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FEBRUARY FEBRUARY2011 2011

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ALSO ALSORIDDEN: RIDDEN: ••Triumph TriumphAmerica America&& Speedmaster Speedmaster ••Yamaha YamahaYZ450F YZ450F ••BMW BMWSS1000 1000RR RR ••Yamaha YamahaFZ8 FZ8 ••Arctic ArcticCat CatCruiser Cruiser TOURING NNGGFFEATURE EEAT AAT TOURING FFEATURE ATT

The Theroad roadtoto

Gundagai, Gundagai,

Kawasaki’s Kawasaki’s 2011 2011 ZX-10R ZX-10R


february 2011

Contents 24

28

32

triumph america & speedmaster

ktm 350 sx-f & 450sx-f

38

46

57

bmw s 1000 rr

yamaha fz8n

test

LAUNCH

Kawasaki ZX-10r

RIDE

TEST

TEST

Test

yamaha yz450f

features 40 gundagai touring 50 QUAD TORQUE – arctic cat cruiser REGULARS 3-14 News 16 Dirty torque 18 EDITORIAL 20 GUNTRIP 22 race torque 49 LETTERS 54 BIKE STUFF 56 USED & REVIEWED

52 BOOK SALES Cover photos: Kawasaki by Nigel Paterson, KTM by Chris Pickett


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NEWS torque

RVF to return?

An artist’s rendering of the rumoured new bike.

Honda looks set to return to building a V4-powered spor tsbike in 2012, possibly replacing the CBR1000RR but more likely building a limitededition high-priced machine, the engine of which will be used extensively by privateer MotoGP teams to power their racing effor ts. In 2012 MotoGP rules will allow privateer teams to enter machines with prototype chassis but with productionbased 1000cc engines, to compete against the full prototype machines

VFR1200 engine.

from the factor y outfits. Of course Honda is well known for avant-garde designs and has used V4 engines for a number of machines since the ’80s. The latest is the 1200cc powerplant in the VFR1200. This engine could well be the basis for the new powerplant, and Honda has a number of patents in place which look to be for the new RVF engine. The move to V4 based spor tsbikes has

been rumoured for a few years now but it seems more likely than ever Honda will produce one in the ver y near future. H o n d a h a s n’ t b u i l t a V - f o u r p o w e r e d large capacity production racer since the RVF750 (aka RC45) in the mid1990s. The CBR has had a huge following since its release in 1992, and the new platform could well bring many more riders to the Honda fold.

FEBRUARY 2011 – 3


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NEWS torque

GP in doubt?

MOTOGP organisers Dorna are insisting that the Australian round of the series, held at the iconic Phillip Island circuit in Victoria, could be in jeopardy for 2012 onwards unless the date of the event is shifted to March.

Dorna is using the excuse that the FIM will not approve the circuit for use unless the date change is made - following recent criticism of track temperatures during recent years. The critics are led by none other than Valentino Rossi, who says that the unpredictable weather and often cold winds are ruining what should be a stand-out event. Other riders such as Jorge Lorenzo have also voiced safety concerns if the race is run in October at ‘The Island’. This all comes about even though organisers in Australia have a contract to run the race at Phillip Island in the October time slot until 2016. Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has said the 2011 race is not in doubt, as it would be too late to shift next year’s race date. “It must be at the beginning of the year because I think it is too risky later in the season. “For 2012 it will be compulsory and the FIM will not homologate the circuit unless the race is at the beginning of the year. There can be no excuses in 2012.” However AGPC chief executive Andrew Westacott says there are no plans to change the dates of the race. Westacott says bringing the race forwards to March would cause multiple problems and impact on the Formula One Grand Prix at the end of the month.

“The vagaries of the weather exist all around the place at various times of the year.

“There’s a contract that Dorna have got that exists with us that says the race will be in September-October until 2016,” Westacott said.

The Melbourne Formula One round has also come under fire in recent years with European F1 bosses insisting the Melbourne race be run later in the day or at night to fit in with overseas television audiences. n

“Carmelo has been suggesting this for a while on and off but we’ve never had a delayed race, never had a cancelled race.

“It’s not as easy as saying we’ll just slot it in in March.”

Ride to support WITH our Nor t he rn riding buddies in Q ue e nsland e xpe rie ncing hear t break like we can only imagine, as t he f loo ds cont inue to t ake its toll cause untold devast at ion, newly-forme d O f f- Road Eve nt Promot ions (OE P), in conjunc t ion wit h Motorc yc ling NSW, has ope ne d it s doors to t he public for t he f irst t ime in aid of t he vic t ims of t he f loo ding. So, on Februar y 5 - 6, riders of all ages and abilities will converge on the Mt Seaview Resor t, 35 mins west of Wauchop e for the Ride OEP V ic tims of Flooding Fundraiser Ride - with 10 0 p er cent of the proceeds going to those af fec ted the most. “It ’s almost beyond belief what is happ ening in Queensland right now. It ’s hard to think what so many have lost and while we can’t ever replace those things, the least we can do is do what we do best - and that ’s bring ever yone together for a ride and give ever y cent we can to those in need - while ask ing for as many donations along the way,” said OEP boss Michael Prot t. In a show of supp or t, a ton of memorabilia has been donated to the cause, which will be auc tioned of f across the weekend, as well as raf f les, enter tainment and more. The event will take place at one of Australia’s premier, untouched of f- road riding sp ots - the 4 – FEBRUARY 2011

Mt. Seaview Resor t, located approx . 35 mins West of Wauchop e, NSW. The event will cater for riders of all ages and sk ill levels - from guided trail rides and informational tours, to grass-track riding, all run on a timed schedule, allowing for plent y of time to explore the scenic surroundings including the various swimming sp ots and rapids of the Hastings River. Cost for t wo - days of riding, including dinner on the Saturday night is just $65.0 0 for k ids(U/16) and $85.0 0 for adults, with all proceeds going to the disaster app eal. Camping on a p owered site, with full amenities is just $15.0 0 p er vehicle. Full resor t rooms and cabins are available up on request. For more information, log onto w w w.rideoep.com or contac t them on admin@rideoep.com. If your company would like to get involved or you have something you could donate to the raf f le, please get in touch with OEP on the details above. n


NEWS torque

Vale Tony Kirby JOURNALIST, writer, photographer, racer and publisher Tony Kirby passed away on December 17 from Motor Neurone Disease. One of the most high-profile motorcycle journalists Australia has ever known, Kirby was much loved by his readers, not only becasue of his uncompromising writing, but also because of the rides he organised and ran. He worked for and edited Australasian Dirt Bike before establishing SideTrack magazine in the mid ’90s. Tony himself was a ver y accomplished motorcycle rider and loved getting dirty on the trails, even winning a class of the Australian Safari.

TK accomplished more things on an off-road motorcycle than most would dream of, but perhaps his greatest was setting an Across Australia Record in 1998 on the then all-new Yamaha WR400, when many said the bikes wouldn’t last. Cycle Torque’s editor had the pleasure of writing a column for SideTrack Magazine during the 1990s and shared the trail with TK on a number of occasions, especially on the popular Suzuki Sidetrack Adventure Rides. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace mate. n

Kirby (right) with Geoff Ballard.

Green Spyder

How far can it go? BRP reckons a total range of at least 600 kilometres is viable combining both the engine and electric motors, with electricity only giving a range of around 30 kilometres. BRP is working on technology which will allow both the internal combustion engine and You might think this will come at some cost, electric motor to be used at the same time, most likely power, but BRP maintains the green which is how the new hybrid will be able to go machine will have similar speed and power to as fast as the Spyder you can buy now. the current Spyder. BRP is moving with the times by working on a hybrid version of its popular Can-Am Spyder. The three wheeled wonder is currently powered by a 998cc V-twin Rotax engine, and BRP aims to cut CO2 emissions, and fuel usage by 50 per cent with the new hybrid model.


NEWS torque GHR Honda Australia’s Jacob Smith has finished the gruelling Dakar Rally in 32nd place. GHR’s four riders attempted the rally but team rider Simon Harslett was forced to return to Australia before the rally even started, while fellow team members Mark Davidson and Warren Strange were forced to retire after crashes. The team’s Honda CRF450 based desert racers remained utterly reliable throughout the event. Smith’s machine suffered fuel tank and navigational equipment issues which resulted in a poor starting position for the final stage. As Smith raced to make up time he crashed heavily which did no favours for his finishing position. n

GHR finishes

Dakar

A call for blood

2011 started badly in the land of “droughts & flooding rains”.

without getting in the way. Most can donate blood yet only three and a bit per Deadly fire south of Perth. Massive floods in WA, NSW & QLD. Many lives lost in cent of Australians do. If you have not given blood for a while, or ever, please book in today. QLD. 70 missing. Huge damage... and summer’s just begun. Australians can’t all volunteer. Untrained people in disaster areas can do more Over summer blood stocks run low because many donors go on holiday and too harm than good. It makes many in safe areas feel useless. But most can help often, road crashes increase. Demand for blood and blood products continues. Serious illness, road trauma and domestic and workplace accidents continue. Add fire and flood and situations can get very dangerous for people who need our blood. Disasters close blood banks so it’s up to those in safe areas to make up the shortfall. Please pass this message on. If you can’t give blood, someone you know can. The booking system is awkward and only operates in business hours. Blood banks Damien Codognotto OAM are under-staffed so hours are not always convenient but the people who collect Independent Riders Group the life-saving donation are wonderful so please be patient. Melbourne To find out when a blood bank near you is open call 13 14 95 during business hours.

www.cycletorque.com.au PO Box 687, Warners Bay, NSW 2282 Ph (02) 4956 9820 • Fax (02) 4956 9824 Email: info@cycletorque.com.au Editor CHRIS PICKETT PUBLISHER Nigel Paterson Design & PRODUCTION Dionne Hagan, THE D MEDIA DESIGN Advertising DENNIS PENZO, 0420 319 335 dennis@cycletorque.com.au Accounts: Rebecca Eastment bec@cycletorque.com.au

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

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


NEWS torque

Pre season heat

Chris Vermeulen testing at Sepang.

THE Superbike World Championship is rapidly surging toward the first round at Phillip Island, February 25-27. Just after we go to press there will be the first official test weekend at the Algarve circuit in Portimao, Portugal, where all teams turn up. Some teams have already started private testing, including the Kawasaki Racing Team. Riders Chris Vermeulen, Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz tested the 2011 ZX-10R race machines rear at the Sepang Malaysia.Back Link rear suspension. By all accounts this allows shock whichcircuit is calledinHorizontal

use of a softer rear spring to give better feedback, and after having ridden the big Ninja we Vermeulenthe returned to Australia to further recuperate can only agree. Combined with the 43mm Showa Big Piston forks (introduced on the ZX-6R from surgery to his injured knee, caused bybikes his Cycle PhillipTorque has ever ridden on the road. Not in 2009), this is one of the supplest sports oncelast did we get launched out of the seat, and we rode Island crash year. Team boss Paul Risbridger wasthe bike on real roads, not psuedo race tracks. happy enough with how testing went. An Öhlins steering damper helps keep everything in control, and it’s adjustable too. During

we never needed to touch either the suspenion or the steering damper. We can only “Chris rodeour ontest day one ofAustralia the Sepang was very assume Kawasaki has atests directand line to Cycle Torque’s scales, the set-up was that spot impressedon.with the performance of the new bike. He It has aprogress very comprehensive dash,recently, which is easy read. We really liked the digital tacho has made great with his knee andtohis which lights up in bright yellow/orange/red depending on how hard you’re dishing it to the recovery isengine, well on schedule. After day one we all decided and the Gear Position Indicator (GPI). The neat thing with the gear position indicator you need can make it central in the if you are instage Race Mode Display. Basically it takes the that he didis not a run on track anydash more at this speed readout and swaps it with the GPI, so it’s nice and big and easy to read when and it wasdigital better for him to go home and carry on with you’re doing a fast lap of ‘The Island’. on an Aprilia. his rehabilitation. We also came to a consensus that there Ron Haslam’s boy Leon. Roadinrage The season is looking great for this year, and while the was no point him coming all the way back to Europe To coin a well used cliché, the ZX-10R is like a clenched fist inside a velvet glove. Comfort Superbikes will provide great racing so will the Supersport There will be no official Ducati outfit but Jakub Smrz, for the Portimao tests, as it would just interrupt his overall wise it’s not too bad for a racetrack refugee and there’s enough room to easily put a set of inch-higher The footpegs have two positions too. Guintoli As for the and power, Oh MyCheca will be on privateer machines, where rubbin’ is racin’. Sylvain Carlos recovery. Riding the ’bars bikeifisyou notwant. assisting his recuperation God describes it succinctly. If you reckon you need any more than this for the road you are at this stage, so Chris will carry on with his very effective 1198s. Jonny Rea will be joined by Ruben Xaus at If you love the speed and the tension of world class racing, simply delusional. Reports are saying the power is close or slightly more than BMW’s S 1000 HANNspree Tenfast. Kate program of physiotherapy andboth exercise socan’t thatsay heeither is ready RR. We’ve now ridden and we way. Both are extremely AtHonda first we which proves you can still and want to be the first to see live the new teams, bikes thoughtmost, it was at a little it wasn’t lofting theget frontrides out ofno corners all how that easily. matter often youVerdict crash if you carry the and rider line ups for 2011, plan now to head to the island when it matters the doughy start ofbecause the new season.” Then we realised it was in Mode Two of the traction control. Putting it to Mode One had that We could go on forever, but we really liked this bike. Let’s face it, all the bikes in this class right passport. 2011 Yamaha World Championship little issue sorted, didn’t now, but we did notice a slight dip in the power off the bottom. are pearlers. Some are betterfor thanthe others but there’s littleSuperbike in it. At $19,999 + ORC the ZX-10R is In the Superbike class there hasit been plenty ofstill shuffling times we brought the throttle on a bit too quick out of tight corners and this caused us to good value. The amount of technology on these modern road racersare with lights is astounding, from February 25-27 2011. Tickets available now www. Representing Yamaha is Eugene Laverty and Marco of riders. At run slightly wide. Maybe the power was coming out of this dip or possibly the dude at the and you have to wonder where it will all end. worldsbk.com.au orproduced telephone 1 300 728of007. Melandri. Michele Fabrizio is riding for the Alstare Suzuki controls was not as smooth as he should have been. At any rate, we preferred to run a gear It’s about time Kawasaki got off its backside and a bike capable taking it to the The main factory teams field the biggest names. Aprila higher, which seemed to eliminate this snatchiness, and the bike has more than enoughAustralian torque others, and this will. ■ team, and interestingly Josh Waters will make Want to find out more? Then check out www. will againtofield do it.2010 champ Max Biaggi, and the lanky Leon Camier. BMW’s riders are Australia’s Troy Corser and a one off appearance at Phillip Island for the Yoshimura phillipislandcircuit.com.au for accommodation and other Suzuki outfit, Noriyuki Haga will also ride again in 2011, circuit info. n

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NEWS torque : PIT BITS TEAM Honda 2011 RIDERS TEAM Honda Racing has announced Jamie Stauffer and Wayne Maxwell as its riders for the 2011 Australian superbike season. “I`m really looking forward to riding for Team Honda Racing in 2011. It was good to work with Paul and everyone from Motologic in 2010 and to be working with the guys again is fantastic. To get this opportunity with Honda and Motologic is very exciting. The CBR1000RR is a fantastic motorbike and with Motologic preparing the bikes I know I will have a great motorcycle to compete for the championship title and I can be sure that we will be competitive from the first time we roll the Honda onto the track,” said Stauffer. “To be back on the Honda brand with a fresh team in Team Honda Racing and two of the best riders in the country is very exciting. Jamie and Wayne are going to be extremely competitive; I can’t say for sure who wants the title more! The preparation for the new season is well and truly underway and with the experience that both these riders possess there is every reason to believe that the Team Honda Racing CBR1000RR will be seen at the front of the field from the get go,” said Free. n

Mackie To Honda FORMER Factory Kawasaki rider Cody Mackie has signed to ride for Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda for the 2011 MX Nationals and SuperX series in the ProLites class. Team 07 Axis Motorsports owner Andrew ‘Hoppo’ Hopson is excited about the potential of Mackie and his team’s CRF250R. “We can’t wait to see what Cody can do on one of our Hondas. We had the bikes at a level where they were winning races at the tail end of the 2010 MX season, so we can’t see a reason why we shouldn’t begin where we left off last year”. Mackie finished sixth in Pro Lites class of the 2010 Motocross

Nationals and fifth in the 2010 SuperX series. n

Kawasaki hospitality

TO CELEBRATE the release of the new ZX-10R, Kawasaki has put together a hospitality package for the upcoming World Superbike round at Phillip Island from February 25-27. You get the usual stuff in the price of $599, like a pit walk, food, drink, daily admission, motorcycle parking next to the marquee and rider autograph sessions. In essence you’ll get plenty of racing to watch, sit in comfort and be fed and watered. Contact Revsell Marketing on 02 4227 4583, 0412 199 947 or email revsell@bigpond.net.au for more info. n

Marshall To KTM QUEENSLAND motocross, supercross and freestyle star Robbie Marshall has signed with Coastal KTM to contest in the 2011 MX Nationals and SuperX series in the Pro Open Class. KTM 350SX-mounted Marshall will be joining former World Junior Motocross Champion Jay Wilson giving Coastal KTM its strongest line-up in years with both riders set to shake up the Under 19s and Pro Open classes in 2011. “I’m really looking forward to joining the Coastal KTM outfit for the 2011 season,” Marshall said. “It’s great to be able to ride for KTM and I’m excited about the change. I rode for Factory KTM back in 2002-2003 and had some really good results and hopefully I can continue from where I left off.” “It’s been a while since I have ridden a KTM but I’m sure I will get back into the swing of things pretty quick,” Marshall concluded. On top of his racing commitments Marshall will compete in selected freestyle events throughout Australia aboard the 2011 KTM 250 two-stroke with the possibility of going to the 2011 X-Games in the United States. “We are really happy to have

Robbie joining our team here at Coastal KTM for the 2011 race season,” team owner Phil Bond commented. “Robbie being Australia’s most talented all round rider brings a lot of experience to us and it will be great to have him on the team. “He will be bringing a few new sponsors to the team (Avanti wheels and Answer motorcycle gear) which we are proud to have on board and we can’t wait to have a great year of racing”. The Coastal KTM Team will make its 2011 debut at Broadford for the first round of the MX Nationals on the 6th of March. n

Yamaha DNA gets bike back CRUSTY magazine editor Joel Balchin recently had his stolen motorcross bike recovered with the help of Yamaha’s DNA theft protection system. The surprising part is it wasn’t even a Yamaha, but it turns out Balchin used the same protection system he used on his Yamaha PWC. Ed Murray from Yamaha DNA was surprised to learn the bike in question wasn’t a Yamaha. “I was a bit confused at first to find that a non-Yamaha motocross bike was carrying Yamaha marine identification but it proves that the system works and we can trace anything carrying Yamaha DNA protection,” said Murray. n

Summer racing THE St George MCC is getting NSW road racing up and running nice and early in 2011. On Saturday February 5 the club is running the first round of the Honda Rjays NSW Clubman RRC at Wakefield Park near Goulburn. To find out more visit www. stgeorgemcc.com. n

20 Million Sore Thumbs THE long standing game for offroad fans MX vs. ATV has recently sold its 10 millionth unit and the new 2011 version was given a sneak preview to the fans at the opening round of the 2011 AMA Supercross at Anaheim recently.

Since debuting in 2004, MX vs. ATV has become the industry’s leading off-road racing game, renowned for its cutting-edge graphics, innovative features and extensive content. “This record-setting milestone for the MX vs. ATV franchise is the culmination of consistently delivering genre-defining innovations and the most authentic motocross racing experience for fans worldwide,” said Michael Lustenberger, THQ Vice President, Global Brand Management. “The next iteration of MX vs. ATV will take the series to an exhilarating new level, and we are absolutely thrilled to unveil the first trailer during the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener.” n

Dream Racer release in 2011 THE start of the 2011 Dakar Rally marks the announcement of the upcoming release of Dream Racer – a documentary drama that tells the story of an ordinary man with an extraordinary dream – to compete in the world’s most dangerous motor race. In 2010, Christophe BarriereVarju put everything on the line to finish the Dakar in South America. Film-maker Simon Lee followed him on his incredible roller coaster journey - from the struggle to find funds to take part and his preparations in the sand dunes of eastern Australia to 10,000 thrilling kilometres across Argentina & Chile. Dream Racer shows The Dakar in its purest form – no sponsors, no multi-million dollar team, not even a mechanic – just one man, a motorbike, his tool-roll, and the world’s most dangerous motor race. Dream Racer will be available on DVD and touring film festivals internationally from mid-2011. Join Dream Racer on Facebook to view the film trailer and other exclusive footage and photos,

and stay up to date as the Dream R acer adventure progresses. n

Continued on page 12


All New Frame New Engine Produces 200HP 7KG Lighter than predecessor New Instrument with Race Mode New BPF (Big Piston Front Fork) Supersport High Precision ABS (KIBS) Completely New Engine-Chassis Package New Horizontal Back-Link Rear Suspension Predictive Race Type Traction Control (S-KTRC)

Go to www.kawasaki.com.au for the latest Kawasaki motorcycles, news and dealer information


NEWS torque : PIT BITS

McGrath’s Big Season

for their spot at the top of their respective classes.

FORMER Australian and Queensland Junior Dirt Track Champion turned road racer Josh McGrath has signed to race the five round New Zealand 125GP Road Racing Championships and the seven round Spanish 125GP Championship making it a big 2011 for the 14-year-old Queenslander.

“We are really excited to bring Danny into the JDR family,” commented JDR Motorsports team owner Jay Rynenberg. “We have some really talented riders coming onboard for 2011 so it’s only logical to bring someone of Danny’s calibre into the management role.

McGrath, who spent the final months of 2010 in Europe racing a Honda RS125 at some of the Spanish and IDM Championship rounds will race a Yamaha TZ125 in New Zealand for the VBracing team after an invitation from team manager Maarty van Booma. “The New Zealand series is a great opportunity to get a heap of riding and racing done in a short period before heading to Spain in late March,” says Josh who has been mentored by Cycle Torque’s own Darren Smart since his early years racing Dirt Track.

“Danny obviously has a very strong background within the sport, so he brings a lot of credibility to the team. We have some major changes for 2011 but I am very confident in our riders and the companies that are supporting us.”

McGrath will be aboard the favoured Aprilia 125 when he races in Spain and the H43 Hernandez team is set-up with state-of-the-art technology to improve Josh’s understanding of what it takes to compete at the world level.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity that JDR has given me,” Ham added. “After some talks with the team I think I can bring a little extra to the team’s momentum. I feel that JDR Motorsports KTM has a strong team and there is so much proven experience and massive amounts of potential in the riders.” n

“The team in Spain has computerised telemetry on the bike so they will know where I am backing off, braking and accelerating and we will be able to compare what I do with some of the best riders in the world so it should help me go a lot faster,” says McGrath. n

Holder gets a blog

Penhall To Hall Of Fame

Check it out at www.ma.org.au. n

TWO-time World Speedway Champion Bruce Penhall has been inducted into America’s Hall Of Fame alongside Donnie Allison, Sid Collins, Roger McCluskey, Ed McCulloch, Augie Pabst and Ed Winfield.

Beemer for Magee

“This class is an extraordinary group of pacesetters,”says Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, “not only on the track, but in the engineering department and the broadcast booth, as well.” Penhall broke new ground for American speedway riders and was without doubt America’s greatest speedway rider from the late ’70s to the early ’80s and led the U.S. comeback in World Championship speedway racing in the early 1980s, winning the World Championship in 1981 and 1982 and becoming the first American in over 44 years to reach the top of the speedway world. The new inductees will unveil their permanent Hall of Fame sculptures at the ‘Heroes of Horsepower’ reception to be held at the Detroit Science Centre on Tuesday, August 23. n

New Team for MX Nationals THE 2011 MX Nationals will see a new team and a new concept among the regular teams competing in the nine round series when Team West Racing arrives with Simon Thompson, Beau Dargel and Brad Skoric ready to go racing. What makes Team West Racing unique is that Thompson, Dargel and Skoric all secured their own individual rides for the 2011 season and were looking to do the MX Nationals without a major sponsor or team backing before Sean West of West Auto Electrics volunteered financial and infrastructure support to give each rider the best possible chance at achieving their goals for the new season. “I watch young riders from Queensland struggle to make it at the national level each year and I have admired all three of these riders over the last few seasons so I started putting together a budget that would at least get them to all of the national rounds without them having to drive there themselves,” says Sean West of his motivation behind the team’s concept. Cycle Torque’s own Darren Smart will manage the team for the nine rounds. “Having travelled all over Australia racing out of the back of my HiAce van for years I understand Sean’s motivation behind helping Simon, Beau and Brad out and the fact that he chose three riders who were already committed to doing it on their own means we have riders who are motivated to succeed,” Smart said. n

Electricity CHIP Yates and his SWIGZ Racing team have achieved the seemingly impossible, with two podium finishes for their electric superbike on its global racing debut, competing against a competitive field of highly-developed gasoline-powered race machines. Despite only six laps of pre-race testing from Saturday’s practice session and a cold and overcast day, the privately owned and developed machine exceeded all expectations in its two race outings during Sunday racing action. Yates achieved an astonishing third place in the premier WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike race having started on the third row of the grid, and unbelievably went one better in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock race to finish second and post the fastest lap of the race. The all-electric machine was recorded at 158 mph on the straight and appeared visibly quicker to spectators, compared to even the 1,000cc Japanese superbikes from the other top WERA superbike classes. n

JDR Signs Ham JDR Motorsports KTM has signed former factory racer Danny Ham to manage its Australian Motocross and Supercross team for the 2011 season. Ham will have a big job ahead of him with a five rider team consisting of Dan Reardon, Ryan Marmont, Matt Moss, Josh Cachia and Brenden Harrison all vying

SPEEDWAY star Chris Holder has put out his first blog on Motorcycling Australia’s website as he prepares to defend his Aussie crown.

COASTLINE Motorrad plans to campaign an S 1000 RR next year, with the hot seat being taken by Kevin Magee’s nephew Linden Magee. You could hardly call Magee new to the racing scene, he’s raced everything from supermoto to 600 superstock. In fact Magee has already race tested the Bavarian missile, taking it to three race wins at round three of the Southern Downs Cup recently. n

Custom winner The 2009/10 East Coast Custom Australian Custom Bike Championship presented by Heavy Duty Magazine and QBE Insurance held the final of its three state-based competitions at the Melbourne Motorcycle Expo, with Brad Fraser from 101 Customs crowned the overall winner. The bike, named Indian – Retro 37, was built by Shane Cooper from Speed Demon Cycles on the Gold Coast. Also collaborating on the winning project were Lucky Caleb Airbrushing (frame moulding, prep and airbrushing), Lewis and Sons (powder coating) and Pine Rivers Electroplating (chrome). For their efforts, the winner received a brand new S&S ‘X-Wedge’ Engine. Australian Motorcycle Expo Event Manager Mark Petersen congratulated the winning entrant and all those participating. “The three shows – Sydney, Gold Coast and Melbourne – have seen some amazing entries in the competition, and Brad’s Indian – Retro 37 is certainly a deserving winner,” he said. n

Summer Blood Challenge The Australian Red Cross is also calling for blood, with the annual Summer Blood Challenge being held until February 28. The challenge is only for NSW and ACT residents but the Red Cross are hoping for plenty of red stuff to help keep people alive. “It’s a great event and shows again how motorcyclists make real and positive contributions in their own daily lives and for others around them,” said the Motorcycle Council of NSW’s Steve Steward. The message is loud and clear. Do something special this summer. Give blood.


High Court challenge

THE ongoing legal battle between government agencies and ‘outlaw’ motorcycle clubs is gathering momentum, with the Hells Angles MCC challenging an application by the NSW Police to have the club declared a criminal organisation. A press release regarding this particular club has been released by the club’s legal council, Mr. Wayne Baffsky. It makes interesting reading whether you agree or disagree with the legislation. Here it is in full. ‘On 22 July 2010, Derek Wainohu, on behalf of the Sydney and City Crew Chapters of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (“the HAMC”) and the 46 members, former members and associates, named in the AssistantCommissioner’s application to have the Chapters declared for the purpose of the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act (“the Act”) brought a special case in the High Court. This application is different from the Finks’ application to the High Court which was an appeal from a decision of a magistrate and limited to two sections of the equivalent SA Act. The HAMC application was more in the nature of a pre-emptive strike and these applications are not that common and this application was an attempt to have the Act declared invalid in whole or in part.

Essentially, it has been argued, that the Act is invalid because it undermines the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court. That is to say that a court exercising federal jurisdiction, as the Supreme Court does, is

undermined by virtue of what the Act requires its judges to do. This is a reference to the sections concerning eligible judges, criminal intelligence & protected submissions and requiring judges to do the work of the executive. In the case of criminal intelligence it requires judges to make control orders (final & interim) based on evidence not available to the persons subject to the orders and is a restriction on civil liberties. And in the case of eligible judges the nature of their appointment and dismissal and the way their discretions are limited by the Act itself.

It has also been argued that the Act infringes upon implied constitutional rights of freedom of political communication and freedom of political association. This is a reference to the consequences of the making of control orders and the limitations upon controlled members. The special case was heard by the High Court on the 3rd December 2010 and the Full Court has reserved its decision. All States’ & Territories’ Attorneys-General appeared with the exception of two. This decision is expected around March or April 2011. The concurrent Supreme Court application by the Assistant-Commissioner has been adjourned to 22 March 2011 to await the outcome of the High Court application. If the High Court application fails in total then the Supreme Court application, no doubt, will be pursued

with vigour by the police. If the High Court application succeeds in whole or in part then depending on what the High Court judges decide the NSW Act may be partially or completely invalid and presumably the other similar legislation around the country will fail as well. If the High Court challenge fails and the application proceeds in the Supreme Court, no doubt there will be further challenges, both substantially and procedurally. That is there are likely to be more appeals on different aspects of the Act as the matter proceeds. It is extremely important that the HAMC challenge succeeds, whether it is with the High Court or the Supreme Court. This legislation has the potential to destroy lives, both individual and family. It also has the potential to destroy our democratic society if misused. The Commissioner can target any group of two or more people with the Act and there are absolutely no controls or limitations on how these powers are used. In the absence of a Bill of Rights our perceived rights are at the discretion of the police and the politicians. And I for one am not happy about that.’ Wayne Baffsky , Barrister. Counsel for the United Motorcycle Council and Hells Angels MC For further information contact Wayne at: www. umcnsw.com. n

Unapproachable

THE Norton Owners Club of NSW is again holding the Unapproachable rally at the picturesque town of Nundle in NSW on April 29 -May1.

doesn’t matter what you ride, all bikes are welcome, so if you want to ride your Norton, trailer it or turn up on anything else come along.

Not only that, the club will also Contact Kerrigan on 0408 296 celebrate its 30th anniversary 817 or email koneill@ncc.nsw. so a big roll up is expected. It gov.au for more info.

Custom winner The 2009/10 East Coast Custom Australian Custom Bike Championship presented by Heavy Duty Magazine and QBE Insurance held the final of its three state-based competitions at the Melbourne Motorcycle Expo, with Brad Fraser from 101 Customs crowned the overall winner. The bike, named Indian – Retro 37, was built by Shane Cooper from Speed Demon Cycles on the Gold Coast. Also collaborating on the winning project were Lucky Caleb Airbrushing (frame moulding, prep and airbrushing), Lewis and Sons (powder coating) and Pine Rivers Electroplating (chrome). For their efforts, the winner received a brand new S&S ‘X-Wedge’ Engine. Australian Motorcycle Expo Event Manager Mark Petersen congratulated the winning entrant and all those participating. “The three shows – Sydney, Gold Coast and Melbourne – have seen some amazing entries in the competition, and Brad’s Indian – Retro 37 is certainly a deserving winner,” he said. n


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dirty torque www.cycletorque.com.au 10 - FEBRUARY 2011 THE talk on the street is the two-stroke is CT’s Todd Reed has built an awesome YZ250 - look for a story in a future issue. going to make a comeback and after a day of belting around a country motocross track I would have to say that the smell and the scream of the two-stroke motor was a lot more prevalent than it has been for quite some time. started badly in the land of Add fire and flood and situations can THE Superbike World Championship is ready when it matters most, at the start The2011 question is, why? “droughts & flooding rains”. get very dangerous for people who rapidly surging toward the first round at of the new season.” Before I go much further I will say this straight Phillip Island, February 25-27. Deadly fire south of Perth. Massive need our blood. In the Superbike class there has been out:floods In my humble opinion, four-strokes are not in WA, NSW & QLD. Many lives Disasters close blood banks so it’s Just after we go to press there will be plenty of shuffling of riders. good motocross. of motocross lostfor in QLD. 70 missing.The Hugefuture damage... up to those in safe areas to make up the first official test weekend at the The main factory teams field the biggest justtoo begun. the are shortfall. The booking system is Algarve circuit in Portimao, Portugal, names. Aprila will again field 2010 thatand is.summer’s They are easy to ride, they a huge awkward and only operates in business where all teams turn up. drain on the wallet to make competitive and Australians can’t all volunteer. champ Max Biaggi, and the lanky Leon Blood banks are under-staffed Untrained disaster areas cantohours. Some teams have already started Camier. BMW’s riders are Australia’s Troy they are justpeople plainintoo expensive race and do more harm than good. It makes so hours are not always convenient but private testing, including the Kawasaki Corser and Ron Haslam’s boy Leon. keep reliable. many in safe areas feel useless. But the people who collect the life-saving Racing Team. Riders Chris Vermeulen, There will be no official Ducati outfit donation are wonderful so please be Despite all of this, you have to admire the most can help without getting in the Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz tested but Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli and technology makesblood the yet modern four-banger way. Most that can donate only patient. the 2011 ZX-10R race machines at the Carlos Checa will be on privateer 1198s. three and Iamean, bit per cent of things Australians findF1 out when a blood bank near you Sepang circuit in Malaysia. so special. these are To like Jonny Rea will be joined by Ruben Xaus do. If that you have not given for a all is of open motors go like a cutblood cat with thecall 13 14 95 during business Vermeulen returned to Australia to at HANNspree Ten Kate Honda which while, or ever, please book in today. hours. further recuperate from surgery to proves you can still get rides no matter suspension, brakes and handling that almost Over summer blood stocks run low Please pass this message on. If you can’t his injured knee, caused by his Phillip how often you crash if you carry the any rider will find sufficient. because many donors go on holiday give blood, someone you know can. Island crash last year. Team boss Paul right passport. There is no doubt modern four-stroke is and too often, road the crashes increase. Risbridger was happy enough with how Representing Yamaha is Eugene Laverty Damien Codognotto OAM and blood products theDemand choice for of blood riders who want to compete at Independent Riders Group testing went. and Marco Melandri. Michele Fabrizio is continues. Serious You illness, road trauma almost any level. can ride them harder, Melbourne “Chris rode on day one of the Sepang and domestic and workplace accidents tests and was very impressed with the faster and for longer... but. continue. performance of the new bike. He has The bottom line is many racers and parents made great progress with his knee of racers are complaining about the overall recently, and his recovery is well on expense of running a modern 250F and 450F schedule. After day one we all decided that he did not need a run on track any motocrosser or serious enduro weapon. more at this stage and it was better A top-end rebuild on modern four-strokes is for him to go home and carry on with obviously more expensive than the two-stroke his rehabilitation. We also came to a but The theAustralian real damage is done when the lets the annual Summer consensus that there was no point in Red Cross is also calling formotor blood, with go. This is when the Challenge bills can being get toheld as high as him coming all the way back to Europe Blood until February 28. for the Portimao tests, as it would just Thegrand challenge is only for NSW and ACT residents but the Red Cross are hoping for three plus. interrupt his overall recovery. Riding of red stuff to help keep people alive. There are horrorplenty stories of huge workshop the bike is not assisting his recuperation “It’s a great event and shows again how motorcyclists make real and positive repaircontributions bills for four-stroke owners going around at this stage, so Chris will carry on in their own daily lives and for others around them,” said the

NEWS torquE

A cAll for blood

Pre season heat

Summer blood chAllenge

Motorcycle Council of NSW’s Steve Steward. The message is loud and clear. Do something special this summer. Give blood. n

with his very effective program of physiotherapy and exercise so that he is

riding for the Alstare Suzuki team, and interestingly Australian Josh Waters will make a one off appearance at Phillip Island for the Yoshimura Suzuki outfit, Noriyuki Haga will also ride again in 2011, on an Aprilia. The season is looking great for this year, and while the Superbikes will provide great racing so will the Supersport machines, where rubbin’ is racin’. If you love the speed and the tension of world class racing, and want to be the first to see live the new teams, bikes and rider line ups for 2011, plan now to head to the island for the 2011 Yamaha Superbike World Championship from February 25-27 2011. Tickets are available now www.worldsbk.com.au or telephone 1 300 728 007. Want to find out more? Then check out www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au for accommodation and other circuit info. n

Chris Vermeulen testing at Sepang.


dirty torque 20 - FEBRUARY 2011

www.cycletorque.com.au

RACE TORQUE to compete at all levels of racing. Last year Cam left, right and centre so this really shouldn’t be a Hansford examining his machine.

of highly talented riders battling tooth and nail on Hansford in action. screaming one-dingers… Taylor and Kim Ashkenazi rode a YZ250 and surprise to many people. There is a stand-alone 125cc and 250cc two-stroke Those of us that had the pleasure of racing two- RM250 respectively in the Pro-Lites class at the championship in Britain and a strong contingent MX Nationals due mainly to the time and money strokes back-in-the day, will remember racing of riders every year when they hold a two-stroke needed to make a 250F competitive. a whole season on a couple of sets of pistons only race at Glen Helen in America. In fact, there is Other governing bodies still have their sights and rings with the occasional clutch replacement They were discussing TAKING a detour on a summer holiday can a wave of discontent in America right now that the on keeping two-stroke racing alive. The world thrown in. That was it, bar the usual consumables. one thing or another, spring some pleasant surprises. Back in the and Heyes summer of 1976/77, we easy were to on tell our annual AMA won’t allow 250 two-strokes to race against And it was when your 125cc, 250ccjoked to motocross championship promoters Youthstream Gregg, “Why don’t you family Christmas holiday on the north coast of the 250Fs in the outdoor nationals. made the decision in 2010 to have only two-strokes or 500cc screamer needed a new piston or ring. NSW when we decided to extend our trip up to write to REVS, and let KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki and TM are still making at the World Junior Motocross Championships and It would just get a bit doughy or easier to kick them know what you the Gold Coast. One morning in early January the straight 1977, wethrough were driving to thestarter. shopping at think?” 125cc, 150cc and 250cc motocrossers and a 250cc their European 125cc Motocross Championship the kick Nocentre questions, guessing or and snicked Being at off close-quarters to theses legends Nerang looking and motored past the Surfers two-stroke has in most cases 20 per cent more at the hour meter, Paradise just rip the top end through the was brilliant, but watching Hansford thunder International Raceway that was located at power and torque than a 250cc four-stroke so in the and replace what needed replacing. six-speed ’box around one of Australia’s best tracks would be nearby Carrara. Out of the blue, we saw a lime right hands the two-stroke should produce faster The problem with the modern four-strokes is that as he entered the ne plus ultra. green Ford Transit heading towards us. max speed been there for about 20 minutes and As it passed, side right of the van wasmoment whenWe’d lap times and better race results. they gothehard to the something zone of the there wasn’t much to indicate that either Heyes emblazoned withlets ‘Team Australia’, And in the enduro world KTM is obviously still serious go,Kawasaki and with so many more moving Hansford rifle into the fastest corner in 800m-long straight. Hitting about 275km/h, or Harry would be heading out soon. It was and craning my head to get a second look, knee deep development thetime, two-stroke parts above the piston the repairs are always so racing of at the on Queensland’s he sat up, went back a few gears and, calm as in theAustralian a typically muggy Gold Coast morning, and it turned into the raceway gates. Wow. We while Huqvarna is having a big throw atworth the preserving. much more expensive. you like, peeled into the greasy turn one at well best-ever track, is a memory Heyes was sweltering in his Avon suit while dropped my sister and mum off at the shops, Gregg bridge. still in his civvies and seemed happy over 220 kays then disappeared under and headed straight back to theMany raceway to seeand I Gregg stumps with its But WRwhere range, as isHansford’s Husaberglegend with lives its on, And guess what. 250Fs, meanwas 2009 Surfer’s Paradise raceway is but a footnote in It was an awesome display of skill, simplicity enough chatting. Just as we were thinking if we could catch a glimpse of whoever it was 250cc and 300cc two-strokes. onward, are only lasting 40 to 50 hours before the Australian motorsport history. and ice-cold nerve. The main straight at Surfers about heading off, Gregg dived into lime-green in the van. It was odds on that the TKA’s Gregg Look, the next few years bottom drops out them. ridiculous Fast,that openover and hugely popular, the 3.2km doubled as a drag strip, and the start area I- don’t think leathers, and the mechanics wheeled out Hansford was at end the track, and theof chance to That isBates designed over and built by but Keithfor Williams caked in rubber, oil, fuel and nitrotwo-strokes after-burn willtrack his beautiful KR750 to pitlane. This was it. Dad watch Australia’s number one road racertowas takewas motocross again for a product which is sold the masses. 1966, and hosted its lasthalf raceainbrain 1987 before - was inexplicably located where those Gregg of so us withinlimited I had seen Hansford pull off one of his too good to pass up. budgets and Motorcycling Australia has recently and announced Williams sold it to Japanese company Daikyo. brilliantly knifed the KR into turn one. A year greatest victories over Warren Willing at Oran We drove through the gates without any two-stroke isUnlike probably most viable to thatparked from the 2011 thatpaddock 250cc two-strokes Oran the Park’s demise thatoption was decades earlier during a test, Gregg’s TKAthe team-mate Park just five months earlier, and now we had drama and caronward in the empty go racing. are now eligible for the Lite class at every level in the making, Surfers’ end as a race venue Murray Sayle had a huge highside at the same behind the pits, and spotted the green van at the the chance to see him thrash around his home was swift. that it riding was to be corner. track. are back of of a pit box half-way thetostraight. Over the last couple of Despite monthsrumours I have been racing and thedown 255cc 450cc two-strokes turned and into golf course soon after itsanclosure, After a few more laps, Gregg parked bike. RM125 Gregg climbed aboard the KR and one of the Dad andeligible I strolledfor upthe to the box, class. and there he a 2007the Suzuki I have been having Open it was still open to driver training schools in Knowing we had seen something special, and mechanics gave it a gentle push and it fired was, Gregory John Hansford sharing the garage absolute ball. has only just recently had its Um…why 500cctyres-sponsored two-stroke isn’tinto eligible I wail of the 750 triple breaking the the 125 1990s, and the track and its infrastructure having been in the presence of true greatness, it This life, the with Roger Heyes and the his Avon first gearbox oil change and all of the running gear now have no idea but I guess the decision was made wasn’t fully demolished until 2003. What was time to go. I saw Hansford race his TZ700 morning silence. He cruised down the pitlane Yamaha TZ350. They were only two guys at the sits on thedespite former raceway is a swanky severaland timesa in 1974 and his KR750 in ’76, disappeared under theextremely Dunlop Bridge at track, and chance towho get ahasn’t close-up lookheard at in the motor is original the flogging it’s housing is an successful series serious bythe someone even ofand a 500cc estate called Emerald Lakes that backs onto the then in his last-ever local two-wheel meeting the end of the straight. A few minutes later, he two of the sport’s biggest stars at a time when been getting over the last three seasons. stepping stone to a GP ride. motocrosser or didn’t consider the fact that some aforementioned golf course. at Bathurst in 1980. It was always an enormous sizzled down the chute, but with the wooden race-day paddock access was heavily restricted many 2007Gregg 250F has andbeen 450Fs there still and New still has a 125cc class in its National lunatic would enter a racedidn’t on a 500cc pit two-banger… goneare forout nearly 16 years, privilege to see Gregg ride, but thatHow impromptu wall obstructing our view,Zealand we walked down was a dream come true. Our presence almost motor? a quarterNot of a century. cameo Surfers Paradise, by strong just me onSurfers pitlane up into the 5m high start/ going the original many isBoth were seem to bother them, so we stooddecision idly behind Championships and I at can tell you fromwitnessed The up-shot of this is that MA hasand climbed Motocross legends of Queensland motorsport, and by my father, somehow finish a better dekko. By the that itand the waist-high wallstep that to separated my After bet...34 hand experience produces some of thestands out. taken wooden a positive curbing the cost of platform racing to getfirst lucky enough time we had summited the platform, Gregg had years, the memory of that private audience with dint of happenstance I was each box. As the mechanics busily worked on – Darren Smartto see best racing I have witnessed for years with a gaggle in the Lites class by allowing the 250 two-strokes

Holidaze

“KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki and TM are still making 125cc, 150cc and 250cc motocrossers and a 250cc two-stroke has in most cases 20 per cent more power…”

the bikes, ‘Harry’ Hansford and Heyes were chatting about things racing, swapping jokes.

reeled off several more laps and he was now well and truly up to speed. He blasted onto

an all-time great still lingers, as does Surfers Paradise raceway. Watching Queenslander

them in concert in their very prime. – Darryl Flack


EDITORIAL

Riders on the storm The Young

Now I have a child of my own riding motorcycles on the road I have much more sympathy for how my own parents felt when I got my licence. I wasn’t what you’d call a young tearaway when I was a youth but I did certainly ride pretty hard at times on the road. Like many riders I’ve had my fair share of near misses – and a few accidents thrown in for good measure – and I’d like to think the years of experience have taught me well. I had an email from an old friend the other day. It was great to hear from Paul and it brought back some fantastic memories of the days when we lived life to the fullest, or so we thought. He was obviously thinking the same because he mentioned some of the rides we had, places we stayed and partied at, and some of those near misses we had. Which made me think: isn’t it funny how our own attitudes change as we get older. When I was a kid I was allowed to go down the creek, ride my pushbike just about anywhere and I’d disappear with my friends for most of the day. I’m sure many of you can tell similar stories. When my own kids were old enough to want to venture away from the house all I could think about was them getting run over, drowning in the river or getting picked up by strangers. Of course many of these fears are unrealistic but they are still there. I get a bit worried when my daughter Brianna rides her horse – because he’s a cantankerous bugger who likes to run the show – but this pales into insignificance compared to watching my son Alex race motorcycles. I find this particularly stressful and often wonder what I’m doing there. It’s almost like I’m paying for the privilege of giving myself a hard time. My wife Kerrie also gets worried but she seems to be able to control her emotions better than me. Every time Alex disappears from view you almost hold your breath until you can seen him again. When he’s on the track I can’t tear my eyes away from him, as if no other bike exists. Even though he rides fast on the track I’m glad he’s still very conservative on the road. He’s only just got his P plates for a motorcycle and just before this we

went on a weekend ride with some friends along the Oxley Highway on our project Hyosung GT650. I preferred to have him right behind me because when I was following him I’ll admit to having some dark thoughts about what might happen. There’s no denying we all have to let go at some stage but when you have young ones, regardless of their age, it’s hard not to try and keep them protected as long as you can.

The not so young

Coming up in March we have the Ulysses AGM hitting the extremely beautiful city of Newcastle. Seeing we are based in Newcastle we thought it would be smart to have a presence at one of the largest motorcycling events held in Australia each year. The major motorcycle manufacturers are usually represented, offering test rides and so on, plus the usual entertainment and festival atmosphere make it lots of fun. Cycle Torque will have a stand and we’ll be selling books and giving away copies throughout the week. I’m very excited to say we are also negotiating with an internationally renowned motorcycle legend to attend the event as a guest of Cycle Torque. We’ll let you know who it is when confirmed but let’s just say it will be awesome if it all comes together. I must admit I’ve never joined the Ulysses club, even though I’m old enough to be a ‘junior’ member, but when you think of the momentum and numbers the club has you can’t help but be impressed. I think it’s great that people get out and enjoy riding in their advanced years rather than sit on the couch and waste away. If you are a Ulysses member and wondering if it’s worth coming to Newcastle then just do it. We have some great roads not far away from where the event is being held, some awesome beaches a mere five minutes ride away, and one of the country’s best vineyards districts around an hour away. Plus you’ll get to meet the Cycle Torque crew, buy a book from us and tell us what a great job we are doing. Can’t beat that. – Chris Pickett

Things you might see and do if you come to Newcastle for the Ulysses Club AGM in March.


GUNTRIP

Is motorcycling dying?

ANOTHER year in prospect, and what are we to expect? A final season’s sustained brilliance from Valentino Rossi, a flourish of 200-horsepower sports hardware from the Big Four, the slight but abiding prospect of another Australian world champion. And balanced against all that, what? The further dwindling of personal freedom, another losing round in the interminable battle between officialdom and a state that’s much more interested in our liberty in principle than in practice. Not so long ago I used to wonder what had happened to the virtual reality everyone spent so much time squawking about – the aircraft-style head-up displays, those electronic gloves that always seemed to exist in prototype form but never as commercial reality. Then it dawned on me that we’d actually arrived, albeit at a different destination and via an unexpected route. Instead of launching ourselves into a brave new world of virtual pleasures we’ve fabricated an alternate reality of communication networks via mp3 player, mobile phone, computer and now text reader. All fine and dandy, of course, except that we seem to have stopped talking to one another at some point during the process and retreated into armed camps of increasingly mistrustful and resentful individuals who chug along pretty well until someone treads on our toes, figuratively or literally. We seem to have gleefully substituted the dub-dubdub for any real sense of community beyond the work environment and the immediate family. Which is fine except that it doesn’t seem to be much of a way to get stuff done, contrary to what we might have expected while we were still reading the instructions. And does this have any bearing whatever on the current state of motorcycle sport (in which I include road riding) in this country? Just this: years ago I used to feel part of something. Come August and September each year the air used to crackle with expectation as the Castrol Six-Hour drew closer; there was the same mood of anticipation in February and March before Bathurst. The clubs meant something: Hartwell, Preston, Willoughby, St George, The Motorcycle Sportsmen; they were the architects of the sport and gave us a full calendar each year; a calendar that, in New South Wales at least, is now almost completely blank. There are ride days and there’s the biannual excursions to Phillip Island; there are club days too, at Wakefield Park, which is at least no further from Sydney than Winton is from Melbourne. But it’s difficult to escape the feeling that we’ve sold the farm and put a housing estate on it. Perhaps 2011 will prove me wrong. We had the neighbours round for a glass or two during the festive season. A varied bunch that includes a mandolin player and a clergyman (though not inhabiting the same body) and a tall thin bloke whom nobody claims to know well and who adds a faintly superior air to that long carcase. At first glance not, perhaps, the sort of bloke who you’d think to have spent long hours in the saddle. But he had. Turns out he’d gone to Europe, hired himself a Ducati ST4 and got down to some serious exploration, including a lap of Italy. You just can’t pick ’em, can you? Also met Jim, a very much better-known local who has a Harley parked in the garage but rides every day of his working life on something a little more modest. He told me a little about the perils of his profession. Turns out he and plenty of his mates are being skittled on a daily basis by the efforts of other road users, and it’s not as

though they haven’t got enough to contend with. I remember asking him once, in the depths of a soggy winter, why he wasn’t he wasn’t wearing gloves. “They just get wet,” he told me. They breed ’em tough in these parts. Jim, in case you hadn’t already guessed, is our postie, and we love him. So be nice to your local postie, eh? He doesn’t always deliver bills. If you’re planning a summer ride through the Blue Mountains, take my tip and use the Bells Line. The road-widening extravaganza through the mid mountains (Hazelbrook up to Wentworth Falls) on the Great Western Highway is now well into its second year and every shower of rain we get – and there have been plenty this

summer – slows progress and increases the diameter of the potholes at either end of the work. Unless you like sitting behind slow-moving trucks and wondering at the emptiness of the railway that keeps the road company for most of the way across the mountains, give the whole thing a miss and have a ride through the apple trees instead. I didn’t get a lot of riding done over Christmas but a trip or two to Bathurst to research a story kept me amused. More than once I rode to the top of Mount Panorama and stopped at Skyline to look around. The history is so thick up there you can cut it with a knife. Which is where I came in. – Bob Guntrip


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14 - FEBRUARY 2011

RACE torque

www.cycletorque.com.au

DIRTY TORQUE

Holidaze

Are two-strokes coming back? THE talk on the street is the two-stroke is going to make a comeback and after a day of belting around a country motocross TAKING a detour a summer track I would have on to say that theholiday smell and scream ofpleasant the two-stroke motor canthe spring some surprises. was a lot more prevalent than it we has been Back in the summer of 1976/77, for quite some time. The question is, why? were on our annual family Christmas Before I go much further I will say this holidayout: on the north coastopinion, of NSW fourstraight In my humble strokes aredecided not goodtofor motocross. when we extend our tripThe up future motocross that is. They are too to the of Gold Coast. One morning in early easy to ride, they are a huge drain on the January 1977, we were driving theare wallet to make competitive and to they shopping centre at Nerang and motored just plain too expensive to race and keep reliable. past the Surfers Paradise International Despite all of this, you have to admire the Raceway that was located at nearby technology that makes the modern fourCarrara. Out of the blue, we saw a lime banger so special. I mean, these things are like F1 Ford motors that go like a cut cat with green Transit heading towards us. all of the As itsuspension, passed, thebrakes side ofand the handling van was that almost any rider will find sufficient. emblazoned with ‘Team Kawasaki There is no doubt the modern four-stroke craning mywant headtotocompete get a isAustralia’, the choiceand of riders who atsecond almostlook, any it level. Youinto canthe ride them turned raceway harder, fasterWe anddropped for longer... but. gates. Wow. my sister The bottom line is many racers and and mum off at the shops, and headed parents of racers are complaining about the straight back to the raceway to see if we overall expense of running a modern 250F and 450F motocrosser could catch a glimpse or of serious whoeverenduro it was weapon. in the van. It was odds on that the TKA’s A top-end rebuild on modern fourGregg Hansford wasmore at the track, andthan the strokes is obviously expensive the two-stroke but the real damage done chance to watch Australia’s numberisone when the motor letsgood go. This is when road racer was too to pass up. the bills can get to as high as three grand plus. We drove through the gates without There are horror stories of huge any dramarepair and parked car in the workshop bills forthe four-stroke owners going around left, empty paddock behind theright pits,and andcentre so this really shouldn’t be a surprise to

cost of racing in the Lites many people. class by allowing the 250 Those of us that had the pleasure of two-strokes to compete at racing two-strokes back-in-the day, will Hansford in action. all levels of racing. Last remember racing a whole season on a year Cam Taylor and Kim couple of sets of pistons and rings with the Ashkenazi rode a YZ250 occasional clutch replacement thrown in. and RM250 respectively in That was it, bar the usual consumables. the Pro-Lites class at the And it was easy to tell when your MX Nationals due mainly 125cc, 250cc or 500cc screamer needed a CT’s Todd Reed has built an awesome YZ250 - look for the story in a future issue. to the time and money new piston or ring. It would just get a bit needed to make a 250F doughy or easier to kick through the kick motocrossers and a 250cc two-stroke has competitive. starter. No questions, guessing or looking in most cases 20 per cent more power and Other governing bodies still have their at the hour meter, just rip the top end off torque than a 250cc four-stroke so in the sights on keeping two-stroke racing alive. and replace what needed replacing. right hands the two-stroke should produce The world motocross championship The problem with the modern fourfaster lap times and better race results. promoters Youthstream made the decision strokes is that they go hard right to the And in the enduro world KTM in 2010 to have only two-strokes at the moment when something serious lets go, is obviously still knee deep in the World Junior Motocross Championships and with so many more moving parts development of the two-stroke while and their European 125cc Motocross above the piston the repairs are always so Huqvarna is having a big throw at the Championship is an extremely successful much more expensive. stumps with its WR range, as is Husaberg series and a serious stepping stone to a GP And guess what. Many 250Fs, and I with its 250cc and 300cc two-strokes. ride. mean 2009 onward, are only lasting 40 to Look, I don’t think that over the next New Zealand still has a 125cc class in its 50 hours before the bottom end drops out few years two-strokes will take motocross National Motocross Championships and I of them. That is ridiculous for a product over again but for those of us with limited can tell you from first hand experience that which is sold to the masses. budgets and half a brain the two-stroke it produces some of the best racing I have Motorcycling Australia has recently is probably the most viable option to go witnessed for years with a gaggle of highly announced that from 2011 onward that racing. talented riders battling tooth and nail on 250cc two-strokes are now eligible for the Over the last couple of months I have screaming one-dingers… Lite class at every level of racing and the been riding a 2007 Suzuki RM125 and I There is a stand-alone 125cc and 250cc 255cc to 450cc two-strokes are eligible for have been having an absolute ball. This 125 two-stroke championship in Britain and a the Open class. so we stood idlyjust behind the waist-high werestrong only two guys at of theriders track,every and the spotted the green at two-stroke the back of isn’t a has only recently had its first gearbox contingent year when Um…why the van 500cc oilwall change all of the running theytohold two-stroke raceofat Glen wooden I have no ideathe butstraight. I guess Dad the thatand separated each box. gear in the chance get aaclose-up lookonly at two piteligible box half-way down is original ogging it’s Helen in America. there is a waveAs the motor decision wasup made bybox, someone whohe hasn’tthe sport’s mechanics busilydespite workedthe on flthe biggest starsInatfact, a time when and I strolled to the and there been getting over the last three seasons. even heard of a 500cc motocrosser or didn’t of discontent in America right now that the bikes, ‘Harry’ Hansford and Heyes were race-day paddock access was heavily was, Gregory John Hansford sharing the How many 2007 250F and 450Fs are out AMA won’t allow 250 two-strokes to race consider the fact that some lunatic would chatting about restricted was dreamincome true. Ournationals. garage Heyestwo-banger… and his Avon there stillthings goingracing, strongswapping on the original against thea 250Fs the outdoor enter with a raceRoger on a 500cc motor? Notdiscussing many is my KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki TM are The up-shot of this decision that MA presence jokes. They were onebet... thing didn’t seem to botherand them, tyres-sponsored Yamaha TZ350. isThey – Darren Smart still making 125cc, 150cc and 250cc has taken a positive step to curbing the

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NEWS TORQUE : PIT BITS Since debuting in 2004, MX vs. ATV has become the team owner Phil Bond commented. “Robbie being industry’s leading off-road racing game, renowned Australia’s most talented all round rider brings a lot for its cutting-edge graphics, innovative features of experience to us and it will be great to have him TEAM Honda Racing has announced Jamie TO CELEBRATE the release of the new ZX-10R, extensive on the team. Hitting about 275km/h, sat up, went back a few gears decades in the making,and Stauffer andHeyes Waynejoked Maxwell as its riders for don’t the you Kawasaki has put together a hospitalityhe package Surfers’ endcontent. as a race venue or another, and to Gregg, “Why 2011 Australian Worldas Superbike round at Phillip “This record-setting milestone for the MX vs. will beturn bringing to the rumours and, calm you like, peeled into the“He greasy one a few new was sponsors swift. Despite that it was to be turned into write to REVS, and superbike let them season. know what you think?”for the upcoming Island from February 25-27. ATV franchise is the culmination of consistently teamunder (Avantibridge. wheels and gear) “I`m looking forward to riding for was Team at well over 220 kays then disappeared It Answer golfmotorcycle course soon after its closure, it was still open to Being at really close-quarters to theses legends delivering genre-defining innovations and the which we are proud to have on board and we can’t Honda Racing in 2011. It was good to work with You get the usual stuff in the price of $599, like a wasdrink, an awesome display of skill, simplicity anda great ice-cold driver training schoolsmost in the 1990s, and the track andexperience its brilliant, Hansford thunder authentic motocross racing for wait to have year of racing”. Paulbut andwatching everyone from Motologic in 2010around and to one pit of walk, food, daily admission, motorcycle fans worldwide, ” said Michael Lustenberger, THQ be working with thewould guys again is fantastic. get parking next to theThe marquee rider autograph nerve. mainand straight at Surfers doubled as a drag infrastructure wasn’t fully demolished until 2003. What Australia’s best tracks be the ne plusToultra. The Coastal KTM Team will make its 2011 debut at President, Global Brand Management. opportunity with Honda Motologic sessions. strip, and the start area - caked in rubber, Broadford first roundnow of thesits MXonNationals oil, for fueltheand the formerVice raceway is a swanky housing estate We’dthisbeen there for about 20and minutes andis very there wasn’t exciting. The CBR1000RR is a fantastic motorbike “The next iteration of MX vs. ATV will take the series on the 6th of March. ■ In essence nitro you’ll get plenty of-racing to watch, sit located where Gregg after-burn was inexplicably called Emerald Lakes that backs onto the aforementioned much and to indicate that either Heyes or Harry would be with Motologic preparing the bikes I know I to an exhilarating new level, and we are absolutely in comfort and be fed and watered. willout have a great motorcycle to compete the Coast so brilliantly knifed the KR into turnYamaha one. A year earlier golf course. heading soon. It was a typically muggyforGold thrilled to unveil the first trailer during the 2011 DNA gets bike back Marketing on 02 4227 4583, 0412 championship titlewas andsweltering I can be sureinthat will suitContact Revsell Energy AMA Supercross season opener.” during a test, Gregg’s TKA team-mate Murray Sayleeditor had Joel Balchin Greggrecently has been goneMonster for nearly 16 years, and Surfers morning, and Heyes hiswe Avon CRUSTY magazine had 199 947 or email revsell@bigpond.net.au for more be competitive from the first time we roll the ■ his stolen motorcross bike recovered with the help a huge highside at the same corner. almost a quarter of a century. Both were legends of while Honda Greggonto wasthe still in his civvies and seemed happy info. ■ track,” said Stauffer. of Yamaha’s DNA theft protection system. motorsport, and by dint of happenstance I was After Queensland enough we were thinking Marshall To KTMa few more laps, Gregg parked the bike. Dream Racer release in 2011 “Tochatting. be back onJust the as Honda brand with a freshabout team heading The surprising part is it wasn’t even a Yamaha, in Team Honda Racing and two Bates of the leathers, best ridersandQUEENSLAND Knowing we had seen something special, and having lucky enough to see them concert in their off, Gregg dived into lime-green the motocross, supercross and freestyle THE in start of the 2011 very Dakarprime. Rally marks the but it turns out Balchin used the same protection in thewheeled country isout veryhis exciting. JamieKR750 and Wayne – Darryl Flack star Robbiebeen Marshall haspresence signed withofCoastal KTM announcement of the upcoming release of Dream in the true greatness, it was time to go. mechanics beautiful to pitlane. system he used on his Yamaha PWC. are going to be extremely competitive; I can’t say to contest in the 2011 MX Nationals and SuperX Racer – a documentary drama that tells the story I saw Hansford race his TZ700 several times in 1974 and This was it. Dad and I had seen Hansford pull off one of for sure who wants the title more! The preparation Ed Murray from Yamaha DNA was surprised to series in the Pro Open Class. of an ordinary man with an extraordinary dream – for the victories new seasonover is well and truly underway and Park bike in question wasn’t a Yamaha. “I was his KR750 in ’76, then in his last-everlearn localthetwo-wheel his greatest Warren Willing at Oran to compete in the world’s most dangerous motor KTM 350SX-mounted Marshall will be joining with the experience these possess a bit confused at first to find that a non-Yamaha race. meeting atMotocross Bathurst Champion in 1980. It Jay was always an enormous just five months earlier,that andboth now weriders had the chanceformer to World Junior there is every reason to believe that the Team motocross bike was carrying Yamaha marine Wilson giving Coastal KTM its strongest line-up in In 2010, Christophe Barriere-Varju put everything privilege to see Gregg ride, but that impromptu cameo see him thrash around his home track. Honda Racing CBR1000RR will be seen at the front identification but it proves that the system works years with both riders set to shake up the Under on the line to finish the Dakar in South America. of the field from the getthe go,”KR saidand Free.one ■ of the canmy trace anything carrying Yamaha DNA at Surfers Paradise, witnessed by justand meweand father, Gregg climbed aboard 19s and Pro Open classes in 2011. protection, ” said Murray. ■ Film-maker Simon Lee followed him on his somehow stands out. After 34 years, the memory of that mechanics gaveToitHonda a gentle push and it fired into life, the Mackie “I’m really looking forward to joining the Coastal incredible roller coaster journey - from the struggle audience an all-time still lingers, as wail ofFORMER the 750Factory triple Kawasaki breakingrider theCody morning silence. KTM He outfit private Summer racing for the 2011 season,”with Marshall said. “It’s great to find funds to take part and his preparations Mackie has great to bedoes able Surfers to ride for KTM andraceway. I’m excited in the sand dunes of eastern Australia to 10,000 Paradise Watching cruisedsigned down the for pitlane and disappeared under the to ride Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda THE StQueenslander George MCC is getting NSW road racing up about the change. I rode for Factory KTM back in thrilling kilometres across Argentina & Chile. forBridge the 2011atMX Nationals series theminutes andAustralian running nice and early in 2011. Hansford rifle into the fastest corner in Dunlop the end ofand theSuperX straight. A in few racing 2002-2003 and had some really good results and Pro-Lites class. Dream Racer shows The Dakar in its purest form On Saturday February 5 the club is running the later, he sizzled down the chute, but with the wooden time, on Queensland’s track, is a memory hopefully I at canthe continue from where I left offbest-ever .” – no sponsors, no multi-million dollar team, not Team 07 Axis Motorsports owner Andrew ‘Hoppo’ first round of the Honda Rjays NSW Clubman RRC pit wall obstructing our view, we walked down pitlane preserving. But where Gregg legend “It’s been aworth while since I have ridden a KTM but I’m Hansford’s even a mechanic – just one man, a motorbike, his Hopson is excited about the potential of Mackie at Wakefield Park near Goulburn. sure I will get back the swing of things pretty is but a footnote in tool-roll, and the world’s most dangerous motor and climbed up into the 5m high platform lives on,into Surfer’s Paradise raceway and his team’s CRF250R. “We can’tstart/finish wait to see what To find out more visit www.stgeorgemcc.com. ■ quick,” Marshall concluded. race. can dekko. do on one Hondas. We had the to get Cody a better By of theourtime we had summited the Australian motorsport history. bikes at a level where they were winning races at On top of his racing commitments Marshall will Dream Racer will be available on DVD and touring 20 Million Sore Thumbs platform, Gregg several more Fast, open and hugely popular, the 3.2km track was the tail end ofhad the reeled 2010 MXoff season, so we can’tlaps see and compete in selected freestyle events throughout film festivals internationally from mid-2011. THE longand standing game for off-road fans MX vs. he wasa reason now well truly up to speed. Heleft blasted onto aboard designed Keith Williams in 1966, hosted why and we shouldn’t begin where we off Australia the and 2011built KTMby250 two-stroke Join Dream Racer on Facebook to view the ATV has recently sold its 10 millionth unit and the last year”. of going to the 2011Williams X-Games sold it to Japanese the straight and snicked through the six-speed ’box with as the possibility its last race in 1987 before film trailer and examining other exclusive new 2011 version was given a sneak preview to Hansford his machine.footage in the United States. Mackiemax finished sixth in Pro of the 2010 and photos, and stay up to date as the he entered speed zone ofLites the class 800m-long straight. company Daikyo. Unlike Oran Park’s demise was the fans that at the opening round of the 2011 AMA Motocross Nationals and fifth in the 2010 SuperX “We are really happy to have Robbie joining our Dream Racer adventure progresses. ■ Supercross at Anaheim recently. series. ■ team here at Coastal KTM for the 2011 race season,” Continued on page 8

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Cycle Torque Test – 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R RIDING GEAR: KBC helmet, gloves by Five Gloves, Joe Rocket leathers, Alpinestars boots. TEST BY

CHRIS PICKETT

PHOTOS BY

Nigel Paterson & Kawasaki

d e h t e m a T


What better way is there to keep control of outrageous horsepower than traction control?

n o g a dr Continued next page


Engine Kawasaki says there’s not one part interchangeable between the outgoing and incoming ZX-10R. Rumours of this bike a year or so ago said it would have a crossplane crank design similar to Yamaha’s R1, but it isn’t so. It’s got new everything, from crank cases to valves but after reading the engine press release we saw it has a single-shaft secondary balancer which is supposed to reduce vibration. It was then we realised the vibration was gone, not like the older model ZX-10Rs which vibrated quite a bit. Hallelujah. What else to talk about? Well, it’s fuel injected, as you would expect, and the ram Air Intake boosts power at high speed. Titanium is used for the entire exhaust system, and the stubby muffler looks modern and fits the style of the bike, even if it doesn’t sound all that tough. Now this will give racers a smile. The bike has a six-speed cassette gearbox, no doubt similar to the ZX-6R. Serious racers will be able to buy different ratios to suit certain tracks, although road riders would really find no need. In fact the bike is fairly low geared and at 100km/h is doing a shade over four-grand in top gear. Combined with the prodigious torque, top gear cruising – even at quite low speeds – is easy. n

ALWAYS known for its potent engine, the ZX-10R has equally been known as lacking in the finer graces of handling compared to its competition. We think the allnew ZX-10R deserves to grab that ‘ill-handling’ tag and throw it in the bin. Not only does is handle sweetly, it still has all that grunt, and also traction control to control it.

Triple treats

There are plenty of new things to talk about on the ZX-10R but perhaps the most important is the three-stage power curves and traction control. The three modes of power are Full, Middle and Low. Essentially Full gives you everything, Middle lessens throttle response, although full power can be accessed temporarily says Kawasaki’s handbook, and Low gives around 60 per cent of full power. On the road you can notice the difference between Full and Middle, but we only noticed it during hard acceleration out of tight corners. Low power mode is of course noticeable straight away but this will be fantastic for riding in poor conditions, or on the racetrack in the wet. What we liked about the power modes is how easy you can select them. A switch

on the left handlebar allows you to select them simply by holding it down for less than a second. The handbook says you must close the throttle and stop the motorcycle to do so but before we read this we had already changed modes while still in motion. Naughty us. You have to love traction control, and this second generation of Kawasaki traction control is one of the better ones we’ve sampled. Some bikes in this market sector have what you might call ‘overt’ traction control, but others like BMW’s S 1000 RR, and the 2011 ZX-10R sit much more in the background, almost as if they aren’t there at all. But they are there, protecting the rider from coming unstuck from hamfisted throttle control. Kawasaki says it designed the three stage traction control, called Sport-Kawasaki TRaction (yes, we meant to make that a capital R) Control (S-KTRC for short) to make things simpler for the rider, and it’s hard to argue with that. Mode One allows you to wheelstand and slide the rear tyre out of corners, if you’re good enough, while Mode Two lets you have a little slide or two out of corners. Mode Three intervenes early enough to prevent the rear wheel from spinning whenever possible. Once again the manual says you must stop the motorcycle and close the throttle to change modes but we seemed to be able to do it on the fly but only when doing under 80km/h or thereabouts. The Power mode button is also used to change S-KTRC modes, pushing down instead of up. Simply put it’s one of the simplest sytems available.

What else is new?

For the techno junkies you also get anti-lock brakes for the first time on a ZX-10R. It’s called Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS). It’s pretty flash, with the

Continued next page


Above: Cutting-edge instruments, Öhlins damper.

Big piston forks make it to the ZX-10R.

The shock is mounted almost horizontal.

Chassis

An all-new alloy twin spar frame holds the ZX-10R together. According to the press blurb the chassis has a more direct line from the steering stem to the swingarm pivot, and the engine is mounted higher than before. While that sounds nice what’s more interesting is the positioning of the rear shock which is called Horizontal Back Link rear suspension. By all accounts this allows the use of a softer rear spring to give better feedback, and after having ridden the big Ninja we can only agree. Combined with the 43mm Showa Big Piston forks (introduced on the ZX-6R in 2009), this is one of the supplest sports bikes Cycle Torque has ever ridden on the road. Not once did we get launched out of the seat, and we rode the bike on real roads, not psuedo race tracks. An Öhlins steering damper helps keep everything in control, and it’s adjustable too. During our test we never needed to touch either the suspenion or the steering damper. We can only assume Kawasaki Australia has a direct line to Cycle Torque’s scales, the set-up was that spot on. It has a very comprehensive dash, which is easy to read. We really liked the digital tacho which lights up in bright yellow/orange/red depending on how hard you’re dishing it to the engine, and the Gear Position Indicator (GPI). The neat thing with the gear position indicator is you can make it central in the dash if you are in Race Mode Display. Basically it takes the digital speed

readout and swaps it with the GPI, so it’s nice and big and easy to read when you’re doing a fast lap of ‘The Island’.

Road rage

To coin a well used cliché, the ZX-10R is like a clenched fist inside a velvet glove. Comfort wise it’s not too bad for a racetrack refugee and there’s enough room to easily put a set of inch-higher ’bars if you want. The footpegs have two positions too. As for the power, Oh My God describes it succinctly. If you reckon you need any more than this for the road you are simply delusional. Reports are saying the power is close or slightly more than BMW’s S 1000 RR. We’ve now ridden both and we can’t say either way. Both are extremely fast. At first we thought it was a little doughy because it wasn’t lofting the front out of corners all that easily. Then we realised it was in Mode Two of the traction control. Putting it to Mode One had that little issue sorted, didn’t it now, but we did still notice a slight dip in the power off the bottom. At times we brought the throttle on a bit too quick out of tight corners and this caused us to run slightly wide. Maybe the power was coming out of this dip or possibly the dude at the controls was not as smooth as he should have been. At any rate, we preferred to run a gear higher, which seemed to eliminate this snatchiness, and the bike has more than enough torque to do it.

Verdict

We could go on forever, but we really liked this bike. Let’s face it, all the bikes in this class are pearlers. Some are better than others but there’s little in it. At $19,999 + ORC the ZX-10R is good value. The amount of technology on these modern road racers with lights is astounding, and you have to wonder where it will all end. It’s about time Kawasaki got off its backside and produced a bike capable of taking it to the others, and this will. n

Big brakes, fat forks, huge radiator.

bike’s ECU talking to the ABS ECU to monitor wheel speed and front caliper hydraulic pressure to provide precise braking control. Kawasaki says it’s a first on a motorcycle. We can tell you the brakes are awesome, with loads of initial bite (maybe a little too much), and the slipper clutch suppresses ABS function on the rear brake during down shifts. We did engage ABS a few times while encountering some bumps while braking hard for a corner. This was mainly the front only. The only issue with the big radially-mounted brakes is maybe they are too good. A couple of times we found the bike not wanting to turn into a corner because we were still pulling on the front brake. You will find this on a number of top line sportsbikes so it’s a matter of changing your riding style – if you need to that is – and getting off the brakes as you tip in but still carrying some rear brake if needed, like we tended to do.


Launch Report – Triumph America & Speedmaster

Twins no more Couldn’t tell these two apart before? Well, now you can.

RIDING GEAR: OGK helmet, Ixon jacket, Hornee jeans, Spyke gloves, Thomas Cook boots TEST BY

CHRIS PICKETT

PHOTOS BY

Lou Martin

TRIUMPH has continued with its ‘twins’ theme for the 2011 Speedmaster and America. While the parallel twin cylinder layout has been retained for both (and not likely to change in a hurry either), there’s now much more of a styling differential between the two models. The styling and riding positions are different enough that it’ll be easier to make your choice. No longer will you be haunted by your dreams hinting you should have bought the ‘other’ bike. In a sea of V-twin cruisers these two stand out as a market sector all of their own.

Martha or Arthur

While the America has stayed on the traditional path, even gone down it a bit more, the Speedmaster has taken a turn down the chopper route, with a look which should attract younger buyers. Both bikes share the same engine and chassis but are definitely different to ride. To say which one is better will come down to personal preferences, both for the look and the ride.

Engineering

Nothing much has changed on the engine front. Retaining the 865cc air-cooled engine which has seen use in a range of Triumph’s models since the middle of the last decade has been a smart decision by the company. It’s not the most powerful engine but grunty enough to put a smile on your face, and with the 270 degree crank layout it sounds and feels much like a V-twin. Even though it’s fuel injected, the injection looks much like carburettors so the old school look is retained. It’s the same with the chassis. The only differences being some geometry differences because the America has a longer wheelbase. But the real changes and differences lie in the styling and ergonomics. To get that stripped down look for the Speedmaster, Triumph has given it a taller and skinnier

19-inch wheel, a smaller headlight and minimalist bodywork, different wheel design and a smaller seat. Its also got a wider back wheel and a single disc with a twin-piston caliper. Even though it’s more streamlined than before it almost looks like an old steam locomotive, if you squint your eyes a bit. I reckon it looks cool which is no doubt the reaction Triumph was looking for. On the America Triumph has gone for the squat look, with more substantial guards, a smaller and fatter 16-inch front wheel, pull back handlebars and a much wider pillion seat. Pipes are different on both bikes and I sampled a couple of versions fitted with accessory Triumph mufflers, letting the engine give out a nice healthy ‘bark’. Even though the seat height on either bike shouldn’t be a worry for shorter riders it will be worth noting the seat on the America is now down to 695mm, some 25mm lower than before, while the pillion perch on both bikes is 20mm lower than last year’s models.

The ride

Starting off on the America I found the riding position

to be quite good. An easy stretch to the footpegs and pull back ’bars gave me plenty of room. If you’re seven foot tall you might be cramped but for the majority of riders there’s enough room. At cruising speeds the buffeting wasn’t an issue and at any rate Triumph offers a quick release accessory screen which when sampled later


Some will prefer the ‘highway’ ’bars on the America.

Pillion friendly. Continued next page


Continued next page


Accessory screen looks great and works well too.

Old school look. Even the fuel injection is made to look like carbs.

Rear shocks have preload adjustment only.

Flat ’bars suit the Speedmaster.

Not so pillion friendly.

proved to be just the the ticket for freeway speeds. If you’ve just jumped off Triumph’s Thunderbird or Rocket III you might be thinking where’s the power gone but it pumps along nicely, with quick overtaking requiring a change down before you twist the throttle open. I don’t think these bikes are about horsepower anyway, they are more about enjoying the ride for what it is. Where the engine revels is its mid range and flexibility. If you use the torque you’ll be pleasantly surprised how well the 61 horsepower unit punts along. Also as sweet as a nut is the gearbox. Ratios are widely spaced and at 100km/h the engine will be spinning around 3500rpm in top. You could

play with the gearing but I don’t think there’d be much point. Jumping on the Speedmaster had me thinking it was a completely different bike for a second. You would think the America’s smaller diameter front would make it quicker steering than the Speedmaster but I found it to be the other way around, due to the wider front tyre on the America. I also preferred the flatter ’bars on the Speedmaster. For some reason the Speedmaster I rode even felt more powerful than the America, but only just. The engines are the same so that can’t be it, and according to Triumph’s own specifications there’s no weight difference (250kg full of fuel). Sometimes you just get sweeter engines out of the box so that could have been it. Both bikes suffer from a lack of cornering clearance but you expect that from all cruisers. In fact the bikes handle much better than the clearance will allow you to explore. Suspension is also basic – front forks are 41mm and non adjustable, while rear shocks are adjustable for pre-load – but once again for this type of bike it is fine. Sure, big bumps will see the rear shocks struggle but as all manufacturers have found out, it’s hard to have long travel suspension in a bike which sits low to the ground. I preferred the look of the Speedmaster’s seat, but the feel of the America’s. Triumph do an accessory gel seat, and if longer rides were on the agenda I’d look at one, especially on the Speedmaster. Like most cruisers the twin-piston back brake seems to do most of the work, and it works well. The front brake feels a bit wooden on either bike but they work well enough.

Verdict

Both bikes are $13,990 + ORC which is actually cheaper than the previous models. At this price they are very good value. There’s a number of middleweight cruisers in this market sector but the Trumpies are a real point of difference. Don’t just think that’s the only thing going for them though, the bikes are fun to ride, and stack up well and look very different to most of their competition. n

S p e c i f i c at i o n s : triumph america & (speedmaster) Engine Type: Air-cooled twin Capacity: 865cc Transmission: 5-speed Fuel Capacity: 19.3 Litres Frame Type: Tubular steel cradle Seat Height: 695mm (700mm) Wet Weight: 250kg Front Suspension: 41mm Kayaba Rear Suspension: Kayaba twin shocks Brakes: Single disc front, single rear Tyres: 130/90-16, 170/80-15 (100/90-19, 170/80–15) Price (RRP): $13,990 + ORC www.triumph.co.uk/australia Call for a quote

1800 24 34 64

WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE GUARANTEED*


Cycle Torque Test – 2011 KTM 350 & 450 SX-F TEST BY

TODD REED

PHOTOS BY

CHRIS PICKETT

There’s more than just 100cc that separates these two race bikes.


New order Continued next page


S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2011 ktm 350sx-f (450sx-f) Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 350cc (450cc) Transmission: 5-speed Fuel Capacity: 7.5 Litres Frame Type: Chromoly double cradle Seat Height: 992mm Dry Weight: 103.9kg (106.9kg) Front Suspension: 48mm WP USD Rear Suspension: WP PDS monoshock Brakes: Single disc front, single rear Tyres: 80/100-21, 110/90-19 Price (RRP): $11,995 ($12,295) www.ktm.com.au Engine

The release of the all new KTM 350SX-F has sparked worldwide interest and is the latest open class racer from the KTM factory. Inspired by MX legend Stefan Everts, the 350cc four-stroke is aimed at taking control of the 450cc MX class and is KTM’s flagship model in the bigbore category. An all new creation from the ground up, the 350 has got all the bells and whistles, and is arguably one of the most creative and innovative production bikes in recent history, and it’s already got runs on the board by winning a world championship. A 350cc thumper up against a pack of 450s is no easy task, and it’s a very ballsy move by KTM to campaign a smaller capacity bike up against the biggest and fastest motocross bikes on the planet. The jury is out on this machine, and as the new race season begins we will soon find out if 350cc is capable of putting it to 450cc away from the factory-backed GP scene. Cast your mind back a few months and you will remember we were impressed when Cycle Torque got to ride the 2011 KTM range earlier in 2010 at the KTM MX range launch: so much so we decided it would be a great idea to give it a more thorough test on familiar turf at our own MX test track in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The engine is obviously the big ticket item here, it is a computer designed, purpose built 350cc, fourvalve DOHC, water-cooled, four-stroke powerplant. It’s not a big bore 250F and it’s not a sleeved down 450F. It’s a straight up brand new concept 350cc design. Look beyond the naked eye and you will find a host of top notch engine features on the new KTM: there is a motocross-specific five-speed gearbox, Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection, Magura Hydraulic clutch and possibly the most convenient new feature – electric start. As soon as you take off down the track you immediately notice that the 350cc motor is full of life and has plenty of power under the hood. After making a few personal adjustments to the cockpit we began to settle into a rhythm on the 350 and throw down some competitive laps. The motor is certainly the most impressive part of the 350SX-F, it is very easy to adapt to and is very confidence inspiring. It’s free-revving and wants to be ridden hard like a small bore 250F yet much more powerful and punchy. It’s got good power off the bottom and is at its strongest through the mid and top end.

Chassis & Suspension

An all new chassis was developed for the KTM SX-F range in 2011. Sticking to their beliefs and what works for the orange bikes, the KTM engineers tweaked their Chromoly Steel cradle, added extra torsional rigidity and a new shock mounting system. The top of the shock now mounts to what some might consider to be a sub-frame

which is welded towards the rear of the chassis. This is aimed at taking the rear shock forces away from the rest of the chassis and to isolate the shock forces to the mounting frame built onto the rear of the current chassis. The KTM four-strokes now come with a linkage system, something consumers have been crying out for. 2011 will be the first time the Austrian brand will incorporate a linkage in their production line, since... well a very long time ago. Once again for 2011 KTM have enlisted the services of WP suspension to handle all of their suspension components, the range is similar to what can be found on any 2010 SX-F model, however with obvious modifications to suit the new chassis and linkage. After settling into a good pace around the motocross track and getting used to the KTM it was time to give the suspension a workout and see what this 350 was all about. For standard equipment the 350 suspension works well in most across the board situations. We made some clicker adjustments during the day to get the most out of the WP suspension, we found the standard setting to be a little bit busy and we worked on calming down the feel of the suspension to make things a bit more comfortable on the rider, which we achieved.

The 450

While the 350 is the talk of the paddock and is taking all the glitz and glamour, the 450 received its fair share of updates and hasn’t gone completely unnoticed by the Austrian factory. We thought it would only be fair to bring out the big guns and ride the 450 on the same day as the 350, this would give us a more accurate comparison of how each bike stacks up in the big bore class and how competitive these two bikes are. Once again KTM came up with the goods and bought along a 2011 450SX-F for us to have a play on.

What’s new:

The big-bore KTM got an all new chassis along with the rest of the fleet, and also got the new SX-F linkage system. A new swingarm compliments the new shock/ linkage/chassis system and also sheds around 300g when compared to the previous model. Also on the list are new wheels front and rear. The KTM factory have gone back to silver Excel rims, instead of the black they have been using in production for a while now, and also have a new coating on the spokes and spoke nipples. Last but not least the 450 shares the all new bodywork on the 2011 KTM SX-F models, all new plastics and graphics make for an updated, modern new look.


Continued next page


One piece swingarm for 2011.

A Euro machine needs Euro brakes. They don’t come much better than Brembo.

WP shock gets a linkage for 2011.

On the track:

Roll onto the track and the 450 certainly feels different to the 350. The bike feels a bit bigger, and the motor gives you much more of that “big bore” feel as it tends to chug off the bottom. The power on the KTM 450SX-F is plentiful as you roll on juice, the motor is very strong has plenty of grunt. It’s not a fast paced, “rev me silly” type of power, it’s strong and torquey and gets up to speed very fast without too much effort. The KTM 450SX-F is equipped with a Keihin carburettor and is jetted well right off the showroom floor, while we have no problems with the trusty old carby on the 450 as it does everything we ask and more, it would be nice to see KTM look at EFI on their big bore thumper.

Verdict:

Well after a long day at the office testing the KTM 350SX-F and 450SX-F we were all feeling pretty tired. The test was not

so much to find a “winner” out of these two bikes, more to see how they both fit into today’s open class motocross market. On tracks where horsepower rules then it would be hard to look past the power and punch of the 450. It was so much fun trying to use all the power underneath the bonnet of the big KTM. Add some tight lines and big bumps and soon enough the smaller 350 comes into play as it feels that bit lighter and easier to ride as the laps continue and all your energy gets left behind. It would be a hard decision to choose between the two, and there are many things to consider if you are in the market for either of these bikes, but you can’t really make a bad decision – both bikes are good machines. n


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TEST BY

Nigel Paterson

PHOTOS BY

BMW/JPM Photos

RIDING GEAR: Shark helmet, Ixon gloves, Joe Rocket leathers, Razor boots.

2011 BMW S 1000 RR (with race kit)

Adding performance BMW’s High Performance Race Kit makes the S 1000 RR a track weapon. THERE aren’t too many changes to report on the BMW S 1000 RR for 2011. There are new colours: Light Grey Metallic or Thunder Grey Metallic join the still available white/blue/red version. What is new is the Power Up kit - for about six grand you can get 12 more horsepower, lose nearly 7kg and actually make the bike easier to ride fast around a racetrack. Around mid 2010 BMW started fitting the new, homologated-for-racing crankshaft and there have been some small changes made to the production methods of the bike, but nothing which materially affects the specifications.  So in stock trim there’s 186HP. zOptioned up with traction control, race ABS, speed shifter and selectable ignition modes, the S 1000 is one of the most easily personalised machines available. It’s also one of the fastest, but most controllable sports machines ever built, and has been winning all sorts of production-based racing classes right around the world. Adding more power and reducing weight via BMW’s High Performance Race Power Kit takes the bike to a new level. The kit includes an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system (with removable baffle) and replacement engine management unit. The result is more power, but possibly more importantly, more midrange. Heaps more midrange. From 4500rpm to 12,500rpm there’s more power right through, but there’s up to 20 per cent more torque, too - which means getting out of tight corners

(especially) is so much faster. The kit, only available and must be fitted by your BMW dealer, is not ADR approved (it’s not called a race kit for no reason), and you must sign a waiver of your bike’s warranty if you order one. Cycle Torque understands if anything goes

wrong after that BMW will look at it on a case-by-case basis, but officially there’s no warranty if you’re running the race kit. So it’s not for everyone. Good. And it makes your high performance track-ready S 1000 RR worth over $30,000, but wow, what a machine.

I’ve never ridden such a fast machine with such confidence. This bike goes hard, really hard, but so easily. The traction control, with it’s four modes (rain, sport, track, slick) offer an incredible margin for error, as does the race ABS.  The S 1000 RR is all about going fast. It


has an aggressive riding position, high footpegs, only a cursory nod to carry a pillion passenger, and little luggage capability. All that’s as it should be: if you want something more versatile, BMW has many bikes in its range which should suit you. This machine is about going fast – in a straight line, around corners, in the dry, in the wet. And doing it safely, improving your confidence, making your adrenaline pump and giving you the rush which only fast riding can provide. And when the standard machine is no longer fast enough, adding the race kit will give you more. The pipe makes the bike sound better and go harder, the reduced weight improves performance and handling. Sure, you can buy much cheaper track bikes, but if the technoloagy available for the S 1000 RR saves you from one crash, it could easily save you the difference in the price, never mind the potential for injury and the hassle of crash repairs. I used to believe the occasional tumble, if you did enough track days, was kinda inevitable. With an S 1000 RR, Race ABS and traction control I’m not so sure: I reckon a sensible rider could ride one for many, many track days, exploring their own limits, without ever crashing. n


Cycle Torque Touring Feature

The road to Gundagai “I turned and travelled with a sigh The lonely road to Gundagai.” Banjo Paterson 1902

The end of one road to Gundagai. All photos by Colin Whelan © IN AUSSIE literature, there are a couple of ‘Road to Gundagais’. There’s Banjo Paterson’s poem of 1902 and the far more well known song by Jack O’Hagan which sold an amazing 100,000 copies within a year of its release in 1922 and then became the theme for the Dad and Dave radio show. But if you enjoy riding deserted sweeping country roads through majestic rolling farms and forests, and if you are prepared to put up with a bit of dirt and dust, then listen up and you’ll see there’s way more than a mere brace of real roads to (and around) Gundagai! Oh, and, Banjo, they are more ‘lovely’ than ‘lonely’! I’d arrived in Gundagai late-ish. It’s a longterm billabong town since the new bridge brought the bypass in 1977. Most of the old pubs have closed down and with the owners of the Family Hotel deciding that the afternoon sun drenched verandah was too good to share, I booked into the Art Noveau Criterion, changed my riding boots for thongs and ordered a drink.

I’m there, where to next?

A good feed at the pub’s bistro pouring over my paper maps, Google maps and GPS resulted in me having five different choices for the following day depending on the

weather and what grabbed me in the morning. The barman was cool with parking the bike on the footpath under his awning though there is also secure parking around the back of the pub. The double bed was great value at 60 bucks including cereal, coffee and toast breakfast. With a good bit of high cloud cover to obscure the early sun I decided on the longest loop which would take me to Jugiong on the Hume then northeast to Boorowa followed by a sweep down to Gunning, a bit more connecting on the Hume to Yass then to Tumut via Wee Jasper and home. All up around 400km of what looked like good riding on very varied roads. I figured on around 10 hours. Like all the options this gave me the choice to edit the journey at a few stages and A2B it if I had bike problems or rider fatigue. The Caltex in central Gundagai is now closed (it seems permanently) so I stopped at the Dog, five un-metricated miles north and squeezed all I could into the Tenere’s 23 litre tank, reckoning it would do for the day.

On the road

First up was the fast and boring connection to Jugiong and coffee at the Long Track Café. This is one the very best stops

on the highway. Fresh homemade cakes and bread, good eggs and great staff make this one place I never go past. Then into Gino next door for some fresh fruit and time to get moving. Gino was to prove his worth again later in the week. The Jugiong Police station is just north of the town on the Boorowa Rd. If the (currently) white highway patrol car of the town’s only officer is in the driveway it means there are no radar-equipped highway patrol cars anywhere in the area. You may make of that piece of information what you will. On this day the car was safely parked. I headed east to the end of town and then turned north onto McMahons Reef Rd and pinned my ears back. This is a four metre wide strip of tar with no markings. It’s pretty straight for the first 5km when it turns to gravel for an easy 5km and then things become more interesting. The drought-ending rains which have blessed the country have had a few effects: high roadside weeds impede corner vision and flocks of sheep have been sent out to graze the long paddock and do the council’s work of trimming the roadside. I came across a large flock without any warning and from later chats with locals, it’ll be a rare ride that doesn’t encounter any mobs on the road. A lot of the road is ridge top, giving great views to the valleys on each side (reminded me of the Gresford-Dungog ridge road) and I could really let the Yammy


Wee Jasper entrance is one of the most beautiful in the country. have its legs. A right at Bouyeo Rd heralds more of the same but be wary of the crossing at Burley Griffin Way where you’ll be unexpected by the highway traffic. Then it’s into Galong, a town I’d never heard of but whose pub is a true jewel of the road. It’s been bought and sold three times in the last few years but now the local owners, armed with a community licence aim to turn it back into a true destination pub. The bar walls are filled with fascinating stuff and the indoor beer garden is simply amazing - Mad Max meets Henry Lawson. The five rooms at the Galong Royal Hotel can take up to 15 people in an assortment of single beds, doubles and bunks and if they can’t fit you in, there’s ample room to chuck your swag out the back. (Or there’s always the monastery just up the road.)

Boorowa and beyond

From here it’s a race track to Boorowa, a hub town with all facilities including fuel and an inviting swimming pool. I needed neither so I headed through the well kept streets and bore southeast to Gunning. Another deserted well maintained tar top with some good curves and twists but around 35km out of town, after Rye Park, without a single warning sign, the tar abruptly ends as you come out of a right hand sweep. You’ll have around two seconds before you get to the dirt so look out! The 20km of dirt is white top and easy riding with lizards and snakes pretty much every kilometre and it yells out ‘roos at dusk ‘though I didn’t encounter any. At the end of the dirt is Dalton, a tiny hamlet with a recently

taken over pub. I arrived before its 3.00pm weekday opening time so I couldn’t check whether the new owners had yet installed a kitchen. In any event this is another great country pub which would welcome riders to its five very comfortable rooms. There’s business hours fuel at the garage across the way for the small tank set. Then it was off to Gunning on Dalton Rd. Gunning is another of my favourite billabong towns with two good cafés, the Merino being my favourite and the Shell servo next to the pub is the friendliest one around. I topped up so I could chat to the owner who’s never too busy for a chat and can always help with directions. We decided the best way home would begin with a zip down the Hume to Yass so I rode the Old Grey Mare to the edge of town and its Tourist Info Office. The knowledgeable and helpful young lady there suggested heading down through Wee Jasper and when I heard the other side was not suitable for caravans or trucks I perked up. ‘Enjoy the ride down to the township,’ she told me, ‘coz there’s 60 kay of dirt on the other side.’ Ah! Just a few Kays out of town it’s easy to understand why the ride down to Wee Jasper is a favourite there and back day ride for my friends in Canberra. The tar is not degraded by truck scars, no potholes or rutting in the corners caused by HGV tyres so the corners are easy to plan. A 1km stretch of unsealed roadworks in the middle is the only blemish and with consistent advisories, predictable corners and good centre markings. It’s a brilliant ride. It’s primarily a cliff road with a drop-off to the right giving great predictable corners and

North from Wantabadgery. Don’t expect warnings!

Just north of Adelong, and well worth a visit and a break.

Continued next page


A shingleback on the dirt between Boorowa and Dalton


good centre markings. It’s a brilliant ride. It’s primarily a cliff road with a drop-off to the right giving great views down into the Burrinjuck Valley and there’s a couple of pull-off points where you can stop and admire the beauty of the country. Wee Jasper itself is a quaint little place with a general store open only from 11.30-3.30 during the week and what must be one of the state’s smallest schools at the far edge of town. The tar gives out some 3km west of the township as the strip rises up from the valley. The first 16km reminds very much of the goat track to Wombeyan Caves and would be a challenge for a road bike but after this it flattens and smoothes out and is good high speed dirt. The scenery is distractingly good and the native life abundant. Within 10 km I’d negotiated roos, slowed for echidnas, long neck tortoises and blue tongues and swerved to avoid a rearing two metre black snake.

this, I was in for a good couple of days. Since leaving Yass, outside town limits, I’d seen five moving cars, three trucks and no moving motorcycles. The RSL at the western end of town is standard club fare, friendly and cheap with two free internet terminals. I checked my email and then bom.gov and weatherzone.com for the forecasts. It was all good news so I decided to head south first thing in the morning to avoid the morning sun and make for Tumut via the middle road then loop back north to Tumblong via Adelong. Where to after that? “The mountain road goes up and down From Gundagai to Tumut Town.” Banjo Paterson 1902 This is sealed all the way and fast rural A riding with

are rock hard cold. Don’t pass it without stopping in. Not far away are a couple of great camping areas if you are carrying a swag and sleeping out. Both Moonlight Reserve and Sandy Beach are on the banks of the Murrumbidgee and will host me one night soon. “Where the blue gums are growing And the Murrumbidgee’s flowing.” Jack O’Hagan 1922 From Wanta, I now headed north once again on wonderfully deserted roads for Gundagai Rd where I could’ve turned left for a break in Junee but I flicked right for home. Nangas, halfway there has a Golden Fleece restricted servo if you didn’t fill back at Tumut. The rest of the road is rural A with little traffic and an attitude of begging to be ridden.

T for Tumut

After the dirt you hit a T-junction with Tumut in both directions. Dirt to the right and tar to the left. A racing fully loaded log truck coming out of the dirt on the wrong side made up my mind and I took the smooth route to the left. “It came by chance one day that I From Tumut rode to Gundagai.” Banjo Paterson 1902 Tumut has a great range of eateries, with both the Oriental Hotel and the Woolpack directly opposite offering good counter meals and many reasonable cafes along Wynard St. I grabbed a meal and a chardy at the Woolpack and pulled out my map. Again you are spoiled for choice and from the three great options for the final stretch back to Gundagai I chose the eastern-most method which included a dirt stretch beside the Tumut River. I retraced my steps for 2.5km before heading north to Brungle where I crossed the Tumut for the first time and then soon after stopped to check the map at the turn into the dirt Tarranbandra Rd. The sign warned that it is a Dry Weather Road Only and a sparkie was coming in his ute from the other direction and told me I was crazy and should stick to the tar but I thanked him and headed east. The following 17km of dirt, regularly punctuated by cattle grids and now dry rivulet course at times very close to the wonderful Tumut River is a placid friendly surface and an awesomely beautiful ride. Just when you are getting fully into the groove, the track swings south and turns to bitumen and now the river on your right is the mighty Murrumbidgee. Beautiful turns to awesome. Smooth surface, sweeping turns, great scenery for 8km to Jackalass where I rejoined the Gundagai Brungle Rd and headed into Gundagai. The dirt had been very much a clay surface, yellow and red and in wet times it sure would be a slippery challenge. I wouldn’t try it on a road bike, but in the dry, the Tenere just lapped it up. If the rest of the roads I was hoping to ride were like

predicable surfaces, good advisories and centre and edge lining for most of the roads. The flats are balanced with some good inclines and declines, a most enjoyable ride. The info office at Tumut is staffed by totally informed staff and the Caltex just up the road is friendly, helpful and with visor wash full with good detergent suds. There’s no fuel at either Adelong or Tumblong so it’s wise to fill up here. Adelong was flash flooded in late October and if you stop for a break at the Capitol Café, walk up a bit to the newsagent and ask Cheri the owner for a squiz at her shots of the waters raging a metre high outside her door. As you leave and head north take the turnoff about 1km from town for the Adelong Gold Diggings. One of the more interesting breaks in the journey and a decent place if you are into feral camping. Once at Tumblong, you again have the choice of zipping back to Gundagai on the Hume or exploring a bit more. The sun was still high in a mainly clear sky so I headed northwest for Wantabadgery. This is rural B road with no centre lining or advisories and for the first 16km is flat, fast and not hugely interesting. Then you turn right and cross the ‘bidgee… Now I love general stores but the Wantabadgery General Store, open whilst the owner is awake, is special. Steve the owner was away shearing so his mum was running this gem when I dropped in. It’s licensed and its ice-creams

I was back at Gundy after another great day’s riding and as I sat at the café with a quality strawb milkshake served properly in the metal and with extra ice-cream and checked my map, I knew that my third day was going to be at least as good. My final day had me riding a northern loop through Muttama, Wallendbeen and Harden before some fantastic advice from Gino the green grocer at Jugiong who had been discovering an extraordinary back route to Gundagai via Hopewood and Bundarbo. I pay for all my own expenses on these trips and do not make known the fact that I am writing for this magazine. I accept no contra or freebies which could cloud my evaluations of facilities or services unless explicitly stated in any accompanying disclaimer. I do rides such as this every three weeks, typically spending three days and two nights on the road. I welcome fellow riders to accompany me. If you are interested in joining a coming ride in NSW, Qld, Vic or SA, please email me and I’ll let you know of my future riding plans. My email is: colindavidwhelan@hotmail.com. Lastly, you can access these routes by jumping on Cycle Torque’s website, checking out this story and clicking on the links to the maps. These maps are from my Garmin GPS but will work in any GPS unit. – Colin Whelan

Continued next page


Cycle Torque Touring Feature

The road to Gundagai

Galong Pub’s pool room and some war memorabilia.

Continued next page


View from my room at the Gunning Motel.

The incline north of Hopewood on the Jugiong to Gundagai backroad.


Cycle Torque Test – Yamaha FZ8N RIDING GEAR: KBC helmet, Ixon jacket, Ixon gloves, Thomas Cook jeans and boots. TEST BY

Chris Pickett

PHOTOS BY

Nigel Paterson

IT MIGHT be the ‘middle child’ in Yamaha’s naked bike range, and some might think it’s neither fish nor fowl. In the real world though, the FZ8N has usable horsepower in a chassis which doesn’t struggle to control that horsepower. If Yamaha has purposely gone the modular motorcycle route then it’s worked in this case, it’s produced a bike which is easy and exciting to ride. When the FZ8 was first released most of us here at Cycle Torque questioned Yamaha’s mental state. Yamaha already had an impressive naked and half faired line-up, with its FZ1 and FZ6 range. Throw in the XJ6 and you have a bucket load of similar bikes to choose from if you want a Yamaha. We’d already sampled the 600 and 1000cc machines and were impressed. When we got the FZ8 we thought, nice bike but what’s the point? Who’s the bike really aimed at? We still can’t really answer that because it’s such an open ended question but after a 500 kilometre weekend away on the bike, from inner city Sydney madness to the long straights and tight corners of the Putty Road, we came away thinking this thing really is fun to ride. And isn’t that the end result you want from a bike, regardless of what it is?

The mechanics

Both the FZ8N and FZ8S share the same mechanical package, with the only difference being the frame mounted half fairing on the ‘S’. While the ‘S’ looks slightly more reserved, the ‘N’ fits the streetfighter look perfectly. Much of the engine is new but it does use crankcases from the pre-crossplane R1. A new crankshaft helps get the capacity right, and the top end of the fuel injected donk is all-new. Other than that it’s the same architecture as most inline four cylinder bikes; four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams, six-speed ’box etc. Interestingly the clutch is cable operated, not hydraulic which probably helps keep costs down and wouldn’t make a lot of difference to most riders anyway. Hanging from a cast alloy twin spar frame, the engine acts as a stressed member, so there’s no bottom cradle in the frame. Yamaha says the chassis set up is aimed at moderate speed agility, and the front to rear weight bias is 51/49. It’s not often you hear a manufacturer mention this sort of stuff and it’s even less written about in motorcycle magazines. Why? Because in real world riding it doesn’t matter a whole lot, but we think it’s worth mentioning in

this case. We’ll shoot forward a bit here and talk about the riding experience. Around town it feels stable but also steers quickly. We can’t honestly say we let the engine run out to redline in top gear so we can’t tell you if the chassis wiggles a bit at 240km/h or not. What we can tell you is the bike tackled the 25-70km/h corners like a pro which is exactly what Yamaha says it’s designed to do. 43mm USD forks are non-adjustable which is a shame but then again we didn’t feel like they needed adjusting so they must be close to the mark. At the rear the single shock is a linked monocross set-up which Yamaha says is supposed to be softer in the first part of the stroke to cater for our crap roads, while firming up when the shock further compresses when cornering hard. We liked the shock too and never thought about touching the spring preload, which is the only adjustment the rear shock has. Pulling the FZ8 up are twin four-piston monobloc calipers up front, and a twin-piston caliper at the rear. Overall it’s a package which is common enough but what’s not common is the look. We get two colours in Oz; white and black. As you can see we tested the white version and there’s no doubt in our minds the bike looks great.


Myth buster With a capacity of ‘only’ 779cc you might think the FZ8N would be in naked bike wilderness. If so, think again.

With the white bodywork and gold wheels it really stands out, plus its styling is very futuristic. Don’t know why Yamaha didn’t just put gold wheels on the black version, it would look very ‘John Player Special’ like; older readers will know what we are talking about. While the bike floats our boat on the styling front we do have to say the muffler is just plain ugly, and ripe for an aftermarket replacement.

On the road

If we were buying an FZ8 it would have to be the ‘S’ version which gives more protection from the elements. That said, the naked version is relatively buffet free up to and over the national speed limit, helped by

the little nose cone screen which works well given its small stature. Our testers who sampled the FZ8N are all around the six foot mark and the riding position was generous enough to allow un-cramped riding. A fly in the ointment for long distance riding is the hard seat which has you squirming not that long into your journey. A sheepskin cover or Airhawk seat would help here. And we are not sure the rear seat is a place a pillion would want to be for a 200 kilometre stint. Engine-wise the FZ8 motor is a gem. Easily capable of cruising at goto-jail speeds or tootling around, we never felt like we needed any more power than the bike gave. Sure if you lined it up against its stable mate the

Continued next page


FZ1 it might be slightly embarrassed but that’s not what it’s about. What we especially liked was the fact it had enough bottom end grunt to punch out of corners well, but also a surge in the mid to top end which got the excitement meter spinning when using a gear or two lower at the same speed. Through the mid-speed corners the bike was a hoot, and very capable of embarrassing much more powerful machines simply due to its user friendliness. We felt the brakes could have had more initial bite pulling up hard into tighter corners but to be fair we were asking a bit of them at the time. Everywhere else they worked fine. A look at the specifications sheet shows the bike weighs in at 211 kilograms with a full tank of 17 litres. On face value we wouldn’t have thought the bike was that heavy, it certainly never felt like it at slow or higher speeds.

Verdict

Before the FZ8 was released you could only choose between the 1000cc or 600cc versions, and the choice for most would have been cut and dried. Now it’s not so close. The $12,990 FZ8 offers a real alternative to both but we don’t know if Yamaha will be taking sales off itself or attracting buyers who may not have considered either the FZ6 or FZ1. It really deserves to sell well whatever the case. It’s a great bike. n

S p e c i f i c at i o n s : Yamaha FZ8N Engine Type: Liquid-cooled inline 4 Capacity: 779cc Transmission: 6-speed Fuel Capacity: 17 Litres Frame Type: Aluminium diamond Seat Height: 815mm Wet Weight: 211kg Front Suspension: USD forks Rear Suspension: Swingarm (link type) Brakes: Twin disc front, single rear Tyres: 120/70-17, 180/55-17 Price (RRP): $12,990 + ORC www.yamaha-motor.com.au Call for a quote

1800 24 34 64

WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE GUARANTEED*

The powerplant is R1-derived.

Modern cowl on the naked version.

Big, stiff swingarm.

USD forks and big brakes.

Modern instruments, too.


LETTERS TORQUING BACK Politics

ONLY two Australian political parties I know of have a credible motorcycle and scooter policy on paper. Family First in WA and the Liberal National Coalition in Victoria. www.vic.liberal. org.au. In Victoria the Coalition won government in November. We can now lobby them to implement their policy. If implemented the policy represents significant, positive change for riders in this state. Among other things there will be a Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle and scooter safety and this will include a review of the TAC tax attached to our grossly overpriced compulsory third party (CTP) insurance. And, in 2011, the Victorian Auditor General will conduct a motorcycle and scooter safety audit. www.audit.vic.gov.au. NSW goes to the polls in March 2011. Support the NSW Motorcycle Council lobbying for a better deal for riders. mccofnsw@ar.com. au. Damien Codognotto OAM Independent Riders’ Group Melbourne

Internet supporter

I read with interest Chris Pickett’s article on internet purchasing. It seems that when the shoe is on the other foot the good old guys start squealing, Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman fame to name one. It’s all right for local business to take jobs offshore and import crap that ends up at triple its value in shops here but when an individual takes the initiative to think for themselves it’s all different. I support my local motorcycle stores pretty well in most areas but to buy a genuine part here costs me well over twice the price of the same part (inc. freight) in the U.S. Both come from Japan and if anything have to travel further to the states where the dollar is still worth more than ours. It might not be the fault of the small guys in the shop more so the importer/manufacturer, maybe one day accessories and OEM parts may become more realistic in price as a result of the net and you never know insurance premiums may even benefit. John White

Survive the ride

Where do I start? I sit here looking at my two teenage daughters. The eldest has just got her ‘P’s, the youngest, her ‘Ls’. I hope I have taught them enough about safety to take care on the roads – they know the biggest risk is the person coming the other way over which they have no control. I am compelled to put pen to paper by the terrible tragedy that happened in the Medowie State Forest. There was a collision between a 17 year old and a 44 year old in the Medowie State Forest. The younger lad didn’t make it. Even as I write this I’m not sure what happened to the older bloke – I heard he was in hospital. I heard the young lad was out riding by himself on a bike he’d just bought and the older bloke was in a group. They collided head on. Scant as the details are – that’s the most we’ll probably hear about – most riders will never hear about it. I couldn’t leave it like that – if we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything to fix it. As I was driving to work this morning I couldn’t help think about what the next three minutes after the accident must have been like for those involved and those in the group. The realisation that the accident was serious. How bad were the injuries? Was there panic, did someone take control? The ride has been cut short – so has his life. Trying to keep the young guy alive? Maybe realising it was too late? Then I think forward to the next three weeks. A funeral. A recovery. Families shattered. They’ll never be the same again. The next three months? Perhaps more recuperation and physio for the older guy. More grieving – I’m told the pain of the loss of a child never gets better for the parents – I hope I never experience it. The next three years – loss of job due to injuries sustained? The 18th and 21st birthday celebrations (and maybe a wedding?) that will never be. The Christmas, Easters, birthdays and anniversaries that will always have a slight shadow of loss and sorrow over them. The

pain will never go away. What can we do? Unfortunately it’s too late for those two and everyone else who has been injured or killed whilst enjoying one of the most exhilarating, invigorating and relaxing pastimes that I know – trail bike riding. Over the years my career has taken a few different turns but one thing that I have developed is a sincere and unwavering commitment to safety. I’ve seen what can happen during the next 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 years after a serious injury or death. Does this mean I ride around padded up like the Michelin man at 25km/hr? Absolutely not – trail bike riding, as with most other forms of the sport, is a calculated risk. What happens when we get on the trails – some of us forget the trails are used by others and just cut sick! If you do nothing else after reading this but adjust your riding to always allow for someone coming the other way we’ll all be a bit safer on the trails. Always ride with the best gear you can buy – it’s your last line of defence! Now the real important stuff, hitting the trials. There is one underlying principle that I use when I ride – ride like there is someone coming the other way at pace. Riding with this principle in mind has allowed me to have a few close calls instead of a few nasty spills. Always ride at a pace and a position on the trail that would allow an oncoming rider the opportunity to pass or for you to take evasive action (which is usually the case for me). When you do come upon other riders, always acknowledge them – get their attention and signal to them how many are in following you. I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve taken evasive action only to find out they’ve nearly cleaned up my mate half a kay down the track or, being second in the group, come across a couple of guys coming at us at full noise after already passing our lead rider. I would never condone illegal riding – but we know it’s a reality. There’s not enough police to clamp down every trail everywhere – there will always be kids riding. And, a lot of kids ride on their own or mates private property quite legally. Don’t ever just assume they’ll do the right thing. If you want them to come home in one piece – teach them the right way to ride. Have fun – ride and be free – just make sure you make it home. R.I.P Shane Richardson. Terry Wilson Hi Terry

I nearly had a head-on in the Wallaroo State Forest not far from where you are talking about and it put the wind right up me. Your words are spot on. Ed.

Good times ahead

MY 48 year-old-husband passed his motorcycle learners test last Tuesday. Yes he’s copped the usual jibes of mid-life crisis and trying to relive his youth over the family dining table. After reading your Phillip Island Editorial I find myself renewed with a deep yearning to get my bike licence, a longing that’s remained latent whilst bringing up the kids, but here it is, gnawing at me again. Secretly I’ve been combing the internet and researching what type of bike will be suitable for me, for I realised I want to reach the San Remo roundabout with wind in my face and breath in the excitement of what lay ahead, I want to enter the circuit gates with confidence, and give the obligatory nod and one finger wave to those who understand what sharing in the pilgrimage means. I’ve never made the journey and neither has my husband, but I already sense that good biker time lays ahead. Well I won’t waste anymore of your time, I’d better go book in for my licence, and prepare myself for the dining table jibes this menopausal 45 year old will receive. Sharyn Neil Geelong n

Write A Letter!

WIN A Great PRIZE

This month Terry Wilson has won a Cargol Turn & Go puncture repair kit. Available from better bike shops everywhere and there’s a video of one being used on the Cycle Torque website. Send your letters (and/or great bike pictures) to The Editor, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687 Warners Bay, NSW 2282 or email chris@cycletorque.com.au.


Quad Torque Test – Arctic Cat Cruiser

Heavy duty suspension.

The Ultimate Behemoth Big bore, big stance, big capabilities. Test by Matt O’Connell, photos by Kirsty O’Connell.

WHEN the Arctic Cat 1000 Cruiser arrived at the Cycle Torque office it was a grand entrance. This machine was something to behold with loads of features to set it apart from your average ATV - and that is just at first glance. Did I mention it’s got a 951cc engine? Let’s go!

On The Stand

There are so many features on this ATV it is difficult to know where to start. I was on sensory overload with plastic fairings everywhere but you certainly

feel well protected from the elements just sitting on it. The mud guards flare up high front and rear and the luggage compartment sets off the impressive look at the rear. The addition of a dedicated pillion seat is a good move and both the front and rear seats are very comfortable. Speaking of comfort, your hands will never go cold as both rider and pillion have heated grips. Behind the pillion seat is a lockable luggage compartment that can hold up to 16kg of gear. With a multi purpose rack (Arctic Cat call it a ‘Speed Rack’) and

winch up front this is one machine that looks like it can take on anything. The detachable windshield fixes to the handle bar assembly which also houses the instrument panel. The multifunction instrument layout is easy to use - you can switch between tachometer, speedo, etc all at the push of a button. There are rear vision mirrors attached to the wind shield and initially I thought these were a great addition by Arctic Cat but strangely enough they have very little room for adjustment and end up being mostly ineffective.

It might be worth noting that the windshield is secured by a retaining bolt either side and twice during this test they vibrated loose. I don’t know if I was just unlucky or not, but I think the cowl could be secured better. Located out front is an electric winch that is operated from a switch on the handlebars. The winch turned out to be handy in the bush and something I would look for in an ATV. Arctic Cat has gone out of its way to create an ATV that has everything and the


1000 Cruiser certainly delivers the bling - but I was really left wondering how capable this machine would be in a practical sense. The plastic looks nice and shiny now, but how would it handle normal use? I was actually a little concerned that all these features and massive engine were overkill for most situations. One way to find out....

The Ride

With so many features to take in I was eager to get this beast out in some open country to see how it performed. But first of all, I’m no different from the next bloke. I found myself sitting on an ATV with a 1000cc engine and I just had to know how it accelerates off the line. Just push forward with the right thumb and see what happens. Crazy. Capital C crazy. This machine launches like a young horse from a standing start and gets to cruising speed in no time flat. The next journey was through some very steep country at the foot of the Barrington Tops, possibly steeper terrain than the Cruiser 1000 is designed to handle (or any ATV), but it would at least give it a good work out. No mercy here... I would have covered about 25km of very steep hills during the day and I felt safe all the time. I would stop short of attempting the same terrain with someone on the back, but riding solo I felt stable and confident. Possibly due to the larger dimensions of the Cruiser, (almost 2.6m long and 1.4m high) I don’t think the handling was as good as other ATVs over similar country, but considering the size and weight (361kg dry) of this monster it was a very good showing. It might be worth noting that I didn’t alter the suspension at all either, something that might be worthwhile when switching between solo and pillion work. The ‘Duramatic’ automatic gearbox has two selections, Hi and Lo range. I found the Lo Range to be fairly tall combine that with the usable torque and power from the engine and you have one versatile machine at low speeds. Crank it up into Hi Range on open roads and you have one serious weapon.

Think Honda Blackbird in the form of an ATV. This means the power has to be respected but the upshot is that when there is someone on the back this big kahuna is never going to struggle. On open trails and dirt roads the Arctic Cat was a real winner. It held the road very well and I was able to cruise at a decent clip very comfortably. I would have to put this big girl slightly ahead of the average ATV in this respect. Down low that big engine provides a lot of usable power - essential really because you don’t get much of a chance to wind out many vehicles like this. The low down power and well set up gearing is appreciated in the hills as well, after all it is all about confidence when the going gets steep. The brakes I found to be incredibly responsive and smooth - make no mistake the 1000 Cruiser has some awesome stopping power. One thing I would have really liked was a brake lever on both sides. There is a foot pedal which is linked to the hand brake on the left handlebar, but personally I really like having the brake control lever either side.

Heaps of luggage capacity.

The Final Word

Overall, the biggest Arctic Cat exceeded my expectations. There is no doubt this machine looks the goods and all things considered it handles day to day use on a par with any other. The handling on open tracks at speed is especially good although I believe the real selling point for this model is the (ample) capacity to handle a passenger. There are a few minor changes or additions I would like, mostly little things like a brake lever on both sides and the ability to swap out the luggage compartment for another multipurpose rack. Surprise, surprise readers, all these features do not come cheap. At $15,550 this is not a low cost proposition but you will stand out from the crowd. If you can afford it and like your ATVs mixed with a little luxury, visit www.arctic cat.com. n

Perfect for towing stuff around the farm.

The winch will come in handy.


Books Direct 1

Long Way Down

After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004, fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn’t shake the travel bug. And after an inspirational UNICEF visit to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth. Long Way Down – $24.99

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Long Way Round

From London to New York, Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. But as the miles slipped beneath the tyres of their big BMWs, their troubles started. Exhaustion, injury and accidents tested their strength. Treacherous roads, unpredictable weather and turbulent politics challenged their stamina. They were chased by paparazzi in Kazakhstan, courted by men with very large guns in the Ukraine, hassled by the police, and given bulls’ testicles for supper by Mongolian nomads. Long Way Round – $24.99

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Race Tech’s

Based on Thede’s world-famous Race Tech Suspension Seminars, this step-by-step guide shows anyone how to make a bike handle like a pro’s. Race Tech’s – $49.99 4

American Dream Bikes

Unappreciated by the world is the fact that in today’s elusive studio of motorcycle design America is a major player for some, the major player. Dozens of designers, engineers and craftsmen are creating some of the most exciting and innovative motorcycles the world has ever seen - ever dreamed about. This doesn’t just mean “yet another chopper”. It means names like Confederate, Ecosse, Fischer, Roehr, Vectrix (producing an electric sportbike), and MotoCzysz in addition to, and no less worthy in this context, the establishment Harley-Davidson with Buell, Victory, and even Indian. Award-winning author Alan Cathcart visits 25 shops, interviews the designers and engineers and rides the motorcycles. Each shop, interviewee and motorcycle has been photographed especially for this book. American Dream Bikes – $75.00 5

Race to Dakar

In 2004 Charley Boorman completed his astonishing round-the-world bike trip with his friend, Ewan McGregor. The journey left him exhausted, exhilarated and hungry for a new challenge. And what greater challenge than the Dakar rally? Beginning in Lisbon and ending in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, the rally covers 15,000 kilometres of treacherous terrain, and is widely regarded as the most dangerous race on earth. With his team-mates Simon Pavey and Matt Hall, Charley faced extreme temperatures, rode through shifting sands and stinging winds, and faced breakdowns miles from civilisation. Charley recounts his extraordinary adventures through Portugal, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Senegal. He also follows the stories of other riders - an eccentric, dedicated band of professionals and rookies who all dream of one thing: reaching the finishing line. Race to Dakar is the thrilling account of a race that has captured the imagination of millions. Race to Dakar – $24.99

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Chrome Cowgirl Motorcycle Life

A primer for women who ride, or want to, or might simply like to jumpstart their lives, the book addresses women astraddle in a way that’s as funny as it is informative. Whether it’s how to ride, what to do to your bike, or what to wear, Sasha has the advice. What’s more, her bike savvy and street strategies pack powerful lessons, offering a friendly word from the wisecracking on how to get the most out of life’s wild ride. Chrome Cowgirl Motorcycle Life – $39.99

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Books Direct 9

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Custom Motorcycles

Whether you’re building a chopper, a bobber, or a customized bagger--or simply adding personality to a stock cruiser--you want your bike to stand out. It is, after all, an original. For inspiration or direction, from the big idea to the finest detail, look no further than this book. With hundreds of examples of what builders and painters and passionate owners have done with their bikes, Custom Motorcycles is a great way to get started--or to finetune a concept. Custom Motorcycles – $39.99 8

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Motorcycle Electrical Systems

A motorcycle’s electrical system can be daunting to even the most adept home mechanic. And yet, the more complex these systems become—and the more important to a motorcycle’s function—the more useful, even critical, it will be to know something about them. That’s where this book comes in with a user-friendly guide to understanding, diagnosing, and fixing the electrical systems and components that make a bike run . . . or falter. Motorcycle Electrical Systems – $39.99 9

Ivan Mauger Autobiography

IVAN Mauger is more than the outstanding individual performer in speedway. He can also point to hugely successful partnerships on and off the track. His latest ‘best pairs’ partner is award-wining journalist, historian and former promoter Martin Rogers who is co-authoring Ivan’s eagerly-awaited autobiography. Martin has written and/or edited 19 sports books and collaborated with other former speedway champions including Barry Briggs, Bruce Penhall and Jason Crump. Ivan Mauger Autobiography – $39.95 10 The Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

This massive coffee-table book - over 400 pages, large format – depicts Harley-Davidson’s own collection of bikes, having kept one of every model it has ever produced. Quality studio photography and excellent background information tells the story of Harley-Davidson through its many and varied models. Includes prototype motorcycles which never made it to production. Hardcover. The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. – $79.99 11 Book of the Ducati 750SS

Although manufactured for only one year, 1974, the Ducati 750 Super Sport was immediately touted as a future classic. It was a pioneer motorcycle - expensive and rare, and produced by Ducati’s race department to celebrate victory in the 1972 Imola 200 Formula 750 race. Owing to its uniqueness and rarity, the 750 SS has become extremely expensive and desirable, fetching prices beyond the most expensive contemporary Ducati; for Ducatisti, it is the Holy Grail. Book of the Ducati 750SS – $79.99

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INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVERTISERS 1 1

Tool time

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The good oil

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Explore AGV’s road/race helmet

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Do It Yourself Carbon fibre

The Honiton 111-piece toolkit of Chrome-Vanidium steel has a lifetime warranty and comes in a neat rattle-proof box. It also has sockets 9mm to 13mm and includes Torx, allen and screwdriver bits. Torque figures exceed DIN standard in this metric/imperial socket and spanner combo. Top quality, special price. Price: $260 Avail able from: Andy Strapz More info: www.andystrapz.com (03) 9770 2207 SCOTTOILLER’S vacuum operated automatic chain lubrication system is claimed to increase chain life by seven times! Suitable for all chain types and bikes it has various fitting options in the kit and includes a Reservoir Metering Valve, an injector feeding oil to the chain and sprocket and a 250ml bottle of Scottoil - good for 8000km. Adjustable flow rate for different conditions. Go on, give your chain another life! Price: $199.95 incl GST Avail able from: Good bike shops. More info: www.ficeda.com.au (02) 9827 7561 THE 2011 AGV K4 Explorer features two shell sizes and is made of fibreglass composite ACF (advanced composite fibre). It has a dynamic ventilation system with adjustable chin/forehead inlets and rear extractors. Fabrics feature Dry-Lex with hygienic treatment and removable/washable liner/cheek pads as well as extra quick release system and parametric visor seal. It has double D retention system as well as breath guard and chin wind deflector. Price: $449 Avail able from: All good bike shops More info: Monza Imports (03) 8327 8888 NOW you can make your own carbon fibre engine protector cases from this great new kit which contains everything you need to shape, lay and make your own cases - no matter what shape they are. There are even reflector and coloured carbon fibres now available to make your cases look really unique. Very trick. Price: $69.95 Avail able from: 0407 073 359 More info: www.diyfibres.com.au

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INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVERTISERS

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Yamaha Junior Adventure

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Motul stability

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Heavy duty batteries

THIS all inclusive kit is for any kid going on a camping adventure and features a Yamaha backpack, water bottle, two-man tent and sleeping bag. What a great father and son (or mum and daughter!) gift for the summer holidays! Price: $220.07 Avail able from: All good Yamaha bike shops More info: http://yshop.yamaha-motor.com.au/yshop MOTUL Stabilizer is perfect for long periods of engine inactivity. It prevents fuel from deteriorating between uses and cleans valves. Suitable for motorbikes, boats, lawn mowers and even snow mobiles it provides excellent protection against engine corrosion. It’s also useful as a daily additive to petrol engines as it effortlessly cleans both carburettors and injection valves. Price: $19.90 Avail able from: Good bike shops. More info: www.linkint.com.au PLANET Moto now has some seriously heavy duty batteries in seven different sizes to fit most Harley Davidsons and large capacity bikes which require high performance from a sealed, maintenance-free battery. The new sizes cover a large range of models. Trade inquiries welcome. Price: From $119-$135 including free delivery Australiawide. Avail able from: Pl anet Moto More info: 1300 457 878 4

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Keeping the seat clean

MOTUL’S Perfect Seat cleaner spray is excellent for maintaining a clean, healthy finish on motorbike, scooter and quad vinyl saddles. Creating long lasting protection with dust repellent capabilities Perfect Seat leaves your saddle colour looking brand new while removing any unpleasant odours. It has a silicon free anti- slip formula and leaves saddles feeling dry with a non-greasy sheen. Price: $19.90 Avail able from: All good bike shops. More info: www.linkint.com.au

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Rock me round

WE’VE put our Blackrock tyres to good use on our trusty 250 Kawasaki dirt beast and don’t they just grip so well. Danny “Digsy” Anderson was using them as practice tyres last year but ended up finishing off the National MX Championship season on them so we know they’ll take some serious thrashing as well. Our tyres are the Enduro specific hard compound which offers a good technical blend of grip and traction in mixed terrain. A high quality rubber for good performance and a good price. In fact, the crew at Lusty Industries are offering 20 per cent off the normal prices, get in quick. Price: RRP $79.95 front, $99.95 rear. Avail able from: Lusty Industries and good bike shops. More info: (02) 4953 7667 www.blackrock-tyres.com.au

Bag some suction

WHEN a magnetic tank bag won’t stick to plastic covered or dummy fuel tank/air boxes, what do you do? You go for a Ventura SPA tank bag that uses four of the highest quality suction cups to secure the bag to a “petrol tank” made of any material. The seven litre capacity is small: it’s designed for the essentials. They’re 100 per cent waterproof and have an expandable main compartment with external wallet or key compartment as well as a mobile phone pocket with a window. We’ve hit the road with one of these and found it really handy. There’s also removable/adjustable carry/shoulder straps and an integrated handle. A closed cell foam padded base protects your precious tank and it features a proven four-flap design. There’s even pulltags on all zips to make life easy with gloves on. We highly recommend this neat Ventura bag. Price: $99 incl GST Avail able from: All good bike shops. More info: www.kenma.com.au (02) 9484 0777


Cycle Torque Test – 2011 Yamaha YZ450F RIDING GEAR: Shoei helmet, One Industries nylons and gloves, Alpinestars boots. TEST BY

TODD REED

PHOTOS BY

CHRIS PICKETT

Last year’s YZ450F was more than just all new, it was out of this world, so it’s no wonder changes are minimal for 2011.

Playing it cool Continued next page


Cycle Torque Test – 2011 Yamaha YZ450F

In 2010 the Yamaha engineers re-invented their 450cc four stroke motocross engine. They started off by turning the cylinder around so the inlet was at the front of the bike and the exhaust came out the rear of the cylinder head. Next they changed the entire engine placement and lifted the front of the motor so the motor sits in a downward slope to the centre pivot point of the bike, improving mass centralisation. Squeezing in a new EFI system was next and the Fuel Injection system was moved to the front of the bike along with the airbox. The tornado style exhaust finished off the motor department as it weaves its way from the rear of the cylinder, through the centre of the bike and out into the atmosphere. So when Yamaha released the details of their 2011 YZ450 and there were no major changes, we weren’t exactly surprised. The push rod that activates the clutch has seen some slight modifications, but apart from that the blue empire stayed with what they know for season 2011.

Suspension & Chassis

KYB have been taking care of the suspenders under the big bore YZ thumper since it was first introduced as the YZ400F back in 1998. Suspension has come a very long way since those days; the 2011 YZ450 comes with Twin Chamber KYB speed sensitive forks and a KYB shock which is very specifically designed for the YZ450. A 22mm triple clamp offset comes standard and is designed to maximise the cornering performance without compromising too much stability in the front end. The top triple clamp also features an extra mounting position for the handlebar clamp, a handy inclusion for those of us who would like to move their ’bars that bit further forward and open up the cockpit. The lightweight aluminium frame is crafted from 16 individual components

welded together to come up with the most balanced YZ450 to date. The bilateral beam frame design promotes nimble handling with a focus on cornering and an aggressive rider feel. The sub-frame is designed to suit the rest of the Yamaha’s characteristics and is once again constructed from the highest quality aluminium.

The rest

Yamahas are renowned for an exceptional build quality, from front to back, and bottom to top the YZ450 is a quality product. Excel rims and Dunlop tyres do the hard yards in the dirt, the D756 rear tyre is great and has been seen on many race bikes over the years, the D742 front tyre is a good across the board tyre but doesn’t stand out from the crowd in any one type of terrain. Pro Taper handlebars have been supplied standard on the Yamaha four-strokes for a few years now and seem to be doing the job just fine. The front and rear disc brakes do a good job of pulling up the big YZ, no problems there. It would be nice too see some of the Japanese manufacturers look at an oversize 270mm front disc as a standard production item, most of their European competition are running larger front discs and the changes are especially loved by the big bore riders on the larger, heavier bikes. Air filter maintenance requires a bit more time on the new Yamaha. Once you take off the seat, undo the tank and flip it up out of the way using the hinge system on the rear of the tank and the wire tank holder which comes in the YZ450 spares kit. Then it is time to take off the air filter cover and now you have access. Once you have the air boot open it is easy to clean and service the airbox and install a clean filter. The two tone colour scheme looks cool, with either the Blue and White, or the White and Red to choose from. It’s a nice touch from Yamaha which allows the customer that little bit more option when buying their spankin’ new bike.

Continued next page


S p e c i f i c at i o n s: Yamaha yz450F Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 450cc Transmission: 5-speed Fuel Capacity: 6 Litres Frame Type: Bilateral beam frame Seat Height: 998mm Wet Weight: 111kg Front Suspension: USD forks Rear Suspension: Swingarm (link type) Brakes: Single disc front, single rear Tyres: 80/100-21, 120/80-19 Price (RRP): $12,099 www.yamaha-motor.com.au

A year on we’re still getting used to the ‘backwards’ motor.

The dirt

Riding the YZ450 is different to riding any other Japanese 450 on today’s market. It’s not a massive leap away from the traditional feeling of a 450cc four stroke, but it’s noticeably different to the general competition. From the moment you open the throttle things are a little bit different, with the powerful sound of air being sucked in through the inlet at the front of the bike right beneath your legs. The power begins to come on strong off the bottom and continues on pulling hard through the mid range. The bottom to mid range gets the power to the ground very quickly and the YZ pulls very well out of the tight turns. Once you keep pushing the revs past the mid-range, the power curve begins to mellow out and continue onto the rev limiter. The top end is not where all the power is on the big bore YZ, but for the majority of riders out there, including us here at Cycle Torque, the abundance of bottom end power makes riding fun and enjoyable and doesn’t leave us having to look for power. The standard gearing on the YZ works well, it’s a 13-49 combination and after testing the Yamaha at a number of different tracks we never came away from a ride looking to change the sprockets. The standard KYB suspension settings work well across the track in most situations. Taking on the

rough stuff was a dream, the suspension has a plush and forgiving action on the track and makes the rider feel comfortable all around the track. We made some clicker adjustments and we gained the most improvement from stiffening up the compression setting on the forks and setting the rider sag on the shock at 105mm.

The Final Say

Its hard to say a bad word about the YZ450, Yamaha has created one of the most innovative and creative bikes on today’s motocross market. The YZ450 turns heads wherever you go and has the crowds talking about what the funky design is all about. It works well on the track and even took Aussie boy Jay Marmont to his third successive Australian MX Nations championship in 2010. n

No matter which way it faces, punters still love the YZ’s motor.

Brakes are unchanged.

The shock has minor updates for 2011.


Cycle Torque February 2011