MRW Issue 42

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90<br />

ISSUE <strong>42</strong><br />

KTM<br />


UKE<br />

990<br />

DUKE<br />

90<br />

The new Duke pushed<br />

to the limit around<br />

Redstar Raceway<br />

UKE<br />


YAMAHA<br />

XSR900 GP<br />

A masterfully blend<br />

of nostalgia and<br />

modernity<br />



Welcome to another thrilling edition of<br />

our digital motorcycle magazine! In this<br />

<strong>42</strong>nd issue, we’re revving up to bring<br />

you all the adrenaline-pumping action<br />

from the world of motorcycle racing<br />

and news!<br />

South Africa’s presence on the<br />

international racing circuit has never<br />

been stronger, with our riders leaving<br />

their mark in prestigious events like<br />

MotoGP, Moto2, and more. From<br />

heart-stopping victories to nail-biting<br />

showdowns, our talented riders are<br />

showcasing their skills on the global<br />

stage, and we’re here to cheer them<br />

every step of the way.<br />

Speaking of MotoGP, could it possibly<br />

get any more exhilarating? With jawdropping<br />

performances from the likes<br />

of Pecco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez,<br />

each race feels like a chapter from a<br />

blockbuster movie. And let’s not forget<br />

our very own Brad Binder, whose<br />

grit and determination on the track<br />

continue to inspire us all. With the<br />

championship race heating up, the<br />

excitement is palpable, and we can’t<br />

wait to see who will emerge as the<br />

ultimate victor of 2024.<br />

But it’s not just about the pros tearing<br />

up the track. In this issue, we’re also<br />

taking a closer look at KTM’s latest<br />

masterpiece, the 990 Duke. But this<br />

time, we’re putting it through its paces<br />

right here in South Africa, on the track,<br />

and not on the rainy and snowy roads<br />

of Spain as we did on the world launch.<br />

Is it worth the hype? Well, you’ll just<br />

have to dive into the story to find out!<br />

As always, we’re committed to bringing<br />

you the latest news, reviews, and<br />

features that fuel your passion for<br />

motorcycles. So sit back, buckle up<br />

your helmet, and enjoy the ride.<br />

Don’t forget to stay connected with us<br />

on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube<br />

for even more exclusive content and<br />

updates. And above all, ride safe out<br />

there!<br />

Until next time, keep the throttle twisted<br />

and the rubber side down.<br />

Ride on, Shaun Portman<br />


Beam Productions<br />

Sheridan Morais<br />




Shaun Portman<br />

072 260 9525<br />

shaunpotman@gmail.com<br />

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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 />

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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 />





BMW Motorrad has set the bar even higher<br />

with its latest innovation – the Automated Shift<br />

Assistant (ASA) technology. This cutting-edge<br />

system takes motorcycle gear shifting to a whole<br />

new level, promising smoother, faster, and more<br />

precise shifts than ever before.<br />

At first glance, you might wonder why such a<br />

technology is necessary for seasoned riders. But<br />

delve deeper, and you’ll realize that nothing beats<br />

the precision and speed of a computer-controlled<br />

system. Unlike human hands, the ECU and<br />

Transmission Control Unit can execute gear shifts<br />

with unparalleled accuracy, ensuring seamless<br />

transitions even at breakneck speeds.<br />

While hitting the apex and nailing the<br />

perfect gear change are integral parts of the<br />

motorcycling experience, there are times when<br />

manual shifting can be cumbersome – like<br />

navigating through endless traffic jams or riding<br />

two-up with a passenger. This is where the ASA<br />

system truly shines.<br />

The beauty of the ASA system lies in its versatility.<br />

With the flick of a switch, riders can seamlessly<br />

transition between manual and automatic mode,<br />

allowing for a personalized riding experience<br />

tailored to their preferences.<br />

Whether you’re stuck in gridlock or cruising with<br />

a pillion, the ASA system adapts to your riding<br />

conditions, providing smooth acceleration and<br />

deceleration without the need to constantly<br />

engage the clutch lever. This not only enhances<br />

rider comfort but also improves overall ride quality<br />

for both the rider and passenger.<br />

While BMW has yet to release detailed information<br />

on the availability and cost of the ASA technology,<br />

one thing is certain – the future of motorcycle<br />

gear shifting is here, and it’s more exciting than<br />

ever. As the technology evolves, we can expect to<br />

see it integrated across the BMW Motorrad range,<br />

revolutionizing the way we ride and setting new<br />

standards for performance and efficiency.




In a bold move set to reshape the landscape of<br />

motorcycle fueling technology, Bajaj Auto, based<br />

in India, is gearing up to introduce the world’s<br />

first production model of a Compressed Natural<br />

Gas (CNG) motorcycle. This groundbreaking<br />

development marks a significant milestone in the<br />

ongoing quest for cleaner and more sustainable<br />

transportation solutions.<br />

Compressed Natural Gas, as the name suggests, is<br />

produced by compressing natural gas to less than<br />

1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure.<br />

It has long been recognized as a cleaner and more<br />

economical alternative to traditional gasoline,<br />

diesel, or petrol fuels, with applications spanning<br />

from buses and trucks to cars and trikes.<br />

information available regarding its specifications<br />

and build details. However, early reports hint at<br />

potential powertrain options, including a 110ccequivalent<br />

or even a 125cc engine with a dual-fuel<br />

setup. Other rumored features include 17-inch<br />

wheels, tubeless tires, advanced suspension<br />

systems, and modern LED lighting.<br />

As anticipation builds for the official unveiling of<br />

Bajaj Auto’s groundbreaking creation, industry<br />

experts and enthusiasts alike eagerly await further<br />

details. If the reported launch window holds true,<br />

it won’t be long before the world witnesses the<br />

dawn of a new era in motorcycle technology.<br />

Source: Bajaj Motors via the Times of India<br />

While CNG conversion kits have been available<br />

globally for some time, Bajaj Auto’s upcoming<br />

motorcycle is poised to be the first of its kind to<br />

roll off the production line. Prototyping efforts<br />

have been underway since at least last year,<br />

with promising results indicating a remarkable<br />

75% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions<br />

compared to petrol-fueled motorcycles, along<br />

with significant decreases in CO2 emissions and<br />

nearly zero non-methane hydrocarbons.<br />

Initially targeting a 2025 launch window, recent<br />

reports from the Times of India suggest a revised<br />

timeline, with an announcement expected as soon<br />

as June 18. Road-tested prototypes have been<br />

spotted undergoing benchmarking runs alongside<br />

existing Bajaj models, offering tantalizing glimpses<br />

into the future of motorcycle engineering.<br />

Details on the upcoming CNG motorcycle remain<br />

shrouded in mystery, with only speculative<br />






In a groundbreaking move, Bike Kings, the<br />

premier motorcycle accessory chain store<br />

in South Africa, has announced its official<br />

partnership with Stark Varg, making them an<br />

exclusive dealer of Stark Varg electric motorcycles<br />

in the South African market.<br />

The Stark Varg electric dirt bike represents<br />

a revolutionary leap forward in motocross<br />

technology. Born from a visionary concept to<br />

create the ultimate high-performance motocross<br />

motorcycle, the Varg embodies the essence of<br />

strength and power. Co-founded by Anton Wass,<br />

a Swedish motocross entrepreneur and CEO<br />

of Stark Future, the name “Stark” translates to<br />

“strong,” while “Varg” signifies “wolf,” evoking<br />

images of raw power and dominance.<br />

Upon experiencing the Varg firsthand, riders<br />

quickly realize that it surpasses all expectations.<br />

With its lightweight construction and unparalleled<br />

agility, coupled with class-leading power and<br />

torque from its high-performance 6.5kWh power<br />

pack, the Varg redefines what is possible in the<br />

world of motocross.<br />

Despite its mere 9kg weight—approximately onethird<br />

that of a traditional 450cc engine—the Varg’s<br />

liquid-cooled motor delivers an astonishing peak<br />

power of 60hp and torque reaching a massive<br />

938Nm. For those seeking even greater power,<br />

an optional upgrade allows peak power to be<br />

increased to 80hp, demonstrating the Varg’s<br />

uncompromising performance capabilities.<br />

Powered by electricity, the Varg boasts nearlinear<br />

torque across its entire rev range,<br />

eliminating the need for a clutch or gearbox.<br />

Riders can unleash the bike’s explosive<br />

performance with a single rotation of the throttle,<br />

ensuring effortless and intuitive riding. Variable<br />

power delivery and customizable traction control<br />

further enhance the riding experience, catering<br />

to riders of all skill levels.<br />

The Varg’s innovative design includes a range<br />

of features aimed at optimizing control and<br />

maneuverability. With no clutch, riders can<br />

choose between conventional foot brake or<br />

handlebar lever braking options, both equipped<br />

with Brembo calipers for precise braking control.<br />

The suspension, developed by Kayaba, offers<br />

fully adjustable 48mm forks and a 50mm rear<br />

suspension unit, providing unmatched stability<br />

and comfort with 310mm of suspension travel.<br />

Setting new standards in technology and<br />

connectivity, the Stark Varg offers over 100 riding<br />

modes, customizable and managed through a<br />

removable Android smartphone that doubles<br />

as the bike’s touch screen dash display. Crafted<br />

from lightweight materials such as carbon<br />

fiber, magnesium alloy, and aerospace-grade<br />

aluminum, the Varg boasts a mass of 118kg,<br />

ensuring extraordinary maneuverability without<br />

compromising durability.<br />

With its zero-emission drivetrain, the Varg<br />

operates quietly, allowing riders to fully immerse<br />

themselves in the riding experience and connect<br />

with the surrounding landscape like never before.<br />

In conclusion, while the Stark Varg may seem too<br />

good to be true, a test ride is all it takes to confirm<br />

its unparalleled performance and usher in a new<br />

era in motocross. With Bike Kings as the official<br />

dealer, the future of motocross is poised for<br />

unparalleled innovation and excitement.<br />

The countdown is on until the first Stark Varg<br />

bikes arrive in store! Book a test ride or get in<br />

touch for more info: sales@bikekings.co.za




The Spanish GP delivered yet another thrilling<br />

spectacle at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel<br />

Nieto, leaving fans on the edge of their seats<br />

from start to finish. The near fairy tale story for<br />

Marc Marquez of Gresini Racing MotoGP was<br />

denied as Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati Lenovo<br />

Team secured victory after an intense battle,<br />

showcasing his prowess as the #1 rider.<br />

The excitement began early, with fans flocking<br />

to the circuit before dawn, anticipating an<br />

unforgettable race day. And unforgettable it was,<br />

with drama unfolding over 25 gripping laps.<br />

Despite a valiant effort from Marquez, who thrilled<br />

the home crowd by leading for much of the race,<br />

Bagnaia’s relentless defense ultimately secured<br />

him the win, crossing the line just 0.372s ahead<br />

of the Spaniard. Marco Bezzecchi of Pertamina<br />

Enduro VR46 Racing Team completed the<br />

podium, unable to keep pace with the fierce duel<br />

at the front.<br />

Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Racing, the<br />

Championship leader, suffered a heartbreaking<br />

crash while leading, leaving him sidelined as the<br />

battle for victory raged on.<br />

The race saw a tumultuous start, with riders<br />

jostling for position in the opening corners.<br />

Bagnaia’s bold maneuvers saw him snatch the<br />

lead early on, only to relinquish it briefly before<br />

reclaiming the top spot.<br />

As the laps dwindled, Marquez mounted a spirited<br />

challenge, engaging in a thrilling back-and-forth<br />

battle with Bagnaia. Each lap brought new drama,<br />

with Marquez attempting daring overtakes, only to<br />

be met with Bagnaia’s unwavering resolve.<br />

In the end, it was Bagnaia who emerged<br />

victorious, setting a blistering pace and fending<br />

off Marquez’s relentless pursuit to clinch the win.<br />

Behind the leading duo, Alex Marquez of Gresini<br />

Racing MotoGP and Enea Bastianini of Ducati<br />

Lenovo Team fought fiercely for the remaining<br />

podium positions, adding to the excitement of an<br />

already electrifying race.<br />

As the dust settles on the Spanish GP, attention<br />

now turns to Le Mans, where another chapter<br />

of MotoGP history is set to unfold. With<br />

unpredictable weather and fierce competition on<br />

the horizon, fans are eagerly anticipating the next<br />

thrilling installment of the championship battle.<br />

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for all the latest<br />

updates and action from the world of MotoGP.




As the dust settles on the annual MotoGP Jerez<br />

Test, riders and teams alike are reflecting on a day<br />

of intense scrutiny and strategic development.<br />

Fabio Di Giannantonio of Pertamina Enduro<br />

VR46 Racing Team emerged as the fastest rider,<br />

clocking an impressive 1:36.405 lap time to<br />

secure the top spot. However, Maverick Viñales of<br />

Aprilia Racing wasn’t far behind, showcasing the<br />

competitive spirit with a strong performance.<br />

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the action at<br />

Jerez, factory by factory:<br />

Enduro VR46 Racing Team is riding a wave<br />

of optimism. Testing primarily involved finetuning<br />

settings, resulting in a promising first and<br />

thirteenth place for the team.<br />


Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez of Gresini<br />

Racing MotoGP put in solid performances, with<br />

the former finishing fifth and the latter securing<br />

eighth place. Both riders expressed satisfaction<br />

with their progress during the test.<br />


Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati Lenovo Team spent<br />

the day experimenting with different geometry<br />

settings, a routine part of test days. Despite<br />

logging the fewest laps among his peers, signs<br />

of confidence were evident as Bagnaia secured<br />

the fourth position on the time charts. Meanwhile,<br />

Enea Bastianini quietly worked on his setup,<br />

completing a commendable 65 laps.<br />


Jorge Martin faced challenges during the test,<br />

encountering technical issues and a late crash.<br />

Nevertheless, he soldiered on, completing 71 laps<br />

and finishing in 10th place. Franco Morbidelli,<br />

on the other hand, focused on ergonomics and<br />

delivered an impressive performance, securing<br />

third place on the time sheets.<br />


With Marco Bezzecchi’s recent podium finish and<br />

Di Giannantonio’s top spot in the test, Pertamina<br />


Aprilia Racing tested innovative new components,<br />

including a ride-height device and a hybrid rear<br />

tail unit. Viñales and Aleix Espargaro showcased<br />

the team’s commitment to technological<br />

advancement, finishing second and seventh,<br />

respectively.<br />


Raul Fernandez made his debut on Aprilia’s 2024<br />

RS-GP, while Miguel Oliveira continued testing<br />

the hybrid rear tail unit. Despite a mid-pack finish,<br />

both riders contributed valuable insights for<br />

further development.<br />


One of the notable topics to talk about when it<br />

comes to the KTM stable is the updated side<br />

fairing aero. Brad Binder and Pedro Acosta (Red<br />

Bull GASGAS Tech3) were who we spotted giving<br />

it a go, with the former ending the Test fastest of<br />

the Pierer Mobility Group full-time quartet. The<br />

South African claimed P6, 0.2s away from the<br />

summit following a very late personal best lap.<br />

Jack Miller finished the day in P17 having<br />

completed 73 laps, with the Australian admitting<br />

that they didn’t fully find a solution to KTM’s<br />

chatter/vibration issues. More work to be done in<br />

that department for the Austrian factory ahead of<br />

Le Mans.<br />

It was good to have Pol Espargaro back on track<br />

too as the KTM test rider put in a 68-lap shift for<br />

the Austrian marque. The #44 finished P19 on the<br />

timesheets as we get set to welcome him to the<br />

grid for a wildcard appearance at the Italian GP.<br />


Augusto Fernandez explored new setups and<br />

tested KTM’s front fender, ending the day in<br />

twenty-second place. Pedro Acosta, on the other<br />

hand, showcased his potential with an eleventhplace<br />

finish.<br />


Needless to say, plenty of attention was pinned on<br />

the Japanese factory. Yamaha unveiled a sizeable<br />

aero update for Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins<br />

to put through its paces, which consisted of a<br />

triple-element front wing in a similar style to what<br />

they have now. New aero on the side fairing was<br />

also seen, and as Team Manager Maio Meregalli<br />

mentioned in the midday live, a new chassis was<br />

part of the plan too.


Rins ended the Test in P14, his best lap coming<br />

at the end of his 73-lap outing, with Quartararo<br />

notching up 84 laps and finishing in P18. Speaking<br />

to motogp.com after the Test, Rins admitted he<br />

didn’t feel the new chassis was a step forward as<br />

Yamaha’s turning issues remain. Not ideal.<br />


Takaaki Nakagami and Johann Zarco tested<br />

Honda’s updated RC213V, with mixed feedback<br />

regarding performance improvements. Despite<br />

challenges, both riders contributed valuable data<br />

for future development.<br />


Having tried the updated RC213V in a private test<br />

in Barcelona prior to the Spanish GP, Joan Mir<br />

and Luca Marini focused on other things in the<br />

Jerez Test. The latter was busy testing one of the<br />

new chassis that Bradl was testing, but Marini was<br />

using it with Honda’s standard aero – not the new<br />

one. The Italian also changed back to Honda’s<br />

lower profile rear wing they were using at the<br />

beginning of pre-season testing.<br />

Mir had two standard spec Hondas on his side<br />

of the garage and between the factory duo, 134<br />

laps were fulfilled. Mir said they tried a “different<br />

concept” of bike, now we’ll see if that’s the<br />

direction they’ll take.

AGV K1-S<br />

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from high-resistance thermoplastic material, it<br />

integrates front air vents and a new Aero Spoiler for<br />

peak performance, stability, and efficiency during<br />

sports riding.<br />

Key Features:<br />

1. Aerodynamic Design with Integrated Spoiler:<br />

Optimized shapes and the Aero Spoiler provide<br />

enhanced stability and minimized air resistance at<br />

high speeds.<br />

2. High Resistance Thermoplastic Shell: Durable<br />

construction surpasses ECE22.06 safety standards for<br />

comprehensive protection.<br />

3. Ultravision Visor for Expanded Visibility: Scratchresistant<br />

visor broadens field of view to 190°<br />

horizontally for safer navigation.<br />

4. Advanced Ventilation System: Adjustable vents<br />

enhance airflow for comfort during long rides.<br />

5. Comfort and Convenience: Dry-Comfort fabric<br />

interior is customizable and accommodates glasses<br />

wearers.<br />

6. Ready for Communication Systems: Seamless<br />

integration with communication systems enhances<br />

riding experience.<br />

7. ECE 22/06 certified: Exceeds safety standards for<br />

peace of mind on every journey.<br />

Whether navigating motorways or country roads,<br />

the AGV K1-S Motorcycle Helmet offers safety and<br />

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Now available from BATT Tech Specialized Helmet<br />

Division. Contact Max on 082 897 7711 or email<br />


FIRST SA<br />

TEST<br />

Words: Shaun Portman | Pics: Pieter Botha & Zephnie Botha<br />

KTM 990 DUKE<br />

MIND<br />


As motorcycle enthusiasts eagerly anticipated the arrival<br />

of the brand new KTM 990 Duke in South Africa, our team<br />

seized the opportunity to put this beast to the test in the<br />

exhilarating setting of Red Star Raceway. While we had<br />

previously experienced a glimpse of its capabilities during<br />

the world launch in Spain, we were determined to uncover its<br />

true potential on the sun-drenched tarmac of South Africa’s<br />

premier racing circuit as the bike finally hit SA shores.

POWER<br />

123 bhp @<br />

9,250rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

103 Nm @<br />

7,750rpm<br />

TANK<br />


14.8 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

825mm<br />

DRY<br />

WEIGHT<br />

179kg<br />

Despite encountering less than favorable weather<br />

conditions during our initial road test a couple<br />

of months back at the world launch, including<br />

snowy, wet, and rainy environments, the 990<br />

Duke had already left a lasting impression with<br />

its remarkable performance. Now, with the bike<br />

officially hitting South African shores, it was time<br />

to delve deeper into its prowess and unleash its<br />

power on the track.<br />

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of<br />

South Africa, Red Star Raceway provided the<br />

perfect backdrop for our test. With its sweeping<br />

curves, challenging chicanes, and long straights,<br />

the circuit promised to push the KTM 990 Duke to<br />

its limits and beyond.<br />

As we geared up and mounted the sleek, agile<br />

machine, anticipation ran high. The distinctive roar<br />

of the Duke’s engine reverberated through the air,<br />

signaling the beginning of an adrenaline-fueled<br />

journey. With each twist of the throttle, the bike<br />

responded with precision and power, effortlessly<br />

devouring the asphalt beneath us. The 990 Duke<br />

boasts a whopping 96% overhaul compared to<br />

the 890 Duke R. Not only is it physically larger,<br />

but it also features a stiffer chassis, an extensive<br />

electronics suite, and a fiercer aesthetic look.<br />

Navigating the twists and turns of Red Star<br />

Raceway, the KTM 990 Duke showcased its<br />

impeccable handling and agility, not that that<br />

was an issue on the 890. Whether carving<br />

through tight corners or accelerating down the<br />

straightaways, the bike remained poised and<br />

responsive, instilling confidence with every<br />

maneuver even showing up race-prepared 1000cc<br />

superbikes in the process.








THE TRACK.<br />

When you look at the new KTM 990, you’ll<br />

immediately notice its aggressive appearance.<br />

However, once you take it for a spin, you’ll be<br />

surprised by how smooth it rides compared to<br />

any other KTM, past or present. In my view, it’s<br />

KTM’s smoothest bike yet. Vibration is kept to<br />

a minimum across the entire bike, and every<br />

component, from the chassis to the motor,<br />

suspension, and brakes, synergizes seamlessly<br />

for an unparalleled riding experience.<br />

One of the standout features of the 990 Duke<br />

is its impressive engine performance and silky<br />

smooth quick shifter/auto-blip. Powered by a<br />

potent new 947cc parallel-twin engine which<br />

delivers increased power (123hp vs 121hp)and<br />

torque (103Nm vs 99Nm), while also enhancing<br />

rideability compared to the previous 890 Duke<br />

R which was already way more powerful than<br />

the base 890 Duke (115hp and 92Nm). What’s<br />

particularly impressive is its broad torque curve,<br />

enhancing the bike’s versatility. The 990 feels far<br />

better in real life than the spec sheets dictate over<br />

the 890. It offers plenty of speed while remaining<br />

smooth and comfortable for leisurely rides. The<br />

990 delivers relentless acceleration and torque,<br />

propelling it to blistering speeds with ease. The<br />

throttle response is instantaneous, delivering a<br />

surge of adrenaline that leaves riders craving for<br />

more. Interestingly, the 990 Duke tips the scales at<br />

a significantly higher weight compared to the 890<br />

(179kg Dry vs 166kg Dry). However, KTM seems<br />

to have mastered the art of concealment, akin to<br />

David Copperfield, as this extra weight isn’t readily<br />

apparent, particularly around the track.

Furthermore, the Duke’s advanced electronics<br />

package, including traction control and rider<br />

modes, adds an extra layer of confidence and<br />

control, allowing riders to push the limits with<br />

peace of mind. Even in the heat of the action, the<br />

bike maintains composure, providing a thrilling yet<br />

safe and smooth riding experience.<br />

Bear in mind, that the KTM 990 comes equipped<br />

with an extensive electronics package to support<br />

you as you ramp up the pace or customize the<br />

bike to your riding preferences. This includes<br />

three standard ride modes (Sport, Street, and<br />

Rain), with optional Performance and Track<br />

modes available through a “demo program” for<br />

the first 1,500 kilometers, after which they must<br />

be purchased. While this strategy benefits KTM by<br />

offering enhanced features, it may inconvenience<br />

consumers who must invest more money in what<br />

should arguably be standard.<br />

All of these adjustments are made through a<br />

visually stunning 5-inch TFT display that provides<br />

dynamic illustrations reflecting the selected<br />

settings. For instance, selecting the “Very High”<br />

traction control setting displays a bike in line and<br />

in control, while the “Very Low” option shows<br />

the rear wheel stepping out quite profusely and<br />

almost passing the front wheel.<br />

The new switch cube on the left handlebar stands<br />

out as one of the best in the industry, boasting<br />

added dimensions for easy operation even with<br />

gloved hands. It’s these meticulous details and<br />

build quality where KTM distinguishes itself,<br />

showcasing its commitment to innovation<br />

without lacking quality. The hardware<br />

design is truly exceptional and easy to<br />

use to navigate through the even easierto-navigate<br />

electronics suite.<br />

While rider-aid settings are preset for Sport,<br />

Street, and Rain modes, transitioning to<br />

Performance and Track modes allows for<br />

extensive customization. Users can adjust power<br />

delivery (three levels), traction control (nine levels<br />

plus off), wheelie control (five levels plus off), ABS<br />

(two levels), and KTM’s MTC/MSR engine brake<br />

system. This flexibility, particularly the ability to<br />

fine-tune traction and wheelie control, stands<br />

out as a favorite enhancement on the 990.<br />

The WP Apex suspension, exclusive to the<br />

990 Duke, stands out for its unique damping<br />

characteristics, designed to provide a more<br />

discernible feel between clicks. With a setup<br />

range featuring five clicks of compression on the<br />

left fork leg, five clicks of rebound on the right<br />

fork leg, and five clicks of rebound at the shock, it<br />

offers ample adjustability.<br />







ON THE 990.<br />

For track use and considering my weight, I opted<br />

to stiffen the front compression nearly to its<br />

maximum setting. This adjustment complements<br />

the 990’s prowess on corner entry, attributed<br />

partly to its new chassis but primarily to its<br />

exceptional brakes. Despite the front brake discs

eing updated and seemingly downsized from<br />

320mm to 300mm for reduced weight (0.5kg per<br />

side), the braking system delivers impressive<br />

stopping power. In my opinion, the lever pull is<br />

more consistent compared to the 890.<br />

The 990 Duke represents the bike KTM should<br />

have introduced instead of the 890, in my view.<br />

Now, if only KTM would equip it with fairings<br />

and clip-on handlebars, it would be an absolute<br />

delight! On the track, the 990 Duke demonstrates<br />

razor-sharp precision and direct responsiveness,<br />

guaranteeing you’ll hit every apex with ease,<br />

thanks to its nimble handling and consistent<br />

performance. The improvements made by KTM<br />

aren’t just theoretical; they’re tangible on both<br />

road and track. Having thoroughly tested the<br />

990 Duke across various elements, it’s safe to<br />

conclude that it leads the class in every aspect.<br />

In conclusion, the KTM 990 Duke is more than<br />

just a motorcycle; it’s a statement of performance,<br />

innovation, and passion. With its relentless<br />

power, razor-sharp handling, and cutting-edge<br />

technology, it sets a new benchmark for naked<br />

sport bikes in its class. Whether tearing up the<br />

track or conquering the open road, the 990 Duke<br />

is ready to unleash its full potential and leave a<br />

lasting impression on riders around the world.

FIRST<br />

TEST<br />

In the realm of motorcycle design, Yamaha has<br />

masterfully blended nostalgia with modernity in<br />

their 2024 Yamaha XSR900 GP. This retro racer<br />

pays homage to Yamaha’s rich racing heritage while<br />

boasting contemporary engineering advancements.<br />

Drawing inspiration from iconic models like the<br />

YZR500, TZ250, and 1980s racing bikes, the XSR900<br />

GP exudes a timeless charm fused with the thrilling<br />

performance of Yamaha’s acclaimed 890cc CP3 triple<br />

engine, originally from the MT-09.<br />

YAMAHA XSR900 GP<br />

STYLE<br />


POWER<br />

117 bhp @<br />

10,000rpm<br />

TORQUE<br />

93 Nm @<br />

7,000rpm<br />

TANK<br />


14 L<br />

SEAT<br />

HEIGHT<br />

825mm<br />













WET<br />

WEIGHT<br />

193kg<br />

The XSR900 GP is more than just a vintage<br />

replica; it’s an amalgamation of retro racing<br />

nostalgia and cutting-edge technology, catering<br />

to a diverse range of riding styles. Whether you’re<br />

craving a spirited B-road adventure, turning heads<br />

in urban settings, or indulging in the fantasy of<br />

being a top-tier GP rider, the XSR900 GP delivers.<br />

At the heart of its appeal lies the fusion of classic<br />

aesthetics with modern features. Yamaha’s<br />

Faster Sons philosophy resonates through every<br />

detail, from meticulously crafted components to<br />

nods to past racing glory. The influence of the<br />

TZ250 is evident in the tail section, adorned with<br />

painted number boards and reminiscent D-ring<br />

fasteners. The Deltabox-style frame, clip-on bars,<br />

and adjustable footpegs reflect a sportier riding<br />

position, accentuated by a sleek half-fairing<br />

reminiscent of the YZR500 era.<br />

While some may debate its racing pedigree,<br />

Yamaha emphasizes that the XSR900 GP is<br />

more than just a track machine—it’s a versatile<br />

naked bike designed to excel in various riding<br />

environments. From city cruising to spirited<br />

backroad excursions, the XSR900 GP offers a<br />

thrilling ride without sacrificing comfort.<br />

Under the hood, the 890cc CP3 engine delivers<br />

exhilarating performance, with torque readily<br />

available across the rev range. Coupled with a<br />

seamless 6-speed gearbox and third-generation<br />

quickshifter, the XSR900 GP offers a dynamic<br />

riding experience that enthusiasts will relish.<br />

On the handling front, the XSR900 GP shines,<br />

thanks to its fully adjustable KYB suspension and<br />

high-spec Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23<br />

tires. Despite its weight and extended wheelbase,<br />

the GP feels nimble and responsive, offering<br />

stability during acceleration and deceleration.

In terms of electronics, the XSR900 GP boasts<br />

a comprehensive suite of rider aids, including<br />

Yamaha Ride Control (YRC), traction control, slide<br />

control, lift control, and a customizable TFT dash<br />

with smartphone integration. Whether navigating<br />

twisty roads or adverse weather conditions, the<br />

XSR900 GP inspires confidence with its advanced<br />

electronics package.<br />

With a sleek design, powerful performance, and<br />

state-of-the-art technology, the Yamaha XSR900<br />

GP stands as a testament to Yamaha’s enduring<br />

legacy in the world of motorcycling. While its price<br />

tag may deter some, those who appreciate its<br />

blend of style and substance will find the XSR900<br />

GP a worthy investment.<br />


XSR900 GP<br />







In conclusion, the Yamaha XSR900 GP offers a<br />

harmonious blend of nostalgia and innovation,<br />

making it a standout choice for riders seeking<br />

a distinctive and exhilarating riding experience.<br />

Special thanks to Yamaha for hosting us on the<br />

launch event. For more information, visit their<br />

website and discover why the XSR900 GP may<br />

just be a contender for the bike of the year.


SHOW<br />


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

Round 3 of the 2024 SunBet ZX10 Masters Cup<br />

was recently held at the Kyalami Raceway, forming<br />

part of the Extreme Festival once more. From the<br />

11th to the 13th of April. With a record crowd in<br />

attendance, filling the grandstands, the 28-riderstrong<br />

field was more eager than ever to put on a<br />

show, and that they did.<br />

As always in the SunBet ZX10 Masters Cup all<br />

the sessions are combined into a final combined<br />

qualifying ranking. After Thursday and Friday’s<br />

action out on track the man to beat in 2024 so<br />

far, Clinton Seller picked up where he left off at<br />

Killarney by taking yet another Pole Position, his<br />

3rd out of 3 for 2024 with a sensational lap of a<br />

1.49.046. Jayson Lamb took first of the C riders<br />

in 2nd, looking for redemption after a tough start<br />

to 2024. Trevor Westman in 3rd looking to go one<br />

better and capitalize after a strong performance in<br />

2nd last time out. Damion Purificatti a little rusty in<br />

4th on the grid but glad to see him back after injury<br />

and tying the knot to long-time partner and fastest<br />

lady rider in SA, Nicole Van Aswegen.<br />

Adriaan Van Dalen put his ZX10R machine in an<br />

impressive 5th at a track that he really likes followed<br />

by Hein McMahon in 6th, rounding out the 2nd row<br />

after an impressive performance at Round 2.

The third row was an all-B Class affair with Graeme<br />

van Breda in 7th and looking to bounce back after<br />

that massive crash in Race 2 at Killarney ahead<br />

of David Veringa in 8th and Appanna Ganapathy<br />

in 9th. Renatus Van Niekerk took an impressive<br />

10th, ahead of Johan Le Roux in 11th, Keith Agliotti<br />

in 12th, Teddy Brooke 13th, Byron Rothquel<br />

14th, 15th sees a new face in the form of James<br />

Barson, who will make the adjustments needed<br />

from riding or racing in the Classics to racing a<br />

full-blown near 200hp Kawasaki ZX-10R machine.<br />

Dieter Huysamen in 16th, ahead of Lubabalo<br />

Ntisana in 17th, Ian Harwood in 18th, Stephen<br />

Galgoczy in 19th, also a newcomer in 20th, Peron<br />

Parasaramen, Piers Canute 21st, Abrie Marais<br />

22nd, Joao Cruz 23rd, Stewie Christie 24th, good<br />

to see Raymond Keel return, one of the stalwarts of<br />

the Kawasaki ZX-10 Masters Cup in 25th. Michael<br />

Louw in 26th, Mmusapelo Seate in 27th, and<br />

rounding out the grid in 28th was Martyn Parry,<br />

also good to see Martyn back.<br />

Race 1 got off to a good start but was later redflagged<br />

due to a massive high side from Adriaan<br />

Van Dalen heading onto the back straight. Luckily<br />

AD was fine but the same couldn’t be said for his<br />

ZX10R. The Kyalami Marshalls did an exceptional<br />

job cleaning the crash up and not long after the<br />

race was restarted.<br />

A lot of battles took place throughout the field<br />

but in the end, it was Seller who took yet another<br />

victory in his 2024 campaign and 5 out of 5 so far<br />

this season. Damion Purificatti put his struggles in<br />

qualifying aside to take a phenomenal 2nd across<br />

the line, dipping into the 1.49s along the way.<br />

Westman had nothing for Purificatti but still had a<br />

great ride to 3rd ahead of Jayson Lamb in 4th who<br />

was making all sorts of shapes and moves on his<br />

ZX10R around the Kyalami race track, much to<br />

the spectator’s delight. Hein McMahon wasn’t far<br />

behind in 5th, picking up yet another solid result<br />

for his 2024 title aspirations. Graeme van Breda

looked to have a better outing in 6th as he looks to<br />

be getting to grips with his new spec ZX10R. David<br />

Veringa battled hard with Appanna Ganapathy for 7th<br />

and took that place from Appanna who crossed the<br />

line in a solid 8th. Behind them, Johan Le Roux and<br />

Keith Agliotti rounded out the top 10. An unfortunate<br />

DNF for Stewie Christie in the first race while<br />

Mmusapelo Seate didn’t even start the race as he<br />

was forced out of the rest of the day’s racing action<br />

with a concussion after a fall in qualifying.<br />

Race 2 was once again all about Clinton Seller who<br />

took yet another win, making it 6 out of 6 for the year<br />

so far. Purificatti had another good ride to second with<br />

Westman on the podium yet again in 3rd. A sterling<br />

ride from Graeme Van Breda to 4th setting some<br />

impressive lap times along the way. Hein McMahon<br />

took 5th just behind Van Breda in what was a great<br />

battle. Jayson Lamb with another solid result in 6th but<br />

would want to be further up for sure. David Veringa<br />

took 7th, a great result by the Wheelz Online man,<br />

while behind him a battle raged on between Johan<br />

Le Roux and Appanna Ganapathy for 8th position<br />

eventually going the way of Le Roux across the line<br />

with Ganapathy in 9th. Rounding out the top 10 was<br />

AD Van Dalen who was lent a bike by Michael Smit and<br />

still managed to get an impressive result in what turned<br />

out to be a difficult weekend.<br />

After a thrilling weekends racing the top 3 results for<br />

Round 3, A, B, and C looked like this:<br />

A<br />

1) Clinton Seller<br />

2) Damion Purificatti<br />

3) Trevor Westman<br />

B<br />

1) Graeme Van Breda<br />

2) David Veringa<br />

3) Appanna Ganapathy<br />

C<br />

1) Jayson Lamb<br />

2) Johan Le Roux<br />

3) Teddy Brooke<br />

Join the SunBet ZX10 Masters Cup at Round 4 which<br />

takes place at Zwartkops on the 17th/18th of May.

Words: Adam Wheeler (KTM Blog) | Pics: KTM media (Simon Cudby & Align Media)<br />





He’s the reigning AMA Supercross champion<br />

and Red Bull KTM’s fresh hope for the<br />

mammoth American racing series. How is<br />

Chase Sexton pivoting to life in orange?

The 24-year-old seems like the epitome of an athlete<br />

that rules the biggest motorcycle racing series in North<br />

America. He’s good-looking (clear blue eyes and a pristine<br />

complexion), stocky and clearly ‘ripped’. Approachable<br />

and smiles easily and is a wonder of power, poise, and<br />

speed on a KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. For all his<br />

attributes, Chase Sexton is still adjusting to life as part<br />

of the prominent Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team in<br />

the vast calendar of American dirtbike racing that entails<br />

17 rounds of AMA supercross, 11 dates of AMA Pro<br />

Motocross and 3 SuperMotocross (SMX) ‘playoffs’.<br />

Supercross dominates the landscape and the thought<br />

processes of Red Bull KTM from their base in Murrieta<br />

in southern California. The 2023 series attracted 850,000<br />

fans into stadiums across the country and 23 million<br />

hours of viewership was consumed between NBC, USA<br />

Network, and Peacock channels. Supercross has the<br />

glamour, the entertainment format, the broader audience<br />

power and the financial clout to be one of the most<br />

rewarding and lucrative competitions in the world, despite<br />

its rigid American base.<br />

Sexton clinched the premier class 450 SX championship in<br />

2023 to go with two previous 250 SX (East Coast) titles, all<br />

earned with a single manufacturer. His style and potential<br />

meant he had long been circulating on KTM’s radar as<br />

the successor to riders like Ryan Dungey and Cooper<br />

Webb as the next major star for the brand, and since KTM<br />

first started to impose themselves on the sport almost a<br />

decade ago.<br />

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have kept continuity for<br />

2024 with the likes of Aaron Plessinger (already a racewinner<br />

this season) and former double MX2 World<br />

Champion Tom Vialle (in 250SX East) but are joined by<br />

rookie Julien Beaumer and, of course, Chase, who brings<br />

A-list billing and all the fuss and attention that comes with<br />

the #1 plate.<br />

The change of team, change of motorcycle, change of<br />

employer were major shifts for the rider from Illinois, and<br />

so was the working culture. Very soon after confirming<br />

his KTM contract, Chase travelled to Austria and was<br />

able to appreciate the close connect with the Motorsport<br />

Department and the management that shaped his deal but<br />

also all the R&D and manufacturing personnel and effort<br />

that went into production of his race bike.<br />

A difference I see in<br />

Chase is when he’s<br />

riding on the track,<br />

he just has a lot of<br />

raw speed... He’s a<br />

guy that we need<br />

to slow down, not<br />

speed up.”<br />

“The first thing I noticed was how passionate they are<br />

about racing,” he tells us while sat in a collapsible chair<br />

in the confines of the team’s two-truck set-up in the AMA<br />

Supercross paddock. “I’d ridden for a rival company for so<br />

long but never been to one of their Headquarters. Usually,<br />

factories are [just] production lines and logistics but there<br />

were so many parts of KTM that felt only racing. Obviously,<br />

there was a lot of production also, but it was very clear<br />

how much racing meant to them. It was very cool, and<br />

then to be directly talking with the people who are creating<br />

the racing was also cool. I hadn’t known people like Pit<br />

[Beirer] and Robert [Jonas, VP of Motorsport Offroad] that<br />

long but I was made to feel comfortable right away.”<br />

Elite athletes are often complex people that carefully<br />

monitor their physical and mental states in the endless<br />

search of peak performance. This means they can<br />

be stubborn creatures of habit and don’t adjust well<br />

to variation. If alterations are needed to training, their<br />

approach, their equipment then swift and essential<br />

communication with the people around them is necessary.<br />

The direct link that Sexton now has through the upper<br />

regions of KTM was a new and reassuring asset. “I have<br />

Roger [De Coster, Director of Racing SX/MX] and Ian<br />

[Harrison, Red Bull KTM Team Manager] here and it’s rare<br />

that they don’t have everything under control…but knowing<br />

that you can have a conversation with someone who<br />

makes the decisions is really nice and you just have the<br />

feeling that the full crew and company have your back,”<br />

he says. “Their passion shines through, and it’s what<br />

attracted me to KTM in the first place. They also know<br />

what it takes to win and it’s cool to be a part of all that.”

Even though he has the medals, Sexton is still<br />

young in the game for 450SX and the full (and<br />

demanding) SMX calendar. KTM knows it has a<br />

jewel in its midst, and the joint ‘polishing’ process<br />

is on-going. “A difference I see in Chase is when<br />

he’s riding on the track, he just has a lot of raw<br />

speed,” Harrison tells us, when asked to compare<br />

him to previous KTM racers. “He’s a guy that we<br />

need to slow down, not speed up.”<br />

“He needs a very different bike setup, due to the<br />

way he rides the motorcycle, so this has taken<br />

some time to figure out,” the South African adds.<br />

While many eyes are on Chase for the magic he<br />

can produce on track, many have also praised<br />

his openness in talking to media and fans when<br />

perhaps results or races have not gone to plan.<br />

This endearing character trait shines through<br />

quickly. He is sincere with his responses to<br />

questions. “I think you can look back and feel<br />

comfortable with your career, but I am always<br />

looking forwards and I want to accomplish a lot<br />

more before I am done,” he reflects. “It’s crazy to<br />

think I am 24 and this is my seventh year as a Pro.<br />

It’s pretty crazy. It feels like yesterday…and, in my<br />

mind, I feel young and I’m good physically. I have<br />

a lot to give.”<br />

One of the things that<br />

stand out to me about<br />

Chase is his pure<br />

strength. He is definitely<br />

one of the strongest<br />

guys I’ve dealt with.<br />

“For me, my biggest thing is being true to myself<br />

and being the same as I was when I was a rookie<br />

and coming up through the amateurs,” he adds.<br />

“It’s something I’d like to show people and just<br />

have a positive influence.”<br />

The other striking feature about Sexton is his<br />

bulk. He is not overly tall but has a torso shaped<br />

by countless hours in a gym or on a motorcycle.<br />

Those considerable shoulders bare a lot. “One<br />

of the things that stand out to me about Chase<br />

is his pure strength,” comments Harrison. “He is<br />

definitely one of the strongest guys I’ve dealt with.<br />

Another thing is that he is good at both Motocross<br />

and Supercross, he also seems to shine in the<br />

mud; good attributes to have as a racer.”

Physical preparation is obviously a facet that Sexton<br />

embraces heartily. His new link with Red Bull brings<br />

more advantages in this aspect. “Red Bull really gets<br />

involved in helping you as an athlete,” he says, eyes<br />

widening. “I’m really into fitness and everything it<br />

involves, and the Red Bull Performance Center in LA<br />

is cool with the tests they make. It’s really high-tech.<br />

They have all the pieces of the puzzle to help you. [My<br />

deal] is more than just getting a paycheck. They really<br />

want to help you be a better athlete. In my opinion<br />

Red Bull is top of the line; you just have to look at the<br />

athletes they are involved with. It’s a tight knit, chosen<br />

group. It’s special to be involved with it. I want to keep<br />

going back to the Performance Centre and keep<br />

working with those tests.”<br />

A visit to the Legends section of the KTM Motohall<br />

while he was in Mattighofen further hammered home<br />

the racing heritage and history that stretches all the<br />

way back to the mid-1970s and the first of KTMs<br />

340+ world titles. Like most champions, he seems<br />

more than capable of wearing the load. “I have high<br />

expectations and I hold myself to them,” he claims.<br />

“There is no stress around it because being about<br />

to go out there and to do what I can do is a driving<br />

factor for me. Having those KTM champions before<br />

me and seeing all those winners makes me realize I<br />

have everything I need; I just have to do my job now.”

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