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GUNTRIP RETIRES • SMARTY ON 2017 • FLACK ON THE FUTURE

cycletorque For the love of motorcycling

RADICAL REDESIGN: 2017 HUSQVARNA ENDUROS

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WELCOME

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 2

December 2016 Thanks for downloading the latest issue of Cycle Torque, the last one for 2016 before we all go on a much deserved break over Christmas and celebrate the New Year. I hope you enjoy the issue and I also want to give an extra special thanks to all the people who left us feedback from the November issue. If there’s anything you enjoyed reading, or bored you to tears, let us know by writing to feedback@cycletorque.com.au. We have tested a wide variety of bikes for this month’s issue including Husqvarna’s entire enduro range - from the TE250 two-banger, all the way up to the big-bore four FE501. We also review Ducati’s thoroughbred supersport 959 Panigale - is it the smart man’s sportsbike?

EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACK feedback@cycletorque.com.au

Despite the Yamaha XSR900’s über-cool throwback looks, has it got enough serious modern day performance? You bet… There’s also a huge Christmas gift guide which features great ideas for the whole family, Guntrip’s ultimate column, great stuff from Flack and Smarty and all the latest bike news. Once again, I hope you enjoy the issue, have a safe Christmas, happy New Year and get to enjoy some great holiday riding. – Ryan Grubb Digital Editor

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CONTENTS

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 3

Ridden

LAUNCH 2017 HUSQVARNA ENDURO RANGE

TEST 2016 DUCATI 959 PANIGALE

23

30

Features

Regulars 50

71

QUAD TORQUE

TEST YAMAHA XSR900 41

5

NEWS TORQUE

20

RACE TORQUE

14

SMALL TORQUE

21

GUNTRIP

17

EDITORIAL

75

TORQUE BACK - LETTERS

18

DIRTY TORQUE

77

MARKET TORQUE


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NEWS TORQUE

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Ducati announces six new models in live stream event IN the early hours of November 8, Australian Time, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali announced seven new models which confirmed the Italian marque’s direction for 2017. Two new Scramblers are a slight surprise, though almost a given nowadays, as was the SuperSport (S), only because it was announced earlier in October. The bigger Surprises are a 937cc Testastrettavariant Multistrada 950, a 1299 Panigale Superleggera and the reintroduction of an entrylevel Monster 797 and revised Monster 1200. Coincidentally it is the same powerplant used for the 2010-14 generation Monster 796.

There will also be an eighth and last new bike, which is expected in January, 2017. The 1299 Panigale Superleggera looks like it will be the most exotic and technically advanced sportsbike released to date. The Superleggera is the first road bike to feature carbon fibre frame, swingarm, subframe and wheels and with only 500 models built and sold, Ducati once again takes road sportbikes to unprecedented levels. 2017 will see a dirtbike-inspired Scrambler Desert Rally with 19/17-inch wire wheels, high front guard, bash plate, headlight grille and Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres. Ducati also unveiled the Scrambler Café Racer complete with clip-ons, bar end mirrors, headlight fairing, new seat with removable cowl, 17-inch cast alloy wheels with Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs.

The steering angle of the Café Racer is steeper too, which should see its handling better suited to the road. The Multistrada 950 is an interesting variant to the range, sporting a 19-inch front wheel (better off road than a 17) without offering the off-road capabilities of the Enduro. It’s is also the lightest of the range and probably cheapest. Although Ducati is heading steadfast down the Scrambler route, targeting the model at beginners and new riders; the reintroduction of an entry-level Monster 797 brings back the appeal to riders who may not like the style of its current modern retro lineup. The 797’s air-cooled engine is based on what is now the 803cc Scrambler’s.

It’s a bit of a bummer for the Australian market though, the Monster 797 engine capacity sits it outside learner restrictions, meaning you will have to wait for your full licence to get the Monster experience. Ducati has also refined its Monster 1200 (S) by adding horsepower, updating the electronics with Bosch IMU, as well as a few other bits and pieces like the tank, footpegs and swingarm. The S-model gets a suspension upgrade to Öhlins at each end. Ducati also announced a partnership between its Diavel range and renowned clothing label, Diesel, following the success of the Monster Diesel partnership in 2013. n


NEWS TORQUE

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We provide a one- stop shop for all your motorcycle, and ATV needs. Have a browse through our We provide amule onestop shop for all your motorcycle, Virtual Used Bikes Showroom, which displays a cross mule, ATV & jetsection ski needs. Have a browse our of our stock - approx 160 bikesthrough on the floor. We proudly and professionally later model Virtual Used Bikes Showroom, whichservice displays a cross bikes in our onsite service facilities. All types of service section of our stock including - approx 160 bikes on athe floor. is covered fitting tyres. We carry full range of accessories and spare parts. We also have a loan See our professional team of bike service to keep you mobile. technicians for all your service • 9 Buckingham Dr Wangara - p 08 9409 2330 needs. We carry a -full range • 237 Great Eastern Highway Midland 08 p 9250 2522 of accessories, tyres and We. also w w w . m a c spare k 1 . parts. c o m a u have a loan bike service to keep you mobile.

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For biking and motorcycle enthusiasts, it is a truly unique sight to see countless riders engaging your local community and carrying presents for the many families and children in need. The 39th annual Newcastle Bikers for Kids 36th Toy Run will be held on Sunday, December 4. The 25km route departs from Stockton Ballast Grounds, finishing at Newcastle Foreshore.

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The run will be fully escorted with Police and Roads & Maritime approved. Continued on next page


NEWS TORQUE

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Support your local Toy Run continued Visit newcastletoyrun.com.au or facebook.com/newcastletoyrun. There is also a Toy Run in Sydney, Griffith and the South Coast. Father Bob wants you to come on his Toy Run at Victoria Park, Sunday, December 11. Father Bob asks you donate food that does not need refrigeration, like a tin of beans, fruit or soup which could mean Christmas dinner for a family which might otherwise go without. As for kids’ toys, things like books, educational toys, sports equipment, games or clothing go towards Father Bob’s Christmas Hampers. Visit fatherbobsfoundation.com.au or facebook.com/ independentridersgroup. There are another 10 Toy Runs in Melbourne registered with the website.

Perth Bikers’ Charity Ride departs Belmont Racecourse at 9am, December 4. Travelling to the Shenton Ave freeway exit and concluding at the Arena, Joondalup. Be early in order to secure a good spot, entry to the main group closes at 8.30am. Visit cr.bikesunlimited.org.au/ for more information. MRA Tasmania is putting on the 37th annual Toy Run to support the Salvation Army and their efforts to make Christmas a more enjoyable time of year for those who are in a hard place in life. Meeting at The Derwent Entertainment centre at Midday, December 3, the ride will be departing at 2:30 to ride down to PW1 and gather at Parliament Lawns to donate your gifts and tidings.

The ACT Annual Motorcyclists 2016 Toy Run is organised by the Motorcycle Riders’ Association ACT, December 10, leaving from Old Parliament House.

Visit www.facebook.com/TasRally to find more on the event.

The ride starts at 10.00, and egg and bacon rolls and coffee will be available for breakfast from 8.30. Toys and donations will be given to the Salvation Army and St Johns Care.

Departing from the Clipsal Track at 11am, the MRA run makes its way to Callington Oval via Hutt St, Glen Osmond Road and the South Eastern Freeway.

See mraact.org.au for more information.

The MRA Toy Run has been held for over 30 years, and occurs annually on the second Sunday in December. The MRA organises and funds this event with incredible support from volunteers, sponsors and organisations who are proud and willing to be involved.

QLD’s Fraser Coast Toy Run is being held December 4, with the route to be confirmed. Riders meet at Westside Tavern, Tinana, with registration from 7am, gold coin donation and a 9am departure.

The MRA South Australia Toy Run is on December 11.

Visit http://www.mrasa.asn.au/toyrun.shtml for more. n


NEWS TORQUE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 8

Over 10,000 attend the first Harley Days in Australia OVER 10,000 people flowed through the gates of the three-day festival for Australia’s first Harley Days.

Motorcycle enthusiasts and spectators from all across Australia cruised into Wollongong, raising over $10,000 for Camp Quality and Babes Out on Bikes. Headline entertainment act Hot Dub Time Machine raised the roof on Saturday night performing with an epic performance in Wollongong’s Stuart Park. Live music from Ross Wilson, Triple J unearthed talent Stonefield, IVY, The Snowdroppers, Jam Junkies, and the Screamin’ Eagles all performed across the weekend, marking Harley Days as one of the most successful motorcycle community events in Australia. Harley-Davidson ambassadors Nathan Hindmarsh, James Tobin and Caroline Buchanan joined in the fun and took part in various activities across the weekend including Guided Rides, Fashion Shows, BMX Stunt Shows, Battle Zone and a celebrity bike wash. The red lips and flowing hair of all-female motorcycle group The Throttle Dolls rode from Sydney to Wollongong on Saturday morning with fellow female riders to join the festivities. Over 1,500 motorcycles rumbled through the streets of Wollongong on Sunday morning for the highly anticipated Thunder Run. Led by BMX champion Caroline Buchanan and The Throttle Dolls, spectators lined the streets to watch the mass convoy of motorcycles ride past the iconic lighthouse and stunning surrounds. Buchanan said “it was truly a magnificent feeling being amongst that amount of motorcycles. “You really felt the community bond and it was great to see the crowds that

came out to watch and support us.” All proceeds from The Thunder Run were donated to Camp Quality. Managing Director of Harley-Davidson Australia & New Zealand, Nigel Keough, said “it was fantastic seeing families with young children, riders and non riders coming together over one weekend to celebrate the common bonds that recreational motorcycling creates”. Twelve competition winners were awarded in The Show and Shine including categories ranging from the People’s Choice to Vintage Classic. The Custom Bike Show saw four winners including Beat Sportster, Best Liquid Cooled and Best Big Twin. Graeme Cottrell from Canberra won the Route 66 competition and Brett Humphries from Maroochydore was the proud winner of the Low Rider S. n


NEWS TORQUE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 10

Mt Kembla MX 340 two-stroke Cup a winner When a small committee within Wollongong Motorcycle Club was formed to create a twostroke-only race day, they were optimistic it would be a success. But when 200 enthusiasts registered the committee realised it would go down in club history. Spectators lined the fences and grandstands were packed all day. On October 23, riders from all corners of NSW, aged eight to 58, competed on bikes ranging from early ’70s Husqvarnas to new Yamaha YZ250s to the 500cc two-strokes of the late ’90s including CR500s and Kawasaki KX500s. “The concept behind the Mount Kembla MX340 Two-Stroke Cup was simple; get the old forgotten two-strokes out of the shed and mix them up with a few modern two-strokes, then go racing and have fun,” said co-creator Michael Johnson. “One thing was certain though, the only valves allowed on the day were power valves!” The introduction of four-strokes with the Yamaha YZ400 in 1998 was a game changer. Co-creator Alan Ninness explained:

The tightly contested 250cc class.

“Many people believe that four-strokes have taken a lot of the excitement out of racing. “Two-strokes are lighter, they are explosive in their power delivery and never cease to leave a smile on your face. “Our mandate was to showcase the Club and run a meeting that the motocross community has been wanting. “Meghan Rutledge said on the podium that she had raced all over the world and it was the best race day she had ever been to.”

“Racing on a borrowed bike, the 300 two-stroke was a blast. “It was an awesome atmosphere racing with all two-strokes which I haven’t done since I was junior,” he said. Sponsors jumped at the opportunity to come on board.

City Coast Motorcycles’ Justin Bush (aka Bushy) was ecstatic about the Cup:

“We decided to make the main event prizes redeemable at the businesses that supported the event and that support our club: City Coast Motorcycles, Dirt Bike Factory and Trevor Jordan Motorcycles answered the call,” Alan said.

“It was so good to see all the original two-stroke fans come out of the woodwork.

Wollongong Motorcycle Club is already looking to 2017:

“Guys like Dean Burt, Paul Grant and Crusty Demon FMX/MX freak Joel Balchin.

“We will be running the event next year and it will be bigger and better.

“Props for Andrew Ektoros from Wollongong MCC for a perfectly prepped track with bubble gum ruts,” Bushy said.

“We expect racers will be searching the web for old bikes to buy or restore,” Michael said. – By Jane Sim Jane is the Marketing and Events Manager for City Coast Motorcycles. Photo: Noel Downey - Wollongong Images.

The day’s honours went to MX Team City Coast Motorcycles Corey James:


NEWS TORQUE

Troy Bayliss Classic 17 The fifth annual Troy Bayliss Classic is set to take place January 21, at Taree Motorcycle Club’s hallowed oil circuit.

AMA flat track superstar Jared Mees has confirmed he will return to Australia to defend his 2015 crown, a title that remains in place due to weather impacting the running of the 2016 event’s final race. The four-time AMA Grand National Champion, who recently won an X-Games flat track gold medal, will be making his third appearance at the iconic event. Mees said he is keen to defend his title and become the first dual winner of the coveted crown.

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“I am really looking forward to making the trip to Australia again for the 2017 Troy Bayliss Classic,” Mees said. “The very first time I came to the event I knew I would always look forward to coming back. Mees also couldn’t thank everyone enough at the Troy Bayliss Classic for inviting him back again. Event Organiser Troy Bayliss said an incredible amount of planning and development has gone into ensuring an even greater experience for spectators at the 2017 event. Bayliss said, “This event continues to evolve, and I am excited with what we have planned for 2017. “We have extended grandstand seating and included shade cover to ensure an event better experience for spectators. “This option is perfect for people wanting to arrive a little later and not worry about bringing pop-up tents. “Grandstand tickets are limited and will be available to purchase online from Friday 11 November. “While personally, I would love to take another win, I do think with the likes of Jared (Mees) and the rest of the all-star line-up [mean] my best days are behind me. “In saying that, I will definitely give it a nudge and if I am on a good day; who knows what could happen. “The most important aspect for me is ensuring everyone who comes to the event enjoys themselves.”

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NEWS TORQUE Operation Silverstone in operation this summer A Newcastle Herald report by Dan Proudman says PolAir being used in conjunction with unmarked cars and classic BS in an expensive four-month Putty and Wollombi roads operation.

Proudman said in the report, “they are the remote, out-of-the-way roads that attract motorcyclists with an almost endless run of snake-like turns and tight corners. “But the same characteristics that suck in riders along the Hunter’s favourite thoroughfares are also killing them.” Police announced Operation Silverstone in November, which is currently in operation throughout Central Hunter, Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie commands and will continue until the start of March. The report said Polair helicopters will monitor riders, passing information to ground crews and unmarked highway patrol vehicles. Regional highway patrol commander, Superintendent Bob Ryan, told the Newcastle Herald, “We are particularly concerned about the safety of motorcyclists in the Hunter and Lake Macquarie regions, who are over represented in crash statistics this time of year.” Being ‘over represented’ in crash statistics is a go-to line to justify these operations, but it does not take into consideration the difficulty of riding and the fact it is exponentially more dangerous. There is also a higher concentration of riders using technical sections of road such as the Putty as there are in other areas. Superintendent Ryan also said, “during the operation, highway patrol police will be patrolling and enforcing the law particularly on motorcycle routes, including the Putty Road and Wollombi Road, to promote the safety of motorcyclists and drivers. “These officers will also be speaking to riders at popular rest areas and encouraging them to take responsibility and obey the rules in place for their protection. “The unmarked and covert vehicles we are using will include a variety of vehicles, not normally associated with highway patrol.  “These unmarked and covert vehicles, as well as PolAir, will be used for traffic enforcement on most major roads, with the purpose of reminding motorists that any vehicle could be a police vehicle.  “This operation aims to ensure that motorcyclists ride to the conditions, anticipate the actions of others and obey the road rules.” Riders should keep in mind their licence is a sign of competency, which grants them autonomy in deciding the safest riding approach. This means police have as much right to lecture you about safe riding at rest areas, as much as anyone else does. n

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SMALL TORQUE

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EDITORIAL

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 17

Marquez, Rea & Doyle 2016 has seen some of the best racing ever across many championships and classes, although it was World Speedway which looked like being the most exciting as the championships headed toward their climax – but it wasn’t to be.

Aussie Jason Doyle has always been fast on a speedway bike, but this year he really started to look like a future champion. In 2015, joining the series as a wildcard, he finished fifth overall, won 21 heats and made the final twice, but didn’t win a GP. He was badly injured at the Australian round where on the first lap of the final he crashed heavily when he tangled with American Greg Hancock. Doyle went to hospital, Hancock went on to claim the World #2 spot… This year it was Hancock who looked the man most likely after the early rounds, but then Doyle found something in the toolbox and won three rounds out of four mid-season to take the lead in the championship. But disaster struck at Torun, Poland, when again he hit the wall, this time puncturing both lungs and breaking his elbow, ultimately ending his season. His team posted this on his website: “The injuries sustained at Torun last weekend have put an end to any hopes Jason had of competing in his home SGP round. But more positive news followed as Jason was victorious in the ‘best foreign rider’ category at the Polish Ekstraliga awards night in Warsaw on Monday. Despite the disappointing end to his season, Jason is pragmatic in his views: “I would like to let everyone know first-hand from me that sadly I have had to withdraw from the Melbourne SGP. I punctured my left lung and badly traumatised my right lung. My right elbow is shattered and I have also dislocated my left shoulder. I am unable to fly due to the situation with my lungs and have to wait for surgery on my elbow once my lungs have healed. And finally, thank you to all the people who voted for me to be awarded the best foreign rider in the Polish league! One bad meeting won’t tarnish a great 2016 season for me! Cheers guys, I have some great support.”

Aussie Chris Holder, who won the title back in 2012, won in Australia to finish fourth overall. Doyle dropped down to fifth despite leading the championship with a few rounds to go, it’s that tight at the top of the Speedway GP series. MotoGP fans have also seen Marc Marquez wrap up his third title, winning the race and the championship in Japan at Suzuka. It took Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to both DNF for that to happen, but happen it did as a stream of riders lost front grip and went down.

It seemed kind of bizarre the championship was settled with three races to go, because it doesn’t feel like Marquez has dominated – indeed, there have been more winners from more teams across more brands of bikes than in decades, if not ever. Ducati and Suzuki won their first races in ages, while the ‘Big Three’ – Marquez, Rossi and Lorenzo – have all won races. That club has won every MotoGP Championship in the last 15 year except the two Casey Stoner and the really odd one, Nicky Hayden’s title in 2006. It’s quite remarkable that we still have top-level competitors like Valentino Rossi out there keeping the youngsters like Marquez honest, and the level of competition this year has been remarkable. But there are new riders knocking on the door of that exclusive club – Crutchlow, Miller, Viñales, Ianonne – and some of the guys who haven’t been able to capture a title, but have won races, who are still very fast and have good rides, like Dovisioso and Pedrosa. MotoGP is faster, safer and closer than it’s ever been, in most respects, but it’s a shame the sport is also becoming something only the wealthy can aspire to, for the cost of getting a youngster through to championship level seems to be getting higher and higher, but that’s a story for another day.

In the meantime, watching Marquez slide a MotoGP bike around the bitumen almost like Doyle slides a speedway bike is a sight to behold. Jonathon Rea wrapped up his second World Superbike title, but at least the championship made it to the final round before the champion had been crowned. Early in the season it looked like Rea might simply run away with the title for Kawasaki again, but his team-mate Tom Sykes had other ideas and now Chaz Davies has really found a way to get the best from the Ducati Panigale and has been winning race after race after race. But Rea, a softly-spoken Northern Irishman, has been smart enough to collect wins when he could and points when he couldn’t and took the title with a race to spare. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds next year! – Nigel Paterson

Email us your feedback feedback@cycletorque.com.au


DIRTY TORQUE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 18

2017’s Fastest 2016 is done and dusted but the 2017 Motocross and Supercross seasons kick off in just a matter of weeks with the opening round of the AMA Supercross Championships at Anaheim, January 7, and from there we moto fans get to enjoy the racing from across the globe.

Harrison, Dylan Ferrandis, Scott Champion, Zach Osborne, Martin Davalos and Aussie Jackson Richardson. Predicting a winner of the East or West Coast series at this stage is impossible but you can bet that the racing for the podium at every round will be breathtaking.

The 17-round AMA Supercross Championship has several points of interest for 2017 with Ken Roczen’s move to the factory Honda Team being one of the critical talking points during the off-season.

Now, take all of those riders (minus Chad Reed) and throw them into the 12-round AMA Motocross Championship which starts in May and ends in August, and you will have more action than a Bruce Willis blockbuster.

Honda hasn’t won an AMA 450 title since 2004 so they threw the cheque book at Roczen to secure the hottest rider on the planet right now. The German will have close company from the in-form Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac and let’s not forget that Cooper Webb is now 450-mounted alongside Chad Reed in the Yamaha team. Webb has a way of getting to the pointy end of any field in a short period so there won’t be any first season jitters from the youngster.

The 20-round World Motocross Championship starts at the end of February with all eyes on the arrival of Jeffrey Herlings into the 450cc MXGP class and you can bet the likes of Tim Gasjer and Romain Febvre are champing at the bit to bang ’bars with the multi MX2 World Champ.

Throw in the Stewarts, Justin Barcia, Cole Seely, Marvin Musquin, Trey Canard, Jason Anderson, Josh Grant, Blake Baggett, Justin Bogle, Davi Milsaps, Phil Nicoletti, Christophe Pourcel, Benny Blose, Mike Alessi, Broc Tickle, Justin Brayton, Dean Wilson and Weston Peick and you have the hottest 450 field for quite a few years. It would be a brave man to bet against a Roczen, Dungey or Tomac championship when they hit Vegas. In the 250 class you have the experienced duo of Jeremy and Alex Martin taking on a plethora of talent including RJ Hampshire, Christian Craig, Jimmy Decotis, Joey Savatgy, Austin Forkner, Chris Alldredge, Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Hill, Mitchell Oldenburg, Tyler Bowers, Shane Email us your McElrath, Jordon Smith, Aaron feedback Plessinger, Colt Nichols, Mitchell feedback@cycletorque.com.au

Antonio Cairoli, Max Nagl, Evgeny Bobryshev, Gautier Paulin, Valentin Guillod, Jeremy Vanhorebeek, Glenn Coldenhoff, Tommy Searle, Arnaud Tonus, Clement Desalle, Jordi Tixier, Max Anstie, Kevin Strijbos, Arminas Jasikonis and Rui Goncalves are all capable of running at the front but for mind it will come down to Herlings, Gasjer or Febvre for the title. The MX2 class is wide open with Herlings, Max Anstie and Dylan Ferrandis out of the picture but 2016 Vice Champion Jeremy Seewer will have to deal with Thomas Covington, Pauls Jonass, Brian Bogers, Hunter Lawrence, Caleb Ward, Conrad Mewse, Thomas Kjer Olsen, Darian Sanayei and Jorge Prado-Garcia if he wants to go one better in 2017. Locally the Australian MX Nationals will once again offer 10 rounds of racing throughout Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia starting in early April, finishing midAugust with the rivalry between Dean Ferris, Todd Waters and Kirk Gibbs set to continue for another year with Kade Mosig, Jay Wilson, Jess Dobson and Dylan Long all looking to get among the winners circle throughout the season.

Dean Ferris

In the MX2 class we see 2016 champion Jed Beaton and vice champion Caleb Ward heading to Europe leaving Nathan Crawford to finish off what he was so close to achieving in 2016, while Jayden Rykers, Wade Hunter, Wilson Todd, Dylan Wills, Mitchell Evans and Cooper Pozniak (to name a few) will having something for the factory Husqvarna rider during the long series. After the MX Nationals the revamped Australian Supercross Championship takes place during October and November culminating in the highly successful AUS-X in Sydney where a great series is capped off with a world class event. All that aside, we also have the New Zealand, Canadian, French, Netherlands, Belgian, Italian, Switzerland, Spanish, Swedish, Czech Republic, Irish, Russian, British, Japanese, South African, Estonian, Mexican, Lithuanian, Danish and Austrian championships to enjoy so lookout, 2017 is going to be a cracker! – Darren Smart


RACE TORQUE

Green Shoots Two recent Race Torque columns declaring club road racing dead in Australia was a big call. In turn I received a call from former gun racer Garry Thomas about what I wrote. He agreed with most of the things I said but he had a story to tell, and it’s a good one – junior road racing on go-kart tracks promoted by North Coast Road Racers Club in NSW. It’s been quite a journey. Garry revealed that he, Ken Shephard, Matt Adamson and MNSW Junior Advisory Council Member Tony Hatton had spent several years working to get a road racing class up for 9-11 year-old rookies and 12-15 juniors. They received approval from the NSW Department of Sport & Recreation in 2014, and the first meeting was held at Lismore.

The series is run on 1.5km limited go-kart tracks at Lismore, Grafton and Tamworth, and limited to 85cc two-strokes and 150cc four-strokes. After retiring from racing in 1980, Garry has devoted decades of his time to officiating before turning his hand to race-series development. “I’ve been doing the Australian Grand Prix since the first one, and I’ve done every world Superbike round bar one. Rob Madden got me doing seminars up the north coast for race officials, and now I’ve got the junior series going. We saw the success that Hatto had with the Moriwaki series in the late 90s, which developed so many top racers. We obviously have track licences for the circuits mentioned, but I hope to get go-kart tracks at Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Eastern Creek and Mount Kembla involved too.” Two talents to have emerged from the series are Tom Edwards, who Email us your contested the 2016 Shell Advance feedback Asia Talent Cup, and Keegan feedback@cycletorque.com.au

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 20 Images by Holtys Photos

of the Golden Era of racing including Warren Willing and Rick Perry, has folded. But it has folded in a good way, merging its remaining assets with the North Coast Road Racers Club. Johnson, but according to Garry, “The numbers have been smaller than expected, but we’re hoping to build. Having Tom and Keegan kick off in our series shows that it can be a pathway for riders with elite potential,” Garry said. “We encourage any eligible kid to bring along their motocross or dirt-track bike and have a go on tar. If you have something else, that’s fine too. The kart tracks are the perfect environment to learn how to ride and race on tar – not too fast, but plenty of corners and braking. That’s something the dirt-trackers and MX riders learn pretty quickly; you have to use the front brake on the bitumen! A few people think that go-kart tracks are a bit Mickey Mouse, but an 800m track is a lot longer than you think on these types of bike, and for rookie and junior riders.” And it’s cheap too. Garry says entry fees are $60 and most riders are eligible for 8-10 races. That’s what I call value. The second bit of news Garry had for me was sad yet positive. It underlines, however, the state of racing in Australia in the country’s largest city. One of the biggest clubs in Sydney, Ryde District MCC, of which Garry was a long-time member along with many other big names

The closure of Ryde does highlight the current struggle of long-established Sydney clubs to survive, attract members and promote events. St George is the only Sydney club promoting road race meetings when eight clubs hosted these events in the 1980s. There are more green shoots sprouting in other parts of Australia. The Sports Riders Club in Tasmania is successfully blending track-day and race events at Baskerville, Tasmania. The way of the future? Maybe. South Australia’s most famous club Phoenix has worked hard to promote road racing. It successfully ran the Junior State Championships from 2008-2010 as well as the national sidecar championships from 2009-2012. In 2011, it resurrected the Adelaide Three-Hour but this time at Mallala. It is now a relay race, and boasts a whopping $10,000 prizemoney. It’s no surprise that in 2015 that kind of dosh attracted the likes of Josh and Brodie Waters, Steve Martin, Daniel Falzon, Dave Johnson, Paul Young and Chas Hern. More green shoots please! – Darryl Flack


GUNTRIP

Closing time It’s Sunday morning. Outside the sun is shining, and I can hear groups of bikes moving west on the highway on the first leg of whatever recreational loop they’re taking. I won’t be joining them. I haven’t been out for a few Sundays now, and I can’t quite see one in the near future.

But if I didn’t get any more Sunday rides I’d have no cause for complaint. Recently I wrote elsewhere about the first I can remember, on an 80cc Suzuki through a bitter English winter’s morning to my first race meeting, at Mallory Park – and that was a few months short of a half a century ago. As a kid, I made my way up the capacity scale gradually, via the inevitable 250cc two-strokes. I made a wrong turn when I bought a CB400F Honda rather than an RD400 Yamaha, but by then it was too late to worry about it; I had a job at AMCN and the world was full of open-class bikes. After a brief apprenticeship on the office Z650 Kawasaki, life was about Suzuki GSX1100s and GPz1100s, then Honda CB1100Rs. I didn’t enjoy struggling with quarter-ton deadweight 1100s, but soon the Yamaha RD350LC came along and suddenly everyone was smiling again.

Email us your feedback

There were plenty of arresting headlines coming from the racetrack. We were by then deep into the American era that began with Kenny Roberts and ended with Kevin Schwantz. It was a shame Australian domestic competition went into decline

feedback@cycletorque.com.au

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 21

soon after. Anyone around during the early 1980s, with the Australian calendar was packed from one end to the other with Production racing, Superbikes, the ARRC and Bathurst, will be unlikely to forget it. There’s not much left of all that now, but hats off to the FIM for taking the bold decision to replace 500cc GP two-strokes with 1000cc four-strokes to revive GP racing. I don’t think anyone could quibble about the quality of grand prix these days, even if we seem to have exchanged the traditional breed of racing hard men for 20-year-old flyweights who might look happier racing horses. I left full-time bike journalism towards the end of Mick Doohan’s reign and my bank balance has since reaped the benefit, even if I haven’t had quite so much fun. In my day bike magazines had a tendency to be run on squeaky-tight budgets; the enthusiasm of its staff was always a vital if unquantified factor on the balance sheet. And that’s okay for a while. You can do 15-hour deadline days, for years if need be, and only become aware of a developing problem when you begin sleeping for whole days afterwards or become unaccountably cranky when the telephone rings. It’s time to go when that happens, or at least take

a step back and let the next generation get on with it while you try to work out what it means to be described as a ‘veteran journalist’. True, in some ways journalism has been a natural fit for me: I like getting to the bottom of things, to paint as full a picture as possible, even if I’ve never been much good at getting into the face of a complete stranger and demanding his story then and there, regardless of circumstances. At the end of this career, like so many others, it’s about the memories, the good people, the great times – and the bikes that made the headlines: the Ducati 916, those hysterical LC Yamahas; and for me, my old steel-framed CBR600R and that little MuZ I was so fond of. The people: Mike Esdaile, Fraser Stronach, Paul Sattler, Mike Hanlon, Jamie McIlwraith, Jeff Fereday, Peter Smith, Jeremy, and, of course, Nigel at Cycle Torque, who had an idea a few years back about a free magazine – and we all know how that turned out. I’ve been in bike journalism for 36 years, with Cycle Torque for around half that time. By my count this is column number 213, and that’s more than enough. It’s been fun and great to have you along for the ride; but it’s high time someone else had a go. As for me, I’ve still got my Triumph, so I’ll see you on the road. Probably on a fine Sunday morning such as this. – Bob Guntrip


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2017 Husqvarna Enduro range CYCLE TORQUE LAUNCH

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Hard Chargers


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The entire Husqvarna Enduro range has been updated…


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CYCLE TORQUE LAUNCH FE 250

FE 350

FE 450

FE 501

TE 250

TE 300

Hard Chargers N REPORT BY ALEX PICKETT, PICS BY NIGEL PATERSON

IN 2017, Husqvarna has taken on a whole new approach to its FE (four-stroke) and TE (two-stroke) enduro range, heavily basing them on its motocross machines. With changes such as a totally-redesigned frame, a more compact engine, new front suspension in the way of the new WP XPLOR 48 series forks, a lighter carbon-fibre reinforced polymer sub frame, three-stage traction control system, the four-stroke range is very much leading the way in dirt bike technology. For the die-hard two-stroke enthusiasts, comprehensive engine changes including a redesigned balancer shaft to reduce the vibrations twostokes have been known for across the board make them easier to get the best out of.

WATCH VIDEO NOW

FE Range All of Husqvarna’s 2017 FE enduro machines feature a redesigned engine aimed at reaching new levels of performance and reliability. Focused on providing enduro-specific and rider-friendly power characteristics, all the engines are lighter and more compact than earlier models. The traction control system is fitted as standard, allowing for further adjustment of engine characteristics, so riders now have a tool which goes a long way to cope with their ability and the off-road conditions they throw at their machine. A new 42mm throttle body sees its injector placed to provide an even more efficient flow of fuel to the combustion chamber. All four-stroke models are also

fitted with updated header pipes and shorter mufflers, which are now placed 50mm closer to the engine. The gearbox with enduro-friendly ratios now has a gear sensor that allows for specific engine mapping for each gear. These engine updates range from new crankshafts to newly designed cylinder heads derived from Moto3, while there are also significant weight savings, ranging from 700g to 1.7kg through the various models in the new 2017 FE enduro range. Continued on next page


2017 Husqvarna Enduro range CYCLE TORQUE LAUNCH Since I haven’t ridden an enduro bike for quite a decent amount of time I thought it was a good idea to start on the little brother of the FE range, the FE250. With its new chassis, new engine and lighter weight, this bike is a gem. Generally when I look at enduro bikes I look straight past the 250 because of my size. I have always thought they would have been a bit small and would have opted for something along the lines of the 350, but man was I impressed. It has great handling, the new WP XPLOR 48 series forks work a treat and the new engine has plenty of poke. I liked the fact I could ride it hard without being intimidated or getting loose and tired. Whether you’re a novice enduro rider or someone who has a lot of experience who is looking for a small-bore fourstroke you should seriously look at one of these.

Next up was the FE350 and after a lap on the enduro loop Husqvarna laid out I can understand why this size of engine is king of the kids and everybody wants one. It has the perfect balance between power, weight and ease of use. The FE350’s engine has the delivery and throttle response of the 250, but with broad tractable performance rivalling a 450. For 2017 the engine weighs 700g less than the previous design and is also 20mm shorter. The FE350 features the new six-speed enduro-only gearbox and the low friction shifter fork coating makes gearshifts effortless, even when charging up steep rocky hills. With the help of these and the new traction control system, you can predict this size of bike is going to be at the forefront of enduro bikes for many years to come. I was able to then ride the FE450 and FE501 back-to-back. These machines are absolute weapons. It was on these two machines you could notice traction control the most. On the 250 and 350, traction control seemed like a nice addition for someone who might need it – nearly everyone below an expert level racer will benefit in at least some conditions by having this new technology on the 450 and 501. As a clubman-class rider, I found the traction control awesome on the new FE450 and FE501. Even though I was able to feel like a wheelie king with it on, the traction control was a big help in sticky situations, preventing the bike from spinning out and doing a 360 everytime you get on the gas or climbed up steep rocky hills. As with the rest the new Husky enduro range, the two biggest of the bunch also score the new frame, more compact engines, WP XPLOR 48 forks and so on.

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TE Range Next on the agenda are the new TE250 and TE300 oil burners. Two-stroke enduro bikes have fallen from favour in general over the last decade or so, but with these new machines they might convert some people back. For 2017, 90 per cent of Husqvarna’s two-stroke enduro range is brand new, sharing almost all the updates the TC (motocross) and TX (recreational rego) two-strokes received. The “E” in TE represents enduro in the Husky line-up so the all-new engine uses a six-speed gearbox instead of five. Like the TC and TX, the clutch is 4mm higher (out of the oil for less drag) and the crankshaft is 19.5mm higher, moving mass closer to the centre of gravity. The cylinder head has new transfer and exhaust ports. One of the coolest features to the new 2017 two stroke engine is the counter balancer, which Husqvarna claims reduces vibration by more than 50 per cent. Another great thing about these bikes is they are still fed by a an old-school carby, in this case a new Mikuni TX 38. Also the TE250/350 comes standard with a map switch on the right side of the handlebars. Setting ‘1’ is standard while setting ‘2’ is less aggressive and more suited for slippery conditions. For me the TE250 was simply the most fun bike to ride on the day because it had enough poke for it to be a whole heap of fun without being ‘too much’. It felt almost like a big wheel 85 on steroids allowing you to chuck it around wherever you wanted and it was so easy to ride. The 300, despite only being a little bigger in capacity, was quite a different animal. This is a seriously fast machine and will even test the best of riders. Although there are numerous changes to the 2017 TE enduro range, reducing the vibration like with counterbalancing has made the biggest difference to the ride. After a whole day riding these mega-machines, I can say they are far from being just ‘different-coloured KTMs’. Although there are similarities, the new bikes feel like they come from a manufacturer of their own again, and a seriously impressive one at that. n

For all the 2017 Husqvarna Specifications go to www.cycletorque.com.au/huskyspecs17

Continued on next page


2017 Husqvarna Enduro range CYCLE TORQUE LAUNCH

GALLERY

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GALLERY

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2016 Ducati 959 Panigale CYCLE TORQUE TEST

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Superpriced Superbike


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It’s a piece of Italian Exotica at an affordable price…


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CYCLE TORQUE TEST

Superpriced Superbike

WATCH VIDEO NOW

N TESTED BY NIGEL PATERSON, PHOTOS: COURTESY DUCATI

THERE IS something very special about Ducati’s 8-valve sportsbikes. The basis for Ducati’s Superbike racers, the desmodromic valve liquidcooled machines are expensive, high maintenance bikes with stiff suspension, an uncompromising riding position, useless mirrors, ridiculous pillion accommodation while also being noisy, cantankerous, a hassle in traffic and prone to failure. Just like a Supercar, only cheaper. Put me down for a couple. Because, on the other hand, they are also incredibly rewarding to ride fast, that uncomfortable riding position feels perfect when your knee skims the bitumen, the hard suspension providing incredible feedback when flipping through a set of S-bends, that cantankerous engine howling as it heads toward redline and the sense of satisfaction a sportsbike rider feels after conquering a winding road or track on an 8-valve Ducati something to be savoured. For all their compromises – and there are less now with the current Panigales than ever – a Ducati Supersport is a machine every sportsbike fan should own before they are too decrepit to ride one.

Out with the 899 The 959 Panigale replaces the 899 Panigale… Ducati had to update its smaller Superbike because it didn’t comply with the latest European noise and emission laws. With a more-restrictive exhaust a new 899 would have been down on power and torque compared to the older model, so rather than suffer that fate, Ducati redesigned the bike and built the 959. There are many, many changes, but luckily

Australian’s don’t get the awful ‘shotgun’ exhaust some markets have to put up with – we still have the underslung MotoGP-style muffler. The 959 adopts the 1299’s silhouette, with a wider front fairing and screen for improved aerodynamics, split tailpiece design, new mirrors and improved footpegs among the changes. Increasing the engine stroke has increased capacity to 955cc, producing 157hp at 10,500rpm – 48 down on the 1299. Interestingly though, it’s the same claimed power output as the Honda RC211V-S, the limited-edition street-legal MotoGP replica, which

Continued on next page


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costs $244,000 and weighs 170kg dry. You have to put up with an extra 6kg with the 959 Panigale, but you’ll save $224,100.

There’s modern technology in the build, too, with vacuum die-cast consistent thickness engine cases to be light and strong. The large valves are actuated through a racing-derived rocker arm system and are coated with a Diamond-Like Coating for reduced friction and increased fatigue strength. The piston pins and crown also have DLC.

Or you could buy yourself a 959 Panigale ($19,900+ORC) and one each for 11 of your mates, and still have money for tyres. For those of us who don’t buy bikes for our mates, let alone have 11 of them, you do get a lot of technology if you choose to spend your hardearned on a 959 Panigale. There’s Ducati’s quickshifter, various riding modes, ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, ABS and engine braking control.

955cc L-Twin Ducati concentrated on making the 959 Panigale a better ride than earlier models, so although power is up overall, it’s in the mid-range where the improvements to power delivery are most noticeable. It’s an angry motor, especially when you choose Race mode, with snappy power delivery and a quick response to any rider input – which is just how a high-end Superbike should be. It feels like the lumpy-cammed race bike it’s derived from. Ducati claims the desmo valve actuation system – which mechanically opens and close the valves, rather then using valve springs – means

Feeding the engine are two throttle bodies per cylinder inside oval throttle bodies with an effective diameter of 62mm. The throttle bodies are positioned above and below the butterfly and are controlled independently by the Ride-By-Wire electronic throttle.

more aggressive cam profiles can be used. This gives the aggressive feel to the motor which Ducati has tamed in the Multistradas with variable valve timing – but we don’t want that exciting, adrenalinpumping feel taken away from Ducati’s sportsbikes. Modern technology means you can tame the beast a bit by selecting sport or wet modes though, which tone down the throttle response somewhat, making it that bit more relaxed and easy to ride in traffic and at road-legal speeds. To increase the capacity Ducati engineers designed and built longer con-rods, increasing the stroke from 57.2mm to 60.8mm. With an unchanged bore of 100mm, it’s still a massively oversquare engine, and still revs to five figures in a heartbeat.

Power is pushed through a servo-assisted slipper clutch. Derived from the 1299’s, the clutch features a progressive self-servo mechanism which compresses the friction plates when under drive, producing a lighter feel at the lever. The same mechanism reduces friction when the slipper-clutch action is required during aggressive downshifting, so it is less prone to lock charging into turns.

The electronics Assisting the slipper clutch into turns is the Engine Braking Control (EBC). By monitoring the forces acting on the rear wheel as well as throttle position, gear and crankshaft deceleration, the EBC uses the injection system to manage the amount of engine braking provided – and the ride can choose between three settings. Ducati’s Quick Shift comprises a microswitch in the linkage which sends a signal to the ECU during


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CYCLE TORQUE TEST

SPECIFICATIONS:

upshifts which cuts fuel to the injection system, producing seamless gear changes. The system can be switched off, but I’m buggered if I know why you’d want to – maybe if you’re stuck in your ways and want to commute on a 959? We’ve used the Ducati eight-level traction control on many of the company’s sportsbikes and remain impressed with the system, as we are with the three-level ABS. There are three riding modes – Race, Sport and Wet. Race is, of course, the most aggressive in terms of engine responsiveness, however it also set the traction control to a low degree of intrusiveness, sets the ABS to front only and sets the engine braking to sport-oriented. Sport mode is simply tamer across most of the electronics. It still provides the full 157hp, but with a tamer throttle response. ABS operates on both wheels. In wet mode the throttle response is even tamer again and output is reduced to 100hp. Maximum levels of traction control and the ABS is set to maximum. Although it’s called wet, it’s really also a good road mode, especially in traffic, offering the greatest protection from mistakes – either by the rider or another road user.

Ancillaries To reduce costs, the 959 Panigale doesn’t get the TFT colour instruments of the 1299, having to make do with black on white LCD. Comprehensive in the information it provides, the instrument panel is

also there to show you information when changing modes or the customisable electronics. An option for the instruments is the Ducati Data Analyser+ with GPS function (DDA+ GPS). This unit evaluates the performance of the bike and rider. It uses GPS to record laptimes, throttle openings, speed, engine speed, gear and traction control usage. The 959’s aluminium monocoque chassis is changed from the 899’s. The swingarm pivot is lower and the wheelbase longer while the rake and trail stay the same, so the steering is slightly slower. Weight bias is 51/49 front/rear.

2016 DUCATI 959 PANIGALE ENGINE: Liquid-cooled 90-degree L-twin with four valves per cylnder, desmodromic actuation CAPACITY: 955cc TRANSMISSION: 6-speed w/quickshift DRIVE TYPE: Chain drive FUEL CAPACITY: 17L FRAME: Alloy monocoque SEAT HEIGHT: 830mm WEIGHT: 176kg Dry FRONT SUSPENSION: Fully adjustable Showa BPF fork. 43 mm chromed inner tubes

Ducati can’t provide the less-expensive superbike model in its range with all the best gear, but this model does get Showa’s Big Piston Forks, a modern development hailed as the latest and greatest by some manufacturers. There’s also an adjustable steering damper standard.

REAR SUSPENSION: Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Aluminum double-sided swingarm

At the rear is an offset Sachs shock acting on the twin-sided swingarm.

PRICE: $19,900 +ORC

Brakes are by Brembo, but again, they aren’t the top-of-the-line units, but rather the M4.32 monobloc calipers acting on 320mm discs at the front and 245mm rear.

The ride Before throwing a leg over a Panigale, you should have a long, hard look. Is there a more purposefullooking machine? It’s doing 100mph on the sidestand. The sculptured bodywork is incredibly sexy and the style of the machine begs to be tamed.

BRAKES: F: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc M4.32 4-piston callipers; R: 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, Bosch ABS TYRES: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa 120/70ZR17 & 180/60ZR17 CALL FOR A QUOTE

1800 24 34 64

Although the 959 isn’t built to win races – that’s the job of the 1299 – the racing heritage is there. The riding position is racer crouch. It was just what I expected, nothing more, nothing less. If you complain of comfort on the Panigale, you’re riding the wrong bike. The suspension is firm out of the crate and you’ll chase your tail trying to set it up for rough Australian roads – but on smoother surfaces it is an absolute weapon.


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The price of Panigale Fire up the L-Twin and you are rewarded with a thumping sports engine at low revs, a howler with the taps open. This isn’t a bike for straight line blasts – buy a Diavel for that – but for the twists and turns which give meaning to a sportsbike rider’s life. The 959 Panigale loves those corners. It handles beautifully in slow, medium and fast bends and flicks through esses with a minimum of rider input. Yes, it’s been designed with racetracks in mind and doesn’t like potholed, lumpy or loose surfaces – if you spend real time on roads like those, buy a Multistrada. The 959 Panigale is about the sport, about going fast on good roads and tracks, and in that environment this is a superb motorcycle. n

THE BIKES which have been the basis for Ducati’s Superbikes have always been expensive, from the first 8-valve Ducati 851s of the late 1980s to the current 1299 Panigale, you’ve required deep pockets to enjoy the best from Italy. The cost was in research and development, in running World Championship winning race teams, in staying ahead of the game and producing cutting-edge new machines every few years. Ducati management isn’t stupid though, and understands there are many riders out there who realise they don’t need the highest performance, the latest technology, the most horsepower. Riders who love Ducati’s racing machines and aspire to own one, but also cannot justify the cost of the best. This is why Ducati has built a smaller version of its Superbike, at least since the days of the 916. First the 748 and 749, which were also raced in Superstock classes, but since the 848 actually racing these bikes is rare, because they often end up on the same grid as the 1299 Panigale. Which is plain stupid, because the smaller Superbikes haven’t just had a smaller engine capacity, they have also had lowerspecification components, mainly in the suspension. So who wants a racetrack refugee which can’t be competitively raced, doesn’t have the latest and greatest suspension, weighs in around the same as its more famous big brother and produces considerable less power and torque?

The smart riders. Yes, the smart riders are the people who buy the smaller Ducati Superbikes, the men and women who understand going fast on public roads and at track days isn’t really about more power or fancier suspension – unless you’re an elite rider, you’re only likely to be a fraction of a second quicker around most Australian racetracks on a 1299 Panigale compared to the new 959 Panigale. But you save thousands, and if you tipped those thousands into rider training, track time and tyres, I reckon most riders would be quicker through better technique and experience than they’d ever been on a 1299. For a start, it’s less intimidating. The 959 produces plenty of power, heaps more than the top of the range Ducatis from a few years back. Its Showa suspension might not be as good or as high spec as the units in the 1299, but it’s still very, very capable. Ducati has been selling its small superbike for $20,000-odd dollars since the 748, 20-odd years ago. That bike was considered to be a bargain, despite being thousands more than litre-class Japanese sportsbikes, because it was around five grand cheaper than the 916. Fast-forward to today and the 959 is still around 20 grand. You can choose a red one with black wheel ($19,900+dealer delivery etc) or get Ducati’s special white paint and pay an extra $500. The 1299 Panigale is 28K. Japanese litre class bikes are also around the 20K mark. Ducati’s done a lot to make its Superbikes cheaper to own, too. Service intervals are longer – the valvle clearace only need checking every 24,000k – the bikes are easier to work on and the build quality has gone through the roof.


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A b s o l ut e . Pre m ium. Pro tectio n. www.wileyx.com.au/motorcycle


Explore DISCOVER

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*Terms & conditions apply: Available at participating Kawasaki Jet Ski dealers only. A fuel card will be sent to the purchaser via the dealership the Jet Ski was purchased from. Promotion starts 1/11/16, for full promotion dates refer to www.kawasaki.com.au. Jet Ski is to be collected from the dealership prior to the end date to be eligible for the promotion. The 3 year warranty will be activated at the time of purchase through the dealership completing the warranty registration process. Fuel amount is in the form of a fuel card from Caltex.

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Yamaha XSR900 CYCLE TORQUE TEST

Postmodern Pinnacle


Yamaha XSR900 CYCLE TORQUE TEST

Yamaha’s retro XSR has as just many modern features as any other bike made in 2016. With impressive performance also matching its retro good looks, has Yamaha created the ultimate naked?


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Postmodern Pinnacle

WATCH VIDEO NOW

N TESTED BY RYAN GRUBB, PHOTOS: NIGEL PATERSON N RYAN WEARS SHARK CARBON HELMET, SEGURA NOMAD JACKET, SEGURA GOOZE GLOVES, DRAGGIN JEANS AND FALCO SNEAKERS.

When Yamaha re-released the SR400 in Australia in 2014 the company made a big statement. Yamaha, like many manufacturers at the time, were sensing retro and custom style is back, but each had a different approach. Yamaha put its money on the table with one of its most successful models ever built. It made sense because riders have been customising SRs since day dot and it was still technically being produced for the Asian market. What they maybe didn’t realise at the time was another model, the XS650, was arguably more popular with budding builders and customisers because second hand models weren’t as sought after as SRs. The XS650 variants have been well and truly out of production for decades, but it was significant at the time - one of the first bikes to feature horizontallysplit crankcases, and the gearbox and engine were constructed as one unit. For 2016, Yamaha decided to harness the ethos of the XS in one of its modern nakeds, the MT09, calling it an XSR (the R is for Yamaha’s sports

heritage), and on looks alone, they have done fine work. Unlike the reborn SR and antiquated XS, this XSR is completely postmodern. It looks like brand new bike, with new styling, tipping its cap to yesteryear rather than replicating it. Aesthetically, the classic silhouette drawn from the tank to the seat, as well as the round headlight and lack of wind protection are the biggest points of difference. Look further and you will see many parts which wouldn’t be out of place on any modern bike. There’s upside down forks, twin disc front end, cast wheels, banana swingarm, diamond section aluminium frame and digital instruments. This XSR is mostly blacked out except for effective touches of hand-

finished aluminium with the tank, radiator side covers, rearsets, headlight bracket, seat bracket, rear fender and exhaust tip. Yamaha calls it ‘Garage Metal’. Another scheme is available in blue called ‘Rock Slate’ and both look equally as good. Overall, the styling definitely reserved, which should see it appeal to a wide range of motorcyclists. My initial feedback from the bike is the XSR’s seating position and ergos are spot on. My legs’ insatiable thirst for an accommodating ’peg to seat distance has been quenched, like bucket of Gatorade being poured over a grand final winning coach. Likewise the distance to the ‘bars - which work in unison with the ’pegs and seat to lock in the rider’s lower half, sitting slightly forward of upright and into the Continued on nexton page Continued next page


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wind. This makes riding in all (relatively) civilised conditions that much better: commuting isn’t a compromise; longer distances are much more achievable and forgiving; and approaching the twists with fervour is a delight, because you haven’t contorted yourself to get there. But the XSR900 needs more than just a great riding position to be able to achieve the task most people need three bikes for. For a modern retro bike to be taken seriously, it has to have the ability to put the fear of god into the rider. As most parts come from Yamaha’s MT platform, feel rest assured the XSR’s performance is abundantly wild. In A Mode, the throttle response is diametrically opposed, and I’m not sure if it’s because almost every other modern retro doesn’t pack this much punch, but A mode borders on too much stonk for this style of bike and how it will be mostly ridden. If you know what you’re doing and where to do it, you will absolutely love A Mode. But still, you will use it sparingly. If you don’t, you will find the XSR has a tendency to chain snatch and be an uncooperative, cranky beast. Standard Mode is much more user-friendly and is where I would spend just about all of my time riding. It still stirs the soul with low to mid-range grunt, but the throttle response is more intuitive, the map like a slingshot, allowing the rider to be less critical over its input at low speed. The cantankerous nature of the bike from A Mode to Standard all but disappears too. B Mode is no slouch either, again it’s tamer than Standard, and to be honest I wouldn’t be disappointed with this setting if the XSR arrived out

of the crate without rider modes. For me, B Mode is also pretty well suited for all riding conditions, specifically ordinary roads and poorer conditions. Whilst a modern retro should be able to go extremely fast, it must also handle. And handle it does. The high wide ’bars are not only accommodating but provide plenty of leverage to make low speed handling really easy with good throttle control. At speed, tipping into corners requires little thought or effort and banging down the gears with the new assist and slipper clutch is a guilty pleasure.

The front suspension felt complaint over most surfaces, and riders of the MT-09 will find it has stiffer forks and updated valving. I haven’t ridden the MT-09, so I can’t compare them, but I think Yamaha has gotten it right. Same goes with the rear, there’s no squatting from a lack of compression or a broken tailbone from too much, nor is there a lack of feel from the rebound damping. Like the front, the XSR also has revised valving on the rear shock. The 180-section rear tyre is a great choice and is a good compromise between authenticity, handling and performance. It makes enough difference Continued on nexton page Continued next page


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to feel it’s not a 190 rear when you look to gas it towards the corner-exit, but the lack of confidence I felt was simply a case of mind over matter with the throttle on my behalf. ABS is standard on the XSR900 which is a great safety backup, as are the brakes great themselves. The initial bite is solid and feedback through the adjustable lever is superb. The traction control system is simplistic which I really like for this style of bike. There’s no menus to navigate, which would in a way ruin the experience of the retro side of things. Instead a switch on the left block controls low (1) and high intervention (2), and a button on the dash turns it off altogether. High intervention hits the nail on the head, which was too intrusive for me. It made controlling a wheel stand from a take-off much harder than expected (I thought traction control was off!), with the front end pogoing because it would intervene every time the front lifted, repeating itself as soon as the wheel touched down again. This made it increasingly harder to get off the gas, and kept popping up until I managed to regain control. Felt less at higher speeds with taller gears, the front end lofted over a crest in the road nicely beforehand, coming back down to earth, and staying there. After that experience, I switched traction control to its lowest intervening setting at level 1, but I didn’t have the figs to take it to the limit on a public road again. I suppose you only have to take one look at the other bikes made from this platform to realise why it is as capable as it is in a variety of settings. If I could only own one bike, at the moment, I’d have

to say this would be it. There’s everyday good looks for city riding, enough comfort to cope with long days in the saddle, as well as serious output for the twists. One compromise is the 14-litre tank which would certainly break up a long day in the saddle with re-fuelling. The only thing I would immediately change is add some wind protection in the form of the sexy bikini fairing… you know the one. It’s degree of effectiveness may only be slight, but nothing else would suit the bike as well. I would possibly look to see if the MT-09/Tracer panniers could be fitted too. If not, a set of throwover panniers for me would possibly see the XSR the closest bike to a unicorn yet.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 YAMAHA XSR900

In a way, Yamaha can be criticised for playing it too safe with the XSR900 by completely basing it off the MT-09. Yep, it is reserved, a styling exercise, a way of cutting costs… Though in other ways, it’s not. With what is presumably better suspension, a slipper clutch, traction control and ABS brakes, the XSR900 has more modern features than the ‘modern’ MT-09 did when it came out, two years ago. The current MT-09 now has most of these features too, but won’t completely until we see the 2017 model. In reality, as a complete bike, does it really matter? No. This is the way a modern retro should be built. Not in the looks department, because they all look good… but in the modern performance side of things. A digital tacho and ABS is about as ‘cutting

ENGINE: Liquid-cooled in-line triple CAPACITY: 847cc TRANSMISSION: Six-speed DRIVE TYPE: Chain drive FUEL CAPACITY: 14L FRAME: Diamond CF aluminium SEAT HEIGHT: 830mm WEIGHT: 196kg Wet FRONT SUSPENSION: Upside down forks, 137mm travel REAR SUSPENSION: Single shock with pre-load and rebound adjustment, 130mm travel BRAKES: F: 298mm hydraulic dual discs with ABS; R: 245mm hydraulic single disc with ABS TYRES: F: 120/70 ZR-17; R: 180/55 ZR-17 PRICE: $12,999 +ORC CALL FOR A QUOTE

1800 24 34 64 edge’ as you will find on some other modern retro bikes and with the XSR being at the pinnacle with the most modern of them all, it might just be enough motorcycle to make us remember why all those old ones died in the first place. n

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Yamaha XSR900 CYCLE TORQUE TEST

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December wouldn’t be the season to be jolly without our annual gift guide! So we here at Cycle Torque scoured the ends of the earth to find great Christmas present ideas. It’s a hard job but hey, someone’s gotta do it! There are so many great things to choose from, some of which we undoubtedly have missed because we simply do not have the room in the magazine for it. Whether there’s something here which takes you or your beloved’s fancy, the only way to make sure you have the whole family covered is to pay a (another) visit to your local bike shop this month! Continued on next page


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Give someone a Revz!

Just arrived! Kwala kids lids

Kwala’s JR Nano Helmet is a genuine kids-sized lid with its shell optimised for your young one. With a superb fit and excellent value for money, the Kwala is a great gift for kids this Christmas. The Kwala JR Nano is available in yellow/red and yellow/blue, is ABS constructed with AS/NZS 1698 approval and sizes range from XXS to L. Price: $125 Get them from: Better bike shops More info: motonational.com.au

Draggin has released a classic looking Revz denim riding jean as part of the Next-Gen range. The Revz are made from a stretchy blue denim and feature a breathable silicone coating, plus the jean will age and develop its own unique creases and curves. The Revs are also sports lined to keep away moisture and provide comfort. The slim-leg fit has plenty of stretch to ride over boots or tucked inside. The Revs are a mens style, but Draggin also make great riding denim for women and kids. Price: $319 Get them from: Call (03) 9646 0377; More info: dragginjeans.net

DNA Air Filter

A DNA high performance air filter allows your bike to breathe a bit easier and one of the cheapest ways to increase your bike’s performance which makes it great for Xmas! Kenma has announced it has a DNA air filter available for the new Triumph Speed Triple R, tested last month. DNA claims it increases are flow by over 13 per cent. Price $145 Get them from: Better bike shops More info: kenma.com.au

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Comfortable seating There are a few routes you can go down with seat options to have a comfier ride for either yourself or a pillion. 1

1 No Scrubs

Does your seat need some TLC? Australian Comfy Motorcycle Seats has over 40 years experience in upholstering and providing motorcyclists with ideas on making improvements to their riding comfort, seat repairs and seat cover replacement on many motorcycles and scooters. ACMS also has options for individuals that would like to customise their motorcycle seat. Based in Melbourne, you only need to bring your seat into ACMS and discuss options and requirements. ACMS will do the rest. Price: Various Availability/more info: acmseats.com.au or (03) 9306 6940

2 AirHawk does aftermarket

AirHawk is now the exclusive importer of the R1200GS/GSA air seats with low and standard height seats in stock. AirHawk’s air cushion system eliminates pressure points and will contour its shape to the rider. The GS aftermarket seat is the first for AirHawk, which is known for its quality seat cushions. Price: From $809.50 + postage Availability/more info: airhawk.com.au

3 2

3 Sheepskin

Sheepy Hollow manufactures sheepskin pads for tourers, cruisers, sportsbikes and even adventure bikes. Sheepy Hollow specialises in sheepskins for motorcycles - it’s all they do! Sheepskin seat pads are great for everyday riding or long days in the saddle. Their specially designed shape will conform to most seats. Pads are easily fitted and adjusted and have a non-slip backing. Price: Varies Available from/more info: sheepyhollow.com.au

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Do you like Piña Coladas?

FIST Handwear’s 2017 collection has hit the shelves globally with the current range showing artistically bold style. This Piña Colada glove looks like a fivefingered emoji, we reckon it will be a hit with post-millenials and twenty-somethings. Price $39.95 Get them from: Better bike shops More info: ficeda.com.au

Tighten that nut

One of the best investments you can make towards improving your motorcycle’s performance is by tightening the nut behind the wheel which you can’t fix with an ordinary spanner! motoDNA trains road and track riders in advanced riding skills and road-craft which is essential to every motorcyclist’s safety because around half of all motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents. motoDNA teaches you to ride at a higher level through six track and classroom sessions. This type of training progressively equips riders with a greater understanding of their limit and the limit of their bike. This is a perfect gift for all road riders. Not only are Ls and Ps are welcome, but motoDNA run womens-only and specialist groups and encourage every rider to get out and give it a go. motoDNA operates at Sydney Motorsport Park, Norwell Motorplex on the Gold Coast and Lakeside Training Centre, north of Brisbane. Check motoDNA’s website for a calendar and bookings. Price $395 More info: motodna.net

Are you inCharge?

inCharge is the world’s smallest cable for charging and data transfer. Strong magnets snap it onto your keyring and there are a variety of colours available. The tech-head brains trust at Cycle Torque really like the idea of the inCharge for travelling motorcyclists. We often get caught out having left a cable at home! Price $12.50 Get them from: Online More info: simtechtech.com

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Spoil the BMW fan in your life with this sporty and stylish collection, featuring the iconic BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours. There’s many more items in the range, so see your local authorised BMW Motorrad dealer today!

Motorsport Cap RRP $40

Motorsport Beanie RRP $40

Motorsport Lanyard RRP $20

Motorsport Giant Bag RRP $400

Motorsport Polo RRP $90 Men’s S - 3XL Ladies’ XS - 2XL

Motorsport T-Shirt RRP $65 Men’s S - 3XL Ladies’ XS - 2XL

Kids’ Bike RRP $280

Motorsport Rucksack RRP $100

Motorsport Helmet Bag RRP $100

Motorsport Hoodie RRP $170 Unisex XS - 3XL

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Merry Christmas

RIDE SAFE. RIDE DRAGGIN.

Visit your local store or dragginjeans.net


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You set for the kids? Oset!

Oset’s MX-10 is designed as the manufacturer’s first bike for off-road, motocross and play riders. Compared to the traditional petrol ‘first bikes’ sold for the last few decades, this machine is a leap forward in performance and usability. Featuring a steel frame, powerful new motor, controller and all-new OSET 20ah lithium battery, the MX-10 kit has been designed to work in unison on this machine. A 48v OSET drive system (complete with 3-dial adjustability) and with top specification components, this machine has the potential to re-define the starter MX market around the globe. The MX-10 features a custom upside-down forks, adjustable oil shock at the rear and hydraulic disc brakes with reach adjustable levers for small hands. Price $3995 Get them from: osetbikes.com/au/dealers/ More info: osetbikes.com/au

Ooze into Gooze

Did you know Segura make quality leather gloves, as well as jackets? These Gooze gloves have a personal protective equipment CE approval. Mainly made from Goat leather, the Gooze gloves also contain polyurethane, polyamide and polyester for stretch and comfort. The Gooze gloves secure by YKK zip and a heavy-duty buttoned leather strap. The knuckle area is padded to cope with any scrapes or abrasions. Available in black and brown, the Segura Gooze gloves will compliment that stylish leather jacket of yours. Price $79.95 Get them from: Better bike shops More info: ficeda.com.au

Rad Guard for XSR Rad Guard now has a radiator guard for the Yamaha XSR900. The guard has been designed to be quick & easy to fit. It is bolted on to existing mounting points on the bike, doesn’t move or vibrate and it does not restrict air flow to the radiator. Rad Guard also make guards for plenty of makes and models, they’re smart, well designed and offer good peace of mind from that untimely stone. Price Special. Normally $195, now $159 Get them from/more info: radguard.com.au

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Need to carry luggage?

Ventura has recently introduced the EVO Sports range to its BikePack motorcycle luggage system. The beauty of this new system is that it allows you to position the bag four ways - facing either forwards or backwards over the pillion seat, or behind it, depending on your preference or whether you have a pillion. Consisting of the all-new and versatile EVO-Rack, the EVO system is available with a 40- and 10-litre capacity packs for travelling and commuting. Both packs are manufactured using a waterproof and durable laminated ballistic fabric, which like every other Ventura pack we have ever used, should see them last for years. Users of the Ventura Bike-Pack system can purchase a universal kit with the new EVO bags to fit the existing Ventura L-bracket system (40L + uni kit: $359; 10L + uni kit: $229). Kenma kindly sent the Ventura EVO rack and bag for Cycle Torque to evaluate, keep and eye out for the full review in a later issue. Price EVO-40 complete kit (40L pack): $529; EVO-10 complete kit (10L pack): $399 Get them from: Better bike shops or online: shop.kenma.com More info: kenma.com.au

No training wheels required

Suzuki’s MotoGP GS-RR Kiddimoto Balance bike is the perfect tool for youngsters to develop the necessary skills required before riding a motorcycle for the first time. With this trainer, they will be backing it in like Maverick Viùales in no time! The Kiddimoto is nontoxic and is made from recyclable plywood sourced from managed forests. It meets all safety standards and also comes with a matching helmet. Price $199 Get them from/more info: Suzuki dealerships or online, through suzukistore.com.au

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WIN A TRIP TO

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Ein Deutsch Weihnachten (A German Christmas)

BMW Motorrad’s brake disc lock provides ideal security when on the go. The integrated alarm system, lock bolt as well as a housing made up of hardened steel reliably protects owners against bike theft and lock manipulation. The lock can be easily stowed away thanks to its compact size, and the integrated tilt sensor warns riders if the lock is still attached to the brake disc when the motorcycle is moved off its main- or side-stand. BMW Motorrad also has a neat little multi-tool. This handy little helper should be part of every motorcyclist’s tool kit – regardless if on the road or home. The multi-tool offers many application possibilities in a minimum of space. Victorinox (cobranding on large blade), based in Switzerland, is particularly well known as the manufacturer of the famous Swiss Army Knives. Known worldwide for high-class premium quality. Today the product portfolio of the company, founded in 1884, includes kitchen knives, watches, luggage and perfumes The other thing we really think which would make an awesome present this year is the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure model. Sadly, it isn’t available until January 1. The model is 18 cm high, 33 cm long and 10 cm wide, and an interactive LEGO app is available for the set that features 3D assembly instructions. The LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure also has a surprise in store for collectors: the LEGO Group celebrates 40 years of LEGO Technic next year and to mark the occasion, the kit will contain a specially designed LEGO Technic piece. If you see nothing in your stocking this year, it probably just means someone you love has read Cycle Torque and has decided to buy it for you. Better late than never! Price $375 disc lock; $330 multi-tool; LEGO GS price not confirmed Get them from: Local BMW dealers More info: bmwmotorrad.com.au

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Racing Apparel

Available from your local Authorised Yamaha Dealer & Y-shop

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Rush into Berik’s suit

BERIK’s Rush one-piece suit is made from premium full-grain cow leather and textile materials and features CE approved protection in the shoulders, elbows, hip and knees. Perforated leather, elasticated leather panels, stretch textile and mesh liner materials add comfort, while double layers of leather reinforcement in critical impact zones add more protection and there is also provisions for an optional Berik chest protector ($49.96 RRP). The Berik Rush one-piece suit is the perfect gift for someone who is planning on doing serious riding in 2017. First impression After one track day with the Berik Rush suit I am pretty impressed. Being 194cm tall and over 100kg, the larger 62 size is a really good fit which I’m most happy with. It’s about the biggest size available off the rack before you have to look at getting a suit tailored which can become an expensive exercise. I found the combination of perforated and non-perforated leather was a good mix of comfort for a warm/hot Spring’s day, and the neoprene in the cuff and hem along with stretch textile fabric in less critical impact areas and mesh lining also helped to control my body heat. I also like the addition of rubber grips to the inner-knee area which looks like it will help when gripping the tank. The only issues so far are a bit nit-picky - there was a small area around one shin and one elbow which became a bit itchy at times, it felt like the edge of a piece of velcro was digging into my skin. The liner really needs to be in the right place and that seemed to fix it. The suit also feels a bit heavy on the side stand, though once it’s on the weight disappears. Obviously I don’t get the chance to wear this suit everyday, so keep an eye on Cycle Torque to read a full used and reviewed after a good Summer’s worth of track days. – Ryan Grubb Price $1,199.95 RRP Get them from: Better bike shops More info: ficeda.com.au

Continued on next page


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CYCLE TORQUE FEATURE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 65

Get a grip

Motion Pro’s all new suspension vise with pivoting head is designed to make suspension service simple and quick! The new pivoting head holds shocks and forks securely while you change oil, re-valve, or change seals. The pivoting head holds your parts in any position with mechanical stops every 45 degrees. The rigid steel frame has a small footprint with 4 predrilled holes in the base to securely mount to benches. Price $599.95 Get them from: Better bike shops More info: a1accessory.com.au

Put Superbike tickets under the tree

Why not buy your loved on tickets to the first round of the 2017 World Superbike Championship? It is already shaping up as a star-studded world superbike line-up for 2017 with Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri returning to the WorldSBK fray, plus it is almost the home GP of back-to-back WSBK winner Jonathan Rea. Yep, his wife is from Cowes, so we’re claiming him as our own! Three-day tickets start at $120 if you purchase through ticketek and should save you 35 bucks. BarSBK passes are valued at $260 and get you undercover viewing at Doohan Corner, Lukey Heights and Siberia. Adult single day tickets start at $30 Friday, $65 Saturday and $80 Sunday. Children under 15 are free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. Price Various. Get them from: Ticketek More info: Superbike Hotline 133 728 007 or worldsbk.com.au

Continued on next page


CYCLE TORQUE FEATURE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 66

Continued on next page


CYCLE TORQUE FEATURE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 67

Classic Bike Dreaming

IT’S fourth time lucky for Newcastle author Peter J Uren with his latest tome, Classic Bike Dreaming, yet more stories of an old motorcycle mechanic. It follows in the footsteps of his first three books The Old Mechanic, Dominator in the Shadows and the Classic Bike Workshop. For a new author Peter is certainly making his mark in the publishing world. His latest story follows the plot already developed in the first three books and as each book came out you could see the evolution of Peter’s writing style as he sought to further develop his characters and focus more on building them and their interrelationships. Be prepared for a bit more of an emotional ride with his latest work as Peter introduces a new, if far more complex character, tangled in a few more social issues. The new character is an Aboriginal of the Kamilaroi mob who is trying to live between two cultures. Peter’s knowledge of the issues involved comes from personal connections who have first hand experience and he has captured the essence of the struggles and issues that are confronted. He has woven a rich story not only about his new character but the impact that this newcomer’s arrival has on the classic bike workshop we’ve come to know. Peter joined Stroud Writers in July 2012 and by September the following year he had written and published his first book. He says that this one is likely to be the last in the series. Price $19.50 plus postage each Get them from: motobooks.com.au or (02) 4956 9820

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CYCLE TORQUE FEATURE

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 68

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QUAD TORQUE NEWS

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 71

Tasmanian inquest into ATV safety An engineering expert from the US providing evidence to a Coronial inquest into ATV fatalities in Hobart, Tasmania, has emphasised the safety importance of riders wearing helmets. Scott Kebschull, from US-based firm Dynamic Research Inc, who is regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers on All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) testing and safety, told the inquest hundreds of hours of comprehensive computer simulations had proved without doubt helmets are the most effective safety device for ATV use.

to ATVs. However, midway through his evidence, the witness was discharged by the Coroner. Overseas engineering and safety experts and the Australian ATV industry have each consistently maintained CPDs have been controversially endorsed and subsidised by the Victorian government despite the absence of scientific research to support their effectiveness, can cause as many injuries as they might prevent.

dynamics of the rollover, causing more injuries,” Mr Kebschull said.

Using the scientific evidence compiled over many years by DRI and others, the FCAI has developed Mr Kebschull was giving evidence at a Coronial In his evidence to the Coroner this week, Mr inquest into seven ATV-related deaths which Kebschull reaffirmed this position, saying a CPD has its own 5-Star ATV Safety Guide providing tips and promoting safety ATV practices, which can be occurred in Tasmania between November 10, 2012 the potential to prevent a rider from immediately found at www.atvsafety.com.au. and December 27, 2015. separating from the ATV during a rollover and could therefore increase the risk of the rider The Coroner, Mr Simon Cooper, is examining The FCAI’s Five Star ATV Safety advice is to: choose becoming trapped under the vehicle. Multiple the circumstances around these tragic incidents a vehicle that is fit for purpose – for the task and simulations undertaken by DRI had verified this and is expected to make his findings and for the rider; always wear a helmet; take training assessment. recommendations in early 2017. so you are familiar with the machine’s features and He said that like the motorcycle – another straddle- limitations; don’t put passengers on single-seat Mr Kebschull’s evidence followed the appearance type vehicle – a rider’s ability to separate from their ATVs, or allow kids under 16 on adult ATVs; and of another engineering witness, Mr John Lambert, ATV is vital. always follow the manufacturer’s guidance and who was asked by the Coroner to provide evidence warnings. n regarding his views as to the potential merits of “The CPD can inhibit separation between rider and fitting so-called Crush Protection Devices (CPDs) machine, it could strike the rider, or change the


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TORQUING BACK

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 75

Letters Keep up the good work…

Love the mag can’t wait each month for the latest edition. I’m a long time rider 57 years plus, presently riding a KTM 390 after downsizing from a BMW R 1100 R (possibly a step to far). The Triumph Street Cup looks sweet, might be my next bike if I can get pension to stretch that far. Keep up the good work. Sticky.

It WAS Guntrip…

Seems it WAS Guntrip who wrote ‘Fashion Victim’. Nice to have you back. Missed you. And loved this article. Adrian

Best job ever!

G’day Nigel and Cycle Torque crew Just letting you know how much of a great job you are all doing. I’ve never written in to ANY magazine before and over the years I have subscribed to many, some good and some not so, however, since the moment I picked up my first print issue to the most recent digital copy some years later you have always produced the most highest quality magazine. I look forward to your reviews, tips, event coverage and just the drool factor and selection of bikes you show each month, and you always leave me feeling like I want to go riding or have a beer or barbie with you guys after reading! It’s the way you convey to your readers - good down

Write A Letter!

WIN A GREAT PRIZE

This month Adrian has won a Sheepy Hollow sheepskin seat pad for his letter, chosen as letter of the month. www. sheepyhollow.com Send your letters (and/or great bike pictures to The Editor, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687 Warners Bay, NSW 2282 or email letters@cycletorque.com.au

to earth reading full of great stuff and it’s freakin’ FREE. Well done top notch work guys. Loyal subscriber for ever, Kindest regards Sean Cox P.S. Can I please have a job!

Digital fans

Cycle Torque is one of my favourite motorcycle magazines, certainly the best digital magazine that I have come across. I look forward to each edition and can’t wait to download it and read it. If you enjoy motorcycling, you will enjoy this magazine! John Rees Your digital version of Cycle Torque is brilliant. I have trouble getting out due to osteo-arthritis, so I would miss getting the hard copy magazine version. The digital version means I don’t miss out and being able to go back to previous editions and stories is wonderful. Being able to see the videos as well as the stories means I can get my fill of riding, and when the quack gives me new knees, I can get back into riding. Thanks for a good and informative magazine. Mark Jackson

Smarty’s gone mental…

Smarty How is the new job going? Do you miss the camper trailer business yet? John has just started trialling our actuators for the pop tops. I had to share this meme with you after reading your latest scribblings. Keep up the good work. Warwick Piper


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Racer

1

SUMMER 2015

RACING: Classic TT Barry Sheene Festival of Speed Island Classic Australian TT HISTORY: Honda V4

Australia’s FIRST classic racing magazine cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 80

! w o n e l b a l i a Av $9.95 INCLUDING POSTAGE

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N MINNOVAETLIO MARV

AHR RACER TEST

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Words by Chris

by Pickett, Photos

an accomp , and has taken being and racer himself nance and race l Seeley frames many origina mainte but there’s care of the these days special race was well campaigned of this very s being TEVE Maney – his preparation a few replica in the UK This more than enough known ed the world. wanted bike. of the bike – for his modifi thrashed around expertise and homeland ’s When the owner t to the best in s but he ando engine bike uses Maney which proved so straigh in one he went Norton Comm quantity ation, based Seeley chassis the unknown ly the Minnov that s, day ation Island the busines was a relative back in the no at the 2010 successful England. Minnov the largely needed the north of when he arrived Island. By the end l design has te bikes and origina comple Phillip for n so to speak. they Racing sell Classic at gn them but modernificatio g he was known Seeley parts to campai of the meetin in house. Both ing speed of his the ment don’t do everyth two things: of this bike ando A HANKERING and his involve the and frame Seeley Comm the engine Commando ation who that saw particular lian up Minnov This to pile d Austra an were supplie in a start line more time ssioned by machine rather was commi rest of the spend rather just to have ed for. then put the Englishman Australia. collector, mainly ly raced. Things than he bargain its foray to Seeley together for in Australia serious fans, Colin with than to be out that way, To classic racing like a ction, and haven’t turned successfully racing ENGINE his needs no introdu builders from the son known for Lyell William classic frame Maney is well number of Seeley e in most major ando based the machin ’70s, the name lia over the 1007cc Comm 1960s and gs in Austra replica race meetin is quite ed on, with has continu classic of years. Lyell the for couple last built frames being be too There won’t racing scene.

S

––– 51 –––

Contents

AUSTRALIAN HISTORIC RACER 18

26

30

4

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

6

IN THE PITS

10

2016 ISLAND CLASSIC PREVIEW

12

RACING TECH

14

2016 BSFOS PREVIEW

16

EDITORIAL

18

RYE DUCATI

Chris Pickett

ADVERTISING

38

Dennis Penzo 0420 319 335 dennis@cycletorque.com.au

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Dionne Hagan dee@cycletorque.com.au

ACCOUNTS

Rebecca Eastment bec@cycletorque.com.au

50

PUBLISHER

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

58

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS:

Darryl Flack, Don Cox, Phil Hall, Goggles Paesano, Brian Dyer, Peter Faragher, wpfotos.co.uk, SDPICS, Buggantar Photos.

Australian Historic Racer is published by Motorcycle Publishing Pty Ltd. ACN 085 871 147, ISSN number 2205-9768 Printed by Rural Press, North Richmond.

66

This work is Copyrighted. 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.

RUST NEVER SLEEPS YAMAHA TZ750

36

THE SQUEAKY WHEEL TOM PHILLIS

46

BOOK SHOP

48

RACING GEAR

50

SEELEY COMMANDO

58

HONDA CB500/4

66

HONDA V4

72

1976 AUSTRALIAN TT

76

DENNIS NEILL TRIBUTE

82

2015 BSFOS WRAP UP

86

2015 ISLAND CLASSIC REVIEW

90

CLASSIC TT 2015

94

ON ANY RACEDAY

98

EVENTS

TEST

LIGHT AS A FEATHER

Kel went to great lengths to have the wheels turn freely, using a lighter chain and freer moving wheel bearings. To this day the bike has kept all of Kel’s

Australian Historic Racer

ideas of weight reduction and it can just about push itself along. A 750/4 front end was fitted, with the dual brakes (500s originally had a single caliper), an oil cooler, firstly a regular four-into-one exhaust, and later a trick four-into-one system which could be pulled apart one header at a time. In this form the bike was seriously fast for its time, with Kel wheelstanding it off the front row time after time to take many wins in the unlimited class. The bike was as exotic as an historic racer could be at the time, with Dyna S coils and a rev limiter ensuring the bike was reliable as well as fast. Kel’s shining moment was beating much bigger bikes at Mount Panorama on this big bore 500.

Kel did most of the day to day maintenance of the bike and farmed out the engine for rebuilds when needed. In 1994 Kel took the engine to Mark Woolfrey, noted engine builder and mechanic for Yamaha’s factory team in Australia. Much of the work Masaaki San had done years before was still in good condition and relevant, but Woolfrey tweaked the engine in different areas, in line with current thinking at that time, including a very lightweight knife edged crankshaft. The capacity was brought back to 550cc as Woolfrey believed it would rev harder and make more horsepower at that capacity. Power at this time in its life was believed to be in the low 60s at the rear wheel.

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Story by Chris Pickett, Photo Pickett and s by Chris Buggantar Photos.

AHR PICTORIA

L

YAMAHA’S TZ75 0 IS ONE OF COLLECTABL THE MOST E FACTORY RAC E BIKES EVER THE OWNER MADE. OF THIS BIKE DECIDED TO EVEN MORE MAKE HIS SPECIAL THA N THE ORIGINAL ACTO

F

TH

TUFF OF LeEgSe nd Australian Historic Racer

RY racing machines generally are built in very doubt the TZ750 small numbers, raced for a excitable handlin had a reputation for in the hands year or so g and power of the best and has few delivery riders and then left to peers as a languish in collectable racing machin sheds. Some bikes e. are like your If you speak grandfather’s to current hammer, with and former owners of and nine handle these machin five heads es, racing s, never has one parts are robbed watered down as you far away from financi and physic for newer al and so on. machines al pain. A They can lose good mine had their identit along the way. a TZ750 powere friend of y d sidecar back in the 1980s and Yamaha’s TZ750 was tells the story of risking a bit like that, with many everything bikes financially import parts to into the hands finding their way from Englan of privateer d to rebuild the engine eventually . After doing riders, becoming practice at Park things uncompetitive Oran and resigne were looking d to being up, until the engine seized ornaments sheds. The on in the warm-up lap last TZ750 the first race to be serious for raced as a of the day. ly modern bike I’ve noticed still has a slight in Australia he was most nervous twitch likely the Gaytho you mentio when TZ ridden rne Yamah n a TZ750 by Michae a to him. l Dowson, with an FJ1100 fitted front end. CLASS ACT They became too expens There has ive to run and too slow been to keep up of TZ750 machin a bit of a resurgence with bikes Yamaha’s es in recent like own FZR10 Australian years in 00. But there’s classic racing circles no generally they but have been ridden –––

31 –––

s

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26 30

38

this 500/4 leaned up against the fence of a house just near Paul’s place. I knocked on the door and asked if it was for sale, and it was. I checked it out and realised it was my old bike, with all the Masaaki modified gear still on it. The bloke wanted $100, I couldn’t get my wallet out quick enough.” It took some work to breathe racing life back into the little Honda but it wasn’t long before the bike was ready to terrorise more fancied machinery and opponents, just like it did a decade earlier.

Historic Racer Australian

s

AHR RACER

EDITOR

Y P O C L A T I G I D A Y OR TAP TO BU TORE FROM THE APP S

This bike was a cuttiung edge historic racer in the late 1980s and still is now. You might think the term ‘Cutting Edge’ is out of place in historic racing but not so. But one area where the bike could be improved is the carburettors. A modern set of Keihin CRs would make more power and be easier to deal with than these Kawasaki based 29mm Smoothbores. And check out the race programs, highlighting the bike’s history as a modern and classic racing machine.

Historic Racer Australian

ON THE COVER: RYE DUCATI PHOTO BY SDR

s YAMAHA TZ750 s SEELEY COMMANDO s HONDA 500/4

STAGER A GIVES AN OLD ON AN OLD IDEA OF LIFE FRESH BREATH builder lished engine

s

RRP: AUS $9.95 NZ $11.95 (Inc.GST)

Pics

A NEW TAKE

A LATIN OBSESSION

PLUS Dennis Neill Tribute – The Racer, The Man

t and SDR Chris Picket

Honda CB500/4

AHR RACER TEST

s

Australian Historic


BUYING, SELLING, REPAIRING AND RESTORING CLASSICS AND FUTURE CLASSICS.

R E T RO IS A L I V E A ND K IC K ING AT

WE PREPARE RACE BIKES TOO VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT Ph. 02 4958 1435 CATCH US ON FACEBOOK

OTHER BIKES 1965 HONDA CD90 – $2500. GREAT NICK.

1983 DUCATI PANTAH 500 $6,500 Runs great, custom 1 piece tank and seat unit. Great club bike.

1967 TRIUMPH TR6 TROPHY $9,999 Older restoration, runs great, nothing to do but enjoy riding it.

1988 GSX-R1100

$6,000

Genuine Black/Gold limited edition, now with new paint, stickers, recovered seat and repainted wheels. Great bike.

YAMAHA R1-Z 250

Naked TZR250, goes like stink. A great project to create your own 2-stroke blast from the past. Or, get us to customise it for you. The options are endless. Call Chris for more info.

DUCATI MIKE HAILWOOD REPLICA

$26,000

1983 dry clutch. One of the best replicas of Mike Hailwood’s ’78 TT winning bike. See this issue for full story on this bike. Amazing to behold, and comes with all original parts. Road registrable, not a race bike. Call for full details.

HONDA CB550 $8,500 Like new. Fire up the time machine and buy a new CB550. This is THAT good.

1994 HONDA VFR750 – $2999. HEAPS OF REGO, GOES UNREAL. 1983 SUZUKI KATANA 1100. $6999. NON ORIGINAL PAINT, 1170 KIT, GREAT BIKE. KAWASAKI GPZ750R PROJECT BIKE. RUNS OK, WILL CLEAN UP NICE, SPARE ENGINE. $1500.

Call Chris on 0404 030 925 or Dave on 0407 362 060 www.classicalgasmotorcycles.com


CREDITS

cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2016 I 82

cycletorque DIGITAL EDITOR RYAN GRUBB

MANAGING EDITOR N I G E L PAT E R S O N publisher@cycletorque.com.au

ADVERTISING DENNIS PENZO, 0420 319 335 dennis@cycletorque.com.au

DESIGN & PRODUCTION DIONNE HAGAN,THE D MEDIA DESIGN dee@cycletorque.com.au

WWW.CYCLETORQUE.COM.AU PO Box 687, Warners Bay, NSW 2282 Ph (02) 4956 9820 • Fax (02) 4956 9824 • info@cycletorque.com.au REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: DARRYL FLACK, BOB GUNTRIP, DAVE MASON, KEITH MUIR, ALEX PICKETT, DARREN SMART, TODD REED, FRIEDEMANN KIRN, WWW.2SNAP.COM, COL WHELAN, AUNTY MAL, TONY ‘CARNAGE’ PENFOLD, RYAN GRUBB AND BRIAN DYER. Cycle Torque is published by Motorcycle Publishing Pty Ltd. ABN 91 085 871 147 Cycle Torque is available from bike shops across Australia. If you can’t find our latest issue, call 0420 319 335. Copyright 2012. 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.


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Cycle Torque December 2016  

We have tested a wide variety of bikes for this month’s issue including Husqvarna’s entire enduro range - from the TE250 two-banger, all the...