- Bike Talk
South Africa - December 2015
Hein Jonker
Henry Edwards
Carin Jonker
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Amanzimtoti, KZN - South Africa
While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy
of the information and reports in this magazine,
the publisher, editor, production personnel, printer
and distributor do not accept any responsibility
whatsoever for any errors or omissions or for
any effect there from. The views expressed by
correspondents are not necessarily those of the
editor or publisher.
All rights reserved; artwork in this publication
contain Copyright and may not be used in other
publications without the written consent of the
Editor of Bike Talk.
Editor’s Note
Bike Talk Happenings
Events Calendar
Trade Talk
- Strong 3rd Quarter Sales for BMW
- New Kawasaki Service Centre in PMB
- BMW S 1000XR
- Triumph Trophy SE
Motorcycle Safety
- Plan for the long haul
GOD’s Page
- Dead but Alive
Shop Floor
- Honda VFR800X: New Sports Tourer
- Yamaha WR450F: Enduro with YZ DNA
- Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: New 2016 Superbike
- Yamaha PES2 and PED2 Electric Bikes
- Triumph: Revamped Bonneville Range for 2016
- Yamaha: 2016 YZF-R1S
- Triumph: 2016 Explorer Range
- EICMA 2015: Top 10 Most Anticipated Bikes for 2016
On The Road Advice
- Your Guide to Proper Packing for your Bike
Shop Window
- Sena: New “Intelligent Noise Control” Helmets
- Top Gift Ideas for your Christmas Shopping List
Tech Talk
- Motorcycle Chains: How To Maintain and Adjust
- How to install new set of Hand Grips
Talk of the Town
- Sym Motorcycles & Scooters: First Scooter Bungee
- Ultimate X: Partnership with Harley-Davidson
- Battlefields Tour: A trip back in time
I can still remember
my summer holidays
growing up as a kid.
And it was normally
this time of the year
that the excitement
a fever pitch. The
planning of what must
go with and what
must be left behind
and so on. But what
stood out above it all
for me was the road
tripping. I always
helped my dad to pack the car. There is special
nostalgia in this part of the holiday. From carrying
all the luggage out to the car and my dad trying to
make it all fit to how he always made a bed on the
backseat of the car. But I never slept in that bed. I
found magic in just looking out the window at the
landscapes rushing past and getting more excited as
we got closer to the sea. Today I still love the open
road, but what is different is that enjoy it from the
back of a motorcycle. That is what summer holidays
are all about, the road tripping. Getting up early and
trying to squeeze a week’s worth of luggage into
the confined space of a motorcycle. Planning your
fuel stops and where you will stop to get something
to eat. Then getting onto the bike and sitting back
and enjoying the beautiful landscapes that we call
South Africa. If you have not done a road trip on
your bike make sure it is on your bucket list. It is
worth every minute!
An amazing touring bike that in our opinion is not
getting the attention it deserves. See why we think
so in his review.
Yamaha has also been busy lately. They introduced
the slightly lower spec YZF-R1S as a sibling to the
monstrous R1 we tested last month. For the enduro
and off-road enthusiasts they have launched
the WR450F based on the leader-board topping
YZ450F platform. And at the Tokyo Motor Show
the futuristic PES2 and PED2 electric bikes were
introduced to the world biking fraternity. Things are
looking good for Yamaha.
Fitting right into the touring theme of the this issue,
Honda has launched the latest in the “X” cross-over
adventure touring segment with their updated
VFR800X, with lots more to come from them.
Triumph also launched the updated Bonneville
range for those that prefer the nostalgic design.
Back in September we speculated on the imminent
upgrade of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R superbike.
And Kawasaki delivered with the latest of their
liter class rubber burning machines. EICMA also
happened in Milan and there were no shortage of
great machines for next year. We give our top 10
newcomers. Sena decided to expand their product
range and focus with the introduction of their noise
reduction helmets. Sound is their game so we trust
that their “intelligent noise control” helmets are
going to be a winner.
No matter what you do this holiday season always
keep up with the maintenance of your bike. We tell
you how to do chain maintenance and also touch
on how to replace your grips. Lastly, to make sure
you have a proper Christmas shopping list we give
our opinion on what should be on that list with our
top gift ideas.
We hear your call Summer. In this issue we give
some advice on how to plan for the long haul on
your bike. We also give some advice on how to pack
your bike for your summer holiday and how to best
make use of the limited space you have available.
All of us at Bike Talk would like to thank you for your
continued support and wish you and your loved
ones a blessed Christmas. Until next month, keep
exploring, be safe and always keep the rubber side
I was fortunate enough to take the new BMW
S1000XR out for a review. BMW calls this an
“adventure sport” bike and the three days I spent
on it sure makes me understand what they mean.
Hein also took the Triumph Trophy SE for a review
on a working trip to Bloemfontein.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Thursday night saw some much needed rain in
that area but I left on a sunny Friday morning
riding in perfect weather past Kroonstad and on to
Bloemfontein, dealing with a Stop-n-Go or two on
the way.
Perfect weather, a great route and an amazing
bike all I needed was an excuse, and I got one. The
Central Bikers Council in Bloemfontein asked me
to come up and conduct a Road Captain Course –I
gladly obliged. Who wants to fly if you can ride!
At 6 a.m. I left Amanzimtoti, and with the fuel range
of the Triumph Trophy SE (see Review on page 14),
my first planned stop would be Harrismith just
over the OFS/KZN border. Yes I know, stop and
rest frequently on a long trip, but I’m not new to
this type of riding although my butt doesn’t always
agree on the matter. Who’s the boss of the butt
I decided to take the easy route up from
Amanzimtoti on the N2, then the lovely M7 and
onto the N3 inland through all those pesky Tolls.
Long Horn Lunch
Arriving in Bloemfontein I decided to drop in on
the Long Horn Steakhouse for lunch, and boy did
the size of this thing surprise me, but I took it like
a man and buried that little sucker. After lunch
Wimpie Burger, friend and Pastor at Bikers Church
Bloemfontein, and I went through to have a look
at the venue for the training just and I mean just
missing a hailstorm that dropped on Bloemfontein.
We both witnessed and rode in amazing rain that
fell on the area for the first time in six months.
The road and weather conditions were perfect
apart from the one or two road works I had to deal
with but nothing unexpected – just nice!
My bright and friendly attendant
Once stopped at the Engen and assisted by a bright
and friendly attendant, and a quick breakfast at
the Wimpy, I headed up via Frankfort, Sasolburg
through Parys onto Vredefort for my Thursday
night stay-over.
Bike Talk
Riding in Rain
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
meeting great people, travelling our country and
living my passion for sharing my knowledge with
willing riders.
Believe me, what I saw on the way up and what
cows and sheep were grazing on, this ride in the
rain was a choice and truly enjoyed every minute
of if with Wimpie... prayers answered, Amen! It
continued to rain through the night and drenched
the Bloem earth just short of another dust cloud
the following day.
My trip back from Bloemfontein went through a
quiet Winburg through a fast asleep Senekal, then
through Bethlehem and what is now a perfectly
finished road all the way to Harrismith. My first stop
was Van Reenen, and my butt had something to say
about that, quick garage pie and juice and back in
the saddle down to the coast and back home. Not
a single incident on the road apart from hooking up
with a fellow rider or two, but I arrived home safe a
little tired with a feeling of triumph and trophy, no
pun intended.
Classroom Session
The day started off with a coffee and rusks provided
by Bikers Church Bloemfontein, 20 riders attending
a classroom session on Motorcycle Safety, Group
Riding and Marshaling. Later on, just before lunch,
a practical walking session had to be done before
heading out on a ride testing and practising what
was learned. The venue was the amazing facility at
Bikers Church Bloemfontein, where we all enjoyed
the hospitality and teamwork of Wimpie and his
Helmet placed on the ground behind a Motorcycle
means a Biker Needs Help
The bike I used was the great Triumph Trophy SE
provided by East Coast Motorcycles on Umhlanga
Ridge. All the gadgets and features truly made
this a comfortable and relaxing ride never to be
forgotten! Read my full review on page 00.
On this ride, Johan Jonck a friend and founder or
Arrive Alive South Africa, took a very interesting
photo of the signboard asking road users to “Watch
for Bikes”. I wish, like you, that we can have more of
these signs around the country.
The reason for my trip was to conduct and train
Road Captains of local Motorcycle Clubs, something
that I’ve been doing all over the country (by invite)
for the last 10 years, loving every moment of
Bike Talk
December 2015
Boere & Bikers Geloftefees
Voorbegin Wildboerdery and
Bothaville, Free State
Reservations are open. R30 per person for day visitors and
R100 per person should you wish to camp over on the 15th.
Various stalls available, artists and guest speaker Steve
More information at
Advanced Rider Course (ARC)
Toyota Test Circuit, Eston, KZN
The ARC teaches you how to control your motorcycle
at speed of 60 – 120km/h. The course is geared for the
rider who wants to get better acquainted with his/her
motorcycle and discovering their own abilities and that
of their motorcycle. The ARC should be considered once
you’ve done the Basic Level 2 to help boost skill and
confidence levels or when you have at least 6-8 months
(4000km) riding experience. Cost R900 per person.
For more information contact Hein Jonker on 083 793 7975,
email: [email protected] or visit MSI website at
5 to 6 Feb
Urban Skills and Road Captain
Pietersburg (Polokwane)
Motorcycle Councils, their Clubs and Chapters are invited
to host a course in their area to truly impact and change
how Mass Rides and Group Rides are safely and effectively
managed and controlled.
For more information contact Hein Jonker on 083 793 7975,
email: [email protected] or visit MSI website at
19 to 21 Feb
34th Midnight Rally
Bathurst, Eastern Cape
Early entry R160 includes metal badge and 2 lucky tickets.
Gate entry R180 includes metal badge and 1 lucky ticket.
Car entry R60. For more information Bernard 082 440 7370
19 to 21 Feb
British European American
Rally (B.E.A.R.)
Swellendam, Western Cape
The B.E.A.R. is taking place at the Swellendam show
15 to 16 Dec
23 Jan 2016
26 to 28 Feb
26 to 28 Feb
grounds. More details please visit their website:
Rally in the Valley
Silverstrand, Robertson,
Western Cape
Join Lady Bikers of SA for the 3rd annual ladies only rally
with special performance by PJ Powers. Stalls, food, rally
games, champagne lounge, tented village area, biker
concourse and great prizes.
Register online at www.ladybikers.co.za or more
information at [email protected]
Impala Rally
Hartebeespoortdam, North
West Province
This will be the 13th year in a row it will be held at this
Hartebeespoortdam resort which has had ongoing upgrading
and extensions, with more tar and bridges and chalets and
more grass and more camping. This 2016 one will follow the
same successful format as before, but with changes in music
and amusements.
Keep the dates open, more information to follow.
Listing your event here is free. Send your event details in the format above to [email protected]
All Events are Pending Editor’s Approval
Bike Talk
December 2015
Heiner Faust, BMW Motorrad Head of Sales and
Marketing: “In 2006 BMW Motorrad exceeded
the magical figure of 100,000 units for the first
time. Now we were able to exceed this figure
four months earlier already. Customer interest
in our products is increasing worldwide and the
desirability of the BMW Motorrad brand is steadily
on the rise. Incoming orders for the coming months
are gratifyingly high.”
BMW Motorrad recorded retail growth in almost
all sales regions during the first nine months of the
year. Germany remains the most important market:
with 18,825 units sold and a market share of approx.
25% in the relevant premium segment above 500
cc displacement, BMW Motorrad is market leader
once again. The ranking of the countries with the
strongest sales are the USA (13,362 units), France
(10,447 units), Italy (9,935 units) and Great Britain
(7,241 units).
With 11,088 units delivered, BMW Motorrad has
achieved record sales for the ninth time in a row as
per September 2015. As compared to the already
strong equivalent month in the previous year (9,991
units), 11.0 % more motorcycles and maxi scooters
were supplied to customers. As of September,
worldwide sales reached a new all-time high of
112,411 units sold and an increase of 12.2% (prev.
yr.: 100,217 units). For the first time the 100,000
mark was exceeded already in August.
In South Africa BMW Motorrad delivered 270
units to customers in September 2015 which is an
increase of 16.8% compared to the same period in
2014 (231).
In the coming months, BMW Motorrad will remain
on a course of growth when it presents two new
models. A few days ago, BMW Motorrad announced
the strongly revised maxi scooters C 650 Sport
and C 650 GT. Heiner Faust comments: “Now we
are following up in the urban mobility segment
with strongly modified technology and two very
attractive models. We will be delivering our new
maxi scooters this year already. In addition two new
BMW motorcycles will see their world premiere this
The BMW R Series with the characteristic flat-twin
engine contributed about 54.0 % to sales with
60,557 units sold. Apart from the traditional highvolume models R 1200 GS, GS Adventure and RT,
the BMW R nineT, now already a cult bike, has firmly
established itself in 4th place in the BMW Motorrad
ranking. Sales figures for the BMW R 1200 RS, the
new touring sports bike by BMW Motorrad, are also
developing positively.
The repositioning of the brand is moving ahead
as BMW Motorrad reorients itself. Heiner Faust
comments: “Make Life A Ride” is our brand claim
under which we are repositioning the BMW
Motorrad brand. Without giving up our traditional
strengths of innovation, safety and quality, our
entire brand impact is now considerably more
emotional. BMW Motorrad is turning into the
desirable power brand.”
The sports-oriented BMW S Series with the S1000RR
Supersports Bike, the S1000R Power Roadster and
the new S1000XR Adventure Bike have developed
into key pillars in the BMW Motorrad model range.
Source: www.bmwgroup.com
Bike Talk
December 2015
The Pietermaritzburg motorcycle shop was
selected as a service centre for Kawasaki after the
long-standing and fondly remembered Kawasaki
dealership, The Motorcycle Centre, sadly closed
down some months ago. Extreme Machines
workshop manager, Mervin Koekemoer, was until
he moved to Extreme Machines five years ago,
workshop manager at The Motorcycle Centre, and
spent 26 years working on Kawasaki machines.
A multiple KwaZulu-Natal motocross champion
in the ‘70s he has always had a strong following
in Pietermaritzburg and the KZN Midlands and in
the last five years many riders whose Kawasakis
were out of warranty went to him at Extreme
Machines for servicing and repairs. With the formal
relationship that now exists with KMSA he can now
also service and repair machines that are still under
warranty and save customers the 200 km round trip
to the Durban dealership.
Anel Vlok, the owner of Extreme Machines, is
excited about the new situation. “We’ve bought
all the necessary Kawasaki-specific diagnostic
equipment and special tools, and the workshop
is undergoing a full revamp,” she says. “It’s going
well and the fact that we’re now part of the official
Kawasaki family is good for KMSA, good for us, and
most importantly, good for the customer.”
Mervin Koekemoer and Anel Vlok of Extreme
Machines, Pietermaritzburg
Extreme Machines can be contacted on
033 394 2646.
Kawasaki Motorcycles South Africa has appointed
Extreme Machines at 201 Greyling Street,
Pietermaritzburg as an official service centre
for Kawasaki motorcycles and quads. Extreme
Machines, already a full dealer for Aeon and Sym
products, can now service and repair Kawasaki
products without affecting the manufacturer’s
Bike Talk
Article supplied by KMSA.
December 2015
Taking delivery of the XR the first thing that struck
me was that this bike almost looks like the “lovechild” between a S1000R and the R1200GS. Looking
closer though that perception quickly dissipates
and you realise that this bike has strong enough
characteristics of its own to stand loud and proud
in the company of the other distinguished bikes in
the BMW stable. It uses the same 999cc in-line four
cylinder engine as the S1000R, producing 160hp
(re-tuned from the 200hp of the S1000RR’s top-end
peak power). Some say this is a de-tuned engine but
in my experience I’d rather say re-tuned for better
bottom and mid-range power output – right where
you need it.
By Henry Edwards
On my way to Pinetown to pick up my BMW
S1000XR for the weekend from Ryder Motorrad I
had some mixed thoughts about the “adventure
sport” market segment that this bike is squarely
aimed at. Almost like the Bok coach announcing
that “Beast” Mtawarira will be replaced by Bryan
Habana on prop. It just seems so unlikely to mix
sporty characteristics with adventure requirements
on the same bike. BMW were pioneers in this market
segment with the introduction of the R1200GS in
2004 (GS of course stands for Gelanden Strasse German for land and street) so pretty impressive
DNA to fall back onto.
It was the perfect weekend for testing the S1000XR.
I was on my way to Richards Bay for a weekend with
the local motorcycle boys. So I was pretty much
assured the XR will show its metal. Terene Naidoo,
the sales manager at Ryder Motorrad, graciously
agreed that I can have the bike for the whole
weekend and as Damien explained the different
settings I could not contain my excitement. This
is not only a very good looking bike, but the
engineering is as pinpoint and refined as you could
expect from the Germans. The S1000XR comes
with FOUR riding modes, rain, road, dynamic and
dynamic pro. The rain mode tunes the power
down to around 100hp and mellows the throttle
response. Road mode calls all 160 ponies in the
stable together and sharpens the throttle a tad
but those ponies only start getting into a decent
gallop with the dynamic mode. Dynamic pro is of
course proper hooligan mode with sharp throttle
At the time the designers of the GS noted that with
motorcycles becoming better and faster, roads
were getting worst. Superbikes have outpaced their
usefulness, not only because their performance
started threatening the average rider, but also the
road surfaces were literally crumbling underneath
them. So they designed the GS with all-day comfort,
a dash of practicality, and some unparalleled
versatility. But bikes are still getting better and
faster, even in the adventure segment and with the
onset of stiff competition, the S1000XR was born.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
response and all 160hp screaming and squirming
like a 12 year-old in a house infested with spiders.
The main difference between the latter modes is of
course the allowances of the stability control (ASC),
traction control (DTC) and ABS. So if you feel up to
it, then the pro mode will allow some wheel spin
and front wheel lift. ABS can of course be switched
off but I would not recommend it for anyone not
skilled enough to handle the power.
can be removed with the twist of a few bolts. The
captain’s seat is really comfortable. Your seating
position is pretty much the same as the GS, upright
with the handlebars set back and your elbows
outward. The small windscreen offers decent
wind protection and has two manual adjustments.
I rode with mine in the upper position and found
no buffeting with only a slight wind blast on my
shoulders – not enough to make you feel like you
have to hold on tight though. The dashboard offers
a big analogue tachometer and digital speedometer
with fuel gauge and gear indicator. It also offers a
variety of useful information like distance to empty,
trip information, average consumption, engine
temp, etc.
All in all the information is legible at a glance and
I found that direct sunlight does not obscure any
detail. The road to Richards Bay also allowed me
to put to test the best little gadget to become
standard on this bike. Cruise Control!! Flicking the
switch with your left thumb into the on position
and then flicking it forward to activate it brings a
strange yet liberating feeling. Suddenly your right
hand wants to do all the resting and your left hand
makes that sacrifice in the name of all the years of
no cruise control riding. What a joy that is!
I set off to Richards Bay in road mode as it is
a fairly straight no thrills or frills road. The XR
accommodated my luggage with no problem
whatsoever with enough tie-on areas. Some people
complained about the “scaffolding” on the sides for
the optional extra panniers, but they did not bother
me in the least. Guess it is a personal preference
so if you not going to invest in the panniers then it
Bike Talk
The next morning I met with the boys for our
outright into the countryside of Richards Bay. We
met at Pottie’s house as he is the de-facto road
captain and the one arranging the trip. Apart from
Pottie I also met Ludwig, Herman, Wally, Paul, Sean,
Apie and Barry.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Great guys with a variety of different bikes and
personalities, but one thing they had in common
was their amazing biking talent.
A mouthful but it basically means that as soon as
the bike is moving you don’t have to use the clutch
for upshifts AND downshifts. Our first point of call
was Mtunzini for breakfast. Anyone familiar with
the roads around Richards Bay will know the R102,
or the old road as the locals refer to it. A haven
for motorcycles, barring the few traffic calming
measures around buildup areas.
The XR’s chassis follows the lead of its S1000R
sibling, with some important deviations. A revised
steering head angle and longer swingarm stretches
the wheelbase to 155cm, 11cm more than the R
model. The aluminum frame’s rear segment has
also been strengthened, to support increased load
capacity and fulfill the XR’s touring pretensions.
The R and XR suspensions share similar hardware
(46mm upside-down fork and rear shock), but the
XR adds 3cm of travel to the front (15cm) and 2cm
to the rear (14cm).
The XR also offers Dynamic ESA (Electronic
Suspension Adjustment). The D-ESA system
modulates suspension damping based off inputs
from sensors measuring acceleration, deceleration
and banking angle, with electrically-actuated
control valves automatically adjusting the damping
rate in real-time. There are two D-ESA settings,
Road and Dynamic. Road is the default ESA setting
for the Rain and Road Modes, while Dynamic is the
default for Dynamic and Dynamic Pro. But riders
can override either setting at the push of a button,
so you can have Dynamic ESA in Road Ride Mode,
or vice versa.
The XR received a lot of attention before we set off.
The consensus confirmed my feelings about the
XR. It is an amazing bike with looks that will draw
attention no matter where you go or where your
brand loyalty lies. I set the bike in “Dynamic” mode
to keep up with the pack and I also started using
the other great gadget this bike has on offer. Gear
Shift Assist Pro.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The first 70km or so made for some gentle sweeps
and bends in the road with a few odd corners that
require hard braking. At first I was a little cautious
in my approach but as the pack disappeared over
the next hill and out of sight I started to realise this
bike can handle anything thrown at it. I kept the
ride mode in dynamic and changed the D-ESA back
to road again. It is noticeable how the suspension
softens underneath you and although I never
caught up with the guys I felt the bike did me proud.
The Gear Shift Assist proved amazing and the sound
from the exhaust was goosebumps inducing stuff. I
felt and it sounded like a Moto GP rider. The D-ESA
is brilliant, it is smoothing and the stabilising effect
on the bike is obvious.
The XR simply doesn’t stand up in the corner by
making minute modulations to the front brake
calipers so that the bike holds its lean angle. I was
surprised with the effectiveness of the system.
Sharp corner approaching on the road, tip it in,
lean it over and squeeze the brakes. The bike slows
but doesn’t move from its line. I know that sounds
wrong, but that’s what happens. It’s remarkable.
And speaking of corners, the XR is quick to tip in and
change direction. It claims a 228kg dry weight, and,
if anything, feels even lighter. It’s a neutral handling
bike with an upright riding position and a tall, wide
handlebar that provides good leverage.
As the outride started to wind down I asked myself
the question again what the pretensions of this
bike are? Adventure by its very definition implies
you have to saddle up, probably with luggage, and
travel on normal(ish) roads and then transform
to take advantage of the adventure. So how did it
perform as a touring bike? Pretty well I’d say.
Little did I know that the best was yet to come.
We left Mtunzini for Empangeni but took the
real backroads with many tight corners, hills and
sweeps. It was time to test both my limitations and
the incredible intervention of the ABS Pro system
on the XR. I was completely unfamiliar with the road
but in the way the boys shot off into the distance
gave me a sense of confidence. This was completely
unfounded as every corner and every bend in the
road held a surprise or two. I can unequivocally
say that on any other bike my skill set would have
been severely tested. A lot of people think of ABS
in terms of slamming on the brakes in a panic and
the system stopping you from losing traction. The
ABS Pro system is more like a performance braking
enhancement. It was put to good use on this piece
of road where a corner would suddenly appear and
you are forced to brake through the corner.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The relaxed upright riding position, adequate wind
protection and enough luggage capacity tick that
box. Is it sporty with good handling characteristics?
Oh yeah! My experience through the tight corners
and the pull of the torque when you open the
throttle to the host of electronic aids tick that box.
Is it a good all-rounder then? I honestly cannot say
as I have not ventured onto any dirt road during
my weekend. Some roads were rough enough for it
though. My immediate thoughts are that it may not
be as confidence inspiring sharing the same rubber
as the S1000R sibling. But you see this is it. The
designers and engineers at BMW Motorrad are very
clever. The XR and GS are not competitors. Instead
the XR allows the GS to be just that whilst carving
out a completely new niche with new potential
customers. All that is left to say is... MAN WHAT AN
Engine: Liquid-cooled Inline Four
Bore X Stroke:
80 x 49.7mm
Comp Ratio:
Wet clutch (slipper function)
Six-speed, Gear Shift Assist
Final Drive:
Chain 17/45
Frame: Aluminum perimeter
Front Suspension: 46mm upside-down fork
adjustable for compression, Dynamic ESA
Rear Suspension: Single shock adjustable for
preload and rebound, Dynamic ESA
Front Brake: Dual 320mm rotors with
radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: Single 265mm rotor with twin piston caliper
Front/Rear Tyres: 120/70 ZR17; 190/55 ZR17
Rake/Trail: 25.5°/12cm
Wheelbase: 155cm
Seat Height: 84cm
Fuel Capacity: 17 liter
Curb Weight: 228kg
With gratitude to Terene Naidoo and the team at
Ryder Motorrad for supplying me with this amazing
bike. Pay these guys a visit and do yourself the
favour and test ride the XR!
Ryder Motorrad
Unit 5 Cnr Bamboo and Chancery Lane
Basement A, Knowles Centre
Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 031 7014772
Bike Talk
December 2015
ever seen on any Triumph. All paired up with the
sharpest, best handling chassis in the class and a
muscular, torque laden 1215cc engine immersed in
By Hein Jonker
Feature Highlights
The Trophy SE is available in Phantom Black or
Pacific Blue
Eating long distances in supreme comfort is what
the Trophy does best. Added to that is its amazing
ability to transform into a motorcycle that is equally
happy to tackle the twisty roads. That said, what
better way to test these theories on a Training
Road Trip from the twisty roads of KwaZulu Natal
to the enduring straights of the Orange Free State.
Yes I had this comfy wagon for little more than a
weekend on a trip from Durban to Bloemfontein.
Triumph launched the Trophy directly in competition
to BMW, and it’s a good one. The first slap in the
proverbial face was the 800 Tiger, second the 1200
Explorer, and the third with this Trophy SE launched
in 2013.
In the case of the Trophy SE, Triumph clearly targeted
the R 1200 RT. After spending quality saddle time on
board the Trophy SE, I believe Triumph has the BMW
RT covered, and in the process clearly dropped oneup to the more expensive K1600 series as well. By
being much better equipped than the RT and much
cheaper than the K1600’s while being comparably
equipped, Triumph has impressed with a luxury
sport-touring niche between the two that no one
even knew existed.
My Trophy SE test bike from East Coast Motorcycles
came well equipped. The standard features list
is impressively extensive; heated grips, AM/FM
satellite radio with blue tooth / aux input and
weather band, mag lock powered storage console
unit with USB-input, ride by wire throttle, traction
control, ABS, linked brakes, 31-liter detachable
panniers, cruise control, tyre-pressure monitors,
electrically adjustable windscreen, adjustable seat
height, electrically adjustable headlights and shaft
final drive. Eish a mouthful! Like I said, it was well
equipped! What more can you ask for but near
perfect conditions to ride in?
So many things work so well on this bike that it’s
difficult to choose one to begin with, so let’s start
with what clearly makes this bike a Triumph – the
1215cc triple. This engine is the same one used in
the Explorer, and it’s a gem!
With the Trophy SE features electronic suspension
and the result is the ultimate in touring bike luxury,
with the most comprehensive levels of equipment
Bike Talk
Three cylinder 1215cc engine generating 133
horses and 120Nm of torque at just 6,450rpm
Virtually maintenance-free, robust shaft drive
Supreme rider and pillion comfort
The most highly technologically advanced
Triumph with ride-by-wire, traction control,
cruise control, electronic suspension,
electrically adjustable screen, integrated audio
system with Bluetooth functionality, linked
ABS, and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Triumph Dynamic Luggage System as standard
providing practicality with dynamic stability
If you have never heard of a Triumph triple, you
need to. It has character a plenty!
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The Trophy has a deep V8 muscle car like sound
mixed in with a bit of turbine whistle and sprinkled
with a bit of diesel clatter over the top. It sounds
distinctive and wonderful, no matter the rpm.
The power characteristics mirror the sound. It has
fabulous grunt off the bottom, pulls hard through
the midrange like a V8 and spins freely to redline in
turbine like fashion. This engine doesn’t wow you
as much as BMW’s inline six, but this 3-cylinders
motor is strong, willing and full of charisma in its
own right.
Helping with the handling is a top-notch electronic
WP suspension (TES). Smooth and controlled at all
times, it makes riding the Trophy a truly enjoyable
affair. The TES has three settings you can use on
the fly, “Comfort”, “Normal” and “Sport”. Comfort
is a well-controlled couch. Sport is firmer in that
you feel the bumps, but they are rounded off, and
Normal is a mix of the two. They all work great
and you’ll have fun playing with them in different
situations. The TES also allows custom electronic
preload, “Solo”, “Solo with Luggage” and “Two-Up”.
No more turning shock collars or twisting pre-load
adjusters, thank you!
The ride by wire technology that Triumph attaches
to that locomotive engine is second to none.
Unlike the lag feeling some throttles have, Triumph’s
version delivers a smooth tip-in, no surging or
hunting at constant throttle and responds perfectly
to your commands. Combine this with the fabulous
engine and you have one of the best packages
going. In all aspects and situations, this EFI is the
model of good behaviour and the standard that all
others should be measured by. It also has amazing
fuel mileage. I averaged about 23km/L during my
trip; combine that with the 26 Litre tank and you’d
better make sure you visit the bathroom before you
During one long day to Bloemfontein from Durban,
I had ample time to play with and appreciate the
electronic gadgets and luggage the Trophy has.
During this time, I was able to easily use and enjoy
everything from the radio to the electronic cruise
control to the numerous dash displays. I won’t
get into the particulars, but I will say that having
heated grips and cruise is a luxury I could live with! I
spent some time in much needed OFS rain, dodging
hailstorms and lots of fun in the KZN coastal winds
on my return trip.
It’s a good thing that the Trophy gets such great
mileage, because it’s amazingly competent and
comfortable. It’s so easy to cover distance on!
The wind management and protection is the best
I’ve ever had. Roll the windshield all the way up
and you have a serene protective cockpit. Crank
it all the way down and you have good airflow at
helmet and shoulder level. Drop it just below your
line of sight and you have sport touring bliss! The
ergonomics and seat are excellent and I loved the
mirrors; positioned below your arms and offering
an excellent vibration free view of your rear right
past your hips.
Packing and using the luggage was simple. It’s
high quality, spacious, easily removable and has
a unique mounting system Triumph claims aids
handling. Although I didn’t have the pleasure of the
optional top box, but I think it is absolutely worthy
of a purchase with your Trophy.
Complementing the engine and wind management
is excellent handling. Triumph is known for good
handling chassis and this is another for their Trophy
case. Turn in is light, responsive and trustworthy,
and rock solid at high speed.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
I’ve ridden many different bikes in the touring and
sport-touring class in my time with Bike Talk. I can
truly say that this bike has the best combination of
value, content and execution of them all. It is an
excellent high quality piece of hardware from one
of the most popular brands in motorcycle history.
I regretted having to return it and I hope that a
deserving owner will step up and take it home.
Adjustable levers and foot controls were standard,
with reach and pull of the levers proving easy and
plenty of foot room despite the 1200cc motor
pulsing between your legs.
But it’s the windshield that proves to be the focal
point of the Trophy’s thoughtfully planned rider
space. Not only does it electronically adjust 150mm
to suit your pleasure, but it also actually remembers
its last position. So, when you start the bike, you
don’t have to waste time readjusting it. It is also
curved at the top edge of the screen, leaving you
a clear over the top view without that annoying
screen edge that would usually obscure your view.
Love it!
In the modern touring bike field, there are massive
R300 000 luxury couches, there are relatively
slender, sparsely outfitted R150 000 sport-tourers,
and there are bikes that fall into a middle category –
those that combine a long list of rider comforts with
a highly responsive chassis design. The Triumph
Trophy SE is the latter of the three. To be sure, from
the very beginning, it was a sport bike designed to
cover distance comfortably.
The legendary triple’s grunt of a twin and
smoothness of a four translates through fly-by-wire
technology, which allows that above-mentioned
rider information package to far exceed any other
in its class.
In fact, the data bank is one of the key features
of the Trophy SE, showing not only dual analogue
gauges, fuel level, temperature, trip computers
and gear position indication, but also range to
empty indication, air temperature, frost warning,
accessory heated seats/grips status display, cruise
control and a service indicator. The really trick
feature, however, is the ability to easily scroll
through the menu options to manage the traction
control and make suspension adjustments,
choosing between Solo, Solo with Luggage, or
Two-Up settings for preload and Sport, Normal and
Comfort settings for damping.
Starting the Trophy SE delivers a welcome message
and light show from the dash and a boom from the
three-into-one side mounted stainless steel silencer.
At idle the bike sounds robust but passive enough
for even the most conservative of neighbourhoods.
Just off idle and the sound becomes more like that
of a muscle car than a Gentleman’s Tourer.
Slipping into gear delivered a solid click and the
bike proved easy to use at urban speeds, with the
weight becoming null and void, and the engine and
transmission working in sync to deliver a smooth
ride. Keep it in second gear while downtown or
during rush hour congestion and you may forget the
bike has a clutch.
ErgonomicsThe Trophy SE offered my 6-ft 2-in
frame a standard upright seating position, elbows
slightly bent in reaching to the bars, legs in a
natural position, and posterior tucked comfortably
in a generously sculpted, 790mm-high saddle that
didn’t prove to cause any pressure points during a
1500 km trip.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
At 120 km/h in 6th gear the engine turns at a
whisper quiet 3,800 rpm. Twist your wrist and the
big Trophy moves away with a purpose; downshift
one notch before twisting and the engine jumps up
to 4,400 rpm. Now you’re in the sweet spot and the
entire 300kg package leaps to attention and surges
you down the road with force and the bark of a
beautiful Triple tone. Forget about torque pull from
the shaft drive, this baby feels drag strip precise as
triple digits show up in two blinks of an eye.
In closing, riding this bike constantly reminded me
how the Brits never seized to impress me on every
kilometre and around every corner during my time
on and off this bike. Truly a masterpiece second to
none any time of any given day!
Triumph Trophy SE supplied by:
Bringing the big Trophy SE down from speed was
drama free, even in panic situations, with the twin
320mm floating discs bitten by Nissin four-piston
callipers in front and single 282mm disc with twinpiston calliper in the rear. There wasn’t a lot of
diving to upset chassis performance and the ABS
did not hinder my inputs but in fact encouraged my
trust in the bike.
East Coast Motorcycles
10 Meridian Drive
Umhlanga Rocks
Don’t be afraid to dive into the corners, either.
The Trophy’s sport-derived design, electronically
adjustable WP suspension, and 120/70 ZR17
front and 190/55 ZR17 rear tyres keep the bike
in-line through the curves while its aero package
introduces its excellent road manners; even on a
day with major crosswinds down the KZN coast and
the screen at full attention, there was very little to
no buffeting on the bike. Even Triumph’s dynamic
luggage system was designed for speed – allowing a
small amount of independent movement from wind
buffeting, which actually increases stability.
Tel: 031 5663024
After having switched between multiple electronic
suspension combinations, I can confirm that the
system works – firming up the ride for solo action,
and offering comfort for your better-half enjoying
the experience as pillion.
What didn’t I like on Trophy SE? The moment I had
to give it back!
Bike Talk
December 2015
Leave your drugs and coffee supply at home
It’s this simple, drugs and other stimulants do not
work! If you need supplements or other drugs to
stay alert and that includes coffee and sodas, it’s
time to stop for the day and get some serious rest.
By Hein Jonker
Know your limits and plan your trip around them
If the longest ride you have ever taken is 500
kilometers in a day, don’t plan a trip with a string of
endless five- hundred kilometer days. Our surveys
also warn of an important trend in long distance
trip planning. Discounting weather or other
problems after an initial mileage peak on days one
and two, daily average mileage will steadily drop
during trip days three to seven. On day seven of a
trip, the typical long distance rider will comfortably
ride about 65% of the average daily mileage that
they would book on a two day trip. If the pros have
this type of mileage attrition rate, would you plan
on any less?
Prepare your motorcycle before the trip
With vacation time in short supply, why would
you waste time during a trip to have your tyres
replaced? It is often cheaper to replace tyres and
chains at home rather than squeezing the few
remaining K’s from them to only find that they are
not available. Additionally, quality motorcycle oils
can go the distance. It is not unheard of Long-Ride
types grinding away 10000 or more K’s between
oil changes; running hours between oil changes
and work load means more than K’s. A motorcycle
ridden around town will need more frequent
changes than one used on a long trip.
Also include large easy-to-cut loops into your trip
plan. If you do get behind schedule, this is the
easiest way to skip part of your trip without ruining
the rest of it.
Avoid adding accessories or doing maintenance
immediately before a trip
Whether you are capable of riding 500 kilometers
per day, or 1600, the ability to make K’s tends to
decrease as the length of the trip increases. The
most severe loss is in days 3 through 7, where LamGat types then level out to about 65% of their peak
Forget about high speeds
Forget what you’ve been told; high speeds and longdistance riding have little in common. A steady rider
can book more K’s, enjoy more mountain views and
ride more twisty roads than a road carver bent
on making the best times across a mountain pass.
Besides the obvious effects on fuel mileage, which
means more time wasted looking for fuel, and the
fatigue caused by fighting the effects of pushing a
motorcycle through the wind, riding much beyond
the flow of traffic will land you a hefty speeding
ticket. While you are on the side of the road having
a spirited discussion with a Traffic Officer about
your riding style, the turtle-like rider on the Honda
250 will wave as he sets himself up for the next set
of corners.
Bike Talk
If it can be avoided, don’t use a trip as a test bed
for a new exciting accessory. This is particularly true
for electrical system failures. It’s asking for trouble
to install new auxiliary lights or perform other
mission-critical electrical modifications right before
a rally. This leaves no time to thoroughly exercise
the system for proper behaviour before having to
depend on them during a long night ride.
And don’t forget, even the best mechanic can make
a mistake. Try and avoid picking up your motorcycle
and heading out directly on a long trip.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
A trip is also not the best time to try out that new
rain suit, helmet or packing technique!
A few small items to pack
Use a thermal vest
Even on the warmest summer nights, after a few
days of 32 degree temperatures, an 18 degree
evening ride can send a chill through your body.
Add in a cool, wet day and the benefits of a thermal
vest mean that no serious rider would leave home
without it.
Pack wisely; keep personal supplies handy
Lip Ice: Your lips will feel parched in no time,
keep them lubed.
Eye Drops: Wind entering your helmet will
make your eyes feel scratchy, keep them
Kidney Belt: Your lower back will take a
hammering on a long trip, you’ll feel it the next
Cotton Tube Scarf: Keep hot or cold air off your
neck, this is where dehydration starts.
Wipe It: Tablet-like cloth that expands in water,
to wipe your face, hands or helmet visor.
Be ready before you leave, don’t waste time shopping
on the road
The same rules that apply to your motorcycle should
apply to your riding gear and essentials. Maintain a
check list of items to carry and then check it before
you leave. Buying toothpaste at a 1-Stop is no big
deal, but having to shop around for a sweater or
swimsuit or specialty medicines that you left at
home can eat up valuable riding or rest time.
Learn how to avoid boredom
While many riders use a tank bag, what they pack in
them is not always well thought out. If these items
are not on-hand when you need them, you won’t
use them. That can lead to costly mistakes like
missing a road because you didn’t want to find your
map or roasting your face and then facing painful
sun burn for days into a trip (ever try wearing a
helmet over a sun-burnt head? - do it once and you
will never forget to pack the sun screen where it is
On the other hand, things like registration and
insurance papers should be kept in a secure
water tight area of the motorcycle. Assuming you
probably will only need these items while talking
to the Law, having them stowed away gives you
time to talk to the officer and convince him you are
human and not some crazed-biker - that could work
to your advantage.
Bike Talk
Long rides usually mean riding across areas you
might not consider prime riding spots. To some
riders the road across the Kalahari is a beautiful
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Other symptoms to watch for:
1. Inability to maintain a desired speed. If you
find yourself slowing down and constantly
having to speed back up, you are ready to fall
2. Forgetting to turn high beams down for
oncoming traffic.
3. Indecision. Can’t decide to stop for fuel or
continue? Can’t decide what turn to take?
These are all a result of fatigue.
To a road carver it can be a long, hot, boring, dull
highway to hell. For times like this, carrying a
MP3 player with your favourite music can prove
Some of the other tricks of the trade are to stock up
your tank bag with a supply of candies that you can
munch on while riding. A sour lemon drop will shock
your senses and keep you going another 40kms!
Join a Road-Side Assist!
Maintain a good mental attitude
Break downs happen and there is nothing like
being stuck with no one to turn to for help. Some
insurance companies and some auto clubs like the
AA and Road Runner Assist have plans that will
get you out of trouble. This is not a matter of just
money (the cost of the plan versus the risk of the
cost of a later tow), these clubs have contracted
with tow companies all over South Africa.
If you really hate rain, you just may be better
off taking a time-out and hold-up in a Lodge or
Guesthouse for a few hours. The same goes for
excessive heat (if possible, try riding at night) or a
host of other conditions that can put you in such a
bad mental state that riding is no longer fun (if you
are concentrating on being miserable, you are not
concentrating on the road). Yes, answering to your
boss why you are a day or two late can cause some
stress, but at least you might make it safely home!
Skip the insurance and you can spend hours burning
up the phone looking for a tow company. Pay a little
now or pay a lot later in the form of money and
wasted trip time.
Eat healthy foods
Learn to Stop to go Faster
On the surface this tip may not make sense, but
the successful long distance rider uses this strategy
to their advantage. Since each rider is different,
no one can predict a comfortable speed average
for every rider. What is important is to know what
speed your internal riding clock runs by and when
your speed falls below that average, take time out
and get some serious rest.
Wasting time on coffee stops or milling about fuel
stations is time that could be better spent in a
comfortable room sleeping or even better, taking a
walk to stretch tired and sore muscles and get some
oxygen pumping back into your brain.
Know when to stop!
As soon as you are tempted to close an eye, even
“for just a second”, find the nearest safe place to
pull over and take nap!
Bike Talk
Fast foods and a big road trip are a bad combination,
but realizing that this is the real world, try these
time-proven combinations:
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
In the mornings stick to oatmeal, cereals or
one egg with toast (no butter please!). Lunch
should be skipped in favour of a light, healthful
snack. Dinner should include a salad with light
If all else fails, our motto is, “If you can’t eat
right at least try and eat light!” Consider
having a freshly made sandwich instead of that
grease-dripping burger!
Separate fuel stops from food stops
After getting fuel (a mini rest-stop in itself), it takes
just as long to suit-up to ride across the street to
eat as it does to ride 40km down the road and then
eat. The result is two mini rest-stops for the price
of one.
Get fuel before you need it
Eat at the right times of the day
On weekdays, eating breakfast after 9 am is usually
the best time to beat the working stiffs not lucky
enough to be out on a ride. The opposite is true on
weekends, when people tend to sleep in and crowd
restaurants later in the morning. Dinner is best
eaten early (remember, we skipped lunch) to beat
the dinner crowd. Additionally, eating after dark
with a long ride ahead is a bad idea - it will put you
to sleep.
Whenever we speak of eating out, the subject of
time management always comes up. Specifically,
how can the long distance rider afford to waste
time sitting around while a restaurant cooks their
meal? Here is a time proven method that works:
After you enter the restaurant and get a seat (if the
restaurant is crowded, try the counter for faster
service) explain to your waitress that you are in a
hurry. In extreme cases, we recommend giving her
a generous tip up front and quickly give her your
order, ask her to leave the bill with the meal and
explain that you will be back shortly. This is now
your free time to take care of important business.
Although riders differ in technique, most will go to
the bathroom and wash up (washing your face with
warm water is a refreshing experience) and reapply
sun screen or skin lotion. If you have phone calls to
make, quickly make them now. In most cases, your
meal will be sitting for you ready to eat. With this
technique, meal stops can be cut to a reasonable
twenty to thirty minute window - that may sound
fast for a full meal, but when handled properly,
you will have a relaxing hot, meal while your fellow
riders are choking down a cold sandwich standing
around a fuel station.
Bike Talk
You only have to run out of fuel one time, or take
a 10km detour in search of fuel to blow the time
you saved by not stopping. When fuel is handy, stop
and get it! That having been said, keep in mind that
fuel stops can be a major time-sink if not managed
properly. While wasting 5 minutes loitering at the
fuel pump might not be to detrimental on multiday events, it can be devastating on 24-hour rides,
where maintaining a certain minimum average
speed is critical. And have cash handy, in case no
Card Facilities are available.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Put on your rain suit before it rains!
Carry a tyre repair kit and know how to use it!
The majority of tubeless tyres punctures can be
repaired in just a few minutes! There is no excuse for
not carrying a repair kit, but even more importantly
you should know how to use it. Practice at home
on an old tyre so you are not trying to figure the
process out on the side of the road! While tubetype tyres are more of a hassle, once your learn
how to patch a tube, it can be done a lot faster than
trying to arrange a tow.
Further, you should periodically inspect your tyre
repair kit to ensure the glue has not leaked out. If
your kit has CO2 cartridges as its means of inflation,
do you know how many cartridges it will take to
inflate your tyre to a safe level? Find out before
you hit the road! Tyre Shield is an excellent Tyre
Puncture Prevention option; consider installing it
before the trip.
If you have less than a half tank of fuel, why not
stop, fill-up and put on your suit all in one, quick,
safe stop? Whether you take the fill-up advice or
not, we strongly recommend you avoid putting your
rain suit on alongside the road.
Carry a Cell phone
The dangers are too numerous to outline, but think
about this when planning to dodge the rain under
an overpass; do you really want to be standing just
three feet (or about an arm’s length) from traffic
zooming by at 100km/h and up? And if it is raining,
do you want to be standing that close to drivers
half-blinded by the rain themselves? And keep in
mind that some of those drivers will be looking
for a covered place of their own to wait out a hard
rain - just like the place you are putting on your rain
suit. While hard statistics on this subject are hard to
come by, roadside shoulder accidents do happen.
Bike Talk
They may not work in some areas, but you may
be surprised at the number of locations they do
work. Thanks to our aggressive farm communities
desire to ride the tractor and be able to call mom
at the house, the cellular industry has cell sites in
many places that would surprise you. A cell phone
combined with towing insurance, can make what
was once a trip ruining event a tolerable experience.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
For example, aspirin can lower your body’s core
temperature. So those riders choosing to use it for
aches along the way should be aware they may be
cooling themselves down as well.
Stay Hydrated
Additionally, aspirin acts as an anti-coagulant
(something to worry about should you crash and
suffer wounds that cause severe bleeding). Some
brands of aspirin contain caffeine (it is sometimes
added to help the aspirin take effect more quickly). A
quick review of active ingredients on the packaging
will let you know if caffeine is part of the formula.
Pack a variety of vitamins
We have to defer this exact advice to a doctor,
but in general a minimum recommendation is to
take a one-a-day vitamin. Seek the advice of your
doctor as to what vitamins are best for the type
of conditions you are riding through (hot summertime conditions has different requirements than
winter riding). For long distance riding, look for
vitamins that will prevent muscle cramps.
Pushing a broken motorcycle a short distance up a
hill to get it to a safe parking place on a cool night
can generate a thirst that cannot be described.
Your water supply should be kept in two sources.
One should be used for casual drinking (i.e.,
whenever you are thirsty, you drink from that
bottle) and the remainder should be packed away
for true emergencies such as breakdowns. The
theory here is straightforward. Once riders start
carrying water, they will use it. Unfortunately, if you
drink your emergency supply away, then you will
not have it for an emergency. Do yourself a favour
and pack the emergency supply in an area that is
inconvenient to get to and save it for when you
really need it. On a health note, although bottled
water has a fairly long shelf life, to insure that tap
water is safe to drink it should be changed every
few days.
If you own a computer, consider using Google Maps
I’ve used Google Maps for almost every trip;
planning stops, stay-overs etc., you can even print
out the route or send it to your phone for easy
reference. Try it next time!
Upgrade your tool kit
The toolkit in most motorcycles is at best considered
junk. Use the tool kit as a guide and purchase quality
replacement tools and know how to use them.
When riding back roads, be extra cautious when
crossing province lines!
Although it may seem extreme, we also recommend
that during the long rides, you give up local tap
water and use purified bottled water. Changes in
the local make-up of the water supply can lead to
upset stomach, diarrhoea and in some extreme
cases require hospitalization.
In many
areas, road maintenance is the
responsibility of the province. That means you may
be dealing with different road mixes and different
engineer’s ideas of what is a good design. After
crossing a province line, take notice of subtle
signs of how the local road department operates.
Has the road gone from tar to concrete? Are the
turns well marked? Do they use decreasing radius
turns? Are road repairs done with rubber sealer
(the kind that flexes slightly when hot, which can
cause some riders to panic if they are not used to a
Carry medication for aches and pains
While aspirin enjoys an almost cult-like following
in the riding community (riders claim it alleviates a
variety of pains and helps prevent muscle spasms),
it is important to remember to consult your doctor
for side-effects related to its use.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
motorcycle moving around underneath them when
leaned over), gravel or other hazardous methods? Is
vegetation trimmed back from the side of the road?
Do fences exist to keep animals on the side-lines?
Do you want to live? Stay away from trucks!
Truck drivers hate having anyone follow them.
When you are behind a truck, you become a
liability. Instead of paying attention to the road,
a trucker will start worrying about the people on
their tailgate. From a biker’s standpoint, it is not
uncommon for a truck tyre to explode and trucks
don’t have rear-view mirrors.
Never ride faster than you can stop!
Imagine riding down the Highway in a heavy fog at
120km/h when all of a sudden you come across a
stopped car in the fast lane. Can you stop before
you hit the car? You may think this is a ridiculous
question, but it has happened. Don’t be the next
rider killed by out-riding your visibility.
Eliminate all distractions/irritants
Eliminate all distractions and potential irritants
before the ride, no matter how minor they may
seem. The cost in stamina and energy used in
fighting off the effects of irritants while tired can be
enormous. Even minor aggravations are magnified
during a long-distance ride, robbing you of precious
energy in the form of stress. Key to your ability to
fight off irritants is a well prepared bike that is set
up properly with resulting excellent ergonomic for
the rider.
2-way Bluetooth
intercom for
rider-to-rider or
FM Radio, Dual and
Single units available
with excellent audio
quality. Stay in touch
with SENA!
Dust Proof
Mud Proof
Sand Proof
Duffel Bags
Pannier Bags
Compact yet versi�le,
�ny enough to �t under
a seat, yet punching up
to 300psi @ 12 Volt.
Don’t leave home
without this li�le
Jacket with mesh
airflow, ample
Removable rain
thermal inner
Elbow and spine
Adjustable wrist
arm & waist
Sizes XS - XXL
These stylish glasses
are a perfect
combina�on of
comfort and
Detachable inserts,
an�-fog, sha�erproof
and impact resistant
All this said and done, go and ride!
This same tip applies to good weather as well.
Is making 30km/h more around a corner you
can’t see through worth spending six months in a
hospital? Think about it like that and you may live
to ride another day. Always remember the Absolute
Number 1 priority when participating in a longdistance ride or endurance rally: cross the Finish
Line alive. Everything else is just ice-cream on the
3-in-1 Helmet
Enduro X
Cheek pads easy
Prices valid while stock last and Include 14% VAT. Terms & Condi�ons Apply � � Bike Talk
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Bike Talk
December 2015
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3. Not 500m away, around a blind turn a truck has
stopped where workers were busy cutting and
trimming trees, with no Flagman before the turn to
warn road users in advance. I stopped and politely
asked the lady to unroll her little flag and move to
a point before the turn to wave road users down.
By Hein Jonker
Yesterday, as I was leaving my house on my
motorcycle to attend a meeting in Umhlanga, a few
life-threatening incidents played themselves off
while on the road:
4. Then, on the freeway at last, I get cut off by
another road user (car driver changing lanes
without signal or warning) talking on his cell phone.
When he moved back to the left lane, I continued
riding next to him in my own lane, looking at him
until he put his phone down. I continued on without
1. Just down my street and around a bend, a truck
pulled out from a driveway and into my lane turning
toward me. I had to brake hard to avoid impact.
2. Not 100m further down, at a T-junction, I stopped
and what you know, another vehicle decided to
reverse up into the street right where I was standing
at the STOP sign. I had to quickly manoeuvre around
the vehicle to avoid him driving/reversing into me.
Bike Talk
5. Not too long after that I rode past a vehicle
transporting long boxes, with decals on the side of
the vehicle saying JUST COFFINS.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
I started laughing and wondered: Is there a message
here? Was GOD trying to tell me something or has
He just saved my life 4 times in a row, and in under
15 minutes?
That’s why Paul could confidently say that dying
would be even better than living, because in death
he (as a believer) would be removed from this
world, and he would see CHRIST face-to-face.
Well this morning (the next day) my Father told me,
Yes I saved you 4 times in a row in under 15 minutes,
because I can. At one point, when I saw that sign
JUST COFFINS, I thought that today is a good day to
die and that I will finally be with my Saviour JESUS.
Exciting but I was wrong.
While nonbelievers are victims of life, swept along
by its current and wondering if there is meaning to
it all, believers on the other hand can use life well
because they understand its true purpose.
Nonbelievers can only fear death, but for believers,
however, death holds no terrors because CHRIST
has conquered all fears.
Are you excited to die? Are you scared of dying?
What will happen when you die? Where will you go?
Heaven or hell? Do you know?
The truth is that if you are not ready to die, then you
are not ready to live. Death is only the beginning
of eternal life with GOD. Make 100% sure of your
eternal destiny, then you will be free to serve;
devoting your life to what really matters, without
fear of death. Like me, while still alive in this world,
may we like Paul have sufficient courage so that
now as always CHRIST will be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death. Philippians 2:20 (NIV)
Well GOD saved my life, spared me one more day, so
I can share this story with you. You see my Creator
is not done with me yet, he is still busy chopping at
my rough edges, making me and shaping me into
the stone he needs me to be for His Kingdom. There
was this stone mason who was busy working on a
block of marble sculpting it. A passer-by asked the
mason what he was doing. The mason pointed to a
place up top where the stone would go and said, I’m
shaping it down here so it will fit perfectly up there.
Father GOD, today I thank you for your purpose in
my life. Thank you for taking your time to shape me
so I, one day, may fit perfectly up there in Heaven
with you. I thank you for saving my life 4 times in
a row, in under 15 minutes, just because you can
— because you are GOD. I praise your name for
using me in your own marvellous way, so my friend
reading this may see how great and powerful you
are! I know you’re not done with me yet, keep at it,
chisel and shape to the end. I love you!
Although I’m ready and eager to go home to my
Father, my Stone Mason is not done with me yet.
Just like the apostle Paul who said in Philippians
1:21, For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain,
we too should not fear death, but it doesn’t mean
we should stop living either. Paul’s whole purpose
in life was to speak out boldly for CHRIST and to
become more like him.
Folks, on a different note, if you like you can join
my journal page for daily encouragement from
the Bible and my study notes just like this one.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Two levels of HSTC are available (it also boasts an
off) and mode selection appears within the LCD
Honda call their adventure sport tourers the “Crossrunner” range and the VFR800X, which went on sale
in 2011, was the first model in Honda’s Crossover
‘X’ range. It combined the VFR800F sports touring
platform and an upright, adventure-oriented riding
position to create a multi-purpose motorcycle with
a V4 motor providing power and feel, and a chassis
that can handle bents and daily commutes in equal
The aluminium twin-beam frame features a
revised subframe while the single sided aluminium
swingarm ­is stiffer and lighter. Visually identical
to the VFR800F, the VFR800X Cross-runner’s
suspension has longer travel; 25mm in the twopiece telescopic forks and 28mm in the rear shock.
ABS is fitted as standard and the front 17-inch
hollow-cast aluminium wheel is fitted with dual
310mm discs, worked by radial-mount four-piston
The 2015 VFR800X Cross-runner - incorporating
many elements from the 2014 VFR800F - pushes
the Cross-runner concept forward with its revised
engine and chassis, HSTC, LED lights, refined, more
upright riding position and sharper styling.
The seat is now adjustable, offering two height
options, and 5-stage heated grips and Honda’s selfcancelling indicators are both fitted as standard.
Key Features
Model Overview
Styling & Equipment
Styling takes its adventure sport cues from the
VFR1200X Cross-tourer, with an efficient screen
and fairing and fixed beak-like front cowl above a
short front mudguard. There’s plenty of room for
a pillion and the rear grab rails and pannier mounts
integrate into the tail unit; a sump guard protects
the engine underside from debris.
Core of the VFR800X Cross-runner is its 90° V4VTEC DOHC 16 valve engine . It packs boosted low
and mid-range torque for fluid, effortless drive plus
improved top-end power compared to the previous
model, and features a new 4-2-1-1 exhaust similar
to the new VFR800F.
In addition the VFR800X Cross-runner rider now
benefits from Honda Selectable Torque Control
system (HSTC). If the system senses an imminent
loss of rear wheel traction it seamlessly reduces
torque to allow the tyre to grip.
Bike Talk
The seat itself features a slimmer frontal area,
making ground reach easier and providing greater
comfort whilst the upright riding position gives the
rider great all-round visibility.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Combined with the comfortable seat and foot-peg
positioning, the wide new 683mm handlebars put
the rider firmly in control and ready to attack any
corner. The VFR800X Cross-runner is easy to handle
in all situations and quick to respond to more
aggressive rider input whether carving through
twisty mountain roads or riding through the urban
jungle thanks to the extra leverage and low yaw
The VFR800X Cross-runner features Honda’s selfcancelling indicator system. Designed to work
unnoticed by the rider, it compares front and rear
wheel speed differential when turning (via the
ABS wheel sensors) and calculates when to cancel
indication when going straight again.
The Cross-runner’s suspension is similar to the 2014
VFR800F but the 43mm Honda Multi-Action System
(HMAS) telescopic fork features an extra 25mm
travel and offers stepless spring preload adjustment
plus rebound damping adjustment. The HMAS
gas-charged rear shock operates through Pro-Link
and offers hydraulically adjusted spring preload,
28mm more travel and raised ground clearance to
165mm. A newly designed, more torsionally rigid,
lighter aluminium single-sided Pro-arm swingarm
completes the package with premium style and
A redesigned LCD dash uses a reverse display
against white LED back light. The speedometer/
tachometer are located together; there’s also a gear
position indicator, fuel consumption and cruising
range indicator, clock, ambient temperature gauge
and twin trip meters. An indicator is included for
the 5-stage heated grips. A compact ‘wave’ design
key - with internal grooving - reduces the chance of
breakage and adds to the overall premium quality
feel of the bike.
The fork lowers are designed in two pieces to allow
fitment of new radial-mount four-piston brake
calipers. Fine Die-Cast (FDC) hollow aluminium
wheels employ dual 310mm floating discs up front
and a 256mm disc at the rear. The front wheel is a
17M/C x MT3.50, the rear a 17M/C x MT5.50 with
120/70 R17M/C (58V) and 180/55R17M/C (73V)
tyres fitted respectively.
All mechanical parts are finished in Light Silver,
while Matt Black is used on the engine covers and
wheels highlighting the body colour.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The diamond triple-box section aluminium twinspar frame is unchanged but uses a revised,
lightweight die-cast aluminium subframe with
integrated pannier mounts. Rake is set at 26°30’
with trail of 103mm and 1,475mm wheelbase. Kerb
weight is 242kg.
Shorter exhaust downpipes ensure the catalyst
heats rapidly for maximum efficiency.
New dual radiator units are smaller, with increased
core density (a design used by the RVF RC45
homologation race special) and are sited at the
front of the engine rather than either side as before,
making for a slimmer feeling motorcycle that’s
easier to manage. The upper radiator and air guide
(located on the left of the engine) work together
to channel consistent airflow into the large funnel
feeding the airbox.
Honda’s Selectable Torque Control system (HSTC)
compares front and rear wheel speeds via the noncontact ABS sensors; when the slip ratio of the rear
wheel exceeds a pre-set amount the ECU restricts
fuel injection and ignition, reducing torque to
smoothly maintain grip.
The system is operated from the left handlebar and
features 2 modes of operation, plus off. The default
setting when the ignition is turned on is mode 2 the maximum amount of torque reduction. From
this start point mode 1 can be selected; it offers less
system intervention and the HSTC can be switched
off completely if desired. If HSTC intervenes the
rider receives an alert from a flashing high-intensity
‘T’ indicator located in the dash.
The 782cc, liquid-cooled 16-valve DOHC 90° V4VTEC engine serves up improved performance and
now generates more low-to midrange power and
torque. Boosted peak power of 78kW (106PS) is
delivered at 10,250rpm and the increased torque
output through the bottom and mid-rpm ranges
is immediately noticeable. Peak torque of 75Nm is
delivered at 8,500rpm.
HYPER VTEC operates only one pair of inlet/exhaust
valves per cylinder at low rpm, switching to four
as revs rise. The transition from two to four valve
operation has been refined for 2015 and combined
with the uprated torque the effect is a strong
and completely linear power delivery and instant
A quick-shifter is available as a Honda Genuine
accessory. Operated by a shift switch attached to
the gear lever, it plugs directly into the ECU and on
detection of an upward gear change momentarily
restrains the engine’s fuel injection and ignition,
allowing the next gear to slot instantly home. It
works seamlessly in everyday riding and touring reducing fatigue - and offers faster gear changes
during sporty, full-throttle upshifts.
Bore and stroke is 72mm x 48mm, with compression
ratio of 11.8:1. The PGM-FI fuel injection - with
36mm throttle bodies - has been remapped to suit
the engine’s new performance parameters and
fuel economy of 18.8km/l (WMTC mode). The new
mass-centralised 4-2-1-1 exhaust has been revised
both externally and internally to assist the uprated
torque output while retaining a strong rush of
power at higher rpm.
Bike Talk
A smaller starter motor saves weight and the highefficiency generator is rare-earth magnet free and
provides more than enough electrical power for the
heated grips and other accessories.
Source: www.hondamotorsa.co.za
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
towards the WR450F’s good balance of high power/
high speed performance together with ease of use
and rideability at lower speeds.
For effective cooling performance in all riding
conditions, the WR450F is fitted with new endurospecification radiators that feature a different
core pitch angle to the YZ-F design, and the new
shrouds have also been specially developed to suit
the special demands of enduros and long distance
Starting the WR450F on a cold day - or restarting a
hot engine - is made easy with the newly designed
electric starter. A new auto-decompressor system
cuts in when the electric start is activated for easy
starting, and the air supply to the engine can be
increased by 40% by for reliable cold starting. If for
any reason the electric starter cannot be used, the
WR450F is equipped with a kick-starter.
Last year Yamaha made clear its intention to move
back to the top table of the enduro world with
the launch of the eagerly-awaited WR250F. For
the 2016 season Yamaha introduces the all-new
WR450F, a sophisticated enduro racer that benefits
from some of the most advanced engine and chassis
technology to be seen in its category.
Equipped with a new wide ratio 5-speed
transmission, the WR450F is ready to master any
terrain - from slow speed woods riding through to
aggressive special tests - as well as being able to
achieve a good top speed on open enduro and rally
terrain. Compared to the previous WR450F, the
new model runs with higher 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears,
while 1st and 5th remain the same.
Based on the 2015 MXGP World Championship
winning YZ450F the all-new WR450F utilises
Yamaha’s reverse cylinder head and rearwards
slanting cylinder. By adopting the latest YZ-F derived
engine layout together with the compact and lighthandling YZ-F based chassis, the all-new WR450F
delivers major improvements in terms of weight,
power characteristics, agility and rideability. Aimed
at enduro racers as well as long distance rally riders
and recreational riders, the purpose-built WR450F
benefits from a full enduro specification, and runs
with specially developed engine and chassis settings
that are designed to optimise its performance in a
diverse selection of low and high speed off road
To complement its wide-ratio transmission this next
generation enduro bike features an all-new enduro
clutch that’s designed to handle the long and hard
days experienced in a typical event. For a light feel
together with good durability, the new clutch uses
new materials for the friction plates and clutch disc,
as well as a newly added push lever.
The configuration of the new rearwards slanting
engine has enabled Yamaha’s designers to construct
a compact new chassis that capitalises on the
handling performance gains offered by the engine’s
more centralised mass.
The WR450F’s new fuel injection system has been
completely reprogrammed to meet the needs
of the enduro rider. The 44mm throttle body is
2mm larger than the design fitted on the current
WR450F, and a revised spray angle and improved
throttle valve opening characteristics contribute
Bike Talk
Developed from the design used on the latest
YZ450F, the aluminium bilateral beam frame runs
with a front and rear suspension systems that
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
deliver light and agile handling performance. The
highly versatile and easy to ride character of the new
chassis complements the strong and controllable
linear torque feeling of the new engine, enabling
the WR450F rider to exploit the bike’s full potential.
In order to give the enduro rider improved levels
of feedback and a more connected feel with the
terrain, the upper and front engine brackets are
manufactured from 6mm thick steel plate, 2mm
less than used on the YZ450F motocross model.
The 2016 WR450F uses the same forks as its
motocross counterpart, but to ensure smoother
low speed operation - combined with the ability to
absorb harsh bumps - the WR-F model runs with
dedicated enduro settings. Similarly, the YZ450Fbased rear shock runs with revised settings that
have been designed to handle the wide variety of
low and high speed riding associated with enduro
racing. Featuring black rims, the WR450F’s 18-inch
rear wheel and 21-inch front wheel are equipped
with Metzeler 6 Days Extreme tyres, and the
enduro equipment also includes a lightweight
engine guard, frame-mounted side stand, sealed
chain and 22mm rear axle.
We called it in the September 2015 issue. We said
that Kawasaki made some changes to their 2016
model lineup with the exception of the ZX-10R.
Remember this model is a direct competitor to the
Yamaha YZF-R1 that will be reintroduced in the
2016 World Superbike Championship series. So it
makes absolute sense that the new Ninja will be
derived from their circuit experience to take the
competition head-on.
The WR450F’s body features a long, flat seat and
a slim front section for easy body weight shifting,
enabling the rider to maintain high levels of control
when braking, accelerating and cornering. The
4-position adjustable handlebars enable the rider
to select the right set up to suit their style and
physical size, and the recessed fuel cap allows the
seat to be extended further forwards, allowing
even greater freedom of movement.
And it appears that the men in green will not
disappoint with the new ZX-10R! Riding on the
success of 2015, with both the World Superbike
Championship Rider and Manufacturer titles, they
have some heavy tricks up their sleeve they can
call upon. Then there is of course the ultra fast H2.
Fortunately sanity prevailed and the ZX-10R doesn’t
have a supercharger, but it does have the same
sensor on the quick-shifter and braking control unit.
The WR450F is equipped with a full lighting kit, and
to handle the extra demand on the electrical system,
a high output ACM is fitted. The lightweight digital
instruments include a multi-function display with
an enduro computer that keeps the rider informed
about their progress and distance covered - while a
fuel level warning lets the rider know when it’s time
to refuel. There’s also a main switch-free starting
system for speed and convenience.
For the untrained eye the new ZX-10R and the old
one may look very similar. Kawasaki says the new
fairing is a little fuller than the previous one and it
has new graphics. The instrument cluster is all new
and now sports a host of additional information like
engine braking, IMU, launch control, power mode
and a host of other information. The cluster also
automatically changes in brightness based on the
ambient light. The real changes, however, are under
the skin where the Kawasaki engineers made some
radical changes.
Source: www.yamaha-motor.eu
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The neck is 7.5mm closer to the rider and the
swingarm lengthened by 15.8mm, resulting in
a wheelbase of 1.44m. It is also filled to the brim
with electronic gadgetry, like KEBC (Kawasaki
Engine Braking Control), KLCM (Kawasaki Launch
Control Mode), KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock
Braking System), Corner Management Function,
S-KTRC (Sport Kawasaki Traction Control) and KQS
(Kawasaki Quick Shifter).
with shorter ratios in all but first gear. The slipper
clutch is 130 grams lighter, and some of the gears
have dry-film lubricant coating to reduce friction. A
contactless-sensor equipped quick-shifter similar to
the H2R is standard.
Other than the previous engine’s bore and stroke,
there’s not much more carried over between
the old and new ZX-10R. A new lighter crankshaft
provides quicker revving, with a correspondingly
lighter balance shaft and rod journals that have
a new coating for reduced friction at higher rpm
helping in this regard. New pistons (shorter skirts
chop 5 grams), cams with more overlap, and new
airbox (25% more volume, air filter with 60% more
surface area for better flow) work with an all-new
cylinder head featuring reworked and polished
intake and exhaust ports plus revised combustion
chamber for better response and power. Titanium
intake valves remain at 31mm, but the titanium
exhaust valves increase in size 1mm to 25.5mm.
Cylinder wall thickness was increased slightly for a
more rigid engine block.
The new ZX-10R utilizes a Bosch five-axis IMU with
software developed in-house at Kawasaki that
allows the unit to calculate yaw rate from the other
sensors, resulting in six-axis operation. This allows
the IMU to sense changes in road surface elevation,
camber, and the motorcycle’s position relative to
them; it can even discern different tyre profiles,
giving the various electronics systems the ability to
instantly adapt to real-time conditions.
The Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC)
system now has five modes of operation instead of
three as with the previous ZX-10R. Modes One and
Two are designed for racing, while Mode Three is
for a “dry circuit with high-grip tires,” while Mode
Four is for “dry canyon roads or commuting,” and
Mode Five is intended for wet circuit or street use.
The Keihin 47mm throttle bodies are now controlled
solely by an electronic ride-by-wire throttle system,
so power control is likely handled by both throttle
plate movement and ignition curve changes.
Titanium alloy headers use a new heat-resistant
alloy that allows thinner wall thickness for reduced
weight, and the titanium exhaust canister has 50%
more volume for better flow without increased
sound levels.
Transmission is now housed in a racing-style
“cassette” design that allows quicker and easier gear
ratio changes. Gear ratios are closer for track use,
Bike Talk
The addition of the Bosch IMU also means that
Kawasaki was able to produce its own version of
the “cornering ABS”.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Kawasaki’s system is called “Cornering Management
Function”, and changes braking pressure according
to the bike’s lean and pitch angles to prevent it from
standing up under braking in a corner.
Suspension also shows Kawasaki’s WSBK
experience, with an all-new Showa Balance Free
Fork that features an external damping valve
chamber. The design is similar to the Öhlins TTX/
FGR concept, with the rebound and compression
damping valves completely separated so that the
oil only flows in one direction through the valves;
in conjunction with nitrogen pressurization in
the damping chamber, this keeps the pressure on
both sides of the valves as consistent as possible,
drastically reducing cavitation that results in
inconsistent damping. The rear Showa Balance Free
Rear Cushion (BFRC) shock uses the same concept in
its damping valves, and the shock linkage has been
revised to allow a broader range of adjustment.
Brakes have also been fully upgraded, with Brembo
M50 monoblock aluminum calipers with 30mm
pistons on huge 330mm discs for awesome stopping
power. A Brembo radial-action master cylinder
equipped with steel-braided brake lines ensures
positive and responsive feel at the lever.
Another new addition is the Kawasaki Launch
Control Mode (KLCM). There are three modes
available, with Mode One offering the least
intervention and Mode Three offering the most to
prevent wheelies off the line. And Kawasaki Engine
Braking Control, first seen on the supercharged H2R,
manages engine braking (back-torque) when the
rider shuts the throttle during braking, contributing
to smoother corner entry on the racetrack. Lastly,
there are three selectable Power Modes for the
new ZX-10R: Full, Middle (providing approximately
80% power), or Low (allowing 60% power).
Source: www.kawasaki.eu
Two years ago, Yamaha revealed a couple of electric
prototypes at the Tokyo Motor Show, called the
PES1 and the PED1. As the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
approaches, Yamaha announced it will present two
new follow-up concepts called, naturally, the PES2
and PED2.
The new Ninja’s frame has also been redone, with
the steering head moved rearward 7.5mm closer to
the rider, while the swingarm has been lengthened
15.8mm (in addition to extra bracing for more
torsional rigidity), resulting in more front weight
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
The PED2 (Passion Electric Dirt) and PES2 (Passion
Electric Street) share a monocoque frame that also
houses the Yamaha Smart Power Module power
unit. Yamaha did not release any specific technical
information except to say the two models will offer
performance equivalent to a petrol motorcycle in
the 50cc-125cc range.
As with the original concepts, the PES2 and PED2
use lithium-ion batteries to power a DC brushless
motor. Or motors, in the case of the PES2. The street
model has a second motor in the front wheel hub,
making it a two-wheel drive motorcycle. The front
wheel also has an unusual single-sided suspension
system instead of a conventional fork. Yamaha says
the PES2 weighs less than 130kg.
Triumph has announced an all-new Bonneville
lineup for 2016, with five models: the new Street
Twin, the Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T120
Black, and the Thruxton and Thruxton R. All models
feature new, more powerful engines, new chassis
and suspension, and enhanced “classic” styling.
The four-year, ground-up redevelopment project
required an unprecedented amount of design,
engineering and manufacturing, Triumph says.
In contrast, the PED2 sticks closer to a traditional
dirtbike design. Whereas the original PED1 was
designed specifically for off-road use, the PED2 is
equipped with mirrors, a headlight, turn indicators
and a license plate holder, making it street legal.
Yamaha claims a weight of just 100kg for the PED2.
Yamaha had previously said it planned to produce
production versions of the PES1 and PED1 concepts.
Of the two new concepts, the PED2 looks like a
more realistic production model, though there’s
still a ways to go before we see a final version of
either machine.
The Street Twin is considered the “most
contemporary, fun and accessible” new Bonneville,
powered by an all-new, high-torque, 8-valve, 900cc
parallel-twin engine. Triumph claims peak torque of
80Nm at 3,200 rpm—an 18-percent increase over
the previous 855cc engine.
Source: www.yamaha-motor.eu
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Ripe for customization, Triumph says the Street
Twin offers unique character, a distinctive sound,
stripped-back styling and a dynamic riding
The three new engines feature throttle-by-wire
and liquid cooling, and the 1,200cc engines offer
different riding modes. Each model has a new
exhaust system with a unique sound matched to its
character. The 1,200cc models also come with ABS,
traction control, slip-assist clutches and LED DRL
headlights (where legislation allows), and all five
models have LED taillights, USB charging outlets
and an engine immobilizer.
All-new chassis design is unique to each model,
with new suspension and revised geometry. And
updated styling is more faithful to the original
Bonneville lines, which Triumph describes as “more
refined, sharper, tighter and crafted.” High-quality
finishes and new detailing enhance their iconic
looks, such as the new Monza-style fuel filler cap
on the Thruxton.
With timeless style and iconic character, the
Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T120 Black evoke
the original 1959 model. With high levels of
detailing, quality and finish, these modern classic
are powered by the all-new, liquid-cooled, 8-valve,
1,200cc parallel-twin, which makes 104Nm of
torque (claimed) at 3,100 rpm—54 percent more
than the previous-generation T100.
The café racer-styled Thruxton and Thruxton R also
get a new 1,200cc engine, but with a higher state of
tune. Maximum claimed torque is 113Nm at 4,950
rpm—a 62-percent increase over the previous
Thruxton. These two models offer the highest
level of performance, braking and handling in the
Bonneville family.
To complement the all-new lineup, Triumph will
offer a full range of Bonneville accessories, with 470
items ranging from Vance & Hines exhausts to bench
seats to compact bullet-shaped turn indicators, to
name only a few. Triumph has also created a set
of ‘inspiration’ kits to use as the starting point for
riders to create their own Bonneville custom, or to
have fitted by their Triumph dealer as a complete
set, from scramblers and brat trackers to track
racers and café racers. This includes, for the first
time, a full factory Thruxton R Race Performance
kit, specifically developed for closed-circuit
Source: www.triumphmotorcycles.com
Bike Talk
December 2015
In the R1S, you get steel connecting rods, plain-old
aluminum oil pan and engine covers, a stainlesssteel exhaust, and steel engine cover bolts in place
of the tasty aluminium bits from the R1/R1M. Also,
the quick-shifter standard on the R1/R1M becomes
optional. All together, the changes add a claimed
4kg to the base R1.
Yamaha isn’t giving specific power ratings for the
R1S. But from what information is provided, power
is the same up through about 11,000 rpm, where
it tapers very slightly compared to the regular R1.
Because of the heavier internals, Yamaha’s limited
redline to an estimated 12,650 rpm, down from the
standard bike’s 14,500rpm. Bottom line, though:
For the vast majority of street riders, the R1S will
feel just as potent as the full-strength R1.
We did an on-board review of Yamaha’s 2016 YZF-R1
last month and we were thoroughly impressed
with it. With a combination of track-ready focus,
low weight, high power, and MotoGP-derived
electronics, the latest R1 has brought the fight to
the liter bikes that have so dominated the headlines
lately. And we think competition is a good thing.
Source: www.yamaha-motor.eu
Despite its success, impressive performance and
admired looks, the new R1’s price placed it a little
beyond the grasp of the normal biker but for the
true connoisseur. As a response, there’s the newfor-2016 R1S. The R1S will be cheaper than its own
sibling but won’t leave much of the jaw dropping
gadgetry out. For example, the R1’s full electronics
suite remains in the R1S, including adjustable
traction control, ABS, ride-by-wire throttle with ride
modes, launch control, slide control, and an Inertial
Measurement Unit that makes it all possible. The
bodywork is the same, as is the riding position and
basic suspension calibration, though the S uses
a slightly different fork and shock from KYB. (The
base R1 uses KYB components but the R1M gets
Öhlins electronically adjustable pieces.)
Triumph have given the range-topping Tiger
Explorer range a significant mid-life refresh and
have now expanded the available bikes to six within
two model variants called XR and XC to follow the
pattern set by the smaller 800cc Tiger.
Many of the changes to the bikes are common
across the whole six-bike range but Triumph have
attempted to split the bikes into those that are
completely road orientated (XR) and those that
offer more off-road ability (XC).
Yamaha saved money in the details. For example,
the R1 and R1M engines have titanium connecting
rods and valve spring caps (beneath the rocker arm
followers), a titanium exhaust system, and oil pan,
right side engine covers, and wheels fashioned
from magnesium.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
All models share the same 1215cc inline threecylinder 12-valve motor; unique to the class thanks
to the cylinder configuration and also sporting shaft
drive. The changes to the engine aren’t believed to
be radical but Triumph are yet to reveal detailed
information about the internal changes. What we
do know for sure is that the bike has a new exhaust
system with a larger catalytic converter, as well
as updated ride-by-wire software and increased
power and torque.
The ABS system has been updated too. The entrylevel models get switchable ABS and traction
control while the remaining four models are fitted
with more advanced cornering ABS and traction
control. These four models are fitted with an
Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which uses a
bank of sensors to measure five axes of movement
including lean angle, acceleration and deceleration
to ensure the traction control and ABS work to the
best performance.
In line with the smaller-capacity Tiger 800 range,
Triumph have deployed half the alphabet in order
to differentiate the six models of the two separate
models. The road-focussed models are XC, XCx,
XCa and the more off-road capable machines are
dubbed XR, XRx and XRt.
Additionally there is now the option of a Hill Hold
Control (HHC), which electronically holds the brakes
on to steady the bike for a hill start; handy on a big
adventure bike on uneven surfaces.
2016 Tiger Explorer in detail
New Styling:
All models feature a host of technological upgrades
which, Triumph say, are aimed at increasing stability
and control. Those features include new semiactive suspension, a first on a Triumph, cornering
ABS and traction control, and four rider modes
available which have been pre-set and a fifth which
the rider can tailor to their own settings.
The changes to the styling of the Tiger Explorer
are comprehensive but not strikingly different to
the current bike. There are a lot of changes to the
side panels, the area around the bottom of the
windscreen, around the front lights and to the fuel
tank shape too.
The two entry-level models in each range; XR and
XC; get adjustable and non-semi active suspension
supplied by WP. The other four are specified with
the Triumph Semi Active Suspension (TSAS),
which allows the rider to electronically control
the adjustment of the front and rear suspension
damping, and automatically adapts the rear shock
preload settings to match the surface.
Bike Talk
Adjustable Windscreen:
A first for the adventure bike class is the fitment
of an electrically adjustable windscreen for added
touring comfort.
Heated Grips & Seat:
Heated grips and a heated rider and pillion seat are
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Updated Engine:
Getting the bike to pass new Euro4 regulations
meant a fair amount of work to the engine,
mapping, fuel injection and engine internals
although Triumph isn’t talking specifics right now.
Every year the top motorcycle manufacturers
congregate in Milan, Italy for the EICMA
(Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e
Accessori) or the Milan Motorcycle Show. This show
is highly anticipated as it is used to introduce new
range and models for the upcoming model year
and more often than not set the agenda in terms
of innovation for other OEMs to follow. This year
was no exception with a host of new bikes being
unveiled, introduced, revealed, announced, made
public and proclaimed to the world. From updates
to existing models, to concepts and completely
brand-spanking new bikes.
New Exhaust:
A new exhaust was part of the work done to pass
Euro4 as the catalyst is bigger and the noise from
the engine has to be damped down more effectively
for ride by and static testing.
Semi-Active Suspension:
Here is our top 10 most popular new bikes of EICMA
2015 for the 2016 Model Year:
10. Aprilia RSV4 “Factory Works”
Triumph Semi-Active Suspension (TSAS) is fitted to
four of the six Tiger Explorer models and works to
keeping the damping constant to suit the terrain
or road surface and taking into account the load of
rider, pillion and luggage.
It wouldn’t be an adventure bike without the
ability to take a large amount of luggage and the
Tiger Explorer has custom-made hard panniers and
mounts matched to the bike.
For 2016 Aprilia has given the RSV4 a range of
updates that focus it even more directly on track
Source: www.triumphmotorcycles.com
The 2016 RSV4 will also come with Aprilia’s V4-MP
software as standard. V4-MP is a system that allows
the bike the interact with a smartphone, so owners
can use their phones to change the bike’s settings
not only before riding, but also on a turn-by-turn
telemetry-style basis.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Aprilia says that the 2016 RSV4 has also been
given ‘more effective rear suspension’ but isn’t
elaborating any more that that. For next year, the
bike also gets a different ‘Superpole’ graphic.
The tank is 30 litres, giving a claimed 450km range,
and the bodywork has been re-shaped to make it
easier to ride standing up.
8. Suzuki SV650
9. Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
Suzuki says the 645cc dual-spark 90° V-twin engine
has 60 new parts, including resin-coated pistons for
reduced friction. Power is up to 76hp, from 71hp.
Ducati revealed their new Multistrada 1200 Enduro,
a new rugged adventure version of the Multistrada,
which Ducati says has true off-road potential.
It’s got ‘Suzuki Easy Start’ which means the rider
only has to dab and release the button and the
starter motor automatically turns until the engine
fires. It’s also got a new ‘Low RPM Assist’ system,
which automatically raises engine speed slightly as
the clutch is released, to avoid stalling.
It’s got a 19-inch front wheel and 205mm of ground
clearance, 31mm more than the existing model.
It also features a host of standard gadgetry like
Cornering ABS, Cornering Lights (DCL), Ducati
Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control
(DWC) and the semi-active Ducati Skyhook
Suspension (DSS) Evolution system with 200 mm
of wheel travel. Moreover, for the very first time
on a Ducati, Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) has been
introduced to aid uphill starts. The bike is powered
by the tried and tested 160 hp Ducati Testastretta
DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine.
It’s got a steel chassis but with 70 new parts,
reducing claimed kerb weight by 8kg to 197kg with
ABS (still 1kg more than the non-ABS SV).
The air-box is new, and features funnels of staggered
length which Suzuki says aids mid-range torque.
The clutch cover is redesigned to reduce weight, as
is the two-into-one triangle-shaped exhaust.
Dash info includes a gear position indicator, current
and average fuel consumption and range. The
tachometer can show peak rpm after revs drop. The
fuel tank has been narrowed at its widest point by
64.5mm with no reduction in capacity, at 13.8 litres.
The seat is shaped for ‘sporty riding’ according to
Suzuki, making it ‘easy to move around’, and there
are two luggage loops on the under-side.
Other as-standard features on the Multistrada
1200 Enduro include electronic speed control and
the Bluetooth module; the latter, via the Ducati
Multimedia System (DMS), lets riders connect the
bike to a smartphone and manage key multimedia
functions (incoming calls, text messaging, music)
via the switchgears and display information on the
TFT dashboard.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Ducati’s new XDiavel is a feet-forward belt-drive
cruiser making no secret or excuses for the market
it wants to capture.
7. BMW G310R
The brute is powered by the Testastretta 1262cc
V-twin engine with Ducati’s DVT variable valve
timing, and makes its peak torque of 129Nm at
5,000rpm and maximum power of 156hp. Ducati
says it’s definitely a full-on cruiser but promises
more excitement than most, with a maximum lean
angle of 41 degrees, only one degree less than the
The product of a partnership with Indian
manufacturer TVS, it’s got a 313cc engine with a
back-to-front cylinder, the exhaust exiting from the
rear, and making a claimed 34hp.
It’s also got a launch control system called ‘Ducati
Power Launch’ activated by a neat red button on
5. KTM Super Duke 1290 GT
That’s up on some of the similarly-sized singlecylinder competition. The claimed top speed is
145km/h and fuel economy 56km/l. The ‘roadready’ claimed weight is 158.5kg.
It’s got a tubular steel frame, upside-down fork
and aluminium swing-arm. It comes with ABS as
standard, delivered through a radial-mounted fourpiston caliper biting a single front disc. The seat
height is 785mm and BMW says the styling echoes
the S1000R.
6. Ducati XDiavel
It’s got the same kind of distinct, aggressive styling
for a bike taking its looks from the 1290 Super
Duke R sibling. KTM says it’s ‘completely focused
on speedy travelling’ and is “equally happy chasing
horizons as it is chasing supersports bikes.”
The GT is powered by a retuned version of the
1301cc four-stroke two-cylinder 75 degree V-twin
engine found in the 1290 Super Duke R. According
to KTM’s figures, it’s packing the same 173hp and
torque that will bring tears to your eyes.
Bike Talk
The Super Duke GT has semi-active WP suspension
front and rear, which can be toggled between
‘Comfort’, ‘Street’ and ‘Sport’ settings. It’s
controlled by a suspension control unit that
matches damping values to riding style and road
surface in real time. The spring settings then alter
to match the damping values.
Continued on next page >>
December 2015
Stopping power comes courtesy of Brembo. At
the front, there’s two monobloc four-piston radial
calipers biting on to 320mm discs. The rear brake is
a two-piston caliper with 240mm disc.
KTM says the bike weighs 205kg dry and comes in at
228kg when the 23l tank is full.
4. Yamaha XSR900
In a move sure to make Boxer purists happy, the
R nineT Scrambler utilizes the classic air-cooled
flat-Twin Boxer engine whose 90 year history
BMW chose to honour with the original R nineT.
The displacement remains at 1170 cc, producing
a claimed 110hp at 7,750 rpm. The Scrambler
style utilizes two vertically paired mufflers while
the rolling gear also gains off-road-inspired
YAMAHA has given its MT-09 the retro treatment
with the new XSR900. Influenced by a recent
Roland Sands custom build, it’s got the MT-09’s
aluminium frame and 850cc three-cylinder engine
with traction control, three riding modes and an
assist and slipper clutch. It’s got adjustable 41mm
upside-down forks, an adjustable shock and radialmounted front brake calipers with ABS.
A 19-inch cast alloy front wheel mounts to a
traditional fork wearing period-correct rubber
gaiters. The rear suspension is the Paralever singlesided swinging arm, like the Scrambler’s the other
boxer siblings. Tyres sizes are 120/70–19 for the
front and 170/60–17 at the rear.
Yamaha says the XSR900 delivers on its authentic
feel with minimal use of plastic resin parts, instead
offering high quality components to reward the
senses. A 14-litre fuel tank with aluminium covers
takes centre stage ahead of a split level stitched
seat and is complimented by front and rear
aluminium fenders, aluminium side covers and
a sporty aluminium headlight stay. A matt black
exhaust system with contrasting polished muffler
end cap provides a throaty soundtrack to any riding
2. Yamaha MT-10
The Scrambler’s brakes will include dual 320mm
front discs and a 265mm rear disc with ABS as
standard. The front calipers are 4-piston units fed
by braided steel lines while two pistons handle the
clamping duties on the floating rear caliper.
Yamaha just joined the super-naked class with
this YZF-R1-based MT-10. It’s got a four-cylinder
cross-plane engine derived from the 2015 R1’s, and
Yamaha says it’s been tuned for more low and midrange torque.
The riding position is upright and the aluminium
Deltabox main frame is also based on the R1’s, giving
it the shortest wheel-base in the class according to
Yamaha, at 1,400mm.
3. BMW R NineT Scrambler
Based on the R nineT first seen in Munich in late
2013, the Scrambler expands upon the potential of
the platform.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
claimed smoother response, a quick-shifter, launch
control and of course ABS. The quick-shifter allows
clutchless upshifts and downshifts, with no need to
blip the throttle.
The new engine uses variable valve timing to
deliver a claimed increase in top-end with no loss
in bottom-end or mid-range. It’s also got secondary
injectors in the top of the air box that operate at
high rpm, plus servo-operated butterfly valves
in the exhaust which open at high rpm. It’s got a
Showa ‘Balance Free’ fork and shock which Suzuki
says were developed for racing and offer more
consistent damping.
Electronics include switchable traction control
with three levels, three riding modes, an assist and
slipper clutch and cruise control. The suspension
is YZF-derived and the brakes use four-pot radialmounted calipers on 320mm front discs, with ABS.
It’s got five-spoke cast aluminium wheels, a 17-litre
tank and an LCD instrument panel.
Special Mention: Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Concept
1. Suzuki GSXR-1000
Husqvarna introduced its Vitpilen 701 concept, a
single-cylinder road bike that it says is the next step
in the brand’s return to the road.
The Vitpilen (Swedish for ‘white arrow’) 701 has
been designed to look like as unfussy as possible.
Husqvarna says it’s been created to be free of
gimmicks and is intended to contain only the most
essential ingredients for an exhilarating riding
experience. At the heart of the Vitpilen 701 is the
690cc single-cylinder engine from Husqvarna’s new
701 Supermoto and 701 Enduro. It sports a wide
diameter straight-through exhaust, and the engine
looks like it’s finished in black. Husqvarna says
the bike is meant to be minimal, but that doesn’t
mean it’s lacking some nice touches - the rear of
the Vitpilen is a one-piece carbon monocoque that
houses the airbox.
It’s been a long time coming but at last it’s here.
This is the new Suzuki GSX-R1000. It’s been unvailed
as a “prototype” but it’s an open secret that this is
to be launched in the second half of next year as
a 2017 model. Suzuki says it’s the “most powerful,
hardest-accelerating, cleanest-running GSX-R ever
built,” as well as the most compact, aerodynamic
and best-handling.
It’s new from the ground up according to Suzuki,
with an all-new 999cc in-line-four engine and
aluminium frame. It’s got 10-level traction control,
three power modes, a ride-by-wire throttle with a
Bike Talk
All contributions courtesy of EICMA and OEMs
December 2015
The summer is upon us and that means more
time to spend on your motorcycle. It also means
that some of you lucky ones are preparing to take
your motorcycle and tour this lovely country of us.
Whether you are a rider or a passenger you need to
invest some time beforehand to prepare. You can’t
take much along on a motorcycle and that is really
part of why we love touring with our motorcycles.
It’s such a test to see how much you can bring along
to accommodate your standard personal needs in
such little space! You stare at a couple small saddle
bags or panniers and your tank bag and imagine
how you’ll ever make it all fit.
Prior to departure your motorcycle should be
checked and inspected. Change the oil and filter if
needed, check or change the coolant if applicable,
check brake pads, clean and adjust your chain if you
have one, ensure headlamps, brake and indicator
lights are in good working order, and of course your
tyres. Best to start a long ride out with good tyres
as you won’t enjoy replacing them along the way.
Always carry your drivers’ license on your person
so that if you are stop you won’t have to unload
any luggage. It is also recommended that you
carry your insurance policy with you with. Also
take a photocopy of each of these and carry on the
motorcycle, under the seat works best in case you
lose either. If you’ll be crossing borders you’ll need
your passport. Be sure to ICE ( in case of emergency)
your Smart-phone if you haven’t already.
Less is more is your new credo. Keep it simple.
Planning and packing smart such as folding with
precision, and finding those hidden pockets of
space will do the trick! Think about how you will
use the space available on your motorcycle. Maybe
you’ll need to review your luggage options. There
is an array of bags – tank bags, saddle bags, hard
carriers, even which will fit on a back rest, if you
have one. Water tight duffel bags work superbly
and fasten on to all bikes. These are particularly
favoured by sport-bike riders as permanent
panniers or otherwise are near impossible to fit.
Bike Talk
Motorcycle Gear and Clothing
Depending on the nature and length of your trip
will determine the diversity of your clothing. Make
your selections with the absolute minimal amount
in mind - wearing something two days in a row is
the norm. Bringing one pair of jeans for repeat
wear during evening outings is not a big deal. Also
consider accessing a Laundromat along the way to
cut down on items.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Dressing down and getting rugged is undoubtedly
one of the outlets of vacation by motorcycle.
Extra pair of motorcycle gloves (hands can get
sore wearing same glove for days) and an extra
pair of Sunglasses.
Rain jacket/pants/suit.
Hats, bring two- one for sun protection and
one for warmth.
Shoes: one pair of runners/sport shoes or good
walking shoes and a pair of sandals.
Light jacket/heavy sweater/sweatshirt-hoodie
(non-motorcycle jacket) when off bike. Try
to find one you can also layer under your
motorcycle jacket for extra warmth if needed.
Personal Care Items
Roll your clothes, don’t fold them. You can roll
jeans and a shirt together and slide them into your
saddlebag easier than folded clothing and this will
help in reducing wrinkles.
The Basics
Motorcycle gear – helmet, gloves, jacket, and boots
goes without saying.
Pants (or just the pair you plan to wear and a
pair packed away) and/or a pair of riding pants.
Both are needed. And on days where you are
planning a lot of stops (sight-seeing tours, etc.)
wearing jeans or a thin pair of riding pants is
optimal. Days where you’ll be doing a lot of
riding you can wear your armoured riding
Bathing suit – always bring one! Travel in the
summertime is hot and you’ll get sweaty in full
riding gear. Maybe you will stop along the way
and there’s a pool or even better to take a dip
in the ocean.
T-shirts/tops: You can get two day’s wear out
of one t-shirt so bring half as many as days in
your planned trip. I.e. ten day trip, bring five
Bring one or two long sleeve shirts.
Socks and underwear use the same rule as
t-shirts/tops. Conserve space by every other
day turning a used pair of socks inside out so
they can be used twice.
Bike Talk
Travel sizes and travel containers are the
answer here! After shopping at your local
outlet and finding travel sizes for everything
from toothpaste to hand lotion to mouthwash,
invest in a waterproof pouch that will securely
hold these items without the possibility of
leakage. Plastic zip lock bags and sandwich
bags are fantastic! Place all lotions/liquids in
these! Plus you can use larger one’s to organise
items, say socks in one, bras in another! Never
can have enough of these!
You can place many items such as hairspray or
your favourite deodorant inside your shoes.
And don’t forget, if you’re staying at a hotel you
can restock some items via the complimentary
toiletries provided.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
When you’re making your reservations, be
sure to ask them what kind of perks the hotel
offers. Is there a hair dryer in each room then
you certainly don’t need to pack one. But
even if you are without, you’ll be enjoying the
‘helmet hair’ anyway so why bother?
Must Have’s
Credit Cards
Sun protection
Mini first aid kit and pain killers.
Torch or Headlamp
Camera, memory card(s)
Spare batteries; AA/AAA etc.
Waterproof duffel bags (type used on sail
boats). These are thin, light and sturdy. Use for
back up.
Bungee cords - handy for items you’ve
purchased along the way and won’t fit [any
longer] into your luggage.
Bike Talk
Small tool kit - or at the very least the tool kit
that lives under the seat.
A small tyre repair kit
Duct tape, electrical tape and zip ties.
Extra bike key hidden somewhere safe.
Extra fuses
Mini chain lube spray (used daily if needed;
every 1000 km and after riding in rain)
Small but strong motorcycle lock. Could be
useful if you won’t have a lockup facility at
your destination.
Outside of the necessities above, what you bring on
your bike is truly individual - free to bring as much
as you like, as long as it fits! And if you’re travelling
with others, you can divvy up items such as chain
lube, flash lights and camping equipment if going
for that option.
And consider this, the more you bring, the more
weight you’ll add to your motorcycle. This may be
challenging to manage riding slow, or up winding
steep mountainous roads. Plus more weight means
more fuel use, more spending.
December 2015
The sound inside a helmet at highway speeds can be
in excess of 100 dB. Since hearing loss is cumulative,
the more you ride; the worse the damage over
time. Aside from long-term damage and permanent
hearing loss, loud sounds for extended periods
of time can lead to rider fatigue and decreased
reaction times – two bad things out on the road.
Sena Technologies, Inc. is one of the front runners
in the Bluetooth communicator market for
motorcyclists. In 2015, the company introduced a
raft of new products, and 2016 looks no different.
While most of those products are linked directly
to both helmet communications and adventure
cameras, Sena has just announced a new category
of product that could, if it lives up to its potential,
be a game changer for motorcyclists who care
about their hearing.
Sena’s Smart Helmet utilizes insulated ear cups
inside the helmet to damp the sounds from the
outside. Then the INC unit, utilizing “an array of
four networked microphones” inside the helmet,
calculates the proper sound waves to use to cancel
out the constant noise of the wind rush. This
lessens the sound levels reaching the rider’s ears
and should allow him/her to hear other sounds
easier. In addition to noise cancellation, the Smart
Helmet also features an Ambient Mode that the
rider switches on from a button on the left side
of the helmet to utilize a microphone to hear
better without taking off the helmet, allowing for
conversations at traffic lights and filling up. The
removable INC unit is powered by an internal
battery that is charged via a USB plug.
Of course, Sena being a communication technology
company, an optional Bluetooth module snaps to
the base of the INC, allowing the rider to experience
the connection to phones, GPS units, and other
riders with Bluetooth communicators. When
combined with the INC’s noise reduction, music can
be enjoyed and conversations can be carried out
at a much lower volume because it doesn’t have to
overpower the helmet’s wind noise.
At the AIMExpo in Orlando, FL, Sena revealed its
new Smart Helmet with Intelligent Noise-Control
(INC) technology to actually cancel out the harmful,
distracting sounds inside a helmet, making it easier
for riders to hear the important things around
them. Sena CEO, Tae Kim stated about the Smart
Helmet, “We are ecstatic to yet again be pushing
innovation with the world’s first true quiet helmet,
with our focus as always on creating the safest and
best riding experience possible for our customers.”
Motorcyclists who ride without ear plugs ride with
the constant sound of their helmet rushing through
the air at speed. Hearing aid organisations have
defined 85 dB as the intensity beyond which there
is the potential for permanent damage to your
hearing. Since dB represent a logarithmic scale,
a difference of 10 dB is ten times louder, and a
difference of 20dB is 100 times louder.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Up until now, we’ve only focused on the technology
inside the helmet. The INC system is mounted
inside a helmet that is certified by both the DOT and
ECE standards boards in the US. The Smart Helmet
has the features you expect from a quality helmet:
EPS foam interior with multi-zone foaming for
maximum safety, multi-port variable ventilation,
and an adjustable multi-zone foam pad system.
The liner is made of COOL-Quick Dry fabric to wick
moisture away from the rider. The outer shell is
constructed of carbon fiber for a combination of
light weight to lessen rider fatigue and strength to
dissipate impact forces.
Christmas and the holiday season are upon us. That
means long lazy days of summer and the bliss of
taking long rides on your motorcycle. It also means
having to make lists of what presents to buy and
then spending endless hours in busy malls and long
queues. All of that eat into the time you can spend
in the saddle. So we made it a little easier this year.
Here is our top list of gift ideas every biker should
have on their list (pictures are purely for illustrative
The INC activation button is in the center of the
visor pivot.
Hearing Protection
The dangers of riding a motorcycle and the
associated safety gear are well documented and
discussed. However, one issue that is hardly ever
discussed is the fact that exposure to wind noise
on a motorcycle can cause hearing loss. The “safe”
exposure level to noise is set at 85dB (decibels)
whilst the wind noise at highway speeds can be in
excess of 100dB. As decibels are not necessarily the
loudness of the noise but the sound pressure one
cannot simply deduce that the difference between
safe and highway noise is exponential. It is a lot
more complicated.
Sena said the Smart Helmet will be available in the
middle of 2016. The colors will be white, black,
silver, hi-viz yellow, and natural carbon fiber with
graphic options to follow.
Source: www.sena.com
The bottom line is that continuous exposure to high
levels can and will result in hearing loss. Invest in
a good pair of hearing protectors. Better still, pay
your local hearing institute a visit and get custom
fitted ear plugs made specifically made for biking.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
They are also designed not to flap in the wind by
strategically placed elastic bands and tie-downs. A
normal rain suit will tear under these conditions.
Lastly motorcycle rain suits are designed for better
visibility. And you will need that in a downpour.
Rain Suit
Photochromic Visor
We are all aware that the sun rays can be harmful to
your eyes. We wear sunglasses for that reasons for
all kinds of activities, from walking, running, sport
and even cycling. Sunglasses in general are not that
easy to use on a motorbike.
If its hasn’t happened to you yet, trust me it is
just a matter of time before it will. You set off on a
beautiful sunny morning for a breakfast ride. Along
the way the clouds start to gather and before you
know it the drizzle starts. Then it gets heavier and
heavier and before long you are drenched to the
bone. Wet and cold! Your breakfast ride (or any ride
for that matter) is ruined. What do you do? Brave
the cold and wet and ride back? Brave the cold and
wet and stay and hope for better weather?
Some helmets don’t allow enough room for the
design of your sunglasses and what do you do with
them once you enter a shaded or darker area?
Some helmets do, however, have a retractable sun
visor but for those that don’t, how do you protect
your eyes? A Photochromic visor is a sheet that is
stuck to your visor that turns darker in sunny bright
conditions and lighter in darker conditions. Very
similar to those fancy spectacles some wear.
Fact remains no matter what your decision, it will
bear the consequence of you being wet and cold.
Invest in a good quality rain suit that is designed for
motorcycles. There are many reasons for spending
the extra cash on a proper rain suit. First of all many
manufacturers will tout their suits as either water
proof or water resistant. Water resistant WILL NOT
work on a motorcycle. Remember the rain is driven
into you at the speed you are riding without the
wind factor. That persistent water will be on your
skin before you know it.
Motorcycle Specific Backpack
I know we all do it. We take that old rucksack lying in
the cupboard and throw it over your back for when
we need extra storage on our bikes. Unfortunately,
those rucksacks are not designed for use on a
motorcycle. Some are designed for hiking, meaning
their center of gravity sits higher to combat lower
back pain during long hikes - exact opposite of what
you need on a motorcycle.
Motorcycle rain suits can normally fold very small.
You don’t have the luxury of endless storage space
on your bike.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Our cycling brethren realised it a long time ago and
you can check any of their pockets and you’d sure
to find a puncture repair kit in it. You cannot carry
a spare tyre with you when ride a motorcycle. And
punctures can and will happen.
Trickle Charger and Battery Maintainer
The worst is the total lack sometimes of proper
fasteners to stop the backpack from trying to lift
you up from under your shoulders. Motorcycle
specific backpacks are water-resistant, sturdy (to
stop wind flapping), provides fastening across chest
and waist, specific storage capabilities for biker
needs, i.e. helmets and gloves, and normally have
reflective piping.
Nothing shortens a battery’s life more than letting
the bike simply stand for a while. Although the bike
might be switched off it still uses a current to keep
the electronics and diagnostics alive and well. The
surge used by the starter is also only recovered
after about 5km of continues riding. So if you travel
less than that between start up and switch off your
battery will progressively need more charging time.
Tyre Repair Kit and Compact Air Compressor
This function is simulated by the trickle charger,
tricking the battery into thinking it is on a ride but
allowing for a full charge. You really don’t want a
situation where you are fully geared and rearing to
go and your bike won’t start. Some of the modern
bikes even have a plug ready for the trickle charger
without the need to connect onto the battery.
Bluetooth Intercom Set
Ever found yourself in a situation where you and
your biker buddies are trying to find a good place to
have breakfast? Whizzing past your favourite place
because nobody understands your sign language?
Or your girlfriend trying to indicate she needs
the next rest stop... URGENTLY... and you don’t
understand the female sign language for “I need to
go to the toilet desperately”?
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
An intercom set will banish those problems to
the past right alongside sending smoke signals to
Fortunately the clever people at the GPS navigator
manufacturers realised that motorcycles are a
largely untapped market and started to design
units that could handle these special conditions,
i.e. direct sunlight, unique attaching specifications
and of course rain. What’s even better is that you
can listen to your device’s seductive voice over
the Bluetooth Intercom Set you just bought. If you
value your riding and like exploring new routes this
should certainly be on your must-have list.
An Action Camera
Most, if not all, are easily installed on your helmet
and can easily be paired with other devices dependent on how much money your are prepared
to spend. Get one, you will wonder how you ever
did without one.
Motorcycle GPS
Many riders are seen lately with an action camera
attached somewhere on the bike or even on the
helmet. Yet some people still wonder why it is even
necessary to buy one. The answer is pretty simple.
It’s fun to capture your ride and re-live some of
the best moments over and over again; you can
edit in into your own masterpiece, upload it and
share it with your friends. You can experiment with
hundreds of camera angles and never miss a minute
of your riding. And I’m sure everyone will agree that
riding a bike is pretty memorable already.
The other reason is a more practical one. For
insurance purposes. Some of us have found
ourselves on the receiving end of stupid or
negligent driving and had to foot the bill for the
damage. This is because some insurance companies
have some pretty archaic rules to when they accept
responsibility. Camera footage on the other hand
is perfectly legal and rather damning to proof any
Many moons ago we used to navigate the streets
and roads of South Africa with maps that folded
open the size of a car. Later it was replaced by books
but still you had to frantically page through various
pages as you drove along a single street. Then
came the wonderful invention of GPS and suddenly
getting lost became a special talent. Unless you are
on a bike!
Bike Talk
December 2015
Basic Rider Course: L1 & L2
Experience Rider Course
License Rider Course
Advanced Rider Course
Skills Rider Course
Track School
Road Captain
Group Riding
Metro Police
Company Fleets
031 9038240 | 083 7937975
While motorcycles are performance bargains that
offer more performance per Rand than virtually
any other vehicle, it’s best to be explored under
controlled conditions.
Riding is something most people don’t have to do,
but rather feel compelled to, for a wide variety of
reasons ranging from passion to practicality.
All the above will have no value, doesn’t mean
anything, if you don’t know how to enjoy it with
relaxed and confident emotions. To truly grasp the
concept of safe motorcycling; you are not born with
skill, you can only teach yourself what you think you
know and that alone is far too little, you need help.
One of the most distinct things about riding is that
nothing feels quite like a motorcycle; the thrill of
being at one with a two-wheeled machine that
weighs only a hundred and something kilograms is
one of the purest ways to get from point A to B, and
the risks involved sometimes even heighten that
enjoyment. Motorcyclists often feel like they belong
to a big community, and that sensation gives us
something in common; we share a bond that sets us
apart from the rest of the motoring world.
When you’re ill you go to a doctor or specialist, when
you ride a motorcycle and have had some training or
nothing at all, you need help. You need a “doctor” or
specialists to point out the “disease” in your riding
abilities, put you through some exercises which
will give you the skill to control your motorcycle
with confidence and truly experience the freedom
I highlighted above.
There’s something about motorcyclists, isn’t there?
When a guy or a gal walks into a restaurant with a
helmet under arm, they invariably radiate a sense
of cool that just isn’t the same as rolling up in a
car. The sense of freedom feels more complete on
two wheels, and riding doesn’t transport you to a
destination; riding a motorcycle is the destination.
Bike Talk
Pride has everything to do with it; it will kill you. Put
it aside and enrol in a Riding Course today, it could
save your life! - Hein Jonker
December 2015
Why should I care about motorcycle chains?
Motorcycle chain maintenance, along with oil
changes and tyre maintenance is a crucial part
of safe riding. Chains are the unsung mechanical
heroes of motorcycling; they’re responsible for the
crucial task of transferring power from the engine to
the rear wheel, and without proper inspection and
maintenance, can fail and cripple the motorcycle,
or worse, become dangerous projectiles.
How often should chains be inspected and adjusted?
Because motorcycle chains can stiffen in certain
spots and stay pliable in others, it’s important to
roll the bike forward (or turn the rear wheel if it’s
on a stand) and check all sections of the chain.
Depending on how aggressively you ride, chains
should be inspected roughly twice a month.
What items will I need on hand for chain maintenance?
Keep the following items on hand:
• Various wrenches.
• A soft brush, or old toothbrush.
• An O-ring friendly chain cleaner (if, like most
chains, yours is of an o-ring type.)
• O-ring friendly chain lubricant (again, if
• A new cotter pin (when adjusting the chain
• Rags (for wiping grime off the chain.)
• A rubber mallet (optional.)
• A rear wheel stand (optional.)
• A tape measure (optional.)
If it moves more than about an 2.5cm, the chain will
need tightening, and if it’s too tight, loosening will
be in order; this is outlined in subsequent steps. If
individual chain links are too tight, the chain might
need replacement.
Inspect the Sprockets
How to inspect a motorcycle chain
Using a tape measure (or visual estimation, if
necessary), grasp the chain at a point halfway
between the front and rear sprockets, and pull it up
and down. The chain should be able to move roughly
2.5cm up and 2.5cm down. If your motorcycle
is on a rear stand or center-stand, note that the
swingarm will drop if the wheel is lifted from the
ground, which will affect the rear geometry and
the tension in the chain; compensate accordingly,
if necessary.
Bike Talk
Front and rear sprocket teeth are good indicators of
maladjusted chains; inspect the teeth to make sure
they are meshing well with the chain. If the sides of
the teeth are worn, chance are they haven’t been
seating well with the chain (which probably shows
corresponding wear.) Wave-shaped teeth wear is
another irregularity that might suggest that you
need new sprockets.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
Clean your Motorcycle Chain
Lubricate the Chain
Whether or not your chain needs adjusting, you’ll
want to keep it clean and well-lubricated. Most
modern chains are O-ring types which use rubber
components, and are sensitive to certain solvents.
Make sure you use an O-ring approved cleaning
agent when you spray the chain and sprockets or
use a soft brush to apply the cleaner.
While rotating the wheel, evenly spray a layer
of lubricant across the chain as it runs along the
sprockets. Be sure to also spray at the bottom of
the rear sprocket, where the lubricant can spread
across the chain from the inside using centrifugal
force, and penetrate the entirety of the chain. Wipe
off excess lubricant with a rag.
Don’t run your engine to get parts moving while you
spray them; it’s far safer to put the transmission in
neutral and manually spin the rear wheel.
Adjust Chain Tension, If Necessary
Wipe off excess grime
Chain tension is generally determined by the
distance between the front and rear sprockets,
and many bikes have index marks to help with
alignment. Bikes have differing chain adjustment
mechanisms, and in general, the rear axle and
wheel move forward or backward in order to set
chain tension. Single-sided swingarms usually have
an eccentric cam which sets the position of the
rear axle; other more traditional designs feature
hexagonal-headed inner nuts to move the axle,
and an outer one to lock and unlock it. When chain
tension is properly set, it should be able to move up
and down between approximately 2cm and 2.5cm
at its loosest point.
Tighten the Rear Axle
Next, you’ll want to wipe off the excess grime using
a rag or towel, which will create a clean surface
that’s friendlier to lubricants. Be sure to thoroughly
reach all the sprocket teeth and chain links by
rolling the rear wheel (or the entire bike, if it’s not
on a stand.)
Once you’ve moved the rear axle, make sure that
both sides are aligned perfectly before tightening,
since not doing so can prematurely wear both the
chain and the sprockets. Evenly tighten the axle
nut(s) and replace the cotter pin with a new one.
Source: www.revzilla.com
Bike Talk
December 2015
The other thing that can affect your installation
is how your throttle is actuated. Many bikes use
a cable-operated throttle, but on many newer
motorcycles, a sensor on the throttle sends an
electrical signal to a motor on the throttle body
itself. These bikes are typically referred to as “flyby-wire.” You can quickly ascertain which you have
by looking at the righthand control box. If there are
two thick cables coming out of it, you do not have a
fly-by-wire bike.
Selecting grips is not always a walk in the park,
either. Air-cooled Harley-Davidson guys, you
really just have to choose between fly-by-wire
and throttle-cable grips, because grip length and
diameter are consistently the same. Nearly every
other brand, though, has some variations. You
need to buy the right length and diameter of grips
and not all bikes are the same! Make sure you’ve
selected the correct parts, or you’re likely to split
your removal and installation over multiple days
while you wait for new parts to arrive.
Installing a new set of grips really is a great way to
rejuvenate your bike. Grips have the dual function
of isolating your hands from vibration and shock
while providing important feedback information to
your hands about driving conditions.
Fortunately, installing a new set is really pretty
simple. If you’re reasonably ambitious and handy,
you should be able to pop a new set of grips onto
your bike in under an hour and give a new look and
feel to your pride and joy.
As always, we recommend this task be undertaken
with a copy of the service manual handy, and several
hours to spare. It’s not a hard job, but you definitely
need to allot some time for the task and time for
the grips to “set up.” Don’t try to do this six minutes
before a ride; you’ll just have poor results. Read all
the way through so you can see what parts of the
process you’ll need to perform for the bike you’re
working on. Depending on what type of grip you’re
removing and what you’re installing, removal and
replacement falls between easy and super-easy!
Removing the old grips
Grips come in two main varieties: plain rubber grips,
and integral-tube style. Rubber grips are replaced
just like bicycle or golf club grips. The old rubber
gets sliced off, and the new rubber slides over your
handlebars and throttle tube. You can identify this
style of grips easily — they are soft and squishy.
Your existing throttle sleeve is re-used.
The other, integral-style grip has a throttle sleeve
built right into the righthand grip. Typically, these
grips are a little pricier and the install is a little more
difficult, but they offer a much wider array of looks
and textures when compared to rubber grips. This
type is identified by the hard plastic tube in the
right grip — that’s the throttle sleeve. Some rubber
grips require disassembly of controls, but most do
not. All integral throttle-tube grips require getting
into the control boxes.
Bike Talk
Removing grips falls somewhere between art
and butchery. Accessing your grips may involve
removing a bar-end weight. Typically, this involves
unscrewing a fastener that keeps your weights in
the bar or clip-ons. Here’s a tip to make that easy:
loosen the bolt at the end of the bars just a few
turns, and pull. If the bar-end comes out, great,
you have a rubber-expansion style. If not, keep
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
You likely have a threaded bung welded into your
bar. If you simply loosen the bolt all the way, and
your bike has the rubber-expansion style, you’re
going to have to chase all the hardware that will
be loose in your clip-on or handlebar, which can be
quite a chore.
Installing rubber grips
If you’ve removed your rubber grips and had to
take off the switch housings, you can put them back
together now. Install the right-side grip first if you
need a design on the ends “clocked” a certain way.
Many rubber grips, regardless of bike make, can be
simply cut off. The grips are usually trashed, and
unzipping them with a box cutter is super speedy. If
you are removing integral-throttle-tube-type grips,
you have a bit more work to do. The first step is
adjusting your throttle cables so they have as much
slack as possible. See your manual if you are unsure
of how to do this. Next, you’re going to have to split
open your switch housings. All bikes are different,
but in a general sense, you’re going to have to
loosen a few fasteners and carefully separate the
halves of the housings. Apply common sense here.
There is plenty of delicate electrical stuff in your
way. Late-model Harley-Davidson OEM grips are
rubber, but you need to remove them this way
because there is a section of the grip that is captive
under the housing. For fly-by-wire types, be careful.
The throttle actuator is expensive and delicate.
Make sure of two things as you install: First, don’t
let the grip twist as you install it, especially on the
left side. If it has a pattern on the rubber surface, it
will look all wonky if it sets up in a twisted position.
Second, as you near the grip being completely on
the bars, make sure to finish sliding it carefully.
Your bar can act like a cookie cutter on the end of
your soft new grips. Definitely don’t smack the end
of the grips to help them on. If you’ve got bar-end
weights, bolt them back up now. Open the throttle
and close it a few times, letting it “snap” back to
After the switch housings are split, you should be
able to yank the clutch-side grip off the bars. On
the throttle side, slide the cable ends out of the cutouts in the throttle tube. If you have a late model
Harley-Davidson, don’t lose the brass ferrules that
cradle the cable end.
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
You have to guide a barrel-shaped end very
specifically into a hole oriented a certain way.
It can help to use a mechanic’s pick for this task,
and sometimes opening or closing the throttle can
get you more cable slack in each direction. Trap
the throttle sleeve between the switch housing
halves and snug up the fasteners. Adjust the slack
back out of your throttle cables, referring to your
manual if you don’t know how to do this. Check and
double-check your throttle action, making sure you
have the necessary free play and everything moves
After you’ve lubricated the new grips, do not go
for a ride! Don’t even touch the grips! Let them
sit undisturbed, the longer the better. How long
depends on the amount and type of lube or adhesive
you used. If you’ve gone 24 hours and they have not
“locked” into place, take them off, clean them out,
and try again using much less lube. If you choose
to use alcohol, it evaporates really fast. Sometimes
you’re set to go in a matter of minutes.
Installing integral throttle tube grips
To finish up on either type of bike, slide your leftside grip on. You’re going to follow the same
procedure for your throttle side if the clutch-side
grip is captive under the switch housing. If your
grip does not get trapped in there, put the switch
housing back together and install the grip just like
we discussed in the “rubber grips” install portion.
If you have bar-end weights, now is the time to
reinstall them. If the grips remain slippery after a
few hours, take it apart again and use less lube in
the process.
Begin on the throttle side. This is important if you
have a fly-by-wire bike. How the grip is “clocked”
on the bike matters if there is a design or specific
area you want turned a certain way. The clutch side
is infinitely adjustable, but the throttle side is not,
due to the serrations of the throttle mechanism.
Slide your new tube and grip assembly onto the bar.
You may need to rotate the grip ever so slightly to
get the teeth in the throttle tube to mesh with the
teeth on the throttle-by-wire unit. Get the throttle
sleeve back into the halves of the control boxes and
button them up.
And there you have it. You have replaced your own
grips. There is a sense of satisfaction in doing this,
almost like a brand new set of tyres for your hands.
Plus nothing really looks as bad on your bike as an
old worm set of hand grips.
For cable assemblies, install the grip and tube unit
onto the bar. Reinstall the ferrules or cable ends.
This task can be a little fiddly.
Bike Talk
Source: www.revzilla.com
December 2015
In a very unusual stunt that was recently held,
“Social SYM” performed the World’s First Scooter
Bungee Jump, becoming the first non-human to
take a leap off the Orlando Towers in Soweto. Some
might wonder why anyone would expose a scooter
to a bungee jump. Well its simple really, throwing a
scooter off the towers was one sure way of getting
people’s attention, especially with video footage
available that did not take long to go Viral.
As expected, the SYM scooter displayed awesome
robust durability as it hurled towards the earth
from the 100m high iconic landmarks. After being
thrashed around mid-air at exceptional forces,
the scoot was finally lowered to the ground.
Impressively it started up without any hesitation
and was ridden away with ease, a true testament
to its superb build quality and renowned reliability.
It is fair to say that a scooter will never be subjected
to this kind of strain out in the real world, but it
is encouraging to know that SYM South Africa is
prepared to show how good their products are,
firmly standing by their slogan. Quality without
SYM Motorcycles and Scooters, South Africa, have
decided on a very much non-traditional approach
when it comes to Brand Ambassadors. They are
so impressed with their products, that they have
given them centre stage, to show off their amazing
durability, reliability and all round capabilities!
In the next couple of months, more adventures
and extreme activities will be planned for the
various SYM scooters, ultimately showcasing all
their qualities and capabilities! Keep an eye on their
website for more details!!
“Social SYM”, a SYM Crox 125cc Scooter, is the first
in the comprehensive range of SYM scooters to
make an appearance on social media and is already
sporting a healthy following on Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter, enjoying a documented life whereby
all its talents, uses and benefits are displayed for
the world to see, while gaining the recognition of
“South Africa’s most famous scooter!!”
Bike Talk
To view the bungee jump, watch the video here:
December 2015
most prestigious brands, Harley-Davidson as title
sponsor for Ultimate X. The team is fired up as
both brands tie in well with representing limitless
freedom. 2015’s showdown at the Grand Arena,
Cape Town was a ground breaking event in action
sports in Africa, with Ultimate X being the only
multi-disciplined action sports indoor fest globally.”
Harley-Davidson® Africa today announced its
partnership with Ultimate X 2016 presented by
Dark Custom™. Ultimate X, Africa’s premiere action
sport festival, will showcase the best in local and
international extreme athletes at the Grand Arena,
GrandWest Casino in Cape Town on Saturday 27th
February 2016.
“We can’t wait to transform GrandArena into
Africa’s only indoor, floodlit, pyrotechnical action
sport showdown. We have so much in store for
2016 and the upcoming fest will once again surpass
expectations. Spectators will experience a variety
of action sports, on Africa’s most impressive
Skate / BMX Park: Freestyle MX, Skateboarding,
Trials biking, Blading, with the finest local and
international competitors. We are securing an
entertainment line-up of note featuring South
Africa’s hottest bands and DJ’s. Not only will the
shows keep festivalgoers mesmerised, but they will
also be kept entertained with the best music at the
event and after-party,” said Museler.
Aside from the slick and extreme skills on show,
it’s an action-packed experience for anyone who is
driven by adrenalin sports. This partnership follows
the launch of the Harley-Davidson® Dark Custom
Street® 750 motorcycle in South Africa designed for
young urban riders, at Ultimate X in February 2015.
“Harley-Davidson solidified its partnership with
action sports at X Games in 2014 in Austin and
Aspen, with the introduction of a new medal
discipline in flat track racing, where the Street
750 has been carving up the dirt as a new fan
favorite. Action sport is about performance and
self-expression, and our brand is no different.
We provide the world with a blank canvas of raw
American power that celebrates independence,
rebellion and freedom,” comments Juan Mouton,
Marketing Manager, Harley-Davidson Africa.
The latest Harley-Davidson Dark Custom bikes will
be on show and those with a motorcycle license
will be encouraged to take them out for a test ride
“Black Label apparel will make a debut and surprise
a lot of people who haven’t seen the urban threads
we create for people who hate cages as much as we
do,” Mouton added.
Ultimate X owner and mastermind, Markus Museler
said, “We are stoked to have one of the worlds’
Bike Talk
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
A battlefield tour leads adventure motorcycle
enthusiasts through the remote and beautiful
countryside of northern KwaZulu-Natal. Every
hour or so, the group stops for a break at a place of
historical interest. A lively talk by a specialist guide
explains how Voortrekkers, Burghers and Boers
battled heroically for survival, first against the Zulus
and later against the British. And then it is back
onto the bikes to enjoy country riding at its best, on
the way to the next historic site.
Lunch stop at Spioenkop Lodge
A rather sweaty afternoon was spent exploring
the site of a ferocious engagement fought on the
summit of Spioenkop Mountain, which towers 500
metres over Spioenkop dam below. Everyone was
pleased they could ride their bikes to the summit
rather than walking up. That night in Dundee the
heavens opened in answer to fervent prayers from
drought-stricken farmers and welcome rain poured
down until dawn. This made for interesting rivercrossings as gravel roads turned to mud on our way
to Khambula and then to Holkrans. There were a
few muddy tumbles; fortunately the only bruises
were to egos and we reached the lonely spot with
all bikes dirty but undamaged.
A recent tour, over 3 days, where riders covered
almost 1000 km and visited nine different
battlefields with Nicki von der Heyde, specialist
battlefields guide. The roads included open freeway,
tarred secondary roads, good gravel roads, a few
jeep tracks, railway servitude roads and, on one
occasion, open veld. There was nothing a novice
rider couldn’t handle and the routes were all pillionfriendly although there were some, more technical,
alternative routes for experienced riders.
The first battlefield, Willowgrange
Bikers met up at Midway, near Estcourt and the
tour began close by, at the site of a battle fought
early on in the Boer war. Gazing out over peaceful
farmland, the group listened to the tale of a British
night attack through mist and rain on the Boer-held
hill and the clever counter-attack which followed
the next morning. From there, riders progressed
northwards to enjoy lunch in the cool of the bar at
Spioenkop Lodge (one GS recorded a temperature
of 40 degrees that day).
Bike Talk
The summit of Spioenkop
From Holkrans, we rode towards Holbane, passing
through the shoulder of a mountain inside a 2km
railway tunnel. We were mid-tunnel when a train
approached; five powerful locomotives hauling a
massive train of 100 coal-laden carriages. It was an
eerie to see arcs of light sparking between electrical
contacts as the earth trembled and hot air rushed
over us.
December 2015
Continued on next page >>
At the battle of Khambula
Jump start in tne middle of the road
We rode home from Dundee towards Durban
on the last day of our tour, breaking the journey
at various Boer war battlefields including
Elandslaagte, Colenso and Frere. As we said goodbyes everyone agreed that it had been a bonding,
emotive experience and one that they wouldn’t
have missed.
Someone (no names) left his ignition on and had to
jump-start his bike. This operation took place in the
middle of the road while a car waited patiently to
get through.
No road to this monument at Holkrans
Standing in the middle of the immense bronze
wagon laager at the site of the Battle of Blood River,
the realization dawned that the early Voortrekkers
were just as skilled with their ancient muzzle
loading guns, as were their Boer descendants with
the modern Mauser rifle. And that God played a big
role in this epic battle. A series of miracles unfolded;
first the thick mist that concealed the laager until
daylight, and then the damp gunpowder which
nonetheless exploded without a single misfire.
Perhaps most dramatic of all was the vision seen
by young Zulu Impi of an army of horsemen with
streaming banners, led by a man with a shining
sword riding a white charger, galloping to the
defence of the Voortrekkers and compelling the
young Zulu warriors to flee, only to be met and
killed by the assegais of the older Impi behind them.
Bike Talk
Bikes at Blood River
Photo Credits: Peter Jarvis
Tour Operator: Nicki von der Heyde
SOUTH AFRICA’ and three time winner of ‘Tour
Operator of the Year’, KZN)
Cell: 082 6534166
Tel: 033 7012285
Email: [email protected]
December 2015
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December 2015
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