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South Africa - December 2015



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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

7 8

Reviews - BMW S 1000XR - Triumph Trophy SE

9 14

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

29 32 33 35 36 38 38 40

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

48 49

Tech Talk - Motorcycle Chains: How To Maintain and Adjust - How to install new set of Hand Grips

54 56

Talk of the Town - Sym Motorcycles & Scooters: First Scooter Bungee - Ultimate X: Partnership with Harley-Davidson

59 60

Storybook - Battlefields Tour: A trip back in time


EDITOR’s NOTE I can still remember my summer holidays growing up as a kid. And it was normally this time of the year that the excitement started reaching 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 down!

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

BIKE TALK HAPPENINGS 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 anyway?


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

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BIKE TALK HAPPENINGS 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 family.


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 Lodge 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 Hofmeyr. 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: or visit MSI website at

5 to 6 Feb 2016

Urban Skills and Road Captain Course 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: or visit MSI website at

19 to 21 Feb 2016

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 2016

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 2015

23 Jan 2016

26 to 28 Feb 2016

26 to 28 Feb 2016

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 or more information at

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 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 autumn.”

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.


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 warranty.

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

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REVIEWS 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. 10

December 2015

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REVIEWS 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

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REVIEWS 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

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REVIEWS 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 AWESOME BIKE!!


Engine: Liquid-cooled Inline Four Displacement: 999cc Bore X Stroke: 80 x 49.7mm Comp Ratio: 12:1 Clutch: Wet clutch (slipper function) Transmission: 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: 25.5째/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 three-cylinders.

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! 14

December 2015

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REVIEWS 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 leave!

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


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REVIEWS 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


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REVIEWS 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 KwaZulu-Natal

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 capacity.

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. 18

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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY 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 hydrated. Kidney Belt: Your lower back will take a hammering on a long trip, you’ll feel it the next morning. 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 handy). 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 ride.


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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY 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 asleep! 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 invaluable. 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:


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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 pasta. 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. 21

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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY 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.


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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY 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


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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY 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.

SENA INTERCOM 2-way Bluetooth intercom for rider-to-rider or rider-to-passenger, FM Radio, Dual and Single units available with excellent audio quality. Stay in touch with SENA!


ATG BAGS Waterproof Dust Proof Mud Proof Sand Proof Backpacks Duffel Bags Pannier Bags


SLIME TYRE INFLATOR 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 pumper!



SPIRIT OXYGEN Jacket with mesh airflow, ample ven�la�on Removable rain thermal inner Elbow and spine armour Adjustable wrist arm & waist Sizes XS - XXL




UGLY FISH GLASSES These stylish glasses are a perfect combina�on of comfort and protec�on. Detachable inserts, an�-fog, sha�erproof and impact resistant lenses.

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 waffle!


DESERT FOX 3-in-1 Helmet Dual-Sport Enduro X Street An�-Fog An�-Scratch Cheek pads easy emergency release

Prices valid while stock last and Include 14% VAT. Terms & Condi�ons Apply � � Bike Talk

10 Meridian Drive, Umhlanga Ridge Tel: 031 566 3024 Bike Talk


December 2015

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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 incident.

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.


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GOD’S 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. HEIN’S JOURNAL

Bike Talk


December 2015


Two levels of HSTC are available (it also boasts an off) and mode selection appears within the LCD instrumentation.

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 proportion.

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 calipers.

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. 29

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SHOP FLOOR 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 inertia.


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 function.

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.

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SHOP FLOOR 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 acceleration.

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:


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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 rallies. 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 situations.

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 32

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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: Bike Talk


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SHOP FLOOR 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”. 34

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SHOP FLOOR 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).


YAMAHA PES 2 & PED 2: ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES PREVIEW 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 bias.

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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.


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SHOP FLOOR Ripe for customization, Triumph says the Street Twin offers unique character, a distinctive sound, stripped-back styling and a dynamic riding experience.

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 competition. Source:

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.



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


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SHOP FLOOR 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 available. 39

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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 performance.


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


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SHOP FLOOR 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


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SHOP FLOOR 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 Diavel.

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 handlebar.

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 >> 42 December 2015

SHOP FLOOR 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 components. 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 adventure.

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

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SHOP FLOOR 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 44

December 2015


PREP WORK Motorcycle

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.


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ON THE ROAD ADVICE 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 pants. 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 t-shirts/tops. 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

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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

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Cash Credit Cards Sun protection Maps Mini first aid kit and pain killers. Torch or Headlamp Camera, memory card(s) Spare batteries; AA/AAA etc. Smart-phone Pocketknife 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


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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 purposes).

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:

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


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SHOP WINDOW 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


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SHOP WINDOW 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


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SHOP WINDOW An intercom set will banish those problems to the past right alongside sending smoke signals to communicate.

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 claim.

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


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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 53

December 2015

TECH TALK MOTORCYCLE CHAINS: MAINTAIN AND ADJUST YOUR OWN 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 applicable.) • A new cotter pin (when adjusting the chain tension.) • 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. 54

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TECH TALK 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:

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 unscrewing.


December 2015

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TECH TALK 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 position.

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

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TECH TALK 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 smoothly.

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: 58

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 compromise!!

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: 59

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

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READER FEEDBACK STORYBOOK BATTLEFIELD TOUR: A TRIP BACK IN TIME 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. 61

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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 (Author of ‘FIELD GUIDE TO THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SOUTH AFRICA’ and three time winner of ‘Tour Operator of the Year’, KZN) Cell: 082 6534166 Tel: 033 7012285 Email:


December 2015



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Bike Talk - December 2015  

The December 2015 issue of the best digital motorcycle magazine in Africa.

Bike Talk - December 2015  

The December 2015 issue of the best digital motorcycle magazine in Africa.