real-world<br />

usability, smooth power delivery, and a comfortable<br />

riding experience, distinct from the overly aggressive<br />

nature of other 200hp-plus bikes in its class. Similar<br />

to the S1000R, the M1000R also features cruise<br />

control and heated grips, enhancing its versatility for<br />

everyday use.<br />

When BMW adorns a vehicle with the M badge, you<br />

can be rest assured you’re in or on the very best.<br />

The 2023 M1000R, BMW’s second M bike, takes the











S1000R to new heights. Featuring M winglets,<br />

carbon enhancements, lighter wheels, M rear<br />

sets, brake and clutch levers, and a standard<br />

Akrapovic exhaust, the M1000R stands out as one<br />

of the most complete out-of-the-crate packages<br />

in its class. The bike’s aesthetics, coupled with<br />

attention to detail, include the highest-spec blue<br />

M calipers, a Nissin front master cylinder, and the<br />

exquisite Blackstorm metallic paint finish, earning<br />

it a perfect 10/10.<br />

While the ideal testing ground for the M1000R<br />

would be the track, BMW SA’s insurance<br />

constraints led us to the road. Despite this<br />

limitation, the engine’s smoothness and gear<br />

changes with the bi-directional quick shifter were<br />

notable. The increase in power, though not as<br />

dramatic as expected, showcased the M1000R’s<br />

remarkable smoothness. During a test with a<br />

Ducati Streetfighter, we ran side by side, even<br />

edging ahead at stages.<br />

The overall feel was reminiscent of the S1000R,<br />

featuring an aggressive yet comfortable and<br />

upright riding position. Adorned with the<br />

widened embroidered tubular handlebar and<br />

bar-end mirrors, the M1000R ignited a genuine<br />

desire to attack. The M logo is prominently<br />

displayed everywhere, emphasizing the<br />

uniqueness of the ride.










The M1000R not only produces around 44bhp more than<br />

the S1000R but is also revvier, with peak power delivered<br />

at 13,750rpm. The ShiftCam technology ensures a smooth<br />

power delivery, making it equally easy to ride at low and high<br />

revs. Despite slightly less torque, the M1000R’s engine is<br />

adaptable and easy to manage throughout the rev range,<br />

a rarity for a 200bhp-plus superbike and super naked. The<br />

claimed top speed is 280kph, slightly less at 260kph in our<br />

test, with an impressive 0-200kph time of just over 7 seconds.<br />

The M1000R offers two riding mode worlds: for the road and<br />

the racetrack. With various traditional and additional riding<br />

modes, electronic rider aids, and adjustable slip settings,<br />

the M1000R provides a customizable riding experience. The<br />

electronic suspension and chassis are based on the S1000R,<br />

featuring an aluminum bridge frame, upside-down fork, and<br />

Dynamic Damping Control (DDC). The M1000R handles well<br />

around bends, but some stability issues were noted during<br />

acceleration out of bends to higher speeds. The steering,<br />

particularly at high speeds, felt overly light, causing a subtle<br />

headshake that was consistent across different riders, road<br />

conditions, and wind levels. Despite investigations into<br />

potential causes, including winglets and adjustable steering<br />

damper settings, the issue remained unresolved.<br />

In conclusion, the M1000R is a masterpiece of art and<br />

engineering. While it excels in many aspects, including sharp<br />

brakes, a smooth and addictive motor, and top-notch quality<br />

and finish, it didn’t deliver the significant improvement over<br />

the S1000R that was anticipated. Priced from R<strong>37</strong>7,050.00,<br />

it still offers excellent value for money. Just one look, and it’s<br />

hard to deny its allure.


M1000R VS S1000R (23) AND<br />



I will be honest: When Shaun called me and<br />

asked if I would be keen to go for a typical<br />

Hartbeespoort dam ride with him on a Sunday<br />

morning, I was rather excited because the bike he<br />

would be bringing would be the (relatively) new<br />

BMW M1000R “super” naked.<br />

He arrived at my place, and I got to check the<br />

machine out. At first, I was somewhat sceptical, as<br />

having seen loads of pictures and watched tons<br />

of video reviews, the one thing I did not like on the<br />

bike was the wings.<br />

I can tell you it looks GREAT in person, and those<br />

concerns soon vanished.<br />

I rode the first stage of our ride on my Ducati, as I<br />

had just returned from a deployment abroad for a<br />

few months. I just wanted to get the feel of riding<br />

again on something I knew. Shaun threw me the<br />

keys to the BMW at our first fuel stop and told me<br />

to have at it.

Given I tested the new gen S1000R for the mag<br />

and owned a 2015 S1000R and 2021 S1000RR<br />

for quite some time, I was HAPPY too. The bonus<br />

was that I would be riding the same roads I did<br />

when I tested the S1000R about 2 years ago.<br />

From the start, I noticed how “at home” I felt on<br />

the BMW. The instrument cluster and controls<br />

are similar to my current 1250GS and what I had<br />

on my 1000RR. The riding position was quite<br />

comfortable, even for my unique physique.<br />

We had some open roads, so I decided to<br />

investigate the performance of the M1000R<br />

(within legal limits, I promise!).<br />

I found the bike to have a lot of torque, and she<br />

loved to launch from stops and traffic lights.<br />

The now basically standard quick shifter on the<br />

M1000R was BUTTER smooth, with no missed<br />

shifts, false neutrals or anything nasty. However,<br />

on the test bike we had, I had some issues getting<br />

my big left foot under the shifter now and then, but<br />

luckily, said shifter is adjustable, and if it was my<br />

bike, it would have been set up for me.<br />

The Akrapovic slip-on on the bike gave her a<br />

beautiful inline 4 scream, but not to the extent that<br />

you would go deaf after about 30 minutes of riding.<br />

The machine’s handling was perfect, as you<br />

come to expect from BMW. The bike went where<br />

I wanted to go when I wanted it to. With the riding<br />

we were doing on what was not the greatest of<br />

roads, the suspension soaked up the bumps and<br />

road surfaces while still giving a good feel and<br />

great support under braking.

In the handling department, I picked up a few<br />

points that had me wondering about the M1000R.<br />

Firstly, I noticed quite some vibrations coming<br />

through the handlebars into my hands, which was<br />

odd, as I had nothing like that on the S1000R.<br />

Secondly, the front end felt relatively “light and<br />

loose” at speed, which, again, I find odd given<br />

it has those enormous wings that most modern<br />

performance bikes now come with.<br />

From a comfort standpoint, the bike was<br />

extremely comfortable for being a super naked<br />

sports bike. The bars are in just the right place,<br />

and you don’t have that hunched-over weight on<br />

your wrists superbike thing happening.<br />

The M seat on the bike was also rather plush, and<br />

my behind thanked me after the ride.<br />

The other interesting thing I noticed was, FOR<br />

A NAKED BIKE, the wind buffeting on the chest<br />

and helmet, and thus tensing the neck muscles<br />

to exhaustion, was not as bad as on some other<br />

naked bikes I have ridden in the past.<br />

In conclusion, I find the M1000R to be a great bike,<br />

as you would expect from a premium brand such<br />

as BMW Motorrad. The M looks AMAZING in the<br />

black we tested and made for gorgeous photos.<br />

The dilemma I was left with, and battled for a<br />

week after riding the bike, is whether I would have<br />

the M, or the standard S1000R. I would still go for<br />

the S1000R, but this is purely personal bias.<br />

On the other side of this dilemma, would I sell<br />

my current Ducati Streetfighter V4S and get a<br />

M1000R? I don’t think so.
















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




It’s always exciting to witness the launch of new<br />

racing teams, a rarity in the South African scene in<br />

recent years. <strong>MRW</strong> had the privilege of attending the<br />

unveiling of the Lumi Ducati Racing Team at Ducati<br />

South Africa. This Factory Ducati initiative is the<br />

brainchild of Siphiwe Tom, a passionate motorsport<br />

enthusiast and successful businessman.

Siphiwe’s journey in motorcycling began in 1998,<br />

took a hiatus, and resumed in 2020. He hit the<br />

track in 2021, participating in occasional track<br />

days. In the 2022 MRSSA series, he showcased<br />

his skills on a BMW, securing impressive<br />

results despite missing events due to business<br />

commitments. In 2023, he made the switch to a<br />

Ducati Panigale V4, leading to the inception of the<br />

Lumi Ducati Racing Team.<br />

For a racing outfit’s success, strong partnerships<br />

are essential, and the Lumi Ducati Racing Team<br />

is well-supported by Ducati South Africa, Sigba<br />

Capital, Freckle Eyewear, and more. Geared up for<br />

the 2024 MRSSA racing series, this professional<br />

team is set to make its mark.

The team will feature two riders for the 2024<br />

season. Siphiwe Tom, competing in the fiercely<br />

contested BOTTS class, and Themba Khumalo,<br />

making a return to competitive racing in both the<br />

BOTTS class and the Ultimate Superbike 1000<br />

Class.<br />

Themba Khumalo’s journey is an incredible<br />

tale of success, starting in 2007. From pocket<br />

bike champion to international wildcards, he<br />

has made an impact both locally and abroad.<br />

Despite setbacks, including injuries and funding<br />

challenges, Themba has persevered and<br />

contributed to motorsport as a rider coach.<br />

In 2022, Themba dominated the Zwartkops<br />

Thunderbikes series, winning every race on a<br />

600 against 1000cc Superbikes. Now, he’s set to<br />

officially return to high-level racing with the Lumi<br />

Ducati Racing Team’s Panigale V4S, aiming to put<br />

Ducati back on the podium in South Africa.<br />

As the team embarks on their 2024 campaign,<br />

<strong>MRW</strong> will keep you updated on their progress<br />

throughout the year. Best of luck to the Lumi<br />

Ducati Racing Team!

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




Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller is reaching<br />

the end of his first term with the KTM RC16 in<br />

MotoGP. The 28-year-old Australian has now ridden<br />

and taken podiums with three different bikes in the<br />

premier class. What exactly goes into shaping and<br />

creating a race ‘package’ that can top 360 kmph?

Jack Miller provided a shocking sight at the first<br />

round of 2023 MotoGP in Portugal. #43 was<br />

using his new RC16 to leap down the hill like it<br />

was a KTM SX-F, was performing ‘stoppies’ and<br />

bending the motorcycle to his will around the<br />

Algarve International Circuit like a KTM ‘veteran’.<br />

In fact, Miller had only accrued six full days on<br />

the bike before he had to enter the fierce heat of<br />

MotoGP competition, where aerodynamics and<br />

other prototype innovations are still squashing<br />

the best riders in the world together by slithers<br />

of a second. His level of comfort and familiarity<br />

and therefore speed opened the eyes of many<br />

watching, and he’s been a regular at the front of<br />

the MotoGP field ever since.<br />

ack is a talented rider, a multi Grand Prix winner<br />

with 23 podium appearances and a skilled<br />

motorcyclist regardless of the smoothness of<br />

the tires but this adaptation to the character and<br />

idiosyncrasies of a brand new bike was amazingly<br />

quick. Was it just about ergonomics? Was it also<br />

other customization factors? It’s no secret that<br />

Miller and his crew have been chasing the final<br />

tweaks of setup (electronics, balance, chassis)<br />

to convert from a top 7-8 campaigner to a more<br />

consistent podium challenger. “Yeah, that’s been<br />

the story for some GPs this year: I need more, and<br />

how do I get the feeling to be better?” he says to<br />

us, slightly wistfully. “The level is so high, and the<br />

level is always being pushed so you are always<br />

searching for that extra ‘bit’.”

‘Syncing’ with the RC16 was a fresh task this<br />

year and Miller quickly accomplished 80-90% in a<br />

matter of days and weeks. He has been working<br />

and searching for the rest and, of course, it can be<br />

a tricky and drawn-out process of trial and error.<br />

Today we’re interested in the 80-90%, which is<br />

already staggering when you consider the faith<br />

that Jack needs in his motorcycle to explore the<br />

limits of risk.<br />

Jack, the first job with a brand-new race bike<br />

must be ergonomics, right? You need to find<br />

your position and ‘place’ with it…<br />

Yeah, because you are hopping on something<br />

that someone else has ridden. You make it yours<br />

in terms of that first contact by feeling the bars,<br />

levers and pegs. But, to be honest, I don’t like to<br />

make many changes at first and like to roll out and<br />

understand how the bike is…because there are a<br />

number of reasons why it is set up like it is. Then<br />

you start to make changes as you see fit. A lot of<br />

people may have demands; like the seat being<br />

at a certain height or the levers at a certain angle<br />

but I think those settings are usually from another<br />

motorbike. I think you have to swallow your pride a<br />

bit and understand how the bike feels and works<br />

before you start to mold it.<br />

Being that open-minded must be quite a<br />


Sure, but you do that early in your career. I learned<br />

this approach during my years in MotoGP and the<br />

importance of looking in all areas for improvement. If<br />

you don’t then you can overlook a lot of things and miss<br />

stuff.<br />

Is there much scope for personalization with<br />

the race bike?<br />

You<br />

wh<br />

any<br />

Pretty much, and you get down to the nitty-gritty. On<br />

a motocross bike there is not all that much you can<br />

really change. Something like bar bend is, for us, the<br />

angle that we’ll have the clip-ons. I think we have the<br />

freedom to play around a lot more than those guys<br />

[motocrossers] do. They might play with footpeg heights<br />

and it’s the same for us but then we go further than<br />

where the pegs are and the lever positions; we have the<br />

location of the buttons, the dash and then it gets a bit<br />

more complex like where your knees sit in the fuel tank.<br />

Do you get a feel for what you need after just<br />

a few laps?<br />

Definitely. When I rolled out in Valencia [2022 and the<br />

one-day post season test] I felt like I was sat on top of<br />

the front tire! That’s not so much about ergonomics but<br />

the way the bike was setup to be very short and tight.<br />

I told the guys that I could not use the full power of the<br />

brakes like I’m used to or accelerate like I’d want to.<br />

What about saddle and tank shape?<br />

We’re still playing with that now and perhaps now more<br />

than ever. That’s the stuff you refine once you are comfy.<br />

You maybe want a little bit more grip here or support<br />

and contact area there. You never know until you actually<br />

go racing where you ‘are’…I think that’s the same in any<br />

sport when it comes to preparation. If you are putting on<br />

an act then it will soon disappear when it comes down to<br />

the racing; the same if you have been sand-bagging! It’s<br />

just about being as comfortable and as confident as you<br />

can. I find that I talk to myself: “this feels a little better”<br />

or “that doesn’t work” or “I can’t brake here” and you<br />

mentally make notes as you are riding. Your senses are<br />

on high-alert I guess, and you are picking up every little<br />

thing the bike is doing and being as precise as you can.<br />

You then need to remember it and be able to give that<br />

feedback to the boys in the box.

never know until you actually go racing<br />

ere you ‘are’…I think that’s the same in<br />

sport when it comes to preparation.

It must be cool to have something that<br />

advanced and specialized created<br />

specifically for you…<br />

It’s a sick relationship to have. It can be a blessing<br />

and a curse because you can jump on someone’s<br />

else’s bike and think ‘this is a piece of s**t’ or ‘oh,<br />

this is alright’ but when you’ve built a bike yourself<br />

then you have to stick with it and it’s about taking<br />

responsibility. Obviously, we are only as good<br />

as the stuff we are given but that’s when your<br />

feedback and your comments are taken onboard<br />

– and it depends on how good the factory is – then<br />

you should be able to ride and race what you want.<br />

The quality of the bike is also a reflection of<br />

your ability…<br />

You try not to think about that too much…but<br />

obviously it is always there. If you have done<br />

your job properly then there should not be any<br />

questions to ask. You should feel right with your

ike and if you are not then you shouldn’t be able<br />

to pass the blame to somebody else; you are the<br />

one telling them what to do.<br />

By the same token, it must be very rewarding to<br />

develop something that can do the job…<br />

Exactly. It is another one of those satisfying things.<br />

You might not be going great in the races at some<br />

points but you have to remember ‘big picture<br />

things’. When you look back and reflect then it<br />

is pretty cool to have had that opportunity to be<br />

in that position and be at one with a bike and<br />

work on it as much as we do. We have so many<br />

things we can change, tinker and touch. You can<br />

get lost pretty quickly but then that’s when you<br />

have to surround yourself with the right crew. At<br />

the end of the day you are paid to be a rider and<br />

not an engineer. All you can do is give your best<br />

feedback and hope to Christ that the boys can<br />

interpret it right. It is cool to look back and think<br />

‘this thing is f**king fast…and we’ve done that’.


Legend<br />

Status<br />


Watch it all on our<br />

YouTube Channel<br />



ADF 9000 AIR<br />




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

FIRST<br />


Legend<br />

Status<br />

The BMW GS has always been a giant in the<br />

adventure motorcycle segment, both physically<br />

and metaphorically speaking. By far the most<br />

popular bike in its class, since its release way<br />

back in 2004, and is only getting more popular<br />

by the day. Forty-three years. That’s how long<br />

it’s been since BMW released the first R 80 G/S<br />

to the public- can you believe it? With BMW<br />

having recently released their all-new R1300GS<br />

we thought we would take one last look at the<br />

1250GS, with the revised R1250GS Trophy. The<br />

last revision before the next generation of 1300cc.

I say this every time about the GS, but it’s a<br />

bike you generally always mock or abuse until<br />

you ride it. It is one of the most, if not the most<br />

versatile and adaptable motorcycles on the<br />

market today. You can argue this point all you<br />

want but the facts simply don’t lie. In 2022 alone,<br />

close to 60,000 units were sold worldwide of<br />

the GS and GSA. If that does tell you all that<br />

you need to know about the popularity and cult<br />

following of the GS, then I don’t know what will.<br />

The GS Trophy sets itself apart from a normal<br />

GS with its bright work which is rather eyecatching<br />

and if you were to park a Trophy next<br />

to a standard GS you would instantly see the<br />

difference. The colour you get with the Trophy is<br />

Gravity Blue Metallic, but there’s much more to it<br />

than just paint.<br />

The GS Trophy pays homage to the firm’s GS<br />

Trophy Rally or GS Challenge as it’s better known,<br />

is the ultimate test of man and machine which<br />

puts teams from countries around the globe<br />

against each other in a series of challenges using<br />

BMW’s R1250GS. The ever-popular liquid-cooled<br />

1254cc flat-twin boxer motor with ShiftCam<br />

remains the same, with 136hp and 143NM of<br />

torque. BMW has perfected the motor on the<br />

GS with years of development and adjustments<br />

and the 1250 motor is the best of them to date.<br />

(Not taking the 1300 into account of course).<br />

The Trophy has a wide spread of torque, from<br />

down low to up high in the rev range. The GS<br />

and GSA Trophy are the last iteration of BMW’s<br />

1250GS. The Trophy, which we have on test here<br />

comes standard with spotlights, handguards,<br />

heated rider, and passenger ergo seats as well<br />

as that special livery. In addition, the Trophy is<br />

also equipped with cross-spoke wheels, a sports<br />

windshield, radiator protectors, frame protectors,<br />

and enduro footpegs.

The riding experience is typical GS, and what I<br />

would imagine riding on a cloud would feel like.<br />

The upright riding position and wide handlebars<br />

are extremely well-suited for short or long<br />

distances, in all terrain. The two-section frame,<br />

front- and bolted-on rear frame with the loadbearing<br />

engine has the perfect amount of rigidity<br />

and flex to optimize performance and comfort. We<br />

all know that the GS isn’t the lightest of adventure<br />

bikes, starting at 249kg, but most of the time it<br />

discusses that fact quite well. It is surprisingly<br />

nimble and agile for its weight and handles like<br />

snot sticking to a rug, thanks in part to its frame<br />

but also its electronic suspension which works<br />

wonders and is adaptable to varying conditions.<br />

Speaking about electronics, there is a plethora to<br />

keep you in check on the Trophy as with all the<br />

GS models. LED lights all around, including the

indicators which also double as daytime running<br />

lights, increasing road presence and your<br />

visibility to others while riding. Tarmacked roads,<br />

wet roads, or unpaved gravel roads: Up to seven<br />

riding modes are available on the R 1250 GS to<br />

ensure optimum grip and superior handling at<br />

all times. When the vehicle is stationary, you can<br />

pre-select up to four riding modes individually in<br />

the menu, which you can then select quickly and<br />

conveniently during the journey using the riding<br />

mode button by simply selecting the desired<br />

mode and closing the throttle. The new dynamic<br />

engine brake control provides more stability<br />

and easy control of the bike in the Pro riding<br />

modes; it prevents the rear wheel from slipping<br />

or jerking. And in the new standard ECO Mode,<br />

you get the maximum range from every tank of<br />

fuel. The Enduro mode on the Trophy allows you<br />

to bring the best out of your GS and yourself<br />

off-road by reducing rear wheel slip without<br />

compromising on performance and acceleration.<br />

In addition, it also has ABS Pro and Dynamic<br />

Traction Control, making riding safer under<br />

changing riding conditions.

The R1250GS Trophy is built to last with some<br />

of the best build quality out there. The 7” TFT<br />

dash is easy to navigate using BMW’s navigation<br />

wheel. On the TFT display, the BMW Motorrad<br />

Connected App gives you a clear view of<br />

your navigation and all your data. The large<br />

windscreen can be adjusted using the knob and<br />

offers you protection from changing weather<br />

conditions and the wind in general. Thanks to<br />

the USB charging socket, your cellphone or<br />

electronic accessories will always have charge.<br />

The cruise control works well and is easy to<br />

operate. I also love the quick shifter and auto-blip<br />

which becomes addictive to use and is smoother<br />

at higher revs than lower in the range.<br />

As BMW says: “The R 1250 GS Adventure lives<br />

up to its name. It is robust and easily masters the<br />

challenge, no matter how great. The extensive<br />

equipment options provide you with everything<br />

you need for your journey. Now it’s on you: Make<br />

it your GS.” Starting at just R322 900-00 you too<br />

could own one of the best all-round bikes, ever<br />




ADF 9000 AIR<br />

Introducing the latest addition to Scorpion’s lineup<br />

of off-road/adventure helmets, the Scorpion ADF<br />

9000, a cutting-edge touring adventure motorcycle<br />

helmet. Alongside its off-road counterparts like the<br />

Scorpion ADX-2, we’ll explore how well this helmet<br />

performs on the open road! Pics & Words by Ryno Albrecht

As a recently converted meerkat, I have been on<br />

the hunt for a decent helmet, trying to figure out<br />

what I like and what works best to protect my<br />

precious little grey matter.<br />

I had an Arai TX4, widely ranted and raved about<br />

as one of the best Adventure helmets on the<br />

market, but it was not cutting it for me. More on<br />

that a little later.<br />

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I got a call<br />

from the team at Henderson Racing Products,<br />

the importers and distributors of Scorpion<br />

helmets. The gentleman on the other side of the<br />

phone prompted me to come and visit and have<br />

a red bull, which I graciously accepted.<br />

On Arrival, the Henderson Racing team, noting<br />

my enthusiasm for being a meerkat “adventure<br />

rider” offered me the opportunity to test the<br />

brand new and soon-to-be-released Scorpion<br />

ADF-9000 Air helmet. This is an opportunity I<br />

GLADLY accepted, as I love trying and testing<br />

new bits, be it bikes, parts, gear, or even routes.<br />

What follows are my impressions of living with<br />

this helmet for quite some time, and riding<br />

dirt, road, highways and byways, commuting,<br />

breakfast runs, adventure runs with mates and<br />

just generally what a new owner of one of these<br />

FANTASTIC helmets can expect.<br />

Firstly, let us cover what you get in the box:<br />

As with ALL premium Scorpion helmets, you<br />

get the helmet itself, the clear visor, a dark<br />

smoke visor and one pin-lock, with the usual<br />

chin curtain, manual, and helmet bag. The<br />

other REALLY lovely thing I found out is that this<br />

helmet has the option (all bits included in the<br />

box) to fit an action camera mount straight to<br />

your chin! That is a pretty cool little feature, as it<br />

means you don’t have to mess about with these<br />

cheap after-market chin mounts, tape, glue,<br />

adhesives and other nonsense!<br />

Now for the details on the ADF-9000 air:<br />

This incredible helmet is Scorpion’s flagship to<br />

their adventure line. It is the sister to their top-ofthe-line<br />

R1 Air, FIM homologated helmet that you

see on race tracks every weekend and features<br />

quite a few of the same things.<br />

The construction of the helmet is done with<br />

Scorpion’s proprietary TCT Ultra process, which<br />

Scorpion describe as: “Scorpion’s next evolution<br />

of TCT fibreglass shell technology. Pre-Preg is<br />

a sophisticated process that places pre-infused<br />

fibre mats in moulds at precise temperatures and<br />

pressures, resulting in a lighter, stronger shell that<br />

provides superior durability and performance.”<br />

For the plain guy riding in the mud, this translates<br />

to a strong, safe, durable outer shell that is SAFE,<br />

light, and comfortable. The Kwikwick III liner<br />

keeps the rider dry and cool on the inside. I can<br />

honestly say the padding in this helmet is some<br />

of the most comfortable I have ever had the<br />

honour of experiencing.<br />

During the LOVELY summer weather we are<br />

experiencing, it wicks the moisture away and<br />

cools nicely with the venting system.<br />

The helmet is well-ventilated, keeping you cool,<br />

with 2 vents on the head and a large chin vent.<br />

Even when working on the slower stuff.<br />

The first GREAT feature on the safety side of<br />

the ADF-9000 air is the titanium double D rings.<br />

Coming from track riding and as someone in<br />

the medical field, I feel these are a must on<br />

all helmets. They are extremely strong and<br />

robust, keeping the helmet in place even during<br />

significant shunts.<br />

Additionally, the ADF is also ECE 22.06 safety<br />

rated from the EU. In meerkat language, it is<br />

tested to a better standard to ensure your IQ<br />

does not drop every time you do.<br />

ECE 22.06 is a comprehensive change that<br />

spans multiple tests, the entire range of sizes<br />

and shells per model, and all the variations in<br />

between. Plus, it’s not just the impact attenuation<br />

or the shell thickness that will be tested, but also<br />

the helmet design, which includes stuff like the<br />

visor, sun visor, chin bar, fasteners, and even the<br />

labels on the helmet.

Both a safety and comfort feature is the weight of<br />

the helmet. The model I tested weighed in at 1550g<br />

with the pin-lock fitted. That’s 100g lighter than<br />

a competitor (which I also own and is NOT ECE<br />

22.06 certified), and you can feel the difference on<br />

your neck and shoulders on longer rides.<br />

One of the other significant factors with<br />

adventure helmets is the peak and the vibration<br />

that comes off it. I can hand on heart say, of all<br />

the ADV helmets I have ridden with and own, the<br />

Scorpion stands head and shoulders above the<br />

rest. The peak is fastened by three thumb screws<br />

for ease of removal.<br />

The vibration on the peak, even at speeds that<br />

would make you buy cool drinks and lunch, is a<br />

non-event. It’s so minimal you can’t notice it.<br />

The other factor that really stood out for me,<br />

even in the first 15 minutes of riding with the lid,<br />

is the fact that the peak does not catch the wind

at all, whereas on a leading competitor (which I<br />

own), if you by accident come out behind your<br />

ADV bike’s screen, and that peak catches wind,<br />

it wants to snap your neck. This impressed me<br />

and made riding at higher highway speeds much<br />

more fun and comfortable.<br />

One of the lovely little details that Scorpion<br />

added to the ADF 9000 air is the drop-down sun<br />

visor for those sunny days. You can keep your<br />

clear visor in place if you plan to get home late.<br />

It also features grooves if you want to ride with<br />

glasses or sunglasses.<br />

The visor has a great quick-release system where<br />

you line it up with tabs on the side of the helmet.<br />

It just pulls off, so there is no fiddling with plastic<br />

screws and catches if you want to put on your<br />

goggles or slip that sexy dark smoke visor.<br />

The action camera mount I mentioned earlier is<br />

PERFECT for capturing those epic rides or just<br />

recording your morning commutes. It is stable<br />

and robust and does not hamper the wearer’s<br />

line of sight.<br />

The ADF-9000 also has pre-cut inserts for<br />

the comms system of your choice. I fitted my<br />

old Cardo Freecom 4 system to it in about 15<br />

minutes. This brings us to the noise factor.<br />

The helmet is pretty damn quiet wind wise, sure<br />

like any adventure helmet, there will be some. Still,<br />

the excellent visor sealing system and great fit<br />

limits wind noise. I enjoyed long rides listening to<br />

my favourite tunes without any issues. I also had<br />

to take some phone calls, one of which was WITH<br />

Mr Henderson himself, and he did not believe I<br />

was doing 1**km/h on a highway at that point.

The ADF 9000 Air, as the name suggests, also<br />

features Scoprion’s proprietary AirFit system,<br />

which gives you inflatable cheek pads for that<br />

ultra-customized fit. “AIRFIT® CHEEKPAD<br />


revolutionized the helmet market with the<br />

introduction of our AirFit® cheek pad inflation<br />

system. Riders have differently shaped<br />

cheekbones. Using the inflation ball, you can<br />

achieve a snugger fit with fewer pressure points,<br />

so the helmet vibrates and lifts less at higher<br />

speeds. Developed for the everyday rider but<br />

requested and used by world-class MotoGP<br />

racers.”<br />

In conclusion, The Scorpion ADF 9000 Air is one<br />

AMAZING helmet, PACKED with features you<br />

would be really hard-pressed to find elsewhere in<br />

an adventure helmet or beat.<br />

I love this helmet so much that I have gotten rid<br />

of my Arai TX-4, and I have not missed it one bit<br />

in all my time spent riding with the Scorpion.<br />

The Scorpion is lighter, quieter, more<br />

comfortable, offers more to the rider, comes<br />

with a GREAT 5-year warranty (longer than some<br />

premium bikes), and spare parts will be readily<br />

available.<br />

The other highlight of the Scorpion ADF 9000 Air<br />

is the price point. You get ALL of this I mentioned<br />

at the staggering R9500 (recommended retail<br />

price) Incl VAT.<br />

That is a LOT of bang for your hard-earned<br />

rands, and most probably the last ADV helmet<br />

you will buy for a good couple of years.

Words & Pics: Shaun Portman<br />



E-BIKES<br />

Electric bikes are rapidly gaining popularity in the motor industry, and the trend hasn’t<br />

stopped there. Over the past few years, electric power has infiltrated the cycling world,<br />

giving rise to the phenomenon of E-bikes. While E-bikes may not be as prominent in<br />

South Africa, they have become the latest trend in the cycling world, especially in Europe.<br />

In some regions, they’ve even outpaced the popularity of their traditional, humanpowered<br />

counterparts. In this feature we put the new Husqvarna E-Bikes to the test.

One of the most popular and oldest motorcycle<br />

brands, Husqvarna has decided to dip its feet<br />

in this ever-growing pond with its all-new range<br />

of Husqvarna E-bikes. And finally, they are<br />

available here in South Africa, so we decided to<br />

do something a little different and take them for<br />

a spin. Available in a few different variants here<br />

in SA, namely the LC2, MC2, MC4, MC6, and<br />

HC4, they are poised, primed, and ready to mix<br />

it with the very best of them in SA. Chart new<br />

routes and discover new rides on the Light Cross<br />

2. Intuitive handling from the light and agile<br />

aluminium frame and 120mm suspension travel<br />

helps deliver joyful rides on mellow to mediumtype<br />

terrain. The LC2 is fitted with the Shimano<br />

EP6 motor and a Core S1+ 630Wh battery.<br />

The MC2 is an All-Mountain 150mm travel eMTB<br />

that knows no boundaries. A dynamic, aluminium<br />

chassis supports superb handling on every<br />

trail surface with the MC2 coming equipped<br />

with the new Shimano EP6 motor, creating a<br />

powerful but natural ride feel. Intended to elevate<br />

your eMTB experience, the MC4 is at home in<br />

the mountains. Benefitting from the Shimano<br />

EP801 motor upgrade, the carbon frame design<br />

houses the EP801 in an upstanding position to<br />

improve passive cooling and boost performance<br />

capabilities. A new charging port location makes<br />

it easier than ever to charge the 720Wh battery.<br />

The Mountain Cross 6 is the flagship of the<br />

Mountain Cross fleet. Re-designed from the<br />

ground up, it’s Husqvarna’s vision of what<br />

an All-Mountain eMTB should be. A uniquely<br />

formed, full-carbon frame offers an incredibly<br />

intuitive and balanced riding experience, for both<br />

descending and climbing. Now improved further

with the new Shimano EP801 motor, it’s more<br />

responsive and capable on the trails than ever<br />

before. A new charging port allows seamless<br />

charging of the 720Wh battery. And finally, the<br />

HC4. A top-flight E-Enduro bike, with the right<br />

geometry numbers in all the right places, the<br />

HC4 helps build rider confidence when tackling<br />

the steepest and most technical terrain. Mixed<br />

wheel sizes make for dynamic cornering, and the<br />

burly 180/170mm suspension platform soaks up<br />

the biggest jumps. The Shimano EP801 motor<br />

and 720Wh battery ensure all-day fun either in<br />

the bike park or on the mountain.<br />

For this test though I would be riding the MC2,<br />

in Large. Completely stock standard except for<br />

the cleated pedals and I wouldn’t be alone as<br />

I was joined by Sheridan Morais who amongst<br />

motorcycles is also an avid cyclist. Having not<br />

cycled for ages and having never ridden an<br />

E-bike, I was excited to tackle the Wolwespruit<br />

MTB and Trail Park out in Pretoria. The first thing<br />

that struck me about the E-bike was the weight,<br />

especially when comparing it to a normal MTB.<br />

I was baffled as to how I was going to get this<br />

thing up hills and through the trails, not yet aware<br />

of the assistance the E-bike would offer me.

As far as looks go, I am sure that you will agree<br />

that these bikes are a looker! Painted in the<br />

traditional Husqvarna blue and white, they<br />

definitely stood out with their aggressive stance.<br />

The MC2 I had for the morning also benefitted<br />

from Lumo Yellow accents, further highlighting<br />

the aggressive appeal and stance. My own<br />

MTB is also fitted with 27.5“/584mm wheels<br />

so I was eager to compare notes between the<br />

two. The 27.5 wheel is notorious for being a<br />

great compromise between agility and speed.<br />

Since the 27.5 wheel is smaller than a 29 but<br />

larger than a 26, this makes the bike easier to<br />

maneuver, accelerate, and corner. Not that you<br />

can’t do any of this on a 29er, but it’s genuinely<br />

easier to do with a smaller wheel size. A 29er<br />

does roll better though with the main advantages<br />

being a noticeable increase in stability and<br />

rollover ability. At higher speeds, you’re still in<br />

control and you’ll have a smoother ride. Though<br />

these bikes do have slower acceleration, once<br />

you’re there, it’s easier to maintain speed.<br />

Eager to see if these principles would apply and/<br />

or make a difference on an eMTB, we hit the trails.<br />

The frame is a 27.5”, Alloy 6061 with an integrated<br />

Core S1+, 630 Wh, 36 V, 17.5 Ah battery.<br />

Battery life and range vary and depend on use<br />

and rider weight, with 3 riding modes or rather<br />

assistance levels to choose from: Eco, Trial, and<br />

Boost. Eco mode draws the least assistance<br />

from the Shimano EP6, DU-EP600, 250 W, 85<br />

Nm motor, allowing you to maximize your range<br />

with the least assistance. Perfect for those long<br />

flat, boring sections. Trial mode offers way more<br />

assistance and this is where I kept the bike for<br />

most of the time. You can feel the power and<br />

assistance it provides all the way up to the limit<br />

of 25kph(European E-bikes are restricted). You<br />

barely have to pedal and I found myself pedaling<br />

with minimal effort as the silky smooth motor<br />

assisted me perfectly creating barely any rolling<br />

resistance. When we needed to tackle steep and<br />

sometimes rocky inclines, I selected Boost mode<br />

which should be renamed to Beast mode. It was<br />

actually cheating, that’s how easily the MC2<br />

tackled rough and steep inclines. We passed<br />

normal MTBs as if they were going backwards,<br />

without even trying!

The modes are displayed on a Shimano SC-<br />

EN600 LCD-Display(Bluetooth) which also gives<br />

you important information like assistance and<br />

battery level, time, distance, speed, and a service<br />

warning to name a few. You can toggle and<br />

navigate this display by using the Shimano SW-<br />

EN600-L mode switch, mounted on the LH side<br />

of the handlebar. Charging time from empty to<br />

full is around 3.5 hours and the range on a single<br />

charge is over 60km. The larger 720 Wh battery<br />

fitted to some of the models will obviously give<br />

u more range, whereas the smaller 630 Wh<br />

versions will give you less.<br />

Despite being rather heavy ‘for a bicycle’, the<br />

Husqvarna MC2 is rather well-balanced. It’s<br />

stable and pinpoint-accurate making it fun to<br />

jump and rip through the trails. The RockShox 35<br />

Gold RL, DebonAir, Air, 150 mm, tapered fork,<br />

and RockShox Deluxe Select+, Air, 230x62.5 mm<br />

rear shock work in perfect harmony and are both<br />

plush and robust. I would definitely stiffen them<br />

up for my weight, especially the front which I did<br />

bottom out quite often. This can be easily done

and set up according to your weight, etc. The<br />

geometry of the frame is ideal with the perfect<br />

blend of aggression and precision.<br />

The brakes were good considering the extra<br />

weight they have to keep in check, bike and me<br />

included! On the front and rear, you have a SRAM<br />

DB8, 4-piston, Hydraulic disc brake with a SRAM<br />

Centerline, 200 mm, 6-hole rotor. The front brake<br />

isn’t as snatchy or aggressive as you would find<br />

on a normal MTB, maybe something to do with<br />

the extra weight but it does get the job done and<br />

more importantly, is consistent and fade-free!<br />

As you would expect the group set is also top<br />

quality with a SRAM SX Eagle 12-S rear derailleur,<br />

SRAM PG-1230 11-50 T cassette, SRAM SX<br />

Eagle chain, SRAM X-Sync Eagle, 34 T chainring,<br />

Shimano FC-EM600, Aluminum forged, Shimano<br />

EP24 crank arm and SRAM SX Eagle, Single Click<br />

shift lever. The group set works together in perfect<br />

harmony and is both direct and smooth making<br />

shifting gears up and down a breeze with no<br />

notchy moments to worry about.<br />

The Husky MC2 is so easy to ride and adaptable.<br />

I was pleasantly surprised at just how agile and<br />

nimble it was- more than I was expecting! Priced<br />

at just R99 999.00 the MC2 is good value for<br />

money in the E-bike world. So whether you are<br />

a pro or just getting into cycling, the range of<br />

Husqvarna E-bikes are the perfect tool. And<br />

wouldn’t you know it, just in time for Christmas!<br />

Starting from just R89 999.00 the range of<br />

Husqvarna E-bikes are now available at selected,<br />

authorised Husqvarna dealers nationwide.

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