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APRIL 2010

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CAN-AM SPYDER RT

CAB AUDIT

GREEN EXTREME

2010 KX250F

T hree legged touring

GET YOUR MOTORCYCLE BOOKS AT CYCLETORQUE.COM.AU APRIL 2010 - 1


APRIL 2010 Contents 26

12

TEST

Can-Am Spyder RT Roadster

TEST

Kawasaki KX250F

42

30 TEST

test

Laro 250 Cruiser

BMW S 1000 RR

44

20

FEATURE

Journeyman

FEATURE

Deus mT-01

features 36 QUAD TORQUE 48 Biking in Russia REGULARS 3-10 News 18 EDITORIAL 24 guntrip 25 race torque 29 E-Torque 34 LETTERS 39 major events 50 bike stuff 51 Used & Reviewed 54 Dirty Torque

Cycle Torque: 02 4956 9820 Full details page 39 Cover image: Can-Am by Nigel Paterson, Kawasaki by Chris Pickett


NEWS torque

Yamaha launches bigbore Adventure Tourer Yamaha is back in the Adventure Tourer market with the launch of the XTZ1200 Super Ténéré. It’s the first time Yamaha has built a twin cylinder adventure machine since the XTZ750 in over 20 years. Built to take on the successful machines in the category from BMW and KTM, the Super Ténéré is designed to handle well both on and off road while offering the best longdistance capabilities in its class. Although the engine seems outwardly similar to the parallel twin motor powering the TDM900, Yamaha has said it’s an all-new powerplant. The 1199cc twin features a 270-degree crankshaft, which will offset the firing of the cylinders and give it the feel of a V-twin. Putting out more than 100hp from the four-valve, DOHC fuel injected, the bike should have plenty of grunt for the class. The Super Ténéré bristles with the latest technology, too, including YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle), sidemounted radiators, traction control, three-position ABS with a Unified Braking System, shaft drive and rider-selectable engine maps. Adventure riders will be pleased to hear the bike has a 23 litre tank, aluminium rims suitable for tubeless tyres, a 12volt power outlet, optional factory panniers and adjustable seat height. The engine is slanted forward to lower the centre of gravity and to allow downdraft intake. Mounting the radiator on the left side prevents the wheelbase from being too long, a common problem on inclined-cylinder designs.

The result is a machine which is compact, great for narrow trails or city streets. It’s slim for a twin, too. Having a ride-by-wire throttle means the traction control system can control fuel injection, the engine’s ECU and throttle position if rear wheel speed exceeds the front’s. However, there are three user-selectable traction control options – off, TCS1 and TCS2, allowing the rider to choose the level - or not - of traction control. Also rider selectable is Touring and Sport modes. Touring mode flattens out the torque curve compared to Sport Mode, making for a more relaxing ride. Yamaha chose to use a steel frame for the Super Ténéré with the engine as a stressed member. Offering both strength and flexibility, Yamaha believe the Super Ténéré’s chassis offers the best balance of comfort and performance. Dual backbone tubes not only allow the fuel tank to sit lower, but also give excellent access to the engine for maintenance. Chassis components a long way from the centre of gravity, such as the rear subframe, are alloy. Front suspension is by 43mm upside down forks with adjustable spring preload. The rear features a shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping. The fairing is designed to give excellent weather protection, but Yamaha has also fitted crash guards to minimise damage if the bike should fall. The guards also serve as hand-holds to manoeuvre the bike out of difficult situations if need be. Pricing and availability if the Super Ténéré hasn’t been announced yet. n

APRIL 2010 - 3


NEWS torque

Electric sizzle

MotoCzysz – pronounced MotoSizz – is building one of the most advanced, exciting and fast electric bikes anywhere – and not only plans to win the TTXGP with the bike, but also help put lots of machines on the grid by offering a $10,000 discount to the first ten teams to put a E1PC on the grid. The man behind the company is architect and racer Michael Czysz, who built a 990cc machine which he’d planned to put on the MotoGP grid, only to have the FIM drop the capacity to 800cc. Instead of re-tooling to the smaller capacity, he looked to the future and decided to go electric. The heart of Czysz’s latest design is the ‘Electric D1g1tal Dr1ve’ System of proprietary controller and electrical storage, claimed to be one of the highest torque density motors in the industry. It’s MotoCzysz’s design, the company claiming the currently available technology may be well suited to golf carts but not to high performance motorcycles. Matched with a liquid-cooled brushless DC motor there’s a claimed 100hp and a massive 338Nm of torque – impressive stuff. MotoCzysz put a bike on the grid at last year’s TTXGP on the Isle of Man, but gremlins forced a DNF – but this year is planning to win. Beyond racing though, Czysz is offering his products to the world. No, you can’t buy a complete bike - at least not this year - but for $US42,500 you can get a MotoCzysz D1g1tal Dr1ve system complete with batteries and a chassis. You need to bolt on running gear and the company says you can fit almost any swingarm. Get in early with a plan to compete though, and $10,000 comes off the price. In 2011 you might be able to buy a complete motorcycle… n

Get Booked for a cause

The Grand Prix Motorcycle is acclaimed author Kevin Cameron’s latest book – and you can get yourself a copy and support the Morong Spinal Unit at the same

4 - APRIL 2010

time. Cycle Torque has been supplied 24 copies, and they will be sold to the highest bidders through a silent email auction until May 10. Carrying a price in the USA of $39.95, The Grand Prix Motorcycle would be expected to retail in Australia for around $59.95. The top 24 bids will each be sent a copy - just email your bid to bec@ cycletorque.com.au and she will call you after May 14 to arrange payment (make sure you include a daytime contact number). Cycle Torque will pay the postage: the amount you bid and pay will go to the Morong Spinal Clinic, so don’t be stingy, bid what you can afford (but with 24 books to be sold, there’s also a good chance you won’t miss out). Sub-titled The Official Technical History and carrying a forward by

three-time World 500 Champion Kenny Roberts Senior, The Grand Prix Motorcycle is the story of how the best road racing machines have evolved since the championships commenced in 1949. Each championship-winning bike is featured, along with sections devoted to various eras: the bikes, riders, technology and rules. The amount you will learn from this book about grand prix bikes, their riders and the championship is simply amazing - every race fan should read this book. Remember, the top 24 bids will get the books, and all of the money raised by the bids will go to the Morong Spinal Clinic. You must get your bids in by May 10 to bec@cycletorque.com.au and don’t forget to include your name, address and daytime phone number. n


NEWS torque

Seth smashes record

AMERICAN freestyle legend, Seth Enslow, made history on March 2, smashing the existing world record motorcycle jump of 157 feet (approximately 47.85 metres) by over five metres. Riding a Harley-Davidson XR1200, Seth jumped 175 feet (53.34 metres) under the watchful eye of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The death defying stunt recreated an unforgettable Harley-Davidson motorcycle benchmark set by the infamous Evel Knievel in 1975 and a world record most recently set by Bubba Blackwell in Las Vegas, 1999. Still high from the jump, Seth said: “This is awesome, I’m stoked!” Harley-Davidson’s, Adrian O’Donoughue, added: “We’ve worked hard at creating history and we’re all glad he landed it safely. The wheels are already in motion for what we do next!” The world record attempt was broadcast live on www. harleyworldrecordjump.com. Log on to watch the replay.

The world by Multistrada Ducati, in conjuction with one of the world’s leading motorcycle tour operators, has put together four rides in four countries – and you can go along. Designed to promote the new 1200 Multistrada and its versatility thanks to the various engine maps, suspension

adjustabillty and more, tours which take in Australia, Spain/Morocco, USA (California) and Italy are sure to be exciting. The Multistrada Travel Experience is being promoted as “The world as you’ve never seen it, the bike as you’ve never

imagined it. Four exclusive journeys that let you explore places, cultures and thrills in the most intense, exciting way possible.” The trips include rides in Spain and across the Strait of Gibraltar and into Africa, the hidden beauty of Italy, the awesome expanse of Australia and the rugged ocean coasts of California. Designed to offer heaps of variety in the travel experience and the capabilities of the new Multistrada 1200, this has got to be the ultimate way to test ride a new motorcycle. The trips are 9-16 days, depending on the country. Prices are from 3550 euros. See http://www. multistrada.ducati.com and click on ‘travel experience’ for more information. n

APRIL 2010 - 5


NEWS torque

QBE Winners

Tony and Alison Smithies from Hobart, Tasmania, were the lucky winners of QBE’s Superbike World Championship Competition.  QBE motorcycle policyholders were eligible to enter. The lucky winners were flown up from their home state into Melbourne, transported down to Phillip Island, given VIP passes including corporate hospitality and even scored a helicopter flight back to Melbourne after the racing. “The Australian Superbike Races were highlight,” Tony told Cycle Torque. “We got to watch the last one from the pit wall, and that was fantastic.” “QBE have really looked after us”, Alison, who rides a scooter, said. QBE regularly offers policy holders the chance to win great prizes. n

Victoria bans trucks VICTORIA will become the first Australian state to ban trucks travelling in the right-hand lanes of freeways. VicRoads Minister Tim Pallas recently announced the move was planned to improve safety and reduce congestion on key freeways, and address complaints that slow moving trucks clog roads when they overtake. Trucks caught driving in the righthand lane of freeways consisting of three lanes or more would face fines of $350, Mr Pallas said. The bans apply to all heavy vehicles weighing 4.5 tonnes and over, except buses, and will be enforced by VicRoads and Victoria Police. Starting in July, the new rule will first apply to a 38-kilometre stretch of the Princes Freeway, then the Melbourne

Ring Road, Eastern Freeway and EastLink. Mr Pallas said the ban wouldn’t start on the M1 until its roadworks were complete, and would not apply to the West Gate Bridge. The move was to ensure ‘driver safety’, Mr Pallas said, with a recent RACV report showing 83 per cent of motorists believed trucks should be restricted from the right-hand lane. “I do feel a bit intimidated by trucks on the road... and we all have a responsibility to drive safely,” he said. Calls to limit trucks from some lanes on freeways first started after a triple fatal crash in the Burnley Tunnel in 2007. Last year an accident on the Monash Freeway involving two trucks and a ute instigated further calls for the move.

After the Monash Freeway incident, the chairman of the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council, John Begley, said limiting trucks to left hand lanes may not be the answer to solving freeway congestion. “I think they would probably cause more congestion to some extent, because you would have a continuous flow of trucks... the slowest truck would dictate how fast that lane went,” he said at the time. “What happens to people who are in the middle and outside lanes who want to take an off-ramp? If trucks were lining the inside lane all the time, how would anybody then get across safely to exit the freeway?” While the new rule seems to be a fait accompli, enforcing it may be a different matter. n

Oran Park demolished

6 - APRIL 2010

Sad but true – Oran Park Raceway is gone, demolished. At a time when authorities are trying to make going fast on the road considered to be a social evil, we’re also losing tracks faster than they can be built. If the noise nazis and go slow crowd have their way we won’t be having fun at any speed.


*MAXIMUM DEALER RIDE AWAY PRICE. OFFER ENDS ON 30 JUNE, 2010, UNLESS EXTENDED. THE RIDE AWAY PRICE INCLUDES 12 MONTHS PRIVATE REGISTRATION, 12 MONTHS COMPULSORY THIRD PARTY INSURANCE, DEALER DELIVERY AND STAMP DUTY. OPTIONAL EXTRAS NOT INCLUDED. BASED ON A PRIVATE PURCHASER WITH A GOOD DRIVING RECORD – MAY BE HIGHER FOR OTHER PURCHASERS.

APRIL 2010 - 7


NEWS torque

Villopoto wins, Dungey leads

KAWASAKI’S Ryan Villopoto has taken his fifth win of the 2010 AMA Supercross Championship, closing the gap to series leader Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) to only 17 points. Just before Cycle Torque went to press the championship headed north to Toronto in Canada. Villipoto and Dungey were all set to continue their battle for the title, especially after Chad Reed and James ‘Bubba’ Stewart withdrew from the series early in the championship due to injury. At Toronto it would be Villopoto who would triumph over his championship rival Dungey, with Trey Canard third on his Honda. I really wouldn’t be in this position without all of my team and everyone involved,” said Villopoto. “The last couple weeks we’ve been on it and it’s what we need to do. The racing is close and it’s been tough. I need to make up ground and I got to make those passes quick. I also need to keep getting good starts.” The top ten results for the Toronto round or the championship doesn’t make for good reading for Australian fans. Reed didn’t score one point before exiting the series and Dan Reardan doesn’t feature in the top ten either, a mixture of injury and average results keeping the talented rider out of the championship pointy end. n

Josh’s Strang-lehold

AUSTRALIA’S Josh Strang has won the first two rounds of America’s GNCC series. Strang has been contesting the series for a couple of years now, and the Suzuki rider is now showing the dominant form many pundits have predicted. Strang, from Inverell in NSW, sits on top of the Pro class table with 60 points, 14 clear of second placed Chris Bach (KTM) and Charles Mullins (Yamaha) another seven points further adrift. “I’ve worked hard for this and it feels good,” said Strang after his win in the Maxxis General GNCC in Washinton, Georgia. “And to get two wins is great. I got a good start, perhaps the best start I’ve ever got on the 450, and I rode well. I think I was better prepared for this race than I was in last week’s race in the sand and my bike worked awesome, so it was a good day for us.” For those in the antipodes, last year’s champ Paul Whibly is the next rider on the standings who hails from down under (NZ). Whibley rides a Yamaha WR450F and finished 10th in round one in Florida but came back with a vengeance, trailing home Strang to take second in Georgia. Next best Aussie is Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney who has finished 6th and 12th respectively. n

8 - APRIL 2010


NEWS torque

Buy our two-fitty

CYCLE Torque’s Yamaha YZ250F is up for sale. We bought it new in the second half of 2008 and spent a couple of months turning it into our Project GPMono road racer. The bike never turned a wheel on dirt, all the MX items (including bodywork) were taken off and stored while we fitted Supermoto wheels, rear sets, clip-ons and fairings. We also shortened the original suspension internally and modified the top end of the engine. The result was 37 horsepower at the rear wheel. Now it’s back to MX trim, although the suspension is still in shortened form, making it perfect for dirt track. It looks as new (even the original tyres/chain/sprockets are brand new) and we can have the suspension changed back to full length if you want it for motocross. The engine has done less than 20 hours work but we have replaced the piston/ rings and serviced the top end, so it’s ready to go. $6,500 will buy you the bike which is cheap considering it looks as new and has never turned a wheel in the dirt. Give us a bell on 02 4956 9820 or 0404 030 925. n

Demo the Spyder RT YOU CAN ride a Spyder RT, just like the one on the cover of this issue, by

signing up for the Can-Am Spyder Experience currently travelling

around the country. Of course other models of Can-Ams revolutionary Spyder will also be available to sample during the demo tour as Can-Am travels around the country with a bunch of the radical threewheel machines and a big

hospitality truck. The highlight is the RT though, the machine Can-Am like to describe as ‘touring re-invented”. Participants will get to experience the Sypder – they are unique machines, every motorcyclist should ride one to see what all the fuss is about. You’ll get a two-hour introduction to the vehicles, including a rider training and a technical presentation before you get to put one through its

paces. After your ride you can discuss the machines with other riders, representatives from the manufacturer and local dealers. To find out where and when you can register to try the Can-Am Spyder RS and RT, visit: www. spyderexperience. com. The demo tour is free. Register early, spots are limited. n

APRIL 2010 - 9


SMALL TORQUE More Hyosung for less

For a limited time only, Hyosung is offering $1000 cash back on its GT250R. Offering ‘More bike for less bucks’ than its competitors, this offer is only available until April 30. Hyosung is also offering $500 cash back on it’s GV250, GT250, GT650, GT650R & GT650S road bikes. See your participating Hyosung dealer for details or visit www.hyosung.com.au.

Thunderbird the best seller

Triumph’s new Thunderbird is the best-selling bike in the ‘Cruiser’ category and third overall in road bikes during February, according to the FCAI National Sales Report. “We were always confident that the Thunderbird would make it’s mark in the Cruiser category”, commented Triumphs Marketing Manager Mal Jarrett, “but to have it as the third biggest selling Road Bike, and tenth best selling bike overall, has exceeded all expectations”.

Corser Concept

WHEN novices go for their L plates they basically do a course on a small ashphalt square to absorb the rudiments of balance while trying to digest the controls of their machine. Once they pass certain basic criteria they’re ready for the open road. But what if you could go somewhere and learn to be totally comfortable with motorcycles and the art of riding them in a controlled and safe environment? There is such a place. Dale Corser’s Corser Concept Motorcycle School operates on a rural property by Dale Corser who, with his brother Troy, is well known in the motorcycle industry. Dale is a Motorcycling Australia accredited coach whose target market is from small children through to 60-year-olds. “Troy and I learned to ride on a farm in an open paddock and this is a very comfortable

10 - APRIL 2010

environment to learn basic riding skills,” Dale says. “It’s not intimidating and is perfect for either new starters or for people wanting to safely improve their skills.” The school uses XR100 and TTR 150s and classes consist of six people so there is plenty of close, personal instruction. The one-day course also includes lunch, light refreshments and a completion certificate at the end of the day. Group bookings are available and alternative dates to those on the Corser Concepts website can be organised. Just mention this Cycle Torque article for a $50 discount on your course in April. For more information ring Dale Corser on 02 4297 5587 or check out the website, www. corserconceptmotorcycleschool. com.

Ben & Eddie

Yamaha is producing a series of videos entitled Ben & Eddie, where 2009 Superbike World Champion Ben Spies and four-time 500cc champion Eddie Lawson discuss aspects of racing, technology and lots more. The first two instalments are already up and there’s more to come. Check out www. ychampions.com.

Gold Coast Show

THE Australian Motorcycle Expo Gold Coast attracted bike enthusiasts from all corners of the Sunshine State in February. The three-day event brought together a wide range of manufacturers from the motorcycle, scooter, ATV and PWC markets, all offering a look at their latest range. The 10,000sqm Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre was packed to capacity with close to 100 exhibitors presenting a complete range of accessories and services. Event Manager Mark Petersen said the event attracted solid visitor numbers and kicked off a year where the motorcycle sales market was expected to begin to bounce back. “The Australian Motorcycle

Expo Gold Coast has proven to be an exceptional event in its first two years,” said Petersen. “The 2010 exhibition saw a good roundup of models from manufacturers and a variety of motorcycle industry exhibitors offering value to visitors. “Visitor numbers were lower this year but exhibitors reported back with some positive feedback. “The action demonstrations proved very popular once again, and the show put on by Eric Malone (multiple jet ski world champ) had everybody awe-struck.” Next up on the Australian Motorcycle Expo calendar is the Melbourne event, to be held from November 26-28.

Forest 300

DUNGOG’S legendary Forest 300 enduro event is on again, based around the Dungog Showgrounds, May 8-9. It’s also rounds 1 and 2 of the NSW senior and junior enduro championship. The junior special stages and the StadiumX style tracks will be in the Showground itself for great spectator viewing, and the surrounding areas offer incredible enduro riding. The Forest 300 ran from 1974 until 1978. During that period, as many as 300 keen Enduro riders scrambled their way around the surrounding hills of Dungog. Last year it was “brought back from the dead” to the delight of the old dogs of the Enduro scene who remember the good old days of what has been described as the best riding on the East Coast. Email ren4dan@bigpond.com for more information.

Crusty’s on the coast

YES it’s true the Crusty Demons are coming to the Central Coast on Saturday, April 17 as part of their Beyond the Apocalypse Regional Australian tour. The good people at Image Motorcycles & Scooters, of Wyoming, are happy to welcome the Crusty Demons to the Bluetongue Stadium on the Central Coast and are happy to support the range of

PROZ range of motorcycles supplied by the International Motorcycle Company including the awesome Blade 150. Of course the entire PROZ range from the bandit 125 to the top of the line Blade 150 are the weapons of choice and official pit bike for the Crusty Demon team. The Crusty Demons would be arguably the greatest freestyle motorcycle riders on the planet. The show also will include quads, snow mobiles, 50s Harleys, freaks and the Woodstock Crusty Babes. For tickets and more information go to @crusty. com and you can get your hands on a PROZ from Image Motorcycles. More information from the folk at Image on 02 4322 7100. Check the crusty.com website for further dates and venues.

2010 Easter Bike Week Postponed

Due to international logistics and event schedules Bike Week at QR (Queensland Raceway) has had to be delayed. A number of unexpected difficulties came to light in the eight weeks since QR & Bike Week signed up to run the event at Easter. Some of the key resources, especially international participants, that had been promised are no longer able to make the Easter date. When faced with the hard decision of providing a greatly diminished event at Easter or waiting for a clearer calendar, probably in early August, it was decided to hold off until such time as organisers had clear commitments of support from the local traders, clubs and the international competitors. Now QR and Bike Week have some clear air to negotiate with the key participants and promote Bike Week to a wider audience you can expect a much bigger and brighter event than originally envisaged. n


APRIL 2010 - 11


Three wheel st 12 - APRIL 2010


Cycle Torque Test – Can-Am Spyder RT Roadster TEST BY

Chris Pickett

PHOTOS BY

Nigel Paterson

RIDING GEAR: Zeus helmet, BMW jacket, Can-Am gloves, Draggin Jeans, Motodry boots.

tarship

Tour in comfort without even putting your feet down. APRIL 2010 - 13


Three wheel st CAN-AM has responded to the masses, introducing the Spyder RT Roadster touring model. Its luggage capacity and electronic gadgetry rivals any twowheeled tourer on the market, although it’s an altogether different experience to ride. The RT Roadster is joined by the RS (Roadster Sport) which has a much sportier riding position and a lot less of the ‘fruit’ which the RT boasts. Base price of the RT is $32,190 and goes up to $41,590 for the full fruit semi-auto. Cycle Torque has sampled Can-Am’s Spyder a couple of times now but we were keen to test the new RT, because of its updates but also to see how it would stack up against bikes like the Goldwing and BMW’s K 1200 LT. Can-Am obviously knew that to appeal to customers who might normally look at the aforementioned two wheeled tourers it would have to come out with

all guns blazing, offering just about every conceivable option you’ve ever seen on a bike. Many riders of the luxo-barge tourers are advanced in years and the size of such bikes can cause difficulties with low speed manoeuvring, especially twoup. One thing the Spyder offers is total feet up riding. As a result balance should never become an issue with it.

In the garage

The heart of the well appointed three wheeler is a 1000cc Rotax V-twin engine (Can-Am’s parent company is BRP, which incidentally owns Rotax). On tap is 100hp from the fuel-injected donk – with fly-by-wire throttle – and final drive is by belt. You can opt for the manual five-speed gearbox, or the semi-auto five-speed which is actuated by thumb and index finger. Reverse gear is easily actuated and you’ll need it if you park nose in.

There’s so much under-skin framework and electronics that it could almost be a car. The size and design of the vehicle dictates the chassis, and modern technology such as the traction control and creature comforts dictate metre after metre of wiring and computers. There are so many safety and comfort features on the RT Roadster we couldn’t possibly cover them all in detail here. In an attempt to keep you as safe as possible there’s the Stability Control System which automatically alters power and braking if the RT becomes unstable; ABS brakes which need no real explanation, and traction control which changes fuel and ignition settings to reduce power when needed. The traction control settings will also accommodate your riding if you have the optional RT-622 trailer fitted, once it gets through ADR-requirements. On the comfort side of things you have the very plush leather seat, electric windshield, heated hand grips (the passenger has their own controls for the heated grips which sit either side of the pillion seat), stereo (which gets louder as your speed rises) with iPod integration and enough luggage space that if it’s not enough maybe you should be driving a minibus. Besides the obvious panniers and top box there’s a front luggage area and one just in front of the rider. All up 155 litres. If you have the trailer there’s over 700 litres available. It’s a very pretty machine. Everything is contoured and the whole body design flows, and it certainly has a presence on the road.

Ride impression

For a rider around the six foot mark or taller the riding position is a little cramped. There’s plenty of leg room but we tended to feel we were pushed a little too far forward, making you slump as you grabbed the ’bars. It’s a personal thing and totally dependent on your own physical makeup. Footpeg positioning was spot on, and pillions get footboards. Our pillion found the rear seat and

14 - APRIL 2010


tarship

backrest quite comfortable. Firing up the engine has a muffled sound coming from the space-age looking pipe, but at least you know it’s a healthy V-twin powering you along. The gauges give you all the information you need. Essentially it’s the same as a car – trip meters, fuel gauge, stereo details, outside temperature, gear indicator, time etc. If you can’t find it here then you probably won’t need it. Power steering is standard, so low speed manoeuvring is very easy. We picked up the Spyder from BRP’s headquarters in Bankstown on a Friday afternoon, so it was straight into peak hour. At first it can be an intimidating machine to ride, but so are any of the big two-wheeled tourers, especially at low speeds. It’s more about the size and steering, not anything to do with balance. This quickly goes away though as you get used to using the linked brakes (no front brake lever, the foot pedal operates them all) and the slightly quirky steering which you tend to continually overcorrect until you become accustomed to it. Power wise the engine feels a bit flat down low if you are lugging it in too high a gear, but get it revving and it accelerates quicker than you would expect something this size and weight (dry 421kg) to do. Not all electric windshields work that well but this one does. From fully down to bolt upright it was spot on, allowing you to keep your visor open the whole time. Buffeting was minimal, and the control on the left handlebar easy to reach.

In the corners

Of course lane splitting is a no go but after we left the traffic snarls and freeway (the cruise control was great on the freeway) we were onto a beautiful set of bends. This is where you’re most

Can-Am didn’t have to look far for the Rotax engine. It’s in the family.

likely to experience the stability and traction control systems doing their jobs. It’s also where you’ll start to find you need to be fairly physical with the steering if you want to ride in a spirited manner. It’s very much like a quad bike to ride, you steer in the direction you want to go and lean off the inside while you’re doing it. We encountered some wet bends and the extra foot print of the three tyres made it a blast to ride, allowing you to wag the tail out just a little, all the time feeling confident in the bike’s ability to cope with the conditions. You do need to adjust your style of riding to suit the Spyder. A couple of times I came into a bend and braked firmly, causing the bike to want to run wide. I soon realised this was because of the linked brakes. So a change of tact, brake before you enter the bend and release as you are steering, just like you do in a car. The other idiosyncrasy which takes a little getting used to is the stability control. If you go through a corner fast enough to

Dash is as comprehensive as a car’s.

APRIL 2010 - 15


Three wheel starship Lots of things that go bump, grind and whirr.

lift the inside front wheel the stability control will cut in, reducing power to get the whole show back in control. If you are two-up it happens easier, we assume due to the extra weight transference of the pillion. This only happens when you are ‘having a go’. Once you know how to get the best out of the Spyder you can ride it quite fast indeed through a set of bends. Air suspension regulates the ride and this is adjustable via buttons just below the dash. Harder or softer, it doesn’t get easier than this. An electronically controlled park brake ensures it stays put too.

The last word

For riders who love long distance super touring but who find the luxo tourers too much to handle, the Spyder RT Roadster is just the ticket. It also gives you a viable alternative to a motorcycle – you still get the same fresh air feeling. It does take some time to get acclimatised with its handling characteristics but once you do you’ll appreciate what it’s got to offer. n Finance

Own this bike from: $652.54 per mth Rates from 7.99%*

www.gorapid.com.au 1300 790 411 *Rates and Repayments are subject to change daily – conditions apply

S p e c i f i c at i o n s: 2010 Can-Am Spyder Engine Type: Liquid-cooled V-twin Capacity: 991cc Transmission: Five speed/belt drive Fuel Capacity: 25 Litres Frame Type: Surrounding spar Seat Height: 750mm Dry Weight: 421kg Front Suspension: Doubla A-Arm Rear Suspension: Monoshock and swingarm Brakes: Dual 4-piston calipers, single rear. Tyres: 165/65R14, 225/50R15 Price (RRP): From $32,190 www.brp.com/en-AU/ Call for a quote

1800 24 34 64

WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE GUARANTEED*


RIDING REINVENTED YOU’RE INVITED TO EXPERIENCE THE CAN-AMTM SPYDERTM ROADSTER RS, AND THE ALL-NEW RT TOURER AT AN EXCITING RIDE EVENT COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU. The SpyderTM Experience gives you the chance to test the Spyder’sTM unique ride characteristics including exhilarating performance, magnetic cornering and peace of mind stability. Your two hour ride experience takes you out on the open road to put the SpyderTM through it’s paces and feel first hand the thrill of this new riding sensation.

Hurry, places are filling fast!

Visit www.spyderexperience.com


EDITORIAL

The pits I RECKON most race fans, whether it be motocross, road racing or even V8 Supercars, have no real idea of the life in the pits. Tension, frustration, glory and elation are all part of the game but making sure your rider or driver is ready to race is often harder for the team than it is for them to be on the track. Of course this all depends on the conditions of your particular pit. If you are working for a Formula One team it would mean clean garages, with plenty of space, pretty girls, nice catered lunches and good motels. The other end of the spectrum could be a motocross meeting in

country Australia, where a Quikshade, sangas and soft drink is all the comfort you get. Spare parts in plastic tubs and a small box filled with tools from Supercheap. Your mechanic in the dusty pits? Well, that would be your dad most likely. In club racing it’s all done for the love of it. You tend to see more and more people wearing race style shirts with their team emblazoned on it, and maybe some sponsors, but generally each race meeting is a juggle between what’s absolutely necessary and what isn’t. Your income usually dictates where you sit between these two scenarios, whether you are driving a beat up ute

The glory side of racing. Relaxed looks belies the intensity behind the scenes.

18 - APRIL 2010

or Hiace van and sleeping in the back of it, or if you are turning up in a new Mercedes jumbo van and living it up at a nice motel. But whatever your income stream, it can still go either way in the pits and on the track. Take the recent World Superbike round at Phillip Island for example. Paying spectators see the action on the track but in many ways the real action and drama is in the pit garages. Cycle Torque was there to race in the Superstock 600 class and we had a shocker, but we weren’t the only ones. I’ll give you a snapshot of what happened to five bikes sitting side by side in the pit tents at Phillip Island. The riders and

their teams experienced everything from elation to deflation. Often the pressure can feel overwhelming, and it matters not whether it’s forced on you or self inflicted, the stress levels can be high. Three different brands of motorcycle covered these five and the space between each one was minimal. Packed in like sardines, two bikes and gear, people, tables, tyre warmers, tools etc were packed in a 6x3m section. At the track you are often working on the bike, if only to put in fuel or check tyre pressures, but you’re always doing something. Practice and qualifying went well enough for each one of these five riders but


38 - APRIL 2010

TORQUING BACK

www.cycletorque.com.au

LETTERS

I look forward I know lane people willelectrical say events but the in the the Studio) on families were sharing same it’s rented (same issue again – selfto Kevin’s atnot the run completion ofhire qualifying weYes had the Cycle Torque website input to the sport and it this is changing but I facilities to the clubs that (www.cycletorque.com. house so I couldn’t escape his taunts. I inflicted), one bike crash and three a brake hose jump ship. Whose fault has always been obvious that can assure you as a person then run the events and do au/podCastList.php). You he puts a lot of time and who mixes with a lot of all the work etc as now. did see the irony of it all though. can also search for Plenty Cycle good results. More frantic action in the was that? Well number one mechanic effort into his broadcasts. inuential people not If all the funds collected Torque in iTunes ‘personalises’ a involved in motorcycling from In the charity rides around for Team(www.itunes.com)and Cycle Torque, and all pits, one team it trying toHetrace the fault what ofisdramas – me. the rush to change tyres after very intense series and the denitely is not. For many the country were directed to subscribe to our audio, inflicted. video and eMag podcasts, andsuggested one team a crashed practice to make it Street, out for qualifying I I have fact that he bike, knows the self riders years a repairing Keep Kids Off The how all free – NP. and they know him means that charity be formed named Keep long would it take to achieve Well, our last race came up and once all within a metre and a half of each positioned one of the front brake hoses often things that Kevin talks Kids Off The Street. The idea a facility like Lakeside Double standards about and wouldmuch mean that without this is other. all motorcycle Raceway, which guard was recently again the gremlins in our electrical No room, frustration under the front rather than of over I have noticed what seems him we would have no idea charity is directed to this up for sale? I doubt if it to be us a double standard the system stopped from starting head scratching. friends it.would Out my for qualifying of are whatall might be the real and the sole purpose of thisBut we takerider more went than two regarding the law of wearing story behind an incident, charity is to own real estate years to accumulate enough race. The fastest rider out of the five got and you just accommodate each other’s and when he returned and stopped to helmets while riding for example other than the for motorcycling. to purchase such a facility motorcycles. ofcial press release. taken I had out while and the within 10 years similar the hose leading the race, so he needs in such a small area. have control tyresa checked, When our brother motorcyclist to have a bit of a laugh to facility in each state I feel who wears colours on his back Magee defence wasn’t happy. We also weren’t happy We all had a long wait for race three. attached itself to a hot tyre and ripped myself to think that someone would be achievable. rides his bike in a funeral I am a regular podcast who is from a dirt bike What a benet to motorcycling but everyone else was. I could go on In that time people were lounging out when he rode off. That caused a cavalcade he, under the law, listener of yours and a long background by the sound of and this would be there is not allowed to remove the time motorcyclist having just your introduction seem the final forever, getting results of each single around, some left the track and went wouldabout frantic runjust around the pits to procure helmet as a mark of respect clocked up 50 years since to think he would know more more facilities each year, for his mate. my  rst Honda Monkey bike rider but let’s just say one rider won the back to their rented house and we spares. We borrowed a full front brake about WSBK than someone who leaving a legacy of enormous But the ladies of the other ride that got me hooked for has raced them not to mention proportions to the future of round, one rider didn’t scoreare any points managed to put our bike in gear with system off Aark Racing for the first sexual persuasion life. I still after 54 years won a GP. motorcycling. applauded and encouraged of life can’t get enough Ronhoses Darren is entitled to his and the other three were in between. the tyre warmers still on! Normally race and then also borrowed off a to bare all and ride their of motorcycles and turn Queensland opinion as we all are but I to podcasts to enhance Last yearmotorcycles Team Cyclewithout Torque helmets had I don’t makemythose sorts of mistakes. World Supersport team. Thanks guys! think in the case of Kevin around the streets of Sydney knowledge. As a motorcyclist all my Magee he should understand some good results, finishing well in the Ages ago I happened to make a Everyone else was fine but the first at the annual Gay and Lesbian I was listening to the life including many years that there are a lot of Mardi-Gras. latest podcast and was racing being problems in the people out here that think MRRDA series. Karma had to get us comment to the father of one of the race wasand to bring to light. Don’t get me wrong I feel shocked to hear Darren Smart motorcycle business it has Kevin is as important to wearing a helmet is sensible. say that Kevin some time I suppose and it looks like it always concerned me thatissues the ridersMagee’s in our group of the five.game “You win Two bikes had electrical which as the current day Thank you for a great paper/ remarks regarding the World motorcycle movement gives riders are. chose the first round of the ASBK to do races in the shed long before you get caused them to miss the start, the other mag. Great price too. Superbike Championships so much to charity and yet Paul Manson were outdated. Now Kevin,I may have said. I was Wauchope, the had public still basically NSW it. I hope it pisses off for the Henry rest ofDrap the to the track,” three good results. Happy and sad NSW Smarty thought some as anyone would know, was hate us while bureaucrats, Magee’s wereseason. a bit a legend of the sport reminded and constantly of this of statement faces in theand five pits. councils politicians see Send your letters to outdated. If you missed hence deserves a bit more us as fodder for legislation chris@cycletorque.com.au – Chris Pickett the podcast many over the weekend. Our(CT #45 - Back Race two saw one bike start from pit than respect thattimes I feel. against us.

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Cycle Torque Touring Feature

Journeyman

Two wheeled freedom – on a global scale

MATHIAS Schmid (Matz) has spent the last five years exploring the world on adventure bikes. He’s found freedom, excitement, pain and even love on his journey. We caught up with Matz at the recent World Superbike round at Phillip Island so you could get a glimpse of his travels. But it didn’t just happen, it took a desire to explore nurtured over a number of years in the early part of Matz’s life to put him on this path. “I grew up on a small dairy farm in Northern Switzerland,” said Matz. “ The dairy farm had been in my family for generations but I soon realised that it was too much hard work for little pay, and it wouldn’t make me happy. “Early I learned how to use tools to fix my bicycle, and because I prefer contact with

20 - APRIL 2010

people not cows I decided to get an apprenticeship at a bicycle shop. “When I was 14 I got a 49cc two-stroke Sachs motorcycle. I tuned it to go faster and then in 1984 I went on a big trip with some mates to Italy. It was a big trip in those days on such a bike. On the way back I had the dream of riding around the world. “After that I did the same to become a motorcycle mechanic. I started to race MX in the Swiss championship. I started to do some trips around South America on different single cylinder motorcycles. Then in 2000 I opened up a bicycle and motorcycle repair shop in Switzerland.” There always seems to be an event which becomes the catalyst for starting a trip, and for Matz it involved a member

of the opposite sex. “I had my busy bike repair shop for a couple of years, and then my relationship broke up. When that happened I started to seriously think about doing the ’round the world trip, the one I dreamed of when I was a kid. I sold my shop, bought a cheap reliable bike, modified it and set off on my loop around the world.” The trip kicked off in Europe and isn’t over yet. “I left home in August 2005, through Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and to India. “I couldn’t get into Burma due to visa issues so I shipped my bike by sea to Malaysia and Asia, then onto Japan by ship. That wasn’t such a good idea because my Honda Transalp had to be put back to standard to be allowed on Japan’s roads.

In Japan you could only buy the 400cc Transalp. It was very difficult because of the language barrier. In Japan everyone is taught English in school but noone speaks it because they are too afraid to make mistakes. “From there I shipped the bike to Canada and rode south to Florida.” But while Matz was living the dream, life goes on everywhere else. “I got a call that the guy who bought my business had gone bankrupt so I had to fly home to Switzerland to get my stuff out and I worked in a factory to make some money to continue my trip. In February 2007 I was back in the USA, just in time for Daytona Bike Week. Then up to the awesome Barber Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham Alabama, New York, Eastern New Foundland and back to

Continued on next page >


APRIL 2010 - 21


Cycle Torque Touring Feature – Continued

Journeyman

Canada. “I had to go home again because of my divorce but I was back three months later where I headed south again to LA where I met a super chick who was right into bikes. My visa ran out but I didn’t care, life was unreal with Wendy at Paradise City and we did trips around the USA, including Bonneville Speed Week.” But the desire to continue the trip was still burning inside Matz. “I went to pick up some parts from a bike dealer and I heard that the Dakar Rally was going to be held in Argentina. That was only 20,000 kilometres down the road. A couple of days later I had my bike packed, I left the American dream and headed south to Mexico. “I travelled through Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, then I had to ship the bike by plane because there is no road from Panama to Columbia. Then to Ecuador, Peru, Chile and finally Argentina. I made it at the right time to see and follow the entire Dakar Rally for the 16 Days and 9500km – one of the most

amazing experiences on my entire trip! I actually got to help some racers out when they broke down, including the winner Marc Coma. I planned to go over to Africa from Buenos Aires but I realised that it would be the wrong time of the year with rain. I had some Aussie friends, Ken and Carol, who talked me into riding through New Zealand. A couple of months later I shipped my bike to Australia so I could do all the extremes of every continent.” Matz’s Transalp has been his travelling partner for the entire journey and it has covered over 220,000 kilometres without an engine rebuild. That’s not a misprint either. We wondered why he chose that particular bike over others. “After a couple of trips around South America on single cylinder bikes I knew I needed a twin cylinder machine for my big journey, one which could go for a huge amount of kilometres without a rebuild. “When I started my apprenticeship in 1987 the Transalp had come out and I’d never heard of any engine problems with that bike and I had worked on ones with

300,000 kilometres on the clock without major work on the engine. That’s why I chose a second-hand Honda Transalp. Mine is a 1991 model.” Matz’s Transalp is far from stock to cope with the rigours of international travel. “I needed to carry loads of luggage so I fitted panniers with quick release clips. I had to position the muffler lower to fit the panniers. I also fitted a big tank bag with side bags. I put extra fuel tanks on either side of the engine, holding 12 litres. A bash plate is fitted and I attach spare parts and tools to it, heated handgrips, throttle lock (cruise control), higher ’bars and handguards. I have a higher screen, cruiser footpegs to stretch the legs, automatic chain lubrication (Scottoiler), extra temperature gauge and a modified airbox where I have put a foam filter on top of the original paper element. “In the top box I have an electronic charging system with an inverter so I can charge batteries and power my lap top computer.” Even though the Transalp is reliable,


things eventually wear out. We wondered what parts needed the most attention on Matz’s bike. “The common problem with the Transalp was the failing of one of the CDI units under the seat. Over the years the seat’s plastic shelf gets deformed and touches the CDI connection, causing problems. I simply lowered the CDI and problem solved. The first real breakdown was in Australia when the sidestand broke, after 19 years and over 200,000 kilometres. “Other than that I changed the clutch outer and front disc at 150,000 kilometres, and clutch plates every 50-70,000 kilometres.” Matz tries to live as frugal as possible but it still costs money to survive. “Depending on the continent it costs from $20-100 AUD each day. Cheapest fuel I came across was 10c a litre in Iran, and its neighbouring country Turkey was the most expensive at $2.20 a litre for fuel. “I camp in the bush as much as possible because I need my money for food and fuel. I also belong to an organisation called Comunatie SERVAS where I can stay for two nights for free with people all over the world. To become a member you need to become a host for travellers yourself.” As Matz’s trip is far from over Cycle Torque wondered where to next for the intrepid traveller? “I’d like to go to Cape Town in South Africa but the season is wrong at the moment so I’ll try and get there in May or thereabouts. The plan is to then ride north back home to Switzerland in one year to

catch the northern spring/summer in 2011. “When I’m home I’d like to build a motorcycle friendly place so I could host bikers from all over the world. I’d also like to help riders set up their bikes for trips like I have done.” Matz has seen and experienced many cultures during his journey some easy to understand and some not so easy. Danger also lurks everywhere. “India was fascinating. There were almost no criminals because the Indian culture believes in reincarnation. As a result they try to do nothing wrong during their lives so they can get a better time in the afterlife. “Other countries have their own idiosyncrasies for a bike rider. Australia is pretty safe except for the kangaroos which jump out in front of you. I also had a road

train sit on my backside at 120km/h which was scary. “In Canada you have to watch bears which look for food at your campsite. They are big and can eat you. Western Pakistan was very strange, like out of an early Mad Max movie. Kids run around with guns and people live in burnt out cars with bullet holes in them. “India is the most dangerous place to ride. It has bad dusty roads with big pot holes. Bicycles everywhere, sacred cows in the middle of the road and oncoming trucks, buses, cars and even tractors on your side of the road. A couple of times a day I would be forced into a ditch to miss mad drivers.” “I’ve had a some close shaves on the bike. I nearly lost my balance at 100km/h at the Bonneville Salt Flats while standing on it (check globalbiking on Youtube). In LA I hit a car at 120km/h after the car and had overtaken a truck on a three-lane highway. That was close, I just held control of the bike but my helmet still smells to this day from being sick in it.” If you see a battered but very wellequipped Honda Transalp then flag Matz down. Buy him a coffee and you’ll get some great stories. You can also visit his website at www.mathiasschmid.ch where you’ll find great photos and learn more about Matz’s trip. It’s in German but you can click on the translate button. n


GUNTRIP

Northern blights

EASING yourself out of Sydney via the Pacific Highway requires the patience of a saint. Despite the state government’s apparent conviction that everything in the garden is rosy, I’m still astonished that the arterial route to Newcastle and Brisbane can rarely muster no more than two lanes in either direction. But then again I’m writing this on a computer running Windows Vista, so what the hell do I know? This much: it gets better north of the Hunter. The challenge of the Bulahdelah bends has disappeared for those seeking the quick coastal route north, but new stretches of dual carriageway bearing gratifying smooth tar go some way to make up for the lack of geometric interest. And there’s the scenery. Undulating hills giving way to mountains in embryo that bear the first traces of flushed vegetation I associate with moving closer to the tropics. And then the daily lot of governmentbacked irritation rears its ugly head again. Call it perverse if you like, but

24 - APRIL 2010

whenever I pass road works it’s always smoko time. North of Taree is a 30km strip where the highway is being widened. I know this to be true because there are plenty of signs advertising the point. It’s all 80km/hposted, slow enough for the occasional glance sideways and so to concede that there’s evidence pointing to some form of human activity going on behind the dividing wall at some time in recent history. It’s just that I never see any, and this time we were rolling past at 10am on a Friday. And I had plenty of time to look, too, because we were stuck at the time behind a cheery P-plater who clearly thought it reasonable to bimble along at 10km/h below the limit. The work peters out around Port Macquarie, and we’re back in the dark ages for a while where the exhortations to keep left put you in the worst repaired truck damage to the concrete surface. The road has a hint of menace about it now. Tall, dark trees edge up to the road and reduce the sun to a flickering presence; the highway weaves left and right, rolling over blind

crests and plunging into short, abrupt valleys. On the radio there’s news of a headon somewhere in front of us, at a place called New Italy. It’s a bad one: two people killed, two more in hospital. We roll up behind the inevitable white caravan and take a breather as it bounces and lurches along at a more relaxed 90km/h. The mood soon becomes clouded with frustration. One of the road’s abiding problems is the number of rugged individualists who seem to think it reasonable to putter along well below the speed-limit on a two-lane arterial road. Roadside signs promising “Overtaking lane 5km” really aren’t too much of a comfort. Then there are the semis, in groups of three or four, whistling south as we roll north, but scarcely less intimidating for that. It’s an ugly picture: of an old road struggling to cope with its traffic; of resources stretched too thin. The surface truly isn’t bad for most of its length, and there are three lanes wherever they can be squeezed in, but that’s the problem: the road follows its original route, when the traffic was predominantly local and nobody much minded whether it detoured around irritating local topographical features or not. Today the mix is volatile: trucks, tourists, late-running business folk and local racers jockeying for position on a road that struggles for width over much of its length. There weren’t too many

bikes on view: the inevitable clumps of Harleys running south, one or two heavily but stylishly laden big-bore BMW tourers and, around major population centres, a few R1s and FireBlades. Just as inevitably, an ancient XL250 Honda, two-up and festooned with mismatched luggage, wheezing up a steep hill flat out at 80. North of Grafton the going becomes easier again, developing a folksy feel as the road winds its way along riverbanks on one side and sugar cane on the other. The trucks are still there but on the plains they don’t seem quite so big. A last stop for juice and then the final run into Brisbane, along the Gold Coast Highway through thickening Friday night traffic. The flight from the city seems every bit as heavy as Sydney’s and driving habits even more aggressive; perhaps it’s the frustration, among the more recent migrants, of learning that you don’t leave the traffic behind when you leave Sydney or Melbourne. And now it’s over; we become part of the jam ourselves, easing along Coronation Drive into the western suburbs of Vegas. Even with an overnight break and travelling in midweek the Pacific is still a demanding ride. The middle stretches, remote from the influence and resources of Sydney and Brisbane, are the toughest and demand respect. Proceed with caution. – Bob Guntrip


RACE torque

Psyche-out 101 PSYCHING out is a tactic that many riders of all levels of racing employ these days, but its origins in motorcycle racing go back at least 40 years to the number one sporting nation of the world where American footballer Vince Lombardi coined the famous phrase, “Winning is not everything, it’s the only thing.” One of the great characters of the burgeoning American motocross scene in the early ’70s was Mitchell Nelson Weinert – better known as Jammin’ Jimmy Weinert. The Jammer can lay claim to several milestones including being the first American to beat the tough-as-teak European riders in the annual Trans-AMA Series, the first dude to have his call-sign ‘Jammin’ Jimmy stitched onto the back of his leathers, and the first rider to employ carefully crafted psyche-out tactics to befuddle his rivals. Early in his professional career, the Jammer had more than a few run-ins with rivals of all nationalities which helped hone his psyche-out routine. Years later Weinert admitted he was scared of some of his opponents, but knew he could never show any fear. In an excellent feature article written by Sam Moses for Cycle magazine in February 1975, Weinert described his first encounter with tough Dutchman Pierre Karsmakers, who ironically would go on to become Jimmy’s neighbour at Mission Viejo, California – after Weinert moved in. “I remember when Pierre first came over, we almost got into a fist fight down in Florida,” said the Jammer. “Brad [Lackey] and I were in about seventh or eighth, going for first American and this guy was behind me, running into me and things. At first, I didn’t realise he was there because I was so much into racing with Brad, but then I heard him yelling and screaming and I said, ‘Oh, wow’ and let him pass. He came over to me after the race and he says, ‘You should have moved over. I’m the Dutch champion and I’m faster than you’, and

all this, and I’m going, ‘Hey, I don’t give a damn who you are. I’m out here racing trying to be first American. I always move over when I see you guys coming, but I wasn’t thinking about that this time. If you can’t handle it, well...’ We had a few words, but then he apologised because he knew he was wrong and I apologised too. We’re pretty good friends now, but like I tell him. ‘Hey, on the race track, I don’t give a damn, man, you’re my enemy. If I have to run you over, I’ll run you over. That’s money out there’.” In 1972, Weinert was Yamaha teammate to Gary Jones, with Gary’s dad Don Jones in charge of the team. Weinert said he should have won the 1973 250 championship secured by Jones, but was thwarted by a number of mechanicals to finish fourth. “We had a few fights, me and Gary and the old man Don, but never any fist fights. Gary knew better than to mess with me because he knew he would probably get the short end of the stick. “Pierre and Jones had something going once too, but Jones was too afraid to hit him. I think Pierre would hurt him. I remember one time at Atlanta, Don Jones came looking for Pierre with a crescent wrench.” Weinert had a reputation for his hardpartying lifestyle until he married Kathy, “a quiet alert blonde with a degree in psychology” wrote Moses. Mmm. So the Jammer got his psyche smarts from his wife! “I should train a lot more then I would be so good,” said Jimmy in 1975. “I’m happy-go-lucky. So is Joel Robert and he’s been six-time world champion. But I’m more serious than people think. I’ve got this image that wasn’t ever completely true, and it definitely isn’t now. But I guess I encouraged it. I remember once in Michigan I couldn’t sleep the night before a race so I went out at 1am to get something to eat, and who should I run into at a Jack-in-theBox but Don Jones and some other guys.

So I pretended I had been out partying and was drunk, and they all look at each other, like, ‘This guy is smashed.’ But I was just hungry.” Karsmakers wasn’t the only European whose air of superiority got up Weinert’s nose. Another was fellow-Kawasaki rider, GP star Torleif Hansen. “Last year at the Trans-AMA [1974], Torleif Hansen expected all the best Kawasaki parts just because he was a factory grand prix rider,” said Weinert. “He told me, shaking his finger, ‘I’m the number one Kawasaki rider and don’t you forget it, bay-bee.’ Ha. This year, I’m number one [in America] and he only got fifth in the world championship. I can’t wait to see him over here.” The Jammer recently revealed that the decision to move next door to Karsmakers in the early ’70s was not just about psyching out the tough Dutchman – it was also to learn from him. “I said to myself, ‘How am I going to learn from what these sons of bitches do to get ready for a race?’. So I bought a house right next door to Pierre. I’d see him getting ready to come out of his house at 8am, and I’d put a can of beer in my hand and step outside. He’d come outside and say, ‘Weinert, what are you doing?’ “‘Pierre, look at you, all tense and trying to get into shape. You gotta stay loose man, you gotta stay loose’. He’d run off, shaking his head, and then I’d go to the gym and hit the Nautilus equipment.” The Jammer spent a lot of time trying to psyche his opponents, some of which weren’t even his own ideas, and his best ever year in 1976 was the result of working as hard as or even harder than Karsmakers, whom he would roundly razz for taking it all too seriously! Jammin’ Jimmy, a true legend of American motocross with a PhD in Pysche-out. – Darryl Flack

APRIL 2010 - 25


RIDING GEAR: Troy Lee Designs helmet, AXO nylons, Alpinestars boots.

Cycle Torque Test – 2010 Kawasaki KX250F

Gone are the days of – constant major change an. evolution is the plan m

Greenreme Ext

IN THE most competitive class in motocross today, the KX250F would certainly have one of the best reputations around. The Kawasaki is known for being fast, punchy and being seen at the front of the pack. With more championships than fingers can count, Kawasaki set upon refining its already proven package for 2010.

Engine

Fast is the first thing that springs to mind after spinning a few laps on the green machine. The KX-F has a very fast and responsive engine which puts the power down very effectively and has you taking off in a real hurry. Even with all the latest

26 - APRIL 2010

fuss about fuel injection, the boys at Kawasaki have stayed with what they know and kept the trusty old carby on board for 2010. It’s a little surprising Kawasaki hasn’t moved to injection on the 250F, but the 250’s fuel metering system works very well and doesn’t have many of the flaws seen on its rivals in the past. The Kawasaki engine has good power off the bottom but it really shines once you get it revving a bit more and discover the mid-top end power. If you give the clutch a bit of a flick and don’t mind getting the revs up then you will love the KX250F. We rode the quarter litre

TEST BY

Todd Reed

PHOTOS BY

thumper in various conditions and we must say that the KX engine is very versatile and works well across the board. We blasted the green machine around our Supercross track where it was fast and aggressive enough for any obstacle. We took it to a few local MX tracks, with the dirt ranging from soft loam to slippery hard packed terrain. In the loam the KX pulled hard and never got bogged down and pulled us around with ease. On the hard packed dirt the KX was still great as it was very controllable on the loose surfaces. Although it may seem the 2010 KX-F is the same as the ’09, there have been many

Chris Pickett

refinements to the engine to help find extra horsepower and durability. The piston has been redesigned and is now claimed to be as good as any ‘race spec’ piston and yet still extremely durable. The exhaust system has been overhauled, it has a new shape and design with a longer head and a shorter mid section to improve the bottomend power. The exhaust is still stainless steel; stronger and more durable than titanium, but heavier. The radiators have been bulked up and are now thicker and wider to further improve cooling and strength.

Frame and Suspension


The chassis received a couple of minor changes for 2010, all of which would go unnoticed to the naked eye. By making the frame slimmer through the top of the main spars, wider down near the footpegs and redesigning all the gusset pieces around the frame, it is now lighter and more rigid. The suspension received internal damping changes to help improve the balance of the suspension with the revised

chassis. The twin-chamber Showa forks and shock do a fine job of holding up the Kawasaki and are a well-finished package with Kashima coatings on the fork tubes and shock body, and a super-hard titanium coating on the lower fork tubes to help reduce friction and improve strength against scratches and dents. On the track the suspension on the Kawasaki works well across most conditions. The

fork and shock hold up really well and have good bottoming resistance as we found out after pounding the suspension around our supercross track for a few laps. After testing the bike at a few more motocross locations we found that by setting the correct rear shock spring preload (static sag) and fine-tuning the clickers we were able to come up with a really good setting for each track. We set the sag at

Rear shock has all the adjustment fruit.

Engine retains old-school carby.

KX250F engine is one of the strongest in its class.

around 104mm and pushed the front forks through the triple clamps as far as we could and the bike handled the rough conditions and still turned and steered really well. If there was anything to complain about it was under heavy braking on rough downhills we found the rear end to be a bit unstable and kick around a little bit more than we liked.

The rest

APRIL 2010 - 27 Forks get Kashima coating to make them slide easier.


Finance

Own this bike from: $216.89 per mth Rates from 7.99%*

www.gorapid.com.au 1300 790 411 *Rates and Repayments are subject to change daily – conditions apply

The bike comes in a two-tone green and black colour scheme, which looks really cool when matched up with the black rims and various other coloured parts on the bike. The KX comes standard with Renthal handlebars which give the bike a great feel and sets off the controls. The 50mm wide footpegs are a great addition to the green machine and allow much better control from your lower body, as well as more

28 - APRIL 2010

comfort.

The final word

The 2010 KX250F ticks all the right boxes. The durability of the 250cc four-stroke Kawasaki MX bike has been vastly improved over the years and the 250F is a very reliable machine. The bike is as fast as ever and is punchy and lively to ride which makes cutting laps a whole lot of fun. Last but not least the little green thumper is

a very cool looking ride. Would we get one? Yes. At $10,699 we think it’s good value, but get in before the end of April for the $750 cash back deal on both the KX450F and the KX250F. If anyone out there is interested in getting a new 250cc four stroke, take the trip to your Kawasaki dealer and check one out in the flesh.n

S p e c i f i c at i o n s: 2010 Kawasaki KX250F Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 249cc Transmission: Five speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 8 Litres Frame Type: Alloy twin spar Seat Height: 955mm Kerb Weight: 105kg Front Suspension: 47mm USD Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak Brakes: Single 2-piston caliper, singlepiston rear. Tyres: 80/100-21, 100/90-19 Price (RRP): From $10,699 www.kawasaki.com.au


E-Torque

More racing than ever THE World Superbike Round at Phillip Island was probably the worst ever for Australia at home. Not one podium in either of the world championship classes - indeed, Troy Corser ’s top ten was the best. We don’t even have any regular riders in the Supersport Championship anymore - a few years ago it was more a case of “Which Aussie will win”, there were so many in the class. But that was then and this is now and the only thing certain in life is change. A few years ago Cycle Torque devoted pages and pages to the Aussie rounds of the SWC and Grand Prix, but with better television coverage, ever-increasing quantities of websites running more and more detail on the racing Cycle Torque is becoming more feature based. Try finding stories like the ones on the Russian Motorcycle Club (p62) or our round-the-world rider (p20) online and it’s a lot harder. That doesn’t mean Cycle Torque isn’t still committed to racing though: you’ll find a Special Edition eMag devoted to the Phillip Island round of the SWC on our website (www. cycletorque.com.au), and if you subscribe

to the eMag via iTunes (www.itunes.com) you’d already have it, because they download automatically when you open iTunes. At Phillip Island we also started uploading lots of the pictures from the round onto our Cycle Torque page on Flickr (http://www. flickr.com/photos/ cycletorque/): if you ‘steal’ these photos for personal use we’re not going to sue you, either. At the MotoGP round last year we produced a Special Edition after each day. We liked that, but decided to go for diversity of media this time around, doing the podcast, video and Special Edition. And if you’re reading this in the electronic (eMag) edition all the links are live, just click on them to be taken to those pages. We also made a short video of young Alex Pickett racing the Cycle Torque Triumph Daytona 675 Project Bike, which is also up on iTunes and the website: it’s not the most professional production we’ve ever made, but it was very quick to produce thanks to some new software. Some portable recoding gear meant our podcasts were also different from the usual fare. The combination of all the different forms of

Plus World Supersport Australian Superbike Championship

SWC Phillip Island Special Edition The ‘cover’ and opening spread from the Cycle Torque Superbike World championship Special Edition eMag we published to the Cycle Torque website and iTunes after the racing. You can still get it easily - www.cycletorque.com.au - and it’s free, of course. The printed edition is also available as an eMag every month. media Cycle Torque now produces makes, I think, for a better product than just the newspaper you’re probably reading right now (our electronic audience is growing, but the print edition with nearly 40,000 copies is still bigger). Cycle Torque also has FaceBook (www. facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter. com) feeds, which you should sign up for because we’re going to be giving away some Really Cool Stuff through those channels

this month, and hopefully long into the future. Just do a search for Cycle Torque and you’ll find us. Searching for ‘motorcycle’ on FaceBook Groups returns over 500 hits, so there’s plenty out in social mediaj35 land for riders. So although there’s a lot less racing in Cycle Torque’s printed version, we still love our racing and you now have access to a lot more than in the old days. – Nigel Paterson

APRIL 2010 - 29


Cycle Torque Test – Laro 250 Cruiser TEST BY

Dennis Penzo

PHOTOS BY

Chris Pickett

Using a now established engine platform

RIDING GEAR: Vemar helmet, Rivet Monsoon jacket, Triumph Portland gloves, Draggin Jeans Metros, Spyke Matador boots.

Laro has taken the plunge and released its own branded product.

Laro lashes out LARO Motorcycles and Accessories make no bones about it, the 250 Laro cruiser is designed to be an economical budget motorcycle capable of a little bit more than just tootling around town. If you want bling and high performance there are plenty of other machines out there which fit the bill. But this little cruiser isn't designed to compete with the machines at the top end of the market, although, having said that, the distributors have enough confidence in their product to put a two-year unlimited

kilometre warranty on it. Not bad for something that you can walk into a shop and buy with your credit card. But where does this confidence come from? How do they know it will last long enough in the real world to make it a viable proposition? Part of this answer lies in Laro Motorcycles and Accessories’ owner Anthony Famularo's intimate knowledge of how the Chinese market works. Having started his connection with Chinese motorcycles back in the days of Arqin Motorcycles he has

30 - APRIL King/queen seat,2010 backrest looks good…

learned many tough lessons. In fact Laro has since taken on all the responsibility for warranty and spares for the Arqin bikes in Australia since the brand disappeared from the local market. The other thing Famularo has done is visit Chinese factories so often that he's even got a basic working knowledge of Mandarin. "I've learned that you have to know who you're dealing with every step of the way," he told Cycle Torque. "And you can only do that if you are actually there talking to them and negotiating directly.

Footboards on a 250 cruiser!

"It's no good just finding a factory which produces a cheap vehicle and shipping it in by the container load. "The Australian market is much more sophisticated than that. You need to have an economically priced vehicle but it also has to meet certain basic requirements of reliability if you're going to survive in the marketplace." There are several other brands of bikes in Australia which use basically the same engine, some air-cooled, and the later models with liquid cooling like the Laro, so this configuration has been

Massive risers and flat ’bars.


around long enough to develop a small market for itself. Laro has a partnership with Lifeng who manufactures the components in Wen Zhou and assembles them in Shanghai. Laro also has teamed up with Lifan to distribute their products in Australia. The first Laro branded cruiser is

powered by a 250cc twin cylinder liquid cooled four-stroke engine. Although it’s maximum power output is 14.8Kw (20hp) it can manage a top speed of around 135kmh.

On the stand

Despite its small engine capacity the bike is purposely pitched at the cruiser market with its raked front end topped off with flat bars on high risers. The seat is quite comfortable and the pillion has a backrest for comfort. The cruiser styling cues continue with the bobbed rear mudguard and the bike comes standard with crash bars, which are easy to remove. Two bolts at the top and one each side is all it takes to do away with it.

On the road

Instruments are minimalist, but there’s five warning lights in the speedo dial.

Our test started in Sydney when we picked up a new machine with very few kilometres on the clock. So, by way of introduction, we test rode a bike that had been run-in and with aftermarket pipes, which didn’t sound too bad. Then we took the ultimate test

through peak Sydney traffic, then onto the F3 Freeway and up to Newcastle. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the gears didn’t jump and the clutch didn’t stick even in heavy traffic on a very hot afternoon. It’s a five-speed gearbox with a chain drive. The Laro 250 does accelerate quite smoothly and the brakes can handle the work in traffic even if the rear is a drum brake and the front a single disc. The suspension is pretty basic with no adjustment on the front end and preload only on the twin shock rear. Its performance was adequate. The front wheel is an 18-inch five spoke alloy with 90/90-18 tyres and the rear a 130/90-15. So, that was the first test passed with flying colours. The next step was the freeway. Bearing in mind I was riding a brand new machine I kept it pretty much to 100-110km/h freeway speed limit, although it was obvious the bike had more left. The twin pipes have a solid little note without being overbearing.

APRIL 2010 - 31


S p e c i f i c at i o n s: 2010 Laro 250 Engine Type: Liquid-cooled parallel twin. Capacity: 234cc Transmission: Five speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 14 Litres Frame Type: Steel cradle On the wallet In NSW the bike retails from Seat Height: 700mm $3990 + ORC and comes with twoKerb Weight: 180kg year unlimited kilometre warranty. Front Suspension: 37mm telescopic With its price and warranty it will certainly find its own niche Rear Suspension: Adjustable twin in a budget conscious consumer shocks market. n Brakes: Disc/drum Tyres: 90/90-18, 130/90-15 Own this bike from: Price (RRP): From $3,990 $91.20 per mth Rates from 7.99%* Finance www.gorapid.com.au 1300 790 411 www.laro.com.au

The riding position is quite comfortable with the flat handlebars offering a relaxed riding position. The rider has footboards instead of footpegs. Perhaps the boards could be a bit longer. They were okay for my feet but perhaps a larger rider might need just a little more room. Seat height is 70cm so it won’t present any problems for shorter riders and the bike weighs in at 180kg. The 14 litre fuel tank should mean well over 200km between fuel stops, plenty for the sort of riding this bike is likely to see.

32 - APRIL 2010

The speedo is located on the fuel tank and has ample warning lights for indicators, high beam, temperature etc. The other handy little thing we noticed is that there is a lockable compartment under the right-hand side cover which has a half-decent little tool kit.

*Rates and Repayments are subject to change daily – conditions apply


APRIL 2010 - 33


32 - APRIL 2010

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APRIL 2010 - 35


TORQUING BACK LETTERS

Thanks CT Thanks Cycle Torque for my new Ducati. That’s right it’s because of Cycle Torque that I have a new black Ducati Monster 696 in the garage. Nearly 20 years since I owned a motorcycle, I had been tossing around the idea of getting back on a bike. My threats over the last year to get back on a bike had me contemplating another dirt bike, maybe a registered KTM or late XR. Then I went down the scooter path after I saw a Sachs Mad Ass, but I thought that might begin to wear thin pretty quickly. It was around this time I had a day’s work up in the NSW Southern Highlands. During a break, I stopped into the Robertson Pie Shop and grabbed a pie, coffee and a copy of the October ’08 Cycle Torque and walked outside to take in the beautiful early spring day. I immediately noticed the three Ducatis on the cover. There they were sitting up at Stanwell Tops with my home town of ‘The Gong’ in the background, just begging to be ridden over that Sea Cliff bridge. I turned straight to the review and read with enthusiasm. The new Monster fared well – good suspension, good brakes, more power, lighter. After a test ride I was sold. There are few things in life as exciting as the day you pick up a new Ducati after a 20 year break from owning a bike. I’ve spent every spare moment threading the mountain passes around the Gong. It’s only the recent rain that’s got me off the Monster long enough to find my old dog eared copy of the October issue under the lounge and write this letter. So thanks again for pointing me in the right direction and I’ll

36 - APRIL 2010

look forward to grabbing more copies of Cycle Torque from the Robertson Pie Shop in the future. Mark Wollongong

Customised pasta I recently read a letter from Chris Fowler in ‘Torquing Back’, March 2010, in which he asks about customising. I thought I’d give him some food for thought. Do you remember that feeling when you can’t seem to find the end of that long string of spaghetti? You suck and slurp, knowing that little bits of pasta sauce are flicking all over your nice clean clothes, but you just can’t stop… you resist the urge to bite it off, knowing that the end is coming up quickly. Yet, no matter, how long this goes on, the end of the pasta seems to take forever to reach? This, my friend, is motorcycle customising. Yes, the essence of the chase for good food is what drives us to tinker with our scooters, trikes and bikes. My customising days are limited to imagination and wallet, in that order. I love my bike, in a purely material sense, and really like to ride it. Therefore, any customising has to happen relatively quickly to reduce the off-road time. It is truly amazing to see how much is available online and through catalogues. Start the journey easily with replacement grips, mirrors and foot pegs. Then, extend yourself a little with handlebars, windscreens (a bikini fairing can look very cool on the right bike) and exhausts. Inspiration? There’s abundance at every newsagent’s motorcycle shelf. No two people ever

customise their bike alike, so there isn’t much need to be concerned about having your bike looking like someone else’s. I recently read about a bloke who wanted ideas on customising his new HD Muscle. Ideas? I’ll give you one. Make yourself a big bowl of pasta and plonk yourself in front of a laptop, Google ‘customise my bike’ and see how long your slurping takes to get through over a million matches. You’ll need another bowl. Greg Dwyer FXDC, BrisVegas

Future generations I propose the motorcycling community create a charity called Keep Kids off the Street. It would raise funds by having some of the current donations to the general charities from Toy Runs and other charity rides redirected to Keep Kids off the Streets and use those funds for the acquisition of land and race tracks to give kids places to ride. The benefit of course is the charity would own the facility whether it be a club house, speedway, road race circuit, motocross track etc. The charity would not run events but hire the facilities to the clubs that then run the events and do all the work etc as now. If all the funds collected from the charity rides around the country were directed to Keep Kids Off The Street, how long would it take to achieve a facility like Lakeside Raceway, which was recently up for sale? I doubt if it would take more than two years to


Write A Letter!

WIN A Great PRIZE accumulate enough to purchase such a facility and within 10 years a similar facility in each state I feel would be achievable. What a benefit to motorcycling and this would be there forever, just getting more facilities each year, leaving a legacy of enormous proportions to the future of motorcycling. As a motorcyclist all my life including many years racing and being in the motorcycle business it has always concerned me that the motorcycle movement gives so much to charity and yet the public still basically hate us while bureaucrats, councils and politicians see us as fodder for legislation against us. Yes I know people will say this is changing but I can assure you as a person who mixes with a lot of influential people not involved in motorcycling it definitely is not. For many years I have suggested a charity be formed named Keep Kids Off The Street. The idea of this is all motorcycle charity is directed to this and the sole purpose of this charity is to own real estate for motorcycling. Ron Queensland

Magee defence

I am a regular podcast listener of yours and a long time motorcyclist having just clocked up 50 years since my first Honda Monkey bike ride that got me hooked for life. I still after 54 years of life can’t get enough of

This month Ron from Queensland has won a Cargol Turn-n-Go puncture repair kit for his excellent idea of a motorcycle charity. With all the tools and equipment you need to get on the road again quickly, this kit is essential for anyone who even thinks they might get a puncture. Available at better bike shops everywhere. Send your letters (and/or great bike pictures) to The Editor, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687 Warners Bay, NSW 2282 or email chris@cycletorque.com.au.

motorcycles and turn to podcasts to enhance my knowledge. I was listening to the latest podcast and was shocked to hear Darren Smart say that Kevin Magee’s remarks regarding the World Superbike Championships were outdated. Now Kevin, as anyone would know, was a legend of the sport and hence deserves a bit more respect than that I feel. I look forward to Kevin’s input to the sport and it has always been obvious that he puts a lot of time and effort into his broadcasts. He ‘personalises’ what is a very intense series and the fact that he knows the riders and they know him means that often things that Kevin talks about would mean that without him we would have no idea of what might be the real story behind an incident, for example other than the official press release. I had to have a bit of a laugh to myself to think that someone who is from a dirt bike background by the sound of your introduction would seem to think he would know more about WSBK than someone who has raced them not to mention won a GP. Darren is entitled to his opinion as we all are but I think in the case of Kevin Magee he should understand that there are a lot of people out here that think Kevin is as important to the game as the current day riders are.

Paul Manson Wauchope, NSW Smarty thought some of Magee’s were a bit outdated. If you missed the podcast (CT #45 - Back in the Studio) it’s on the Cycle Torque website (www.cycletorque. com.au/podCastList.php). You can also search for Cycle Torque in iTunes (www.itunes.com)and subscribe to our audio, video and eMag podcasts, all free – NP.

Double standards

I have noticed what seems to be a double standard regarding the law of wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. When our brother motorcyclist who wears colours on his back rides his bike in a funeral cavalcade he, under the law, is not allowed to remove the helmet as a mark of respect for his mate. But the ladies of the other sexual persuasion are applauded and encouraged to bare all and ride their motorcycles without helmets around the streets of Sydney at the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi-Gras. Don’t get me wrong I feel wearing a helmet is sensible. Thank you for a great paper/mag. Great price too. Henry Drap NSW

Send your letters to chris@cycletorque.com.au

APRIL 2010 - 37


QUAD

FEATURE

Play horse horse

TEST & PHOTOS BY

Chris Pickett

ARCTIC Cat’s 1000cc recreational ATV boasts the biggest and most powerful engine in its class. If you want to experience the power for an adrenaline hit, no problem, it will blur the scenery quick smart. But if you need to mend the odd fence or two, or feed the cows, the Thundercat has you covered there as well.

Powertrain and suspension

As the engine component of this ATV is at the forefront of its promotional literature we might as well start there. A 951cc liquid-cooled and fuel injected V-twin engine powers the Thundercat H2. Arctic Cat doesn’t quote any power figures but there is plenty on tap, that’s for sure. At idle it feels very lumpy, like it’s raring to go. Revs build quickly as you give the thumb throttle a quick hit. Instantly you are aware this will be an exciting ride. Transferring power to the ground is the Duramatic automatic transmission,

38 - APRIL 2010

which uses a centrifugal clutch and primary and belt-driven clutches to harness the grunt. Arctic Cat says the constant engagement extends belt life and also makes for better engine braking. There’s also a rear differential spike load damper which allows the transmission to deliver maximum power to the tyres without driveline wear. In essence this is a clutch

Work or play. Arctic Cat’s Thundercat is happy doing either. system which slips if you have a sharp increase in torque from a heavy landing or impact, which in turn helps protect the drive-line from damage. A switch on the right handlebar allows you to select between

2WD/4WD/differential lock. High and low ranges are also available via an easily accessible hand lever just in front of the rider’s left knee. 250mm of suspension travel (preload adjustable) will soak up most hits, and 275mm of ground clearance will let you get over most obstacles. For 2010 Arctic Cat has lengthened the wheelbase by 50mm in an attempt to harness the power of the Thundercat.

On the farm

The thing we like about the Thundercat is its ability to work and play hard. This thing gets up and boogies, make no mistake about that. If you want to ride like a larrikin the Thundercat will let you carve up the paddock or jump logs like no-one’s business. But if you need to carry hay or drag a trailer full of fence posts through the mud the Thundercat can accommodate you too. In 2WD the big cat is a ball of


fun. Tail out action is pretty much instantaneous. If you start hitting rocks and erosion banks at speed the Thundercat starts to show the workhorse in its design. In other words the ATV is aimed more so at the farmer who likes a bit of fun rather than the sporting ATV rider. Arctic Cat actually has a competition ATV called the Mudpro. It looks very similar to the Thundercat but does have a couple of styling touches to let you know which

Rear rack is huge, and there’s a similar one at the front.

one’s which. In 4WD mode you can go most places. Our test farm had been deluged by rain and was very wet in places. Even muddy uphill sections were dispatched with ease in 4WD, while 2WD struggled at times, especially with the power at hand. Get throttle happy and the rear wheels would spin easily. One method of countering this was to be very on/off the throttle to get traction. But it didn’t matter really,

Engine is tucked away.

just flick the 4WD switch and presto, instant traction. Although we didn’t really need it we did lock the diff to see what the difference was. On one particularly slippery section – one we wouldn’t normally tackle in such wet weather – the diff lock got us up where you would normally struggle. If you want sideways action you’ll need to keep it in 2WD. One downside with 4WD is a larger turning circle but it’s horses for courses; sometimes you

APRIL 2010 - 39


need it and sometimes you don’t. Load carrying capacity is impressive. It can tow close to half a tonne, and the heavy duty front and rear racks can carry a serious amount of gear too. There’s plenty of accessories available as well, like the front winch and rack bags to make life easier.

and unless you are ploughing paddocks will do many of the same things Tommy the Tractor can anyway. More info: www.arcticcat.com or 02 9647 2588. n

The final say

The Thundercat is what Arctic Cat calls a ‘Recreation’ ATV. In many ways it’s perfect for the hobby farmer who doesn’t need the hassle or cost of a tractor and who also wants to have a little fun on the farm, as well as doing the chores needed to keep the property ship shape. At $15,995 inc GST it’s not chicken feed but much cheaper than most tractors that’s for sure,

40 - APRIL 2010

Trailer hitch is heavy duty: towing capacity is nearly 500kg!

Front shocks are adjustable for preload.


MAJOR EVENTS ALL THE MUST SEE EVENTS BROUGHT TO YOU BY

APRIL WHEN: April 2, 2010 WHERE: Bankstown Paceway, 178 Eldridge Road Bankstown WHAT: This show has everything, from a speedway solo display from St George MCC, to Freestyle MX, Outlaw sidecar demos, live music, burnout comp, reptile show, trials, trade displays etc etc etc. You name it, it’s probably here. There’s also $40,000 in cash and prizes to be won, including a raffle Harley-Davidson. CONTACT: www.hardnfast.com

Australian Four Day Enduro

WHEN: April 8-11, 2010 WHERE: Portland NSW WHAT: Dirt Bike Promotions has given away the running of the A4DE, so this year it’s being taken on by the Oyster Bay Motorcycle Club, with support from a number of other clubs. Portland is situated between Lithgow and Bathurst in NSW’s Central West, so in April the weather should be just right for riding. Throw in some amazing forest riding and it should be a great event. CONTACT: www.ma.org.au.

Barry Sheene Memorial

WHEN: April 3-4, 2010 WHERE: Eastern Creek, NSW WHAT: Classic racing at its finest, always a huge range of racing machines doing what they do best. You also get the chance to see heroes of yesteryear’s racing. CONTACT: www.postclassicracing.com.au.

Australian Speedway Sidecar Championships

WHEN: April 3-4, 2010 WHERE: Newcastle Showground, NSW. WHAT: Sideways action and dirt flying. CONTACT: Jennie Lilley 02 4988 6722.

Bikes Between the Boards rally

WHEN: April 3, 2010 WHERE: Oberon Leagues Club, North St, Oberon NSW. WHAT: $30 camping fee, band, fully catered, good fun. CONTACT: Nick Wills on 0417 252 685 or nickwtc@hotmail.com.

Broadford Bike Bonanza

WHEN: April 3-4, 2010 WHERE: Broadford, Victoria WHAT: After last year’s very successful event, you’ll again have the chance to see some amazing machines from yesteryear, plus sample your own machine on the track. Track time is available for your classics, whether they be road racers, road bikes, trials or vintage MX. And there’ll be a swap meet too. CONTACT: www.ma.org.au.

Drag ‘N’ Brag

WHEN: April 11, 2010 WHERE: Western Sydney International Dragway WHAT: All Harley drag racing. Race your street bike or your dedicated drag bike. Bike show, live music, family friendly.

Editor CHRIS PICKETT PUBLISHER Nigel Paterson Design & PRODUCTION Dionne Hagan, THE D MEDIA DESIGN Advertising Vic: Brian Sullivan, 03 9583 8377 Qld: Darren Smart, 0412 183 797 smarty@cycletorque.com.au Advertising Manager DENNIS PENZO, 0420 319 335 dennis@cycletorque.com.au Accounts: Rebecca Eastment bec@cycletorque.com.au

‘Tour of Duty’ Poker Run

WHEN: April 17, 2010 WHERE: ACT WHAT: Good fun run, prizes, entertainment etc. CONTACT: www.vvmcfederal.com.au.

Crusty Demons

WHEN: April 17, 2010 WHERE: Bluetongue Stadium Central Coast NSW. WHAT: Beyond Apocalypse Regional Australia tour. CONTACT: @crusty.com

Honda Rjays Road Race Series

WHEN: April 18, 2010 WHERE: R1, Wakefield Park NSW WHAT: Great race series, from superbikes to juniors. CONTACT: www.stgeorgemcc.com CAB AUDIT

Australian MX Nationals

Members Cycle Tor

WHEN: R2, April 18, 2010 WHERE: Horsham, Victoria WHAT: Australia’s premier MX series, Under 19s, Pro Lites and Pro Open classes. Maximise the va CONTACT: www.ozmotox.com.au. the CAB Membe

formation Guide

Bankstown Custom Motorcycle Show

More info www.cycletorque.com.au & in the next issue

Unapproachable Rally

The CAB brand which ha

WHEN: April 30-May 2, 2010 synonomous with credibi WHERE: Nundle, NSW As a member of the CAB including a CAB Member WHAT: Centered around the Norton brand flyers but the rally welcomes bikes andsales riders of and newslett all ages and nationalities. Organised rides Using the badge will re for faster and slower classics. That includes This badge has been cre the bikes as well. other promotional mater CONTACT: www.nocnsw.org.au, Steve 0447 622 211 or Chris 0404 030 925.

www.cycletorque.com.au PO Box 687, Warners Bay, NSW 2282 Ph (02) 4956 9820 • Fax (02) 4956 9824 Email: info@cycletorque.com.au

Audit display badge CAB AUDIT

Audited 31,850 Oct to Mar 2005

The circulation records of this publication have been submitted for independent audit with the Circulations Audit Board

Regular contributors: Darryl Flack, Bob Guntrip, Keith Muir, Darren Smart, Todd Reed, Friedemann Kirn, WWW.2SNAP.COM. CYCLE TORQUE is published by Motorcycle Publishing Pty Ltd. ABN 91 085 871 147 Printed by RURAL PRESS, NORTH RICHMOND. Print Post approved PP255003/04198 ISSN 1441-8789 Cycle Torque is available from bike shops across Australia. If you can’t find our latest issue, call 0420 319 335. Subscriptions are available. $24.95 per year, call 02 4956 9820 for details. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in

any form, including electronic, without written permission of the publisher. PLEASE CONTACT THE EDITOR BEFORE SUBMITTING FREELANCE CONTRIBUTIONS.

APRIL 2010 - 41

O All pre


Cycle Torque Test – BMW S 1000 RR

Traction Attraction Lion hearted on one hand, a pussycat on the other.

RIDING GEAR: KBC helmet, Spyke leathers, Alpinestars boots and gloves. TEST BY

42 - APRIL 2010

Chris Pickett

PHOTOS BY

Lou Martin


BMW’S S 1000 RR is one of the most technologically advanced road bikes ever built. As a sportsbike it has few equals. As a road bike it may be a little out of its element, as is any of its competition in that market segment, but it offers a level of safety from its electronic wizardry that takes the game to a whole new level. In our January issue we reported on the S 1000 RR world launch at Portimao in Portugal. Our publisher came away very impressed, lauding the bike’s virtues on the race track and also the traction control and ABS. None of these things are new. Both have been around for a while now but BMW were pioneers in the technology. To say the company has got it right with the S 1000 RR is an understatement to say the least. I was able to sample BMW’s new superbike at the Australian launch at Phillip Island, and then on real roads a month later. I won’t go again into fine detail on the mechanics or electronics, for that you can read the January issue online at www.cycletorque.com.au where you’ll not only be able to read the full issue, you’ll also be able to read the dedicated Emag on the S 1000 RR which has more images and detail than the printed issue.

with a sporty riding position. As we got the tech injection there were little things that made you think, ‘this bike is trick’! For example, you can adjust the suspension damping with the ignition key. There’s not 20-odd clicks on damping control – the S 1000 RR has 10. So each one actually makes a noticeable difference. And when a cam follower was passed around I think we were all amazed at how light it was, weighing an imperceptibly low amount. No wonder the engine likes to rev. For our first session we were asked to ride the bike in Rain Mode which limits the horsepower to 150. Also we should stay in fourth gear to sample the torque. Yes, it does have plenty of torque. You could ride the entire track in fourth easily, the bike pulling out of the hairpin turn four and MG corners without complaint. A few laps like that and I started using the whole ’box. Sorry I flouted the rules, I couldn’t help myself. Even with ‘only’ 150hp this jigger is fast. The bike has four modes: Rain, Sport, Race, Slick. The first three

Launch time

At the technical briefing on the bike I couldn’t help but be impressed with BMW’s first effort at such a machine. Did I expect it to be so technically advanced? Yes. BMW has led the way in so many areas of motorcycling that anyone with an eye for history would know the German company would have made sure the bike was right from the get-go. The bike looks just like any 1000cc sportbike: slim, aggressive and

The control centre.

APRIL 2010 - 43


are available, the fourth can only be activated by a BMW dealer. Simply put, Rain has the aforementioned 150HP, Sport, Race and Slick have full power which is quoted as 193: serious grunt. The ABS and traction control systems are less intrusive the ‘higher’ you go up the modes. In other words, Rain Mode has both kicking in much earlier than Slick Mode does. Superbike racer Steve Martin was at the launch and he likened the system in Slick Mode to that of a full-blown superbike. Not that long ago it would have been hard to imagine a race bike with 193hp, let alone a road bike. That said, while the bike was very fast, it didn’t seem demonstrably more so than any of the competition’s 1000cc inline fours, or Ducati’s big twin. What I’m getting at is they are all fast, they all propel you down Phillip Island’s main straight with eye popping intensity. Where I came away thinking this was something special was with the traction control and ABS. Most sportsbike riders will tell you it’s a load of wank. But I’m here to say it isn’t. I’ve ridden some special bikes around ‘The Island’ but never as fast as this.

44 - APRIL 2010

The secret is the traction control. I felt so safe with it on that I never wanted to turn it off to see what the difference would be. I could crack open the throttle with gay abandon exiting a corner like Siberia and you could feel the tractional control doing its job – beautiful. The traction control and ABS system doesn’t come standard in Australia. It’s a $2500 option (over the base $21,900 + ORC) but is well worth it. You can turn one or both off via a button on the handlebars but I’d leave them on all the time. And with the quick-shifter – standard on the Australian model – you just spear through the gears with the throttle held wide open. If you can’t get your jollies doing this sort of stuff you are probably already dead. Low down power is strong. When you get to 7,000rpm the bike starts to shift forward with real purpose, and when you hit 9,000rpm it goes absolutely mental. Redline is 14,000rpm. What’s the rest of the S 1000 RR’s running gear like? Top shelf, that’s how good. Radially mounted Brembo calipers, 46mm Sachs forks

S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2010 BMW S 1000 RR Engine Type: Liquid-cooled inline four Capacity: 999cc Transmission: Six speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 17.5 Litres Frame Type: Alloy Seat Height: 820mm Wet Weight: 206kg Front Suspension: 46mm USD forks Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable single Sachs shock Brakes: Twin disc front, single disc rear. ABS option. Tyres: 120/70-17, 180/55-17 Price (RRP): $ 21,900 + ORC www.motorcycles.bmw.com.au Call for a quote

1800 24 34 64

WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE GUARANTEED*


Finance

Own this bike from: $652.54 per mth Rates from 7.99%*

www.gorapid.com.au 1300 790 411 *Rates and Repayments are subject to change daily – conditions apply

with full adjustment, including high and low speed damping. Rear shock is also Sachs, same deal with damping adjustment.

On the road

While the S 1000 RR is fairly comfortable on the track, it’s not so easy on the body when you tackle our goat tracks in Australia. For my road test I took the bike on a 1000 kilometre weekend ride through Mid North NSW, on roads which were, at times, less than ideal for a sportsbike.

As received the bike was set up on the stiff side, giving me a few sharp hits from the rear end. At my first stop I backed off the compression and rebound damping with the key (a screwdriver is needed to access rebound on the shock). I left preload and high speed damping alone. In an ideal world I would have sorted the pre-load but daylight was a burning so I left my tampering to the clickers. This vastly improved things on the comfort side. Most of the trip

Taill-ight is a work of art in itself.

was on open roads and as such the bike in this set up handled well enough but when you pushed on through the corners the bike was not as good as it could be. I then adjusted the damping from basically full soft to three turns in from soft on all fronts and this felt much better, offering enough compliance from both ends without upsetting the handling in the tight corners. There’s not a lot of wind protection, the mirrors are OK, the seat is hard and you will

Massive swingarm looks the part, and quickshifter comes standard on Aussie bikes.

strain your neck to look where you are going. If you are six foot or thereabouts you will find this to be the case. If you are shorter you might not. One thing I didn’t like was the high frequency vibration through the ’bars. I didn’t really notice it on the track but at constant speeds it is noticeable.

The last word

As a track day bike it’s possibly the best I’ve ever ridden as a complete package. BMW has priced it very competitively and if you are able to procure a bike from the first shipment you will be lucky. The S 1000 RR is proving popular, and why wouldn’t it, a new benchmark has been set which others will surely have to follow: for now, they are all playing catch-up. n

APRIL 2010 - 45


to e k li s u wn De o d o strip ycles t orc nimum t o i m m e r a ba

46 - APRIL 2010

IMAGINE a motorcycle which, in standard form, is a very outlandish looking machine, has loads of torque and a presence which gets the rider, shall we say, ‘noticed’. That’s the Yamaha MT-01. Then get a customising and tuning house to go to town on the very same bike and you’ll get a loud, obnoxious and anti-social bike that just cries out to be thrashed. Ride this baby in town and babies will cry, women will swoon, men will be envious and Mr Plod will be looking for a place to stop you. When we rode this bike we didn’t notice any of these things happening, but they might have. In the February issue (check it out now: www.cycletorque.com.au/eMaglist. php) we checked out the Deus ‘God of Speed’ Yamaha SR400-based street machine which was very cool and produced lots of drool. We also talked about the ideology of Deus Ex Machina at Camperdown in Sydney, which is all about getting the perfect ‘look’. Of course it’s all in the eye of the beholder but if you like bikes which are different, you’ll no doubt be aware of Deus and its products. If not, go to www.deus.com.au. Back to the MT-01. Everything on the Deus MT-01 was done in-house at the Camperdown style emporium, except paint. So you can get yours done in the same colours as this particular machine, or you can have it pink with white polka dots, or even white with pink polka dots – whatever takes your fancy. When the MT-01 first came out you could buy tuning packages directly from Yamaha, pipes, engine bits etc. Deus has stayed away from ripping into the engine. The bike is powerful enough standard so the look and noise side of things have been altered. The result is a much leaner looking bike than the standard jigger, and a much louder one too!


APRIL 2010 - 47


Bodywork

Besides the custom paint, the front guard has been ‘trimmed’, the headlight is hidden behind a racing number plate setup, the tank has been ‘shaved’ (an old custom term for de-badging) and a street tracker racing style single seat holds the rider’s bum in place.

Rolling stock

Marchesini rims sit front and rear, standard brakes are equipped with stainless steel braided lines and a loud and proud two-intoone reverse cone megaphone exhaust gets the nasty gases out. Deus has also retuned the standard ECU to cope with the exhaust change.

Bits and bobs

A higher set of street tracker ’bars’ greets the rider as he or she gets to grips with the beast, a set of stainless steel mirrors are small and neat, smaller indicators, and LED stop lights decrease the rear real estate markedly. The rear subframe has also been substantially modified and the relevant wiring hidden.

On the street

The riding position is more upright than standard because of the handlebars, and also the lower seat. At first it seemed too upright but you soon get over this. You get over it as soon as you fire up the engine and release that soulful sound from the reverse cone

Hand made pipes. Loud and proud.

48 - APRIL 2010 Let the world know!

muffler. Boy does this baby sound mean! Off into the traffic we went and riding through the inner city had heads turning our way constantly. Besides pre-warning the walking public of its imminent arrival, the colour hits them between the eyes while waiting at the lights. Even during the photoshoot we had to move people away to get the shots. We didn’t get to sample the MT-01 on the open road but around the back streets of inner Sydney it was a delight. We just wanted to whack open the throttle all the time. The only glitch in the arsenal was a slight hiccup off idle – maybe the retune was giving the engine a little too much fuel at low revs. Other than that it was a ball of fun to ride. Let’s face it, Deus stuff isn’t cheap but exclusivity never is. In this form the Deus MT-01 will cost you $29,500. Quite an amount of man hours has gone into this bike and then you have top shelf items like the Marchesini wheels and custom exhaust, so it’s easy to see where the money goes. You can get Deus to source a bike for you and get the team there to do the work, or you can get your own ride and take it directly to Deus. If you ask nicely you might even be able to buy certain bits yourself and fit them at home. Whichever direction you take you will have a stylish and individual motorcycle which also packs a serious wallop. – Chris Pickett

Racing number plate deftly hides the headlight.

Street Tracker seat isn’t made for the long haul.


APRIL 2010 - 49


From Russia with Love...

NYET!

WOULD you offer your throat to the Wolf? Meatloaf’s words raced through my mind as I approached the Sexton Club, the lair of the Night Wolves’ motorcycle club just outside of Moscow. What an intimidating site it was – the wolf and claw logo at the entrance, the huge steel doors at the entry and surreal Mad Max movie set style of the

50 - APRIL 2010

club house, nightclub, bike shop and restaurant… it all really confronts the visitor. I’d finally got the chance to visit here after seeing a doco on TV where Aussie muso and didjeridu virtuoso Charlie McMahon and his band were a big hit. So I thought I’d go and check out the club and find out what I could about where Russian

motorcycling and the culture in general was at. And bugger!… it was closed! My research showed that the Night Wolves have recently developed the ‘Wolf’, in conjunction with the Russian bike manufacturer Ural Motorcycles…and also a range of motor clothes. The bikes are cruiser-styled choppers with a motor derived from the 1941 BMW motor that was reverse engineered to service the war effort (much like the Harley-Davidson XA flat twin shaft drive). In the adjacent bike shop (constructed as a surreal locomotive) I got some idea of what was to come. Boris and Svetlana gave me a “NYET” when I asked them if they spoke English/German/Italian… I was buggered so I resorted to sign language “…how do I get in next door”? I got NYET with the crossed wrists which I presumed to mean don’t even think about it. Well, I thought shit – I’ve gotta give it a go! So in through the barricades I go… what an awesome sight. The inhospitable entry was wide enough for about five bikes abreast with a huge open area and a central bar that you can ride right up to on your bike… how good is that? The whole area was like an industrial wasteland and included an awesome stage area full of bikes


and ironmongery of all sorts. I was taking it all in and about to snap off a pic when I copped a high pitch whistle and a “NYET”… and the crossed wrists! Damn, a guard, or should I say Mr Evil given his in-elegant appearance. I argued in sign language and used all sorts of internationally recognised words like “Press” “Magazine” “Journalist”…”Take me to ya leader”? And eventually

he pointed to the restaurant so I marched off down there thinking… Geez, I hope I don’t end up, like, disappearing! So into the restaurant I go and there are three more of them (a troika, eh?) and about as friendly as robbers’ dogs! So I go through my spiel again… English? German? Press? Hell… I just want to take some photos, talk to someone intelligent and see ya motor clothes…I might even be able to

promote your business a little fer Chrissake… how hard is that? I was getting frustrated at this stage but then it was their call. I thought – I could get beaten up and dumped, thrown out or they’ll turn into eloquent Phd’s and discuss the past and present biker culture in more than monosyllables and let me take a few pics. Ta..Da…I got option B and was frog marched to the imposing steel gates where I whipped around and got off a couple of shots but well aware that it could have all gone the wrong way! Massively cheezed off I decided to give the bikes and motor clothes a miss, I also waited an hour for a taxi but nothing came. I also had no idea where I was because I’d travelled here by cab. So far, I’d learned two words of Russian… ”Nyet” and “Metro”(train) so I started to walk shouting metro at every person I saw. And, an hour and a half later… without a beer in sight I staggered into a metro station. A flip of the coin

could have seen me in Moscow or mugged. Interestingly I ended up in Moscow but I think I was mugged anyway because the taxi ride to the Wolf lair was $100 US and the trip back on the train was about 50 cents. There is a biker culture… fortunately I came across them in action at the Sunday night street drags at a panoramic lookout over Moscow. The police had decided some time ago that they couldn’t beat the proceedings so they just supported the concept by blocking off the main road for safety and let the bikers go at it. Bikers are bikers and they were having fun. I think there is a bigger story here and an interesting biker culture… but my advice for any aspiring researcher is I recommend a pre-requisite in Russian language, negotiating skills, insurance policy and a big wallet. – Turk

APRIL 2010 - 51


INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVERTISERS 1 Fuelled up

HUSABERG’S FE390, 450 and 570 EFI models can now have a longer fuel range thanks to Safari Tanks. 16 litre front and 10 litre rear tanks are available, and they were tested by the Husaberg race team in last year’s Australasian Safari, so you know they are built to last. Both tanks can be filled from one point too, so no dicking about when you’re tired and dusty in the outback. Price: Front – $781, rear – $604. Available from: Safari Tanks More info: 03 5729 5556 or www.safaritanks.com.au.

1

2

Four seasons

3

Knob your S 1000 RR

4

Lead in your pencil

AXO’s Melbourne textile jacket is the result of much badgering from Aussie riders. AXO has taken all these ideas and made a jacket to suit our riding conditions and climate. It would make a great enduro or adventure jacket, and wouldn’t look out of place on a road bike either. With removable sleeves, ventilation and massive pouches the jacket is made to protect and be comfy doing it. Price: $219.95 Available from: All good bike shops More info: www.ficeda.com.au

2

WANT some protection for your S 1000 RR? Well check out Oggy Knobs’ range for the Bavarian beast. Frame and front/rear axle knobs can help reduce crash damage which will make life happier in the event of your bike not staying rubber side down. Price: Axle sliders – $99 per end, Frame sliders – $175. Available from: Leading motorcycle stores More info: www.kenma.com.au

3

IF YOU’VE ever had a battery go flat you’ll know it’s a pain. Planet Moto has a range of batteries for extremely good prices; lead acid, semi sealed and gel models which will fit virtually any bike. They carry a 12 month warranty and Planet Moto will beat any advertised price. Free shipping Australia wide. Trade enquiries welcome. Price: Various Available from: Planet Moto direct More info: 1300 457 878 or www.planetmoto.com.au

4

52 - APRIL 2010


5

5

Gixxer tune

6

Get Tribal

7

Covered up

8

Italian style

MC PERFORMANCE has some trick Venom pipes for the 2010 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Comes as a cat pipe (replacing the catalytic converter) and two mufflers. The result: Horn looks, horn sound and even a power increase. Fancy that! MC Performance has a range of Venoms to suit the Gixxer and is also doing package deals with the cat pipe. Price: Mufflers from $1100, cat pipe $350. Prices inc postage. Available from: Direct from MC Performance More info: www.mcperformance.com.au

6

PROGRIP has its 2010 Tribal range of MX gear on the shelves now. The Italian made products are worn by loads of pro racers and look absolutely smick. Three colour combinations available, and most sized people catered for. Price: Jersey $79.95, Pants $269.95 Available from: Good bike shops everywhere. More info: www.jtr.com.au

IF YOU love your Yamaha R6 you’ll want to make sure it’s covered up so the dust and water can’t get on it. Yamaha has a genuine cover which follow the lines and contours of the bike, so it’s a perfect fit. Fits 2002-2010 models and comes in black or blue. Price: $249.90 Available from: Yamaha dealers nationwide More info: www.yamaha-motor.com.au/yshop 7

8

AGV has a new range of road/race helmets to keep your bonce as safe as possible. The K4 comes in a range of sizes and colours (inc graphics models) so there’s something to appeal to not only your head but your eyes as well. Price: Solid colours – $399. Graphics: $449. Available from: Leading motorcycle stores More info: www.agv.com

APRIL 2010 - 53


18 - APRIL 2010

www.cycletorque.com.au

GUNTRIP

Northern blights Get wired

EASING G yourself lf outt off Sydney S d via i the th Pacic Highway requires the patience of a saint. Despite the state government’s apparent conviction that everything in the garden is rosy, I’m still astonished that the arterial route to Newcastle and Brisbane can rarely muster no more than two lanes in either direction. But then again I’m writing this on a computer running Windows Vista, so what the hell do I know? This much: it gets better north of the Hunter. The challenge of the Bulahdelah bends has disappeared for those seeking the quick coastal route north, but new stretches of dual carriageway bearing gratifying smooth tar go some way to make up for the lack of geometric interest. And there’s the scenery. Undulating hills giving way to mountains in embryo that bear the rst traces of ushed vegetation I associate with moving closer to the tropics. And then the daily lot of government-backed irritation rears its ugly head again. Call it perverse if you like, but whenever I pass road works it’s always smoko time. North of Taree is a 30km strip where the highway is being widened. I know this to be true because there are plenty of signs advertising the point. It’s all 80km/hposted, slow enough for the occasional glance sideways and so to concede that there’s evidence pointing to some form of human activity going on behind the dividing wall at some time in recent history. It’s just that I never see any, and this time we were rolling past at 10am on a Friday. And I had plenty of time to look, too, because we were stuck at the time behind a cheery P-plater who clearly thought it reasonable to bimble along at

10km/h below the limit. The work peters out around Port Macquarie, and we’re back in the dark ages for a while where the exhortations to keep left put you in the worst repaired truck damage to the concrete surface. The road has a hint of menace about it now. Tall, dark trees edge up to the road and reduce the sun to a ickering presence; the highway weaves left and right, rolling over blind crests and plunging into short, abrupt valleys. On the radio there’s news of a head-on somewhere in front of us, at a place called New Italy. It’s a bad one: two people killed, two more in hospital. We roll up behind the inevitable white caravan and take a breather as it bounces and lurches along at a more relaxed 90km/h. The mood soon becomes clouded with frustration.

WE’VE had the Scala Rider Q2 from Cardo Systems in trial for a couple of months now and find it a great way to help you get mix i iis volatile: l til ttrucks, k ttourists, i t llate-running t i around on a bike. business folk and local racers jockeying for The set will let you talk from bike to bike position on a road that struggles for width (up to 500 metres) or ofrider to pillion. That’s over much its length. weren’t too many bikes on view: if you buy thetheThere Multiset which has two units. inevitable clumps of Harleys running We’ve had a single set on heavily trial which allows south, one or two but stylishly laden big-bore BMW tourers use and, around us to use answer our phone, a GPSmajor population centres, a few R1s and FireBlades. system and also listen to some tunes. Just as inevitably, an ancient XL250 You Honda,can and festooned with mismatched get FM radio two-up stations and also plug in your luggage, wheezing up a steep hill at out at MP3. 80. Grafton the and going heavy becomes easier On one ride inNorth crapofweather again, developing a folksy feel as the road traffic we were able to find our way aside winds its way along riverbanks onto one and sugar on system the other. The trucks No are destination with ourcane GPS easily. still there but on the plains they don’t seem more days of quite stopping so big. and getting out a stop for juice and then the nal run street directory.A last When a call comes inor the into Brisbane, along the Gold Coast Highway One of the road’s abiding problems is the GPS talks to you, the music is instantly through thickening Friday night trafc. The number of rugged individualists wholady seem to ight from the city seems every bit as heavy think it reasonable to putter along well below shut out. as Sydney’s and driving habits even more the speed-limit on a two-lane arterial road. Very handy gadget, battery life at upamong to aggressive;and perhaps it’s the frustration, Roadside signs promising “Overtaking lane more recent of learning that you 5km” really aren’t too much ofeight a comfort. hours isthebetter thanmigrants, expected. don’t leave the trafc behind when you leave Then there are the semis, in groups of three Price: Multiset $659, single $369 Sydney or Melbourne. or four, whistling south as we roll north, but And now it’s over; we become part of the Available Strike Group Australia scarcely less intimidating for that. It’s an ugly from: picture: of an old road struggling to cope with jam ourselves, easing along Coronation Drive More info: www.strike.com.au/cardo or into the western suburbs of Vegas. Even with its trafc; of resources stretched too thin. The 792 044 an overnight break and travelling in midweek surface truly isn’t bad for most1300 of its length,

and there are three lanes wherever they can be squeezed in, but that’s the problem: the road follows its original route, when the trafc was predominantly local and nobody much minded whether it detoured around irritating local topographical features or not. Today the

the Pacic is still a demanding ride. The middle stretches, remote from the inuence and resources of Sydney and Brisbane, are the toughest and demand respect. Proceed with caution. – Bob Guntrip

ER N R L EA GA LE

L RRP

$3990

Plus on road costs from $500.* On road costs based on 12 months registration for NSW calculated at time of publication. On road costs varies from State to State.Please contact your local dealer.

Ride your own way...

54 - APRIL 2010

250

Metro jacket


APRIL 2010 - 31

www.cycletorque.com.au

Get your Five

RACERS like to be as comfortable as possible when on the bike. This allows you to concentrate on getting the job done, not worrying whether your leathers are too tight etc. I’ve been wearing my new Five RFX1 MotoGP Tribal gloves which not only fit me perfectly, they look awesome as well. They are designed to protect your hands to a high degree and when I saw pictures of Andrea Dovizioso’s gloves after he crashed his Honda GP bike I knew they were for me. His hands came out unscathed, the gloves took the crash in their stride and you could keep on wearing them. I’ve usedA my ‘Tribals’ a few times now and I’m super impressed with them, you hardly know they are on. Check out the photo, the gloves look very ‘factory’. You’ll also notice my OGK helmet with no visor. I was in a hurry to change visors and didn’t clip it in properly. It jumped ship down the main straight at Phillip Island. – Alex Pickett Price: $329.95 Available from: Good bike shops Australia wide A GET WIRED More info: www.motonational.com.au

WE’VE h had d the h Scala l Rider d Q2 ffrom Cardo d Systems in triall ffor a couple l off months h now and nd it a great way to help you get around on a bike. The set will let you talk from bike to bike (up to 500 metres) or rider to pillion. That’s if you buy the Multiset which has two units. We’ve had a single set on trial which allows us to use answer our phone, use a GPS system and also listen to some tunes. You can get FM radio stations and also plug in your MP3. On one ride in crap weather and heavy trafc we were able to nd our way to a destination with our GPS system easily. No more days of stopping and getting out a street directory. When a call comes in or the GPS lady talks to you, the music is instantly shut out. Very handy gadget, and battery life at up to eight hours is better than expected. PRICE: Multiset $659, single $369 AVAIL ABLE FROM: Strike Group Australia MORE INFO: www.strike.com.au/cardo or 1300 792 044

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GET YOUR UR FIVE

RACERS like to be as comfortable as possible when on the bike. This allows you to concentrate on getting the job done, not worrying whether your leathers are too tight etc. I’ve been wearing my new Five RFX1 MotoGP Tribal gloves which not only t me perfectly, they look awesome as well. They are designed to protect your hands to a high degree and when I saw pictures of Andrea Dovizioso’s gloves after he crashed his Honda GP bike I knew they were for me. His hands came out unscathed, the gloves took the crash in their stride and you could keep on wearing them. I’ve used my ‘Tribals’ a few times now and I’m super impressed with them, you hardly know they are on. Check out the photo, the gloves look very ‘factory’. You’ll also notice my OGK helmet with no visor. I was in a hurry to change visors and didn’t clip it in properly. It jumped ship down the main straight at Phillip Island. – Alex Pickett PRICE: $329.95 AVAIL ABLE FROM: Good bike shops Australia wide MORE INFO: www.motonational.com.au

APRIL 2010 - 55


dirty torque

From Bunting To The Bush

Stefan Everts successfully mastered both MX and enduro disciplines. TOBY Price and Josh Strang are the latest in an extremely long line of motocrossers who have taken to the off-road scene like a duck to water, so I thought it was time we looked at some of the greats who have gone from racing between trackside bunting to smashing their way through the bush. Before we go much further I will say this from personal experience: it is no picnic racing enduros, pony expresses, cross countries or desert races. I was once of the opinion that I, as a reasonably handy motocrosser, I could go across and whip the off-road boys if that ever took my fancy. And sure, I won my class at Finke and took wins at a few small local off-road events but whenever I had a crack at anything at either state or national level I got smoked. I was at the first ever endurocross at Dargle (around 1991) and was third in class and something like 150th outright after riding my arse off all day on Kawasaki’s then allnew KLX650R. And I am sure that a lot of the tattooed, earinged, sub-whoofa’d, hat-on-sideways young motocrossers of today have a similar view to mine many years ago but nothing is surer that their results would emulate my failures if they had to go head-to-head with the likes of Stefan Merriman or Kirk Hut-

56 - APRIL 2010

ton in the bush. My first memory of a motocrosser doing a serious enduro was a guy by the name of John Behrens (I think that is how you spell his second name). John was a nationally rated motocrosser who either won or got close to winning a major enduro on an IT490 back in around 1981. Apparently he was seriously fast and as loose as it gets and one of the mags ran a photo of him doing a monster wheelie out of a gully. Next was multi Queensland Motocross Champion David Armstrong who took a bog-stock KX250 and gave the world's best enduro riders a lesson at the 1988 A4DE held on the Sunshine Coast. I was there and Army tore the place apart with sheer determination coupled with a little local knowledge and his motocross skills. One of the legendary performances put in by a motocrosser doing enduros has to be Stefan Everts when he won the 2003 ISDE in Brazil OUTRIGHT. Everts did the event after winning the 2003 World MX1 Motocross Championship and absolutely stomped the best enduro riders in the world. In 2006 former World Motocross Champion Shayne King rode his first enduro: it was the ISDE at Taupo and the Kiwi legend managed to win quite a few special tests

and ended the event 11th outright while just last year former motocross GP punter Johnny Aubert won the World E2 Enduro Championship with another GP top runner Rodrig Thain finishing the championship in fifth. AMA motocross and supercross regulars Guy Cooper, Kyle Lewis and Rodney Smith all extended their careers by hitting the GNCC series with some success while former AMA 125cc Motocross Champion and Motocross GP winner Mike Brown moved to the WORCS series in America last year and won it on debut. And here we are at the start of the 2010 season and former Australian Motocross Championship mid-packer Josh Strang has won the opening round of the GNCC series in America while former Australian Junior Motocross Champion Toby Price has started his AORC defense with wins at the opening two rounds at Port Macquarie. So the bottom line is this, if you are a motocrosser and want to have a go at the off-road riders on their home turf I applaud you: it will be a humbling experience for 99 per cent of you and from my experience, that never hurt anybody.

– Smarty


Cycle Torque April 2010