AL S YA O R M LA AH IDDE RO A TO X N: RI COU T66 FE NO T GA 0R R A PR TU ERR 12 A 5 O R TO JE ES: 40 CT 0 U R TR IN D A AN G Y TO GE SYL NA V T AN MO AL I AT TORL TH A PT II CY CY E B CL CL ES ET EB T OR OO QU KS E
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BargainHONDA bad boy
september 2010 Contents 30
laro cougar 125
torino terra 400
KAWASAKI KX250F POSTER features
56 - TOURING Transylvania 62 - Project Daytona REGULARS 3-13 News 14 EDITORIAL 16 guntrip 18 race torque 20 Bike Stuff 22 used & Reviewed 24 E-Torque 26 dirty torque 28 letters 42 Book reviews 44 book sales
Cycle Torque: 02 4956 9820 Full details page 6 Cover images: Ducati by Paterson, TGB by Pickett.
New, cheaper Harleys for 2011
HARLEY-DAVIDSON, after a couple of tough years especially in its home market - is introducing new models for 2011 at both the inexpensive and top-ends of its range. For those looking to get into a Harley without spending a fortune there will be the SuperLow at just $11,495 and the Forty-Eight at $14,995. At the other end of the pricing spectrum are CVO models which start at an eyewatering $39,995 (all prices are plus on-road costs). The CVO Street Glide has a 19inch front wheel, ventilated fairing lowers and a 100-watt six-speaker audio system with integrated iPod Nano and dock. The CVO Softail Convertible
also features the iPod Nano and dock with its audio system, mini ape-hanger â€™bars, Electronic Throttle Control (ETC), cruise control, keyless ignition and ABS. The CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide has a new suspended, heated, two-up seat with leather inserts. Dual mufflers feature new chrome billet end caps with black spears and new mirrors are finished in mirror chrome. Other big news from the iconic American brand include ABS being standard on all Softail models, the touring range being upgraded to the 103 cubic inch powerplant and new colours and graphics for many models. The new bikes are available from September 1. See your Harley-Davidson dealer or www. harley-davidson.com for more information. n
SEPTEMBER 2010 - 3
NSW CTP Protest
THE Motorcycle Council of NSW (MCC of NSW) is running a protest about the changes to the Compulsory Third Party (Green Slip) system for noon on Tuesday, 31 August in front of NSW Parliament House. “I am calling on anyone who has ever enjoyed the freedom of a motorcycle or scooter to join us as we let the government of NSW and the insurance companies know we will not be their CTP cash-cows any longer,” said the chairman of the NSW Motorcycle Council, Rob Colligan. “I am also calling on all car drivers for support as we all know drivers are also getting ripped off,” Mr Colligan continued. “For too long, the legislation that governs CTP , which is a wretched legacy from the Carr Government in 1999, has been letting the insurance companies do as they please without any transparency in what is a compulsory insurance scheme.”
The event will not be a ride on Parliament - police, traffic and parking issues make that essentially impossible – so motorcycle parking has been arranged in Hospital Road, and if you aren’t riding to work, the MCC of NSW would encourage you to wear your helmet on the train, bus or ferry to show your support. The MCC is also asking all motorcycle businesses to close their doors from 11am until 2pm in a display of unity. “August 31st will become the day that the people of NSW, led by motorcycle and scooter riders, tell the State Government and the Insurance Companies, that we have had enough of paying too much,” Mr Colligan stated. “A compulsory scheme should not be making insurance companies rich.” n
BMW to tackle Dakar
BMW will be represented by German based Team BMW Speedbrain in the 2011 Dakar desert race and is expected to be a contender first time out in the world’s toughest off road event. Frenchman David Fretigne, Dutchman Frans Verhoeven and the Portugese duo of Paulo Goncalves and Pedro Bianchi Prata will spearhead the riding talent for the BMW outfit racing with speedbrain technology. Speedbrain have been operating the offroad factory team for BMW Motorrad Motorsport for the last couple of years and have recently developed a distinctive rally bike based on the BMW G 450 X. David Fretigne is excited about his prospects on the beemer. “I signed with speedbrain with the clear goal of winning the Dakar. The decision didn’t come easy after 14 years of riding for a different brand. I see the co-operation with speedbrain as a major opportunity. Together we’re bringing a lot of experience to the table as we both know a thing or two about bike development, setup, fine-tuning and equipment in general. I’ve waited a long time for this moment. My ambition for many years has been to win the Dakar, and I’ve used all my abilities to work towards that goal. I’m highly convinced that it will now become reality.” Team manager Wolfgang Fischer adds: “The experience and know-how gathered through the collaboration with BMW Motorrad Motorsport has given speedbrain the perfect foundation to enter the Dakar with a modified BMW 450 X. The bike allows for an excellent weight distribution and provides an incredibly nimble feeling.” – Darren Smart
4 - SEPTEMBER 2010
MAA defends CTP restructure COMPULSORY Third-Party insurance, the cover you must have if your bike is registered, varies widely in the way it’s administered and its cost, depending on the bike you ride, where you live and numerous other factors. In most states, it is paid for basically as part of your vehicle registration, but in NSW, you have to buy the insurance separately before you can pay your registration, and what you’re buying is called a Green Slip. Until June 30 there were only three classes of motorcycle, based entirely on capacity – 0-100cc, 101-300cc and over 300cc. On July 1 the system changed to five classes – 0-225cc, 226-725cc, 726-1125cc, 1126-1325cc and above 1325cc. The Motor Accidents Authority has told Cycle Torque: “The changes in the motorcycle groupings mean that motorcycle owners are now paying a Green Slip price which better reflects the actual cost of injuries and compensation from claims against Green Slip policies held by riders within each of the motorcycle categories.” The MAA claims the new categories were arrived at in consultation with the Motorcycle Council of NSW, a rider lobby group, but since then the MCCNSW has organised a protest for August 31, so we can’t imagine that organisation is happy with the outcome… The MAA also went on to claim many riders can expect to see lower Green Slip prices, but that’s certainly not the experience of many irate riders who have written to Cycle Torque about the issue. “There are 172,000 motorcycles registered in NSW, of these, owners of bikes in the following categories can expect a reduction in their Green Slip if their other risk rating factors such as driving or claims record remains unchanged.”
The MAA claims the following number of riders should be in for cheaper Green Slips: – 101 to 225cc, up to $49 less for 23,000 owners – 301-725cc, up to $220 less for 39,000 owners – 726 to 1125cc, up to $75 less for 43,000 owners – over 1325cc, up to $53 less for 5,000 owners
Even if the above is true – something which remains to be seen – there’s one-third of bike owners who will have to pay more for their Green Slips, and a big chunk of them are owners of 250cc machines – often learners. And our testing of the MAA Green Slip Price Calculator indicates many of them will be paying a lot more - up to 100% - than in the past. Cycle Torque asked the MAA why engine capacity was still being used as the method to determine CTP categories instead of other factors, such as LAMS compliance, scooter, off-road etc, which in many ways would be fairer. The response was: “Engine capacity continues to be used for the time being as there were concerns about the effectiveness of the LAM Scheme as a CTP category as there are no reliable means of verifying the restrictions placed on low-powered bikes suitable for learner riders. While LAMS remains an option for motorcycle categories, it must be stressed that a new category may not necessarily result in lower Green Slip prices for LAMS motorcycles, however, the MAA is continuing to work with the MCC to find the fairest method for relativity categories. “The MAA continues to work with the Motorcycle Council of NSW to ensure the fairness of Green Slip prices for motorcycle owners as well as working together on other initiatives to benefit motorcycle owners and riders. The MAA and MCC have recommenced regular meetings, with the most recent meeting being on 3 August 2010.” – Nigel Paterson
Last drinks for Smith
LAST drinks will be held for legendary motorcycle journalist and raconteur, Peter Smith, at the Tambar Springs Hotel in north-western NSW at midday on Saturday, September 25. Mr Smith died of a heart attack in mid-December, 2009. He had revealed in one of the 180 columns he wrote for 2Wheels magazine between 1985 and 2009 that he wanted to be remembered at Tambar Springs because it contained everything he admired in a country town, including, of course, a pub. All who knew him or admired his writing are invited to attend. Following a short ceremony, everyone is invited to adjourn to the Moonbi property of his close friend, Wendy Spooner, for a Saturday night rally-style party and barbecue. Smith stories will be told. Wendy’s place is approximately an hour-and-a-half’s ride from the Tambar Springs Hotel on roads Peter knew well from his time in Quirindi. At Wendy’s, plenty of undercover sleeping space will be available in an industrial-sized shed (which also has a bathroom) but guests will need to bring their own bedding and make a small donation to cover the cost of the food provided. To help Wendy with the planning and to alert the Tambar Springs Hotel regarding the number of counter meals it will need to provide, please RSVP to Wendy on (02) 6760 5481 before the event. There is also a liquor store/takeaway joint at Moonbi (shuts at 7.30pm). There is no petrol available at Tambar Springs, but there is at Mullaley (30km into the ride to Moonbi) and Gunnedah (65km). The ride will then turn off the highway at Somerton (halfway to Tamworth) and go to Attunga via Lower Somerton Rd, thence to Moonbi via Davidsons Lane and the Moonbi Gap Rd. For more details, contact Wendy on (02) 6760 5481 or Grant Roff via the SR500 Club of Australia website on www.sr500club.org. n
SEPTEMBER 2010 - 5
Australians on Safari
ACCORDING to event organisers, competitors in the 2010 Australasian Safari will experience diverse, remote and dramatic terrain when they travel 3600km from Perth through historic gold-fields to Esperance in September.
Australasian Safari course is off-road, and much on private and Crown land. But at the end of each day, the competitors meet up with their teams and families and camp at overnight stops in local towns.
This year, the Safari will visit four outback towns for the first time and But they won’t be taking the usual tourist route. The majority of the one old favourite.
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Following the ceremonial start at Hillarys Boat Harbour on Friday 17 September, competitors will depart the next day on their Prologue leg, travelling 370km east to Southern Cross. After over-nighting in wildflower country, the first leg of the race will travel north east overland to Leonora. This will be the third successive year this historic town will welcome back the Safari. On Monday 20 September the leg starts and finishes in Leonora, and the following day, competitors take off for Coolgardie, once the third largest town in Western Australia at the height of the gold rush.
From Coolgardie, the event audit travels south to Norseman, the eastern Maximise the value of your CAB membership and using gateway to Western Australia at the end of the Nullarbor’s Highway the CAB Membership Badge. 1. Competitors enjoy two overnight stops in the town named after a horse that discovered gold in 1894.
The CAB brand which has been servicing the advertisingFor andLeg publishing sinceand 1957 is to Esperance on the 6, everyoneindustries packs up camp heads synonomous with credibility and accountability. southern coast, known for its huge stretches of white sand beaches. After a day of battling sand dunes, competitors finish in town on
As a member of the CAB you too can take advantage of the benefits of this prestigious brand by Saturday 25 September. including a CAB Member Badge on all promotional material including publisher mediaendurance kits, Considered one of the panels, world’s great events, the sales flyers and newsletters. Australasian Safari is this year attracting international entries from countries including Brazil, Sweden, China, South Africa, Japan, and
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Laro goes large FOLLOWING on from the success of its 250 Cruiser, Laro Motorcycles will shortly release a number of new models including the SPT 350 sportsbike and a 350 Custom Cruiser, both with EFI. These units are sourced from the same factory as the Laro 250 Cruiser and will come with 2 year warranty. Pricing is expected to be very competitive . Laro has also just released two new road trail units . The V Retro 250 and TR 250 which will retail at $2,990 and $2,890 respectively (plus on road costs). The Cougar 125cc and 50cc Scooter completes its current range (see page 52 for test ride review). Tony Elliot (of Tonelli Motorcycles & Accessories) has opened a new store at 1/267 Harbord Rd, Brookvale NSW, where he will stock a large range of Laro bikes, scooters, leathers and accessories. “We have worked with Laro for a number of years and are impressed with the quality and price of their products as well as their commitment to customer service.” Tony said.
LAST month’s human interest story on Frank Hocking of Lake Macquarie receiving his new BRP Spyder sparked some inquiries from people who may have mistakenly believed that his receipt of the vehicle was a charity presentation. Just to clarify that Frank and Astrid paid over $46,000 for their
“We are proud to become a Laro dealership on the north side and I am excited about the opportunity to showcase their products alongside the Tonelli range.” Tonelli Motorcycles and Accessories can be contacted on (02) 99398128. Also, Rick Smith from Queensland plans to open four “Highway Laro” shops, the first in Toowoomba in September. “I was introduced to Laro through their sponsorship of the Wintersun festival in Coolangatta earlier this year and was impressed with their products, pricing and management,” Rick said. Laro acquired the operations of Arqin Motorcycles one year ago and has since consolidated its position in the industry with dealerships Australiawide and expects rapid expansion to continue in the year ahead. n
machine, modified and on the road, which included a $500 goodwill discount from Brisan’s Motorcycles of Newcastle. Brisans also transported the vehicle to Hornsby and back for the $3990 worth of modifications to be done by PME Hornsby. The Can-Am Spyder distributor, BRP, supplied Frank and Astrid with a touring suit each, valued at $1660, at no charge.
SEPTEMBER 2010 - 7
Reed to lead OZ MXoN K AWASAK I ’S Chad Re e d and t he H ond a duo of De an Fe rris and Bre t t M e tcal fe will re pre se nt Aust ralia at t he 2010 Re d Bull M otoc ross of N at ions in 2010 to b e he ld in Co lorado, USA on t he 26t h of Se pte mb e r.
capabilities it could well b e our s tronges t showing in many year s. It is a true indication of the depth of Aus tralian moto cross when Jay Marmont and K irk Gibbs are picke d as the reser ves in case any of the thre e sele c te d rider s Chad will b e our MX1 rider, are injure d b et we en now and Ferris MX 2 and Metcalfe MX3. Septemb er 26. T he Aus tralian team will go Marmont was re duce d to the head to head with the world ’s reser ve lis t af ter the re cent b es t rider s in Colorado and if all announcement by the FIM rider s p er form to the ma ximum s tipulating that in 2010 the
ma ximum age for the MX 2 class rider is 23 year s, meaning that rider s b orn b efore 1 Januar y 1987 were not able to b e sele c te d for the MX 2 class. Aus tralia will b e lo ok ing for a b et ter result than it s seventh place f inish at las t year ’s MXoN . For more information re garding the event visit the event website at w w w. re dbullm xon.com. n
K nigh t j o ins Ever ts
DAVI D K night will re t urn to t he World E nduro Champions hip for t he 2011 and 2012 se asons comp e t ing for K TM Fario li and will st ar t a consul t ing ro le muc h like Ste fan Eve r t s to he lp wit h t he deve lopme nt of t he K TM e nduro range.
K TM has once again se en the value in having a world class comp etitor like K night work ing hand - in - hand with K TM’s R&D e xp er t s and his contribution in the development of the ne x t generation of K TM’s Enduro machines will ensure that K TM can provide the racing f raternit y with true s tate - of-the -ar t racing machines. 2010 has already b e en a solid year for K night with the big Brit currently leading the E3 World Championship s tandings by 30 p oint s and has yet to b e pushe d of f the p o dium in the f ir s t f ive rounds of this year ’s championship. If K night manages to wrap up the 2010 E3 World Championships the trophy will have to pushe d b eside a plethora of awards that include eight national titles, double World Enduro Championships, t wo GNCC championships, GBXC champion 20 08, AMA Enduro cross champion 20 07, t wo Er zb erg E x tremes, the U. S. Re d Bull L as t Man Standing and the ISDE overall winner in 20 05. – Darren Smar t
8 - SEPTEMBER 2010
Rossi/Ducati ink finally dry
Rossi talking Burgess into going red? THE worst kept secret in the MotoGP paddock has been finally confirmed, with Italian superstar Valentino Rossi admitting he has signed with Ducati for the 2011 season. The nine time World Champion and the Italian manufacturer have signed a two year deal that was officially announced following the Czech Grand Prix.
‘she’, my M1, has changed. At that time she was a poor middle-grid position MotoGP bike, derided by most of the riders and the MotoGP workers. Now, after having helped her to grow and improve, you can see her smiling in her garage, courted and admired, treated as the ‘top of the class’.
After four World Titles and 45 race victories to date, the relationship with “The list of the people that made this transformation possible is very Yamaha will come to a close after the Valencia Grand Prix. long, but I would like to thank anyway Masao Furusawa, Masahiko The pairing of Rossi and Ducati is what many believe to be a ‘dream team’, Nakajima and ‘my’ Hiroya Atsumi, as representatives of all the engineers that worked hard to change the face of our M1. Then Jeremy Burgess with Ducati president Gabriele Del Torchio expressing his excitement. and all my guys in the garage, who took care of her with love on all the “We are delighted to announce that Valentino Rossi will be with us from tracks of the world and also all the men and women that have worked 2011”, commented Del Torchio. “He is a paragon of excellence in the in the Yamaha team during these years. world of motorcycling, coherent with our Italian company which is a “Now the moment has come to look for new challenges; my work here standard bearer for ‘made in Italy’ excellence.” at Yamaha is finished. Unfortunately even the most beautiful love There’s little doubt Yamaha’s M1 would never have become the force it stories finish, but they leave a lot of wonderful memories, like when is without Rossi’s influence, a fact which Yamaha readily admits. Rossi my M1 and I kissed for the first time on the grass at Welkom, when she also remembered his time with Yamaha with much emotion. looked straight in my eyes and told me ‘I love you!’” “It is very difficult to explain in just a few words what my relationship We can only imagine the celebrations in Italy if the golden one wins on with Yamaha has been in these past seven years. a red bike. n “Many things have changed since that far-off time in 2004, but especially
10 - SEPTEMBER 2010
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AUSSIE Electric Superbike project
SYDNEY firm Intercad has joined forces with Triple Eight Race Engineering to design and build an electric superbike style motorcycle. Intercad is calling on designers and engineers to become involved in the project which will be auctioned off when completed to raise funds for Red Dust Role Models, a charity for disadvantaged youth in remote areas. Triple Eight race driver Craig Lowndes has put his name behind the project, and will be the official test rider. Some frame designs have already been entered by fledgling designers. “It’s not often people have the opportunity to step outside their usual realm of
expertise and be part of a larger project which challenges and extends their skills,” said Intercad CEO Max Piper. “The Electric Superbike initiative is being managed by experienced Intercad engineers to ensure the bike is structurally sound, road tested and can be registered. The end result will actually be something tangible to which those involved can attach their names.” Lowndes says the project is a great opportunity for designers and engineers in Australia and New Zealand. “When I heard about the concept of the Electric Superbike I was definitely excited,” he said. “This is the bike of the future and I’m really interested to ride the winning design. It’s certainly going to be
something different and it will be great to see the end result of a creation that could potentially change the future of motorcycles.” Entries are now open, with part one of the design phase, the frame design, kicking off the project. Entrants can submit a design in SolidWorks for any of the parts of the motorcycle – the frame, mechanics, electronics and batteries, fairing and styling, and accessories – or a complete design. To ensure safety in design, contestants are required to download a file with the structural parameters to create their own design. If you are up to the challenge go to www. theelectricsuperbike.com.au. n
Moto3 to replace 125s in 2012
THE MotoGP paddock will be two-stroke free in 2012. It was only a matter of time before the smallest class would become the domain of four-strokes, especially after the 250cc two-strokes were replaced by the Moto2 class this year. The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) released details of the 2012 rules which say the engine should be a 250cc four-stroke single with a maximum bore size of 81mm. It goes on to say engines must last a minimum of three races and cost no more than €10,000. Also each manufacturer should be able to supply at least 15 riders with these little hand grenades. Even though the rules don’t mention anything about chassis design we have to guess the motorcycles will be a full prototype. We expect you will also see a number of chassis designers being supplied by engine manufacturers. n
Australia out of World MX
YOUTHSTREAM, FIM and all of the major motocross team managers have agreed to the basis of the calendar for the 2011 World Motocross Season, with Australia’s planned round being canned until at least 2012. For 2011 there will be 15 rounds on the world tour that will feature two overseas events, one in the USA and Brazil while in 2012 there will be three overseas events and in 2013 there will be four overseas events. Japan and Australia are targeted as key rounds earmarked for
12 - SEPTEMBER 2010
the future of the world motocross scene but it was agreed that the FIM Motocross World Championship will start and finish in Europe. The traditional FIM Motocross of Nations will always be staged after the last event of the World Championship. – Darren Smart
Go Yellow For SX
IT MAY may be a good idea to be riding an RMZ250 or RMZ450 in the 2010 SuperX season with Suzuki Australia offering their Suzuki Support Riders (SSR) a contingency program. At each Australasian Supercross round Suzuki Support Riders will be eligible for the following contingency payments: • Highest placed SSR Privateer (Within overall Top 20) $500 Inclusive of GST • Second highest placed SSR Privateer (Within overall Top 20) $250 Inclusive of GST • Third highest placed SSR Privateer (Within overall Top 20) $125 Inclusive of GST Suzuki Support Riders are also eligible for race price discount on ONE Industries race wear as worn by Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki. Registration to the Suzuki Support Rider program is free, with forms available at Suzuki dealers or online at: www.suzukimotorcycles. com.au/racing/suzuki-supportedrider. – Darren Smart
Searle and Anstie Back To MXGP AFTER two seasons racing in the AMA Championships, Tommy Searle and Max Anstie have been lured back to the World Motocross Championship by Team CLS Kawasaki Pro Circuit to compete for the 2011 World MX2 Championship. With their current rider Steven Frossard forced to move to the MX1 class next year due to the age limit rule the CLS team not only wanted to replace Frossard but to also expand their rider line up and with Searle being the runner-up in the 2007 and 2008 MX2 World Championship he became the obvious choice. Searle will have the unique opportunity to race the AMA`Supercross and the World MX2 Championships in 2011. “I’m very excited and happy about this opportunity to join Team CLS Kawasaki and Pro Circuit, they have
proved on both continents how competitive they are. They offered me the possibility to race the US Supercross on the West Coast and then compete again in the MX2 World Championship next year; that’s a fantastic program that I will prepare closely with the team this winter.” Max Anstie, another of the best young British motocrossers will focus on the GP scene in 2011 and 2012 after signing a two year contract with the CLS Kawasaki Pro Circuit team. Team owner Jean Jacques Luisetti has this to say. “Our venture with Pro Circuit has further upped our status in the World Championship; it’s exciting to have such a great connection with Mitch Payton. We are proud to see Tommy racing for us next season on both sides of the
Atlantic, and with Max we will have one of the fastest kids on our bikes; I’m convinced that they will come to the GPs even stronger after racing two years in the US, and the team is ready for this great challenge in the World and French MX2 championships.” Owner of Pro Circuit Mitch Payton is confident for next season. “I am very excited to have Tommy in the team, and I think we have a good chance to win the world title with him. It is great to see how we are working together with the CLS people in Europe to make this project work. During our first year of cooperation we have already got great results, and for sure we’ll be even stronger in the future.” – Darren Smart
SEPTEMBER 2010 - 13
WHEN you speak to people about their travelling aspirations you get many and varied responses. Some of my friends want to see everything, where others are happy to stay in their own dunghill, so to speak. I’ve been overseas a few times now but the most recent trip was to Transylvania. You’ll see Part II of this story in this issue of Cycle Torque, and on our website www. cycletorque.com.au. I can’t say I had a burning desire to tour Transylvania by bike but I’m so glad I did the trip. My wife Kerrie and I used to do loads of two-up riding before our kids were born, and while this had not stopped it had come pretty close to it over the years since. As the trip loomed closer I had doubts as to whether she would enjoy it. I hoped she would because I knew it would mean more riding in the future for us as a couple. We had two friends with us also, Glen and Sue. Neither had anywhere near as much riding experience as Kerrie and I but they were keen as mustard. I made sure Kerrie was well equipped with the right gear so whatever the weather dished out she would be as comfortable as possible. I’m glad to say we all had a blast, made possible by great guides, good bikes and excellent company. What it has done is light the fire which I think has been smouldering inside me for years. Sure, I’ve done plenty of
Pickett getting another perspective.
14 - SEPTEMBER 2010
touring in Australia but there are some countries I want to check out as well, but only by motorcycle. Vietnam probably sits at the top of the list. I’ve had this desire for at least a decade and I hope it will become a reality in the near future. I’m keen to experience the culture first hand, not via a local restaurant or hot bread shop. I want to see the beauty of the country personally, not via a flat screen TV. I want to smell it, eat at a little cafe, swim in the ocean, and see the hustle and bustle. To do it all while riding a ‘big’ motorcycle would seem just wrong. I want to do it on a moped. Kerrie, Glen, Sue and I have already hatched plans to do this in 2012, and the girls are keen to ride themselves. Now, as neither of them have ever held a motorcycle licence I’m not sure I’m keen for that to happen but we’ll see. I’ve been to the Isle of Man before, to see the 2006 TT. I couldn’t hire a bike on the island and had to do a lap of the circuit in a Citroen people mover. This, readers, can never happen again. I do plan to visit the IOM again, this time by bike. It’s not all about the bike racing though. The IOM is a stunningly beautiful place with castles, greenery and the view over the Irish Sea is...well, you just have to see it for yourself. Another place I’d like to see is Cuba. I can imagine cruising through downtown Havana on an old Pommy single, checking out the old cars, run down buildings and sipping a coffee while watching the world go by. For some reason I have no desire to visit America, most of Asia or Africa. Some would tell me I’m crazy. Maybe I am but I think we all have places which hold no allure. One man’s meat and all that stuff... My good mate Billy spent two months touring New Zealand with his wife Narelle. Being retired they had all the time in the world. It was as easy as shipping their trusty Ducati Multistrada over with Get Routed, then swanning around both islands. They had a fantastic time, and probably partly because of this Narelle is in the process or organising a similar trip, this time to the British Isles. All Billy has to do is jump on the plane and ride the bike wherever they want to go. Oddly though he’s not keen. The thought of flying that far – he’s an old airline pilot – doesn’t light his fire, and he doesn’t want to be that far from home. I’ll hold him down and we can all take turns at slapping some sense into him. – Chris Pickett
20 - SEPTEMBER 2010
PICKETT was blown away. It’s not often Cycle Torque’s luddite editor is impressed by technology, but when he saw the footage from the GoPro HD Hero wearable camera I’d bought, he was gobsmacked. He mumbled, “I can see us owning a few of these…” I’m more than impressed with the little HD
Hero, too. Starting at round $400, it shoots really good quality footage, especially if you’ve got good light. So far there’s two Cycle Torque videos up which use Hero footage, and both give a great impression of what it’s like on the bike – the rst one we did was the Kawasaki KLX250SF, which just happened to be in the
GoPro HD Hero happy with the videos, podcasts and eMags Cycle Torque garage when the camera arrived. we’ve been producing, but we are pretty Ad man Dennis Penzo was throwing a leg new to the electronic media lark. If you’ve over to go to the local shops, so I used the got any comments, suggestions, brickbats suction cup attachment and sent him off or bouquets, don’t be afraid to let us know with the GoPro on the side of the bike. What firstname.lastname@example.org. came back was great footage of him hooking To see the videos mentioned in the story, through suburbia on the Kawasaki’s neat go to http://www.cycletorque.com.au/ Supermoto. vodcastList.php (if you’re reading the eMag The next thing was to attach the GoPro version, just click on the link). to my car and have Dennis hook in, getting For more information about the GoPro some shots of the bike on the move. Add in a camera, check out www.gopro.com - for soundtrack and some still images and it was the details of how to get one, call Lusty one of the quickest videos we’ve ever made. Industries on 02 4953 7667. Next up was the Kawasaki KX250F launch. – Nigel Paterson The onboard shots are from rider Todd Reed’s helmet and again, they look great. We also captured the slow-motion jump with the camera The latest on panning the bike, which I think is the best scene in the whole show. The GoPro also shoots 5mp still (Live links if you’re reading the eMag) photos, but I haven’t really tried that out yet. • Kawasaki KX250F video The specs show it can shoot and special edition eMag 1080p at 30fps (frames per second), but we nd the wider-angle view • Motocross interviews on video (170-degrees versus 127) and 60fps (which is better for slow motion) Marmont, Boyd, Simmonds suits on-board bike action better. The extra wide angle eld of view • Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo video means the focussing is xed and depth of eld is huge. • Kawasaki KLX250SF video There are many ways to mount the Hero, including adhesive mounts, straps, suction caps and tripod adaptors. Here at Cycle Torque we’re very
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SEPTEMBER 2010 - 15
Triumphs and, well, bungles
A Honda CB77. 305cc, OHC, 28.5HP… and electric start that worked. EVEN today, more than 30 years after the event, I’m still bewildered at my decision to buy a Honda CB400F rather than a Yamaha RD400. I know why I chose the one over the other – I’d swallowed the family propaganda, ground down to a nicely blunt, bludgeoning edge after decades of not knowing any better, that two-strokes were things for scooters, mopeds and the horrors fashioned by Eastern Bloc nations to masquerade as motorcycles. But even allowing for that and the fact that a short series of Suzukis had temporarily sated my appetite for strokers I’m still a bit foxed at having
16 - SEPTEMBER 2010
toed the party line quite so readily. But perhaps my decision had something to do with romance as well, springing from a desire to become a small part of our lot’s great two-wheeled continuum that stretched back flat caps and Halcyon Mk 8s, to ex-War Department G3 Matchlesses and the delight of discovering telescopic forks for the first time. All of which might go some way to explain why such a vast number of oddities appear in so many lists of all-time great bikes. My choice, as you’ll see in the list below, contain no such errors of judgement, no quirks of fancy; the baker’s dozen bikes listed
each embody most if not all of the motorcycling virtues and can claim the credit of having established more than a few. 1948 Vincent-HRD Series C Rapide – the 50-degree engine and more ingenious design features than you could dream of, including a cantilever rear end, quick-detach wheels (and reversible rear), Girdraulic forks. The genius of the two Phils was never more apparent. 1956 BSA DBD34 Gold Star – Along with the ’74-spec Laverda SFC and the Ducati 916, perhaps the best-looking bike ever made and certainly one of the toughest. A genuine clubman racer powered
by a raw, men-only 499cc single that could propel you to the far side of 110mph (as long as you could take the vibration). And that exhaust note, when the bike had a Goldie silencer – Ducati owners, eat your hearts out. 1959 Triumph T120 Bonneville – Yes, children, there was magic before Harry Potter, and this was its finest manifestation. Sublime looks, sound and performance from 40 wellnourished horses. The best development of Edward Turner’s famed parallel twin. Last I heard there were still half a million 650cc Triumphs in the USA. 1961 Honda CB77 – Big Red’s early parallel twins
model that followed somehow looked were things of rare beauty (check cheap yet still took itself too seriously the lines, the shape of the tank, the by comparison. The hooligan device instrument nacelle), and the 305 had of its time, delivering miles of smiles the performance to see off much to the rider’s face – between petrol bigger opposition. All this, and an www.cycletorque.com.au 62 - SEPTEMBER 2010 pumps, anyhow. overhead camshaft! Most 305s went CYCLE TORQUE TEST – TORINO TERRA 1985400 BMW R80 Monolever – Why to the US, where other markets CONTINUED FROM PAGE 60 didn’t I buy one? Why didn’t I buy tended to get the 250cc CB72. Oh one? Why didn’t I buy one? Why yes, there was the small matter of didn’t I buy one? Why didn’t I buy an electric start that worked, as one? well. Some manufacturers couldn’t 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 – The manage that a dozen years later. modern era began with this little 1970 Yamaha R5 – Serious oil/air-cooled masterpiece, which performance from one of the first boasted a claimed 100 horses and and finest of Yamaha’s big twoless weight than most 500s of the strokes and, like the Honda, a time. The start of some serious trim masterpiece that looked a performance and the beginning of the million bucks parked. The start of a end for the 240kg luxo-barges that wonderful dynasty. were then somehow blighting most 1973 Kawasaki Z1 – Big Daddy manufacturers’ catalogues. arrives. What can you say? This one 1986 Honda VFR750F – With a really pinned our ears back, and which had some sand and some jumps. You have afternoon. I think that’s where a bike like this is bike wasof only wearing road/ at home. The more establishedV-four brands have it luscious, torquey powerplant, coming hotto remember on thetheheels the H2, trail tyres but I was pleasantly surprised with over the Torino Terra, at the moment. But for only the bike tracked place through the and how it $4,999 (with a full 12 month warranty) solid+ ORC handling, striking looks and on cemented how Kawasaki’s assand the coped with me giving it a hard time in the rougher it does give you a cheaper brand new option to stuff. The only y in the ointment is the soft get out there and havethat some fun. During my test swingarm later models single-sided big-performance marque. ‘Lethere the suspension set-up. I had the front and rear ends nothing went wrong or broke on the Terra, apart out on the guards but to be fair I wasn’t from the bum bag zipper, and I used it as you from the Honda France endurance boys, good timesbottoming roll’ indeed. taking it easy on the Terra. expect a bike like this to be ridden. You can see more about this bike if you go to the VFR set a mark for sports-tourers 1980 Yamaha RD350LC – The first www.torinomotorcycles.com.au. Good enough? After I ripped it up in the sand I went for another that 16-year-old Alex Pickett may be a learner on the road still stands. A genuine classic. of the water-pumpers was the pick 20 kilometre ride – I’ve just got my bike Ls and my but he also rides Cycle Torque’s Triumph Daytona 675 in new found freedom – because it was a beautiful Pro Twins class. 1994 Ducati 916the–FXWhen the of Yamaha’s 350s. The power-valve
Italians get it right, their brilliance is unsurpassed. The lucky and wellheeled few are still riding the 916 or its children and are, no doubt, in heaven. The sound, the performance, the looks. It was also the start of Ducati’s reign as a fashion icon. So not even Ducati at the top of its game can get everything right. 1998 Yamaha R1 – Yamaha has started plenty of revolutions in its time and none has been more impressive than this, the first of the 21st-century megasportsters. Wild and a touch scary, it gave the world its first taste of two-wheeled warp speed of the racetrack. 2007 Triumph Bonneville – Yes, Right: It would be nice to have a tacho in thethe instrument pod. of the range was released first Below left: Handy rack comes in 2001, but the 865cc engine was standard. Belowworth centre: Enginethe is built by Lifan. Tiny, reliable and wait. Below right: Rear disc looks like a saw bladesturdy, but works fine. the new Bonnie is hardly the cutting-edge performance unit its predecessor could claim to be, but the new bike is a timely reminder of how much fun a motorcycle with a decentdiameter front wheel, upright riding position and comfortable seat can be. – Bob Guntrip
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SEPTEMBER 2010 - 17
Guts & old glory
24 - AUGUST 2010
CYCLE TORQUE TEST - DUCATI 796 HYPERMOTARD – Continued from previous page
Twists and turns
During my time with the Hypermotard I tackled a number of different types of road. On expressways it’s easy to stay within legal-ish limits, there is no bodywork to protect you from the wind blast and 110/120kmh is a reasonable compromise. Try harder and the format of the bike forces you into that elbows out, head down, supermoto position. Very obvious to other road users you are perhaps offending the provisions of the Act (speeding), but enormous fun nonetheless. Get onto the bumpy backroads and it’s clear she feels at home. Change direction, late brake, and charge through the hills and it’s very tempting to apply for a road closure and get out the stop watch. If there is a factory ‘hill climber’ or ‘road crosser’, this is it. All the time the integrated balance of the design smiles at you, and shrugs, “...well, what did you expect?” Finally on dirt, awesome fun at slower speeds, makes me wonder about the potential for a 21-inch front wheeled version, and Ducati’s recent Pikes Peak hillclimb successes (with the 1100, but check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5le-azyOB98). The Hypermotard extends sportsriding on a Ducati.
Ben Spies on his way to his Superbike World Championship title in 2009 (photo 2snap. com).
10 per cent more power!
The 796 makes it accessible/affordable, and user friendly, without seriously compromising the end product in order to achieve the result. I feel the whole HM model range is capable of calling for a better rider, but the 796 is closer to most real world riders than the 1100s which feel as if they are on serious amounts of steroids! I am reminded of the footage of the HM launch (http:// Space-age instruments… tinyurl.com/35ks5v6) at Sardinia a while back, where Ruben Xaus tortured and twisted the new bike, and that famous photo was taken (see www.cycletorque.com.au/ galleryPic.php). One hand off the bars, saying ‘hi’ to the camera, knee down, rear wheel trying to overtake the front, which is seriously opposite While we are mainly looking S P E C I F I C AT I O N S: locked… Wow! (he did it at the 796 in this test, I also repeatedly)… and the audio had a run on the $19,990 1100 DUCATI 796 HYPERMOTARD revealing the shrieking Engine Type: Air-cooled V-twin WHEN it came to guts, Wayne Gardner raceHypermotard, track. and not that guys like Stoner and Vale have got.” screams of protest from the long ago spent some extended Handguards integrate mirrors and Capacity: 803cc tyre package, heard above time with it. my opinion never left anything out on the track, and Gardner onInNicky Hayden: Here’s two responses to Wayne’s indicators. appraisal Transmission: Six speed/chain drive the velvet boom of the down most people would probably engine. dismiss the HM as ahis hoonmoment bike, the changing same goes for the forthrightness “Nicky’s had in the sun and of Hayden: Fuel Capacity: of 12.4his Litres Like all Ducatis the something for short runs and Frame Type: Tubular trellis Hypermotard is about insanity type fun. would are going to get any opinions on the current crop of GP riders. I don’t think hisThat results ‘Nicky Hayden has just as many Seat Height: 825mm passion, the passion for be a mistake however. Sure, the Wayne’s weekly op-eds have better. think hehorsepower reached his peak at Honda MotoGP/500 Championships as you Wayne, riding, the whole visceral 1100 Ihas enough Wetbeen Weight:picked 167kg experience. Now, I can’t to be great fun and blur scenery Front Suspension: 43mm USD up by weekly Cycle News, and his views a few years andallows I think he’s definitely and if Dorna had not switched to 800s in 2007, ride US ‘em like Ruben Xaus, pronto, but itsago very design Rear Suspension: Monoshock but this bike is one hell of a it to lope along without fuss, on American a fewTwin of4-piston the calipers front,reached hisafter peak as riding far as getting results on I have no doubt he would have won more on lot of fun, and riders would behas an gotBrakes: eating mile mile. The single twin-piston rear. excellent starting point for position might look more trail locals fans, and the bike Ducati is concerned. the 990s. The switch from 990s to 800s hurt suchhopping a journey. mad. American than tourer but once again, He’s a second tier Tyres: 120/70-ZR17, 180/55-ZR17 With a new knockdown it’s quite a comfortable machine to spend a day in the saddle on. Proof in the pudding for me was a trip Price become (RRP): $15,990 the price US motorcycle press, have quite rider - always has been and always will be. He Nicky the most, because the 800s need to be of $15,990, the 796 last year down to Bright and back. I travelled around 3000 kilometres or so in four days, including one www.ducati.com.au Hypermotard is goodriders who kilometre run on the last day. The bike was equipped with factory tank panniers which looked very protective of their have attracted puts1000 the hard work in, but I justthe think hesetlacks ridden like 250s, and Nicky never raced 250s. buying, especially if you are cool and held enough gear to get us through trip. The up had the panniers sit either side of the CALL FOR A QUOTE after a fun bit of gear. and even worked wellskills enough to to keep some of the cool air off my lower regions. 1800 24 34 64the tank a certain amount of■derision in recent years aggression and really succeed. He Honda did not help him much by building
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Storm range in store July
Overall a very nice, and usable machine. The 1100 Evo SP is currently on sale for $20,990.
just lacks that last two or three percent that
the smallest and the slowest 800 on the grid
in 2007. Honda finally increased the power of Colin Edwards: Years ago I wouldâ€™ve said its 800 at the end of 2008, and Nicky led Indy, a 600 then a Superbike, then MotoGP. But and at Phillip Island set the lap record that still Iâ€™m beginning to understand that thereâ€™s a stands; not bad for a guy with no talent.â€™ problem. If youâ€™re racing a 600 then Superbike, â€˜I wish Nicky could win the championship youâ€™re not in the eye of the decision makers in again, but I have to agree with Gardner on MotoGP, and thatâ€™s key. The 125 guys that are this one. Nicky is a big engine, no traction young and finishing top three, top four, the kind of2010 guy. To be champion again, his MotoGP paddock have got their eye on â€˜em. www.cycletorque.com.au 16control - SEPTEMBER best shot is World Superbike. And the same They see â€˜em every weekend, they see their may apply to Ben too. Weâ€™ll have to wait till weaknesses and strengths and see what they next year to see how he does on the A-team overcome. The factories and the sponsors are bike. And while Gardner won only one calling the shots, and they see the kids coming INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVERTISERS championship, he does have 18 wins to his up in MotoGP. To answer your question, jump 1 BOOTS OF CALIBRE KEEP your feet warm and dry in Thomas Cook Boot & Clothing Coâ€™s Calibre credit. hasofthree.â€™ on a 125 and get in to grand prix. Boot with aNicky leather upper premium full grain Oily Cow, waterproof HydroGuard membrane, breathable mesh lining and non-slip 100 per cent While all that is true, Nickyâ€™s in rubber gear Q: Is developing through the 125 and 250 rubber sole. These boots have concealed shin andmalaise ankle protection, shift panel, quality YKK zippers, rear reďƒ&#x;ective panel and elasticised topline for MotoGP has towith doawith his pedigree comfort. We love theas waymuch they open zip on either side of each boot. classes important in terms of developing set1 PRICE: Tall - $239.95, short $229.95 as itABLE does hisGood innate skillonline level. Mick Doohan, up skills for MotoGP? AVAIL FROM: bike shops, or ring for stockists (03) 8872 7272 MORE INFO: www.thomascook.com.au who said that Hayden shouldâ€™ve had a season CE: Itâ€™s all learning. Iâ€™ve ridden a 250 and 2 TOUR IN STYLE TIME-OUT the MotoGP, largest selling is camping and cargo trailers in the USA it and dwas a bear to set up. You were changing in 250s Trailers, prior to the last SuperbikeCanada are now here. Specially designed for motorcycles there are 16 models in the range which can be colour matched to yourhis bike.final The camper-trailer can be derived 500/MotoGP champ, title things all the time to get it to work. As soon as fully rigged in 10 minutes! They all have fully independent torsion bar suspension, on, 50mm unique swivel coupling, LED waterproof lights, extendable jack stands, r secured 12 years ago. Since then riders I air jumped on a Superbike, I said â€˜wow, this is mattress, table and chairs. PRICE: Dependent on model. AVAIL ABLE FROM: Time Out Trailers Australia brought up on 125s and 250s have dominated easy.â€™ These 125 and 250 guys know, theyâ€™ve MORE INFO: 0412 766 449 MotoGP - Alex Criville, Kenny Roberts Jnr, been sorting out these bikes for years, and 3 GET SEATED Brisbaneâ€™s leading leatherCasey repair andStoner accessoryand store Hi-Side Leathers has once they jump on a MotoGP bike, itâ€™s just Valentino Rossi, now Jorge expanded itâ€™s current operations to re-foaming, re-shaping, recovering and repairing seat covers. There is a large range of exotic vinyls to choose Lorenzo. another day at the office. from and the straight talking Phil will put you on the straight and narrow 3 regarding what2005 can beinterview done to enhance the look and comfort In this I did with Colinof your Q: You raced in Superbike against guys current seat. P R I C E : Prices vary AVA I L A B L E F R his O M : take Hi-Sideon Leathers R E I N FaOrider : 0417 723 799 Edwards, whatM Opath needs like Fogarty, Scott Russell, Corser, Gobert and 4 CARBON PERFORMANCE to succeed in MotoGP is still valid today. Slight â€“ all champions in their own right. What THESE carbon ďƒžbre mufďƒ&#x;ers are made from pre-formed composite carbon ďƒžbreQ: sleeve and high grade 304 stainless steel. All hand welded with a What progression of classes would you makes it tougher to beat the GP guys? careful attention to detail. They have a removable bafďƒ&#x;e system, each silencer under 2kg with bafďƒ&#x;e removed. jetting re-mapping map weighs out for a 16-year-old rookieNoon theorroad CE: Fogarty, Corser, Gobert and Russell, required. There is a 12-month warranty. PRICE: From $369 AVAIL ABLE FROM: Direct from Planet Moto to MotoGP? we all wanted to win just as bad, but it didnâ€™t MORE INFO: 1300 457 878, www.planetmoto.com.au.
seem quite as cut-throat. We did some pretty crazy stuff, but grand prix seems more over the edge in that aspect. The first three laps of a race, if you can survive that, youâ€™re doing well. It can get crazy in those first few laps. In Superbikes, you had two races. You knew you had two starts, you knew everyone would sort themselves out, and you had time to make up some spots. In MotoGP, thereâ€™s one race and that start is mighty important. Americaâ€™s biggest hope Ben Spies, therefore, needs to overcome a Superbike career path to conquer MotoGP. Gardner is optimistic. Wayne Gardner on Ben Spies: 2 â€œBenâ€™s done a great job in his first full season of MotoGP. Heâ€™s struggled a bit for consistency, but this is only because he still doesnâ€™t know all the tracks or how to extract the best from his bike in a short period. Heâ€™s managing to learn a lot without making too many mistakes. I think his main strength has been his calculating approach. He understands what heâ€™s looking for and heâ€™s prepared to work hard at it. Itâ€™s just a matter of time before 4 we see him at the front on a regular basis.â€? If he does get to the front, Superbike Spies will need to defy a decadeâ€™s old orthodoxy of tucking behind a 125 screen on the way to the top. â€“ Darryl Flack
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Tour in style
TIME-OUT Trailers, the largest selling camping and cargo trailers in the USA and Canada are now here. Specially designed for motorcycles there are 16 models in the range which can be colour matched to your bike. The camper-trailer can be fully rigged in 10 minutes! They all have fully independent torsion bar suspension, 50mm unique swivel coupling, LED waterproof lights, extendable jack stands, air mattress, table and chairs. Price: Dependent on model. Available from: Time Out Trailers Australia More info: 0412 766 449 3
Brisbane’s leading leather repair and accessory store Hi-Side Leathers has expanded it’s current operations to re-foaming, re-shaping, recovering and repairing seat covers. There is a large range of exotic vinyls to choose from and the straight talking Phil will put you on the straight and narrow regarding what can be done to enhance the look and comfort of your current seat. Price: Prices vary Avail able from: Hi-Side Leathers More info: 0417 723 799 THESE carbon fibre mufflers are made from pre-formed composite carbon fibre sleeve and high grade 304 stainless steel. All hand welded with a careful attention to detail. They have a removable baffle system, each silencer weighs under 2kg with baffle removed. No jetting or re-mapping required. There is a 12-month warranty. Price: From $369 Avail able from: Direct from Planet Moto More info: 1300 457 878, www.planetmoto.com.au.
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THIS set of two roller protector/frame sliders help protect the frame and bodywork on a low-side fall. Black anodised aluminium brackets with black highimpact nylon rollers which have FZ8 etched in white on them. For 2010 FZ8 N & S models. Price: $272.24 incl GST Available from: All good Yamaha dealers More info: www.yamaha-motor.com.au
THESE Burnt Blue Hornee Jeans are in the Relax Fit Bootcut style. They are comfortable and look good on and off the bike. Made of cotton and with a 100 per cent Kevlar liner. Double-stitched seams provide for extra strength. Price: $239.95 Available from: Good bike shops. More info: www.horneejeans.com 02 47222637
THE Fresco jacket here shows a cut-away look so you can see the removable 600 Denier shell and the other half revealing the summer jacket mesh. Just zip out the outer cover with the YKK zippers to see the abrasion resistant mesh. 3M reflective piping, water/ wind proof Reissa Powerskin liner and CE approved elbow and shoulder protectors finish off this all season jacket. Price: $279.95 Available from: www.matadorequipment.com 1300 782 990 More info: www.matadorequipment.com THIS enduro-specific hard compound tyre offers a blend of grip and traction for mixed terrain. Tall centre blocks for maximum dig and optimum spacing for exceptional grip and wear, soft shoulder blocks for superior cornering, high quality rubber to match world leading brands. Price: Front $79.95, rear $99.95 Available from: Lusty Industries 02 4953 7667 More info: www.blackrock-tyres.com.au
Caught out in the cold
JUST occasionally, you really get caught out: for me, getting snowed on in France during the launch of the Yamaha Super Tenere was just that sort of occasion. Luckily I wasn’t completely unprepared, my new MotoDry Adventurer Jacket and Shoei Hornet DS helmet both doing a great job to keep me warmer, dryer and a lot more comfortable than I would have expected. Starting from the top, the new Shoei Hornet DS was a snug comfortable fit, as I’d expect from a top-ofthe line manufacturer. The quality of finish is simply superb, and the combination of good-sealing visor under the integral peak is perfect for adventure bikes like the Super Tenere. The peak keeps the sun out of the eyes in the trees and the visor is what you need on a freeway, so it’s a versatile combination. If you decide to get serious off road you can swap the visor for a pair of goggles, and you could also remove the peak and run the helmet as a standard full-face lid, too, so it is a bit like getting two helmets for the money. The MotoDry Adventurer jacket is also very versatile.
It was supplied with two liners, one a warm and plush inner, the other less designed to keep you warm but still making the combination 100 per cent waterproof. With no liner the Adventure jacket can breathe, the exterior being a strong mesh. Features abound: built in hydration pack, body armour, zip-off sleeves, ventilation panels, numerous pockets, all adding up to one awesome jacket. With the lining removed, the Adventurer provides crash protection and air flow: to be able to use the same jacket on a freeway when it’s is snowing and still come away impressed makes me really, really happy I took the MotoDry to France. Available in sizes up to 6XL. Three colour schemes. Price: Helmet - $899.90, jacket - $349 Avail able from: Leading bike shops More info: Helmet - www.mcleodaccessories.com. au, jacket - More info: www.motonational.com.au
T H E T W I N S H AV E G R O W N . For fans of big cans, all 2011 Touring models now feature the Twin Cam 103â€? engine - or 1690cc for you metric heads. Itâ€™s a new level of performance delivered via meatier torque. Head to h-d.com.au to immerse yourself.
GoPro HD Hero
PICKETT was blown away. It’s not often Cycle Torque’s luddite editor is impressed by technology, but when he saw the footage from the GoPro HD Hero wearable camera I’d bought, he was gobsmacked. He mumbled, “I can see us owning a few of these…” I’m more than impressed with the little HD Hero, too. Starting at round $400, it shoots really good quality footage, especially if you’ve got good light. So far there’s two Cycle
Torque videos up which use Hero footage, and both give a great impression of what it’s like on the bike – the first one we did was the Kawasaki KLX250SF, which just happened to be in the Cycle Torque garage when the camera arrived. Ad man Dennis Penzo was throwing a leg over to go to the local shops, so I used the suction cup attachment and sent him off with the GoPro on the side of the bike. What came back was great footage of him hooking through
suburbia on the Kawasaki’s neat Supermoto. The next thing was to attach the GoPro to my car and have Dennis hook in, getting some shots of the bike on the move. Add in a soundtrack and some still images and it was one of the quickest videos we’ve ever made. Next up was the Kawasaki KX250F launch. The onboard shots are from rider Todd Reed’s helmet and again, they look great. We also captured the
slow-motion jump with the camera panning the bike, which I think is the best scene in the whole show. The GoPro also shoots 5mp still photos, but I haven’t really tried that out yet. The specs show it can shoot 1080p at 30fps (frames per second), but we find the wider-angle view (170-degrees versus 127) and 60fps (which is better for slow motion) suits onboard bike action better. The extra wide angle field
SEPTEMBER 2010 - 55
The latest on
The view at the top of the Trans Fagarasului Highway. The Merry Cemetery. of view means the focussing is fixed and depth of field is huge. There are many ways to mount the Hero, including adhesive mounts, straps, suction (Live links if you’re reading the eMag) caps and tripod adaptors. Here at Cycle Torque we’re very happy with the videos, podcasts and eMags we’ve been producing, but we are pretty new to the electronic media lark. If you’ve got any comments, suggestions, brickbats or bouquets, don’t be afraid to let us know email@example.com. To see the videos mentioned in the story, Romanian trafc it will take you most of the day Turda for a farewell dinner supplied by the local you like, so getting it shipped over to Europe by a laugh out of his antics. Maybe I shouldn’t have go to http://www.cycletorque.com.au/ to get to your destination. The 650 Glen and Sue town council which is promoting tourism. Get Routed is an option, especially if you do this sledged his riding so much. were on was ne two-up, Sue even fell asleep on It was sad to say goodbye to the Transylvania as part of a longer trip. WevodcastList.php check out the ‘Merry Cemetery’ which is reading (if you’re the Live crew. We were treated with great respect and the back a few times during the trip. You can also opt for an enduro tour which is very colourful and each gravestone tells the story theylink). went out of their way to ensure we had a mostly off road. If it’s by bike, by horse or even in rst person of the deceasedjust person’s life story. eMag version, click on the special time. by helicopter it can be done by TL. It is all about celebrating the person’s life, but one Prices and other stuff The was exotic, humorous, sobering, wild, The guided tour we did costs around AUD little girlFor who died after information being hit by a car hadabout me Transylvania Live don’t just do motorcycle more thetripGoPro breathtaking, and visually spectacular. To say $1400, pillion an extra $550, and bike hire for in a sombre mood for a while. tours, also on the menu are cultural tours, camera, check out www.gopro.com for this is one of the greatest things I’ve done on a seven days $700. This is subject to exchange It’s not hard to notice the change in people’s historic tours, vampire tours, pretty much motorcycle is a major understatement. It’s hard looks in this area. You see many with blond hair whatever you’d like to check out in Transylvania rates. This also covers all accommodation and theeyes, details of how toThis gettown one, tocall Lusty describe the region’s beauty but there’s many some meals. Food and alcohol is pretty cheap. and blue almost Nordic in looks. the team at TL can organise it. in Australia just as beautiful. I found the You can’t y direct to Cluj Napoca. We decided is much like the others but Bogdan says we need On the bike side of things the eet is mostly Industries on 02 4953 7667. areas culture and the way of life of the Romanian to spend a night in Munich, and then the ight to make up time so a slightly frantic ride through BMW F650 GS single cylinder go anywhere people thePaterson special part of the trip. It might be a into Romania was a short hour and a half from the heart of Sighetu Marmatiei leaves us laughing.– Nigel machines, with a couple of 1200 GS adventure
www.cycletorque.com.au • Kawasaki KX250F video and special edition eMag
• Motocross interviews on video Marmont, Boyd, Simmonds
• Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo video • Kawasaki KLX250SF video
Even Glen is coping, bipping his horn so drivers know there’s a madman on the loose. We take a detour due to the ooding, nding a bumpy but almost deserted road, and enjoy a ‘spirited’ strop. Bogdan tells us it’s a poor area and people either stop and stare or wave to us. We nally arrive at Cluj Napoca to drop our kit off, and continue back to our starting point in
cliché but it’s truly a country of contrasts. Every country in the world is to a degree but I found the differences between old and new, and the communist architecture an intoxicating mix. Our friends Glen and Sue had a blast as well, and considered it money well spent. Each day was around 200 kilometres or so and with the walking tours, and the generally slow pace of
tourers as well. These types of bikes are perfect for negotiating the mainly poorly maintained roads, and TL is looking to continually update its eet. You can do the full tour like we did, or you can hire a bike off TL with a written guide and tips of where to go for the best Transylvanian experience. You can also bring your own bike if
there. Check out Transylvania Live – Adventure Motorcycle Tours, www.motorcycle-tours.travel, (02) 8005 7337. Do yourself a favour, a riding tour of Vlad’s old stomping ground is something you’ll thoroughly enjoy and cherish forever. – Chris Pickett
Pain For Glory YOU will go through pain. It is as simple as that. If you want to race a dirt bike in anger and succeed at almost any level you will have to go through a certain amount of pain. Put simply, this is not a sport for the faint hearted so if you think that racing motocross is all about the prize money, the glory and the trophy girls… you are dreamin’. The thing is, I am not only talking about crashing. Riders – at least those with a bit of ticker – race through all sorts of barriers to get to the finish line. Becoming a good, great or a champion racer is about single-minded
commitment, desire, mental toughness and (believe it or not), a high pain threshold. If you have any of the above you will have raced to the point of exhaustion, you will have raced though flying roost and rocks with no goggles, pushed through arm pump until your hands bled, raced with severe leg cramps, wrenched knees, twisted ankles, sprained wrists… well, not all at the same time but nothing is surer: racing a moto will throw up a plethora of painful problems. And despite all of these problems any rider worth their salt has crashed, got up and kept charging
Mick Hansen winning recently despite blood steaming down his leg.
through the pack completely oblivious to the pain. My most painful day of racing was in 1984 when Mt Isa hosted the North Queensland Championships. I won every race on the Saturday and in my infinite wisdom I decided to go out on Saturday night with all my mates and as per usual we got into a bit of a stoush. I belted some yobo with a beautiful straight left and you guessed it, broke two bones in my hand. Yeehaa! So, with nine races to go on Sunday (three each 125, 250 and 500cc) I had to put my hand in an ice bucket right up to the five second board
each race before throwing the glove on and letting it rip. You can’t imagine the pain I went through to complete every race that day and to win all but a couple to wrap up the NQ1 plate… and to tell the truth, I didn’t think twice about it (you machine Smarty – Ed.). I have told the story before about Mackay legend Mick Hansen. At last year’s annual beach race Mick’s left leg was struck by another rider’s bike and he crashed. Initially he felt that his left leg was a little sore but what he didn’t know was that a four inch long bolt protruding from the other rider’s bike had
DK mentioned that he and brother Gally [Stephen Gall] and had a step off sliced a huge hole in his lower leg. Shayne rode â€˜tonnesâ€™ of times with and the bike landed on my foot and While Mickâ€™s mates were fixing his www.cycletorque.com.au 12 - SEPTEMBER 2010 injuries and because they were racing crushed it. I couldnâ€™t put weight on it bike for the next race he thought he GUNTRIP each week to pay the bills they really for two weeks then got heaps of physio better go and get the leg checked by had no choice. to get it moving again leading into the the ambulance man. Well, the Ambo And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Amaroo race and somehow managed reckons it is the worst wound he has what Real Motocrossers do. Nothing to race through the Mr Motocross final ever seen but Mick convinced the by masterpiece that looked a million detach wheels (and reversible rear), EVEN today, more than 30 years after the comes from no effort, you have to retain thetwo title.â€? trim now Ambo toatpush all of the raw forks.and bucks parked. The start of a wonderful Girdraulic The genius of the event, green Iâ€™m still bewildered my decision dynasty. Phils was never more apparent. to buy aback Hondainto CB400F rather than a wrap push the boundaries to succeed in any In his usual modest manner Anthony meat the hole and it 1973 Kawasaki Z1 â€“ Big Daddy 1956 BSA DBD34 Gold Star â€“ Along with Yamaha RD400. arrives. What can you say? This sport one the â€™74-spec Laverda SFC and the Ducati up his I know why I chose theto oneshove over the it other but in motocross pushing those Gunter wrapped story with, up tight enough back in the really pinned our ears back, and 916, perhaps the best-looking bike ever â€“ Iâ€™d swallowed the family propaganda, coming on the heels of the H2, made and certainly one ofwere the toughest. A ground down to a nicely blunt, bludgeoning boundaries usually means that things â€œthere probably othershotbut that boot. cemented Kawasakiâ€™s place as the edge after decades of not knowing any better, genuine clubman racer powered by a raw, A Honda CB77. 305cc, OHC, 28.5HPâ€Ś and electric start that worked. big-performance good always going to go to plan... single the that could that two-strokes thingswent for scooters, one propel that I remember mostmarque. as â€˜Let thearenâ€™t That done,were Mick out and men-only 499cc was 1994 Ducati 916 â€“ When the Italians get times rollâ€™ indeed. mopeds and the horrors fashioned by Eastern you to the far side of 110mph (as long as what B entails, riding there was And a lot at stake1980 with the RD350LC title.â€? â€“ The ďƒžrstAnd won the beach raceasfinal with blood it right, theirplan brilliance is unsurpassed. The Yamaha of theguess you could take the vibration). that Bloc nations to masquerade motorcycles. lucky and well-heeled few are still riding water-pumpers was the pick of Yamahaâ€™s exhaust note, when the bike had a Goldie But even allowing for that and the fact that a in pain. To succeed at motocross is to in Thanks Grunt... streaming down his left leg and in the 916 or its children and are, no doubt, 350s. The power-valve model that followed silencer â€“ Ducati owners, eat your hearts short series of Suzukis had temporarily sated heaven. The sound, the performance, the somehow looked cheap yet still took itself my appetite for strokers Iâ€™m still a bit foxed at out. glamour andtheprepare for reign I was recently Darryl King Theforget immense pain photo of Mick doing It was also start of Ducatiâ€™s too to seriously by comparison. hooliganthe looks. 1959 Triumph T120 Bonneville â€“ Yes, talking having toed the party (see line quite so readily. as a fashion icon. So not even Ducati at the device of its time, delivering miles of smiles children, there was magic before Harry But perhaps my decision had something tough times ahead. about the same thing and he mentioned the victory lap). Unreal... love that stuff. top of its game can get everything right. to the riderâ€™s face â€“ between petrol pumps, Potter, and this was its ďƒžnest manifestation. to do with romance as well, springing 1998 Yamaha R1 â€“ Yamaha has are started anyhow. Sublime looks, sound andwhen performance from aAustraliaâ€™s desire to becomegreatest a small partmotocross of our Sure, the glory is great and we all a time he raced two 40 minute Of plenty of revolutions in its time and none 1985 BMW R80 Monolever â€“ Why didnâ€™t from 40 well-nourished horses. The best lotâ€™s great two-wheeled continuum that has been impressive than I buy Why didnâ€™t I buy one? Why Edward Turnerâ€™s famed with stretched back ďƒ&#x;at caps and HalcyonGunter Mk 8s, development of motos happy when we more get our share ofthis, thethe ďƒžrst on a KX500 a one? completely legends Anthony â€˜Gruntâ€™ of the 21st-century megasportsters. Wild didnâ€™t I buy one? Why didnâ€™t I buy one? parallel twin. Last I heard there were still to ex-War Department G3 Matchlesses and andand/or a touch scary, it gave girls the world its to ďƒžrst Whyadidnâ€™t I buy half a million 650cc Triumphsshoulder in the USA. from the delight of discovering telescopic prizemoney trophy but wrecked crash theone? recently told me about hisforks most painful taste of two-wheeled warp speed of the 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 â€“ The modern 1961 Honda CB77 â€“ Big Redâ€™s early for the ďƒžrst time. get there we knew that there would be week before. day at the track. Here are the words racetrack. era began with this little oil/air-cooled parallel twins were things of rare beauty All of which might go some way to 2007 Triumph Bonneville â€“ Yes, the ďƒžrst masterpiece, which boasted a claimed explain why such a vast number of oddities (check the lines, the shape of the tank, sacrifices and is released nothing surer â€œIt was one in the from himself. of thethere range was in 2001, but that the 100 horses andearly less weight than most the instrument nacelle), and the 305 of hadthe GPs appear the in so man many lists of all-time great 865cc engine was worth the wait. Tiny, 500s of the time. The start of some serious the performance to see off much bigger bikes. My choice, as youâ€™ll see in the list riders with the same desire as Mick, â€™90s. I rode both motos holding my left â€œI think the main one that comes to reliable and sturdy, the new Bonnie is performance and the beginning of the end below, contain no such errors of judgement, opposition. All this, and an overhead the cutting-edge performance unit the 240kg luxo-barges that were then 305s went to the US, where no quirks of fancy; the bakerâ€™s dozen bikes Grunt andhardly the King brothers, to sacrifice against my body for the best I could to mind was the 1977 Mr Motocrosscamshaft! GrandMost arm its predecessor could claim to be, but the other markets tended to get the 250cc CB72. somehow blighting most manufacturersâ€™ listed each embody most if not all of the new bike is a timely reminder of how much catalogues. Oh yes, there was the small matter of an and motorcycling virtues and can claim the broken for glory is something done gladly. minimise the pain did most of the Final at Amaroo Park. I had four fun a motorcycle with a decent-diameter 1986 Honda VFR750F â€“ With a luscious, electric start that worked, as well. Some credit of having established more than a â€“ Darren front wheel, upright riding positionSmart and torquey V-fourwanted powerplant, solid handling, manufacturers that aright arm, few. work manage with my I just bones in my left foot at Jilliby Park four couldnâ€™t
Triumphs and, well, bungles
1948 Vincent-HRD Series C Rapide â€“
striking looks and on later models that single-
dozen years later.
sided swingarm from the Honda France 1970 Yamaha R5 Seriousaperformance the 50-degree engine and more ingenious to â€“score few points before a small weeks prior. endurance boys, the VFR set a mark for sportsfrom one of the ďƒžrst and ďƒžnest of Yamahaâ€™s design features than you could dream of, break in the calendar, crazy stuff.â€? â€œIn one of final races I was dicing with tourers that still stands. A genuine classic. big two-strokes and, like the Honda, a including a cantilever rear end, quick-
comfortable seat can be.
â€“ Bob Guntrip
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TORQUING BACK LETTERS Great service
I RECENTLY had a situation with my Honda VFR that required a phone call to Staintune Exhausts. The service was fantastic. I sent my exhaust system to them for a small change I requested. Staintune took care of everything and returned the exhaust to me in record time. It has been a pleasure to deal with an Australian owned and operated business with pride and service in their workmanship. I have quite a few friends with Staintune exhausts on their bikes and they are all very happy with the quality and the exhaust note they produce. Well done Staintune.
Iain McDermid Cowra
I purchased my 1st BMW motorcycle from Brisans in Newcastle, a K 1200 R. Recently my bike suffered a very uncharacteristic failure of the rear differential assembly. My bike was out of warranty. The mileage was not excessive, and it had an up-todate service history with Brisan Motorcycles. A completely new differential assembly was fitted to my bike at no expense to me for which I am very grateful. Special thanks to mechanic Clint, Dale and Chris at Brisans, and also Scott from BMW Australia.
Tony Graham Mt Olive
Re: your whinge about lemons and the ’82 Darmah you owned [Editorial, Aug 2010]. I have owned three bevel drive Ducatis amongst 23 motorcycles over the last 38 years and currently own a 1984 S2 Mille. The problems you experienced could all have been fixed on the side of the road with basic tools that any mechanically minded rider would have had with them. The gear shift only changing down was the result of the countersunk allen head bolt securing the gear shift drum coming loose, an easy fix. This should have been seen to by centre popping the edges of the bolt at the pre-delivery service. Other problems you described were related to the fuse box and the propensity for the plastic fuses to melt and not make contact, another easy fix. The carby bowls should have been drained and filters fitted to the lines, another easy fix. Also after washing, the plugs to the ignition modules should have been removed and any water drained as well as replacing the metal Bosch spark plug caps with plastic ND caps. I have ridden these bikes for many thousands of kilometres including one trip from Newcastle to Mackay and return in the pouring rain the whole way. Once sorted they are a treat to ride and reward the rider like no other machine I have ever owned. They are as reliable as the person who rides them. To pronounce them as lemons merely shows your lack of knowledge and mechanical ability.
Yours sincerely Brad Smith
Sorry to assault your sense of Ducati reliability Brad with my slightly tongue in cheek column. I owned that bike when I was 21, and yes I realised what caused the gear shift problem when I removed the side
cover at home later that day. Since then I’ve gone on to own a number of bevel drive Ducatis, raced a round case 750SS for years and currently own an 851 Ducati. Maybe I’ve accumulated some knowledge and mechanical ability since those heady days of my misguided youth. You wouldn’t be a card carrying Ducatisti by any chance? Cheers Chris Pickett
LIKE everybody else I am totally sick of the powers that be hitting honest hard working tax payers with additional cost rises. These range from electricity, rego, CTP, council rates and the list goes on. Now we have the CTP rises for motorcycles. I have recently purchased a 850cc motorcycle, going up from a 250cc. When I first did so I thought extra cost for rego etc for going to a larger machine. Well how funny is it that had I kept the 250cc my CTP would have been a bigger increase. What type of country are we living in? Also are all motorcyclists aware of the new weight tax that is applying to our tin tops. The RTA says no plans to add this to motorcycles. Let’s see how long this lasts. Someone will come out with another lame excuse to slug motorcyclist all in the name of saving our poor lives as we enjoy a dangerous past time… riding. I think the best we could do is sell our enginepowered machines and go back to the horse and cart, but wait that won’t work either as we would all have to pay a tax on excrement from the horse. Well we may not be paying an excrement tax on our powered machine but there is certainly excrement getting thrown around.
Shameless self promotion
JUST a quick note to say love the mag and keep up the fine work. You don’t get anything for nothing anymore and we all can’t afford to buy the $10 - $15 a month magazines that certainly have more advertising than yours. A big thanks to you guys, sponsors and the advertisers that make this magazine possible. I am a bike fan in general no specific discipline, another reason why your magazine is such an enjoyable read. Keep up the great work.
Write A Letter!
WIN A Great PRIZE This month Mark Robinson has won a Copy of Charley Boorman’s Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means DVD. Available wherever great videos are sold. Send your letters (and/or great bike pictures) to The Editor, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687 Warners Bay, NSW 2282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kawasaki’s engineers have been hard at work improving an already great motorcycle. TEST BY
Launch Report – 2010 Kawasaki KX250F
RIDING GEAR: Troy Lee Designs helmet, One Industries nylons, Alpinestars boots.
Perfectune Launch Report – 2010 Kawasaki KX250F
claimed to increase fuel flow by at least 20 per cent over its previous injector design which is featured on the current model KX450F. A nice touch which is available as an option on the KX250F is the KX FI calibration kit. It is an aftermarket plug in kit that enables the rider or mechanic to log onto the DFI system and make modifications to both fuel and ignition settings. The pack comes pre-set with seven optimised fuel and ignition curves which were developed by the Kawasaki engineers. You can also play and fiddle as you like and create your own fuel and ignition settings using the software provided with the kit.
In 2011 the Kawasaki engineers have
introduced their revolutionary new Showa Separate Function front Fork system (SFF). The new front suspension system is vastly different from any other 250cc four stroke on today’s market. In years gone by both damping and springs were housed together in the same fork. Not any more, the left hand fork now houses the damping assembly only and the right hand fork takes control of the spring assembly. This allows for dramatically reduced friction and a much smoother, more predictable ride. Kawasaki’s new fork design also saves significant weight over the previous system, the SFF setup sheds the kilos by dropping parts which were previously needed twice. Now there is only one fork spring and damping system instead of two. It was
also evident that after watching the Kawasaki technicians, the new Separate Function front Fork system is quite easy to adjust and simple to work on. All the normal clickers that we are used to seeing were still there, however there is now an added clicker adjuster on the top right hand fork to increase or decrease the amount of preload the rider/mechanic would like on the front fork spring. The Uni-Track rear shock and linkage setup remains relatively unchanged from 2010. The Showa shock gets revised damping settings to match the new fork setup and keep the green machine under control.
The moment you hop on the KX250F you feel comfortable and ready to go.
Headlining the cockpit are Renthal 7/8” handlebars, we know they aren’t the oversize ’bars some riders expect but it’s pretty tough to bend a set of 7/8” Renthals. The bend is very comfortable and is actually the same handlebar that comes on one of its close competitors, the CRF250R. The standard footpegs get the job done, however with the latest trend going towards platform widestyle footpegs it would be nice to see the KX with a big chunky set of ’pegs. Kawasaki has opted to fit out the new KX with Bridgestone tyres; the 403 front and 404 rear have an excellent reputation, they offer excellent grip in most conditions and don’t wear out too fast. The black wheels also make the KX look pretty trick. The overall look of the bike hasn’t changed from 2010 with the exception of the Bold New Graphics. Considering the KX has a slick and modern new look,
Specifications: 2011 kawasaki kx250f Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 249cc Transmission: Five speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 7.2 Litres Frame Type: Alloy Seat Height: 945mm Wet Weight: 105.7kg Front Suspension: 47mm USD SFF. Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak Brakes: Twin-piston caliper front, single-piston rear. Tyres: 80/100-21, 100/90-19 Price (RRP): $10,999 www.kawasaki.com.au
and that most 250F riders are going to kit their bikes out with new graphics and stickers anyway, having a similar look to last year can’t be a bad thing.
On the track
So what does all of the above mean on the track? It means the 2011 bike is considerably improved over the 2010 bike. When you first kick over the little green Kawie you notice the DFI has cleaned up the annoying splattering that you get under warm up on a carburettered four stroke. DFI also loses the fuel on/off switch as the need is gone, however there is still a choke knob for those cold early morning race-day starts. Once the KX is all warmed up and you take to the track the feel at the throttle is much more predictable and gone is any evidence of a miss or flutter. We took it easy to begin with and got used to the set-up of the new fork and shock as well as the DFI.
The Showa SFF suspension does an excellent job of soaking up the bumps and feels nice and plush at the top of the stroke. Once we began to tackle some of the bigger jumps the SFF forks and Uni-Track shock held up very well as we took on the big hits with confidence. The motor was very punchy and lively for a small bore thumper. The little green machine pulls very strong off the bottom and doesn’t let off through the mid and top end. Once you spin a few laps on the KX250F it’s quite easy to see why this is a class leading engine.
SFF stands for Single Function Forks.
There is no doubt the 2011 KX250F is going to be a winner, especially at $10,999. Straight off the showroom floor this thing is in race-shape. With over 30 improvements to the 2011 model, Kawasaki has proved it isn’t resting and has taken its new machine to the next level. n
We like good suspenders…
… and short skirts.
Simple to use, half the adjustments.
Kwaka’s 250cc KX engine surely punches above its weight. Continued over>
Watch Cycle Torqueâ€™s video preview of the KX250F Click Here Read the Special Edition eMag, with heaps more information, photographs and specifications Click Here
Cycle Torque Test - Honda VT750S TEST BY
RIDING GEAR: RXT Helmet, WileyX eyewear, Laro Retro jacket, gloves by Five Gloves, Hornee Jeans, Thomas Cook ‘Calibre’ boots.
Weâ€™ve seen plenty of retro-styled machines, but the VT750S comes with a retro price, tooâ€Ś
AT $8990 (plus on-road costs) this is a great price for such a good machine. A few years ago the earlier VTs were priced well above 10 grand.
On the stand
And if you like a slightly retro look then the VT750S is going to make you smile. Those wire wheels with 19 inches up front and 16 down the back, that traditional aircooled look of the cylinders and those sporty twin pipes do have a nice pulse to them. I wouldn’t quite call the tank a peanut style job, but it’s getting there. The centrally mounted analogue speedo, the slightly pulled back ’bars and the stylish cut of the seat all add to the appeal of this bike. The pearl white model we tested looks good with
the black cylinders and just enough chrome splashed around the place.
On the road
The three-valve per cylinder liquid cooled 745cc 52-degree V-twin is not going to break any performance records with 42hp (31kW) at 5500rpm and 92 Nm at 3250rpm but then it doesn’t need to. The engine packs sufficient punch with good torque down low and the slightly tallish gearing gives it plenty of credentials for light touring duties. Fuelling is via Honda’s PGM-F1 fuel injection. Exhaust is Euro 3 compliant and the standard pipes actually do have a nice note. The bike’s ergonomics are good with that upright cruiser
riding posture and a nice barpeg-seat geometry. The VT750S has good lowspeed manoeuvrability so it cuts the mustard in getting around city traffic as well. It’s a shame that it’s not LAMS approved as it’s a very confidence inspiring bike to ride and the performance wouldn’t intimidate a newcomer, although, having said that, a more experienced rider would not be disappointed with the VT750S. During the ’80s I owned a string of Japanese V-twin cruisers, mostly 750s and 1100s, and I grew to love that engine configuration as I put huge kilometres on their clocks without hint of any drama. Kerb weight is 232kg and the seat height of 750mm
is not going to cause any problems for too many people. A double cradle steel tube frame keeps it all in shape while a five-speed gearbox delivers the goods through the chain drive. Suspension up front is handled with non-adjustable 41mm tubes that have 118mm of travel while rear suspension is via twin shocks with fivestep preload adjustment and have 90mm of travel. We tore around our local ’burbs and managed to fit in some freeway time and found the suspension is typically underdamped, but it’s not too bad. Pillion accommodation is pretty average though, but at least they’ll get plenty of breaks: the fuel tank only carries 10.7 litres, so range is pretty limited.
The speedo is the only instrumentation and carries within it all the requisite lights for blinkers, high beam etc you’d expect and is easy to read on the run. As well as looking good the wire wheels were shod with Metzeler Marathon tyres which will cope with most anything you throw at them. The other thing we really liked was the clutch action. It was really light and springy and a joy to use. Front brake is 296mm hydraulic disc with two piston caliper and sintered metal pads and the rear is 180mm drum. We were a bit surprised to see that, but considering you’re not going to be riding this style of bike like a scalded cat, then it’s not really going to be a problem. It also sort of enhances that retro kind of appeal that his bike plays on. We thought the VT750S handled well and has pretty decent ground clearance for this style of machine, depending on how hard you want to push it, of course.
On the wallet
$8990 (plus on roads) and two year unlimited kilometre warranty, what can we say? We had to double check - twice. This kind of price for the sort of quality you expect from Honda, well, it’s hard to beat isn’t it? n
S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2010 Honda vt750s Engine Type: Liquid-cooled V-twin Capacity: 750cc Transmission: Five speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 10.7 Litres Frame Type: Steel cradle Seat Height: 750mm Wet Weight: 232kg Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic. Rear Suspension: Twin shock Brakes: Twin-piston caliper front, drum rear. Tyres: 100/90-19, 150/80-16 Price (RRP): $8,990 www.hondampe.com.au Call for a quote
1800 24 34 64 WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE GUARANTEED*
Book Re torcycle Race Tech’s MnoB ible Suspensio
MOST people think of motorcycle suspension tuning as a “mysterious black art.” In this book Paul Thebe hopes to take some of the mystery out of motorcycle handling and suspension set-up. Paul is the owner and chief engineer of Race Tech, one of the largest suspension modifications companies in the world. In 1994 he created the first Technical Edge Suspension Seminar and has taught more than 100 seminars and thousands of students around the world. Co-author Lee Parks is the best-selling author of Total Control, which is based on his internationally renowned Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics. Between them the joint authors have a world of experience when it comes to issues relating to motorcycle handling and suspension. This book is well set out with many step-by-step guides, including extensive photo sequences, that shows riders how to make their bikes handle like the pros. Thebe gives the lowdown on all types of suspension including cartridge and noncartridge forks as well as dual chamber and nitrogen charged shocks. He explains the three forces of suspension, testing procedures even the black art of chassis geometry. There is also a detailed troubleshooting guide for dirt, street and track as well as a great appendix which includes a Race Tech tool list a suspension testing log and even a glossary of terms. The book is well set out, particularly the photo sequences, and should take some of the mystery out of motorcycle handling and suspension issues. A valuable addition to any motorcyclist’s library. Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible by Paul Thebe and Lee Parks, Illustrated by Alan Lapp. Published by Motorbooks. – Dennis Penzo
eviews WHAT an absolutely brilliant book. This is the English language edition of Bernt Spiegel’s original German literary work which is currently in its third edition and ninth printing. European motorcyclists have hailed Spiegel’s work for more than a decade because of its provocative approach to improving motorcycle riding skills. What makes Spiegel’s work so fascinating is that he brings his unique perspective as a behavioural psychologist to the subject of motorcycling. He draws on related topics in the fields of anthropology, biology, physics and numerous other disciplines to look at how we as motorcyclists integrate with our machines. As Spiegel says, skilful motorcycling involves a lot more than just balance, turning and stopping: it requires a sophisticated self-awareness than can anticipate, monitor and react to an everchanging set of potential hazards and variables. His view of motorcycling as a multi-disciplinary and uniquely complex activity is what we all understand as being “part of the machine” when we ride our bikes. The author starts by exploring how the human brain was
The Upper half of the Mot orcycle - on the unity of rider and machine
shaped by evolution to utilise built-in programs/processes which optimise foresight and explains how we learn and perceive the world around us. The second section builds on how those programs interact with our consciousness and how they relate to our use of tools, in this case, motorcycles. The third section of the book deals with the subsequent integration of man and tool to create a singular unit with unique properties - a virtuosity if you will. The fourth section deals with the techniques that allow a rider to train him, or herself, for higher levels of performance and the final section offers practical exercises to improve your riding skills. This book will make you look at motorcycling in a new light and may even offer you some unique perspectives of something that you may sometimes have taken for granted. And it’s not all heavy, tedious reading. The book is set out and illustrated in an interesting manner, often with humourous examples and many lessons are provided from many forms of human activity such as music, personal sport and motorsports amongst others. A fascinating book for everyone who is passionate about motorcycle riding. The Upper Half of The Motorcycle - on the unity of rider and machine. Whitehorse Press $49.95 – Dennis Penzo
Motocourse 2009-2010 MOTOCOURSE is the iconic MotoGP book: for 34 years the book tells the tale of what happened - and more importantly, why it happened - in the world’s premier road racing classes. The cover features the winner of the premier class, so this time around Valentino Rossi graces the book’s sleeve and writes the Foreword. Grands Prix - MotoGP, 250 and 125 – take up over two thirds of Motocourse, but that still leaves 70-odd pages for World Superbikes, the Isle of Man, Supersport, sidecars and the British and American Supebike Championships, as well as a roundup of major world wide results. The quality of Motocourse is second-to-none and legendary. Although I disagree with the editor on some points – to pick Colin Edwards in front of Hiroshi Aoyama in the Top Ten Riders section I find amazing – but that’s a minor aberation in a book which is incredibly detailed, well thought-out and beautifully illustrated. The insights into motorcycle racing provided by
Motocourse are the highlights. From the State of Racing to the Technical RoundUp to the reviews of Teams and Riders, Motocourse offers an insight into racing you won’t find anywhere else. Although the Superbike section isn’t nearly as long, there’s still a lot to read about Ben Spies and his impact on World SBK. Likewise, there are insights into Mat Mladin’s seventh and final AMA Superbike title, and the troubles with US racing. At $119.95, Motocourse 2009/2010 is expensive, but for the race fan nothing else even comes close. – Nigel Paterson
www.cycletorque.com.au w ww.ccycletorquuee.ccom m.a .aau
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 - even 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 twenty-five 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 2
100 Years of Motorcycles
A visual history of two-wheeled motorised transport: the motorcycle. Contains around 300 photographs from PA Photos’ huge archives, spanning the whole of the 20th Century. The story of the motorcycle starts when it was little more than a bicycle frame with an engine strapped on, soon becoming a purpose designed vehicle for cheap every-day transport, navigating congested urban traffic, for long distance travel, cruising and holidays. Some machines became test-beds for mechanical refinement and thrilled spectators at race circuits and off road tracks throughout the world. From the temperamental vintage machines of the early 1900s, to the motorcycling subcultures of the 1940s Hells Angels, the 1950s Cafe Racers, and the Mods and Rockers of the 1960s, all aspects of the motorcycle are celebrated.
100 Years of Motocycles – $29.99 3
BMW R90s H/C
Although in production for only three years, the R90S was the most significant post-war production BMW motorcycle. Its release coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the BMW boxer motorcycle, and started a new era for the boxer twin. Author Ian Falloon tells the story of this important bike and how it evolved, noting all significant changes from year to year. Beautifully laid out with big full-color pictures, this book could stand alone as a coffee table book. But it’s much more than that. Falloon writes with enough detail to make restoring these great bikes much easier, and also includes a chapter on how to live with an R90S, using them as reliable daily commuters, making popular upgrades, and what to look for if you are in the market for one.
BMW R90s H/C – $55 4
This - the ultimate riders/drivers guide book, provides 224 pages of the best roads in Tas, Vic, ACT, NSW, and QLD, including 34 maps covering loads of day rides, overnight trips and awesome week-long tours, and much more.
Bitch’n Bitumen – $39.95 5
Weekend Warriors and Weekend Warriors II are for the Victorian Trail rider, featuring many great riding areas and trails, as well as information about setting up your bike and lots more. Although they were published a few years ago, they still contain lots of useful information and are now being sold as a pair at a great price.
Weekend Warriors I & II - $44.95
How to Set Up Your Motorcycle Workshop
From a corner of the garage set up for routine maintenance to a dream shop housing precious classic machines, How to Set Up Your Motorcycle Workshop, Third Edition will help you make the most of your space. Packed with easy-to-read practical advice, author C. G. Masi walks the reader through designing, building, and equipping the workshop you need - whether you plan to restore, repair, and maintain your own bikes or hope to open a small commercial facility. How-to Set Up Your Motorcycle Workshop starts by helping readers determine their work space and storage needs and create a shop layout that matches their budget. The author then addresses basics such as providing adequate electrical power, lighting, and heat and air conditioning. With the workshop design in place, Masi helps readers identify the must-have and want-to-have tools to appropriately equip the space. This new third edition of the book includes profiles of real world workshops, from small garage spaces to purpose- built restoration and raceprep shops, and features a new comprehensive and up-to-date directory of resources for equipment, tools, computers, battery powered tools, and energy saving tips.
How to Set Up Your Motorcycle Workshop – $44.95 7
Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible
Want to understand how suspension works, how to set up your bike and make it handle? This is the book for you, with many great illustrations, photographs and packed with information on set-up, rebuild and maintenance data, this book will give you the knowledge you need to get your suspension working properly.
Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible – $49.99 8
How to Restore Your Motorcycle
The market for used motorcycles is vast and deep, with many popular motorcycles available for a fraction of what they cost when new even a few years ago. With a little hard work and know-how, a restored used bike can become a reliable and stylish commuter vehicle. But restoring an olderT motorcycle can be challenging. How to Restore Your Motorcycle walks the reader through the process of tearing down an old motorcycle and building it back up again. This revised edition adds color photography throughout, as well as new information covering bikes and technologies new to the collector realm.
How to Restore Your Motorcycle – $39.99
This is the story of a life dedicated to racing, the story of a man who has always lived among motorcycles. The Ducati Yearbook chronicles the life of Troy Bayliss, Ducati World Superbike Champion through his memories and his experiences (on and off the track), his relationship with his team and with the bikes. Take a look into the life of Troy Bayliss, his racing career and his passion for Ducati. Troy and the bikes from Borgo Panigale, like the 999 and 1098, together made history. This is a book of photography with images accompanied by the words of the rider, fellow Ducatisti friends, colleagues, family and fans all who came in contact with this Superbike legend a true icon for all passionate motorcycling fans, Ducatisti and non.
Troy Bayliss – $34.95
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Scrambler The Emperor’s new clothes YAMAHA’S XT660R still follows the time honoured XT ethos of being a big single cylinder machine that is well and truly road capable, but will still get the blood pumping when the tar disappears and the dirt appears. Yamaha describe the XT660R as an adventure bike, but might be drawing a slightly long bow regarding this bike being an adventure off-road machine, as it does have its limitations. On the flip side however, the XT660R has a very powerful and torquey single overhead cam, single cylinder motor, which is quite responsive.
The motor is fitted with roller bearings on the rocker arms in the four valve head which is said to reduce engine friction,
and is a first for a Yamaha engine. Much of the engine’s responsiveness can be attributed to the electronic fuel injection system which certainly gives the bike a healthy hit from the usable 47 horsepower which is on tap at the twist of the throttle. As the revs increase the motor continues to impress, with strong acceleration and a well spaced five-speed gearbox that is comfortable at highway speeds for a learner approved bike. Around town and nipping through traffic is where the XT660R really shines as the responsive grunty engine allows the rider to quickly slice through traffic with minimal effort. The dual exhaust system not only looks the goods but does a great job of keeping the motor quiet without sacrificing performance. Ample steering from lock to
lock further aids the XT’s ability to carve through traffic, while a nice wide and comfortable seat and MX-style handlebars make longer times in the saddle and dealing with the stop and start grind of commuting easier on the body. Handling the stopping duties on the XT660R is a single disc up front, which is firm and pulls the XT up without any hesitation. The front brake hose could be routed a little better as it does block the rider’s vision to the dash in order to keep tabs on the speed limit. On the rear a single disc also handles the braking duties well although we did find it a little ‘grabby’ at times when on the go slow.
Keeping the suspension of the XT660R
Cycle Torque Test-Yamaha XT660R RIDING GEAR: M2R helmet, Motodry jacket, MSR pants/gloves, MSR boots.
call an adventure off road machine, but it is quite capable of tearing up dirt roads and fire trails at will. The motor really excels in this department and feet up slides while standing on the pegs is something that is well and truly within reach of the average rider. A good couple of hour trail rides along a mountain range or similar is certainly within the limits of the XT660R as a round trip of 200km is attainable from its 15 litre fuel tank.
Depending on the type of use the XT660R may encounter can also be a defining factor regarding tyre choice.
In standard trim the XT is fitted with Metzeler Tourance tyres, with a 21 inch tyre up front and a 17 inch tyre at the rear. These have a conventional adventure style tread pattern, which in most cases would be the most popular choice for riders. Of course with a set of knobbies fitted, the XT will have greater feel in the dirt and certainly be more capable in slippery and tougher conditions. If off road jaunts are intended to be a regular occurrence, the owner may want to look at trimming some of the fat off the bike such as pillion pegs, as the XT660R hits the scales at 181 kg with a tank of fuel. If the pegs are left on, and being
in check is handled by 43mm Paoli telescopic forks, which offer 200mm of travel. They are well suited to road, general dirt and gravel road use, but this is pretty much the limitations of the front suspenders as they have no adjustment, so what you see is what you get. The rear end falls into a very similar category, with the Kayaba rear shock on the Monocross suspension. It handles road use without any hesitation, but once things get a bit lumpy and bumpy, the suspension feels out of its depth, due to the absence of any adjustment apart from some basic preload. The XT660R is far from what you would
Twin pipes make the rear end look a bit, fancy.
Rubber footpegs would need changing if you get adventurous.
Brembo rear brake adds a touch of Euro to the XT.
Tried and true 660cc donk. Continued over>
Scrambler S p e c i f i c at i o n s: 2010 yamaha xt660r Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 660cc Transmission: Five speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 15 Litres Frame Type: Steel cradle Seat Height: 865mm Wet Weight: 181kg Front Suspension: Telescopic. Rear Suspension: Monocross Brakes: Single disc front and rear. Tyres: 90/90-21, 130/80-17 Price (RRP): $11,499 www.yamaha-motor.com.au
a machine with a large and comfortable seat, the XT is capable to two-up riding without fuss. A good set of pillion pegs enable the pillion to sit comfortably without needing to be a gymnast.
Ex t r as
Other nice features on the XT include an electronic engine immobiliser and a steering lock, which certainly add to the appeal of city commuting and
the security of your pride and joy. If some luggage or a bit of gear is required to be taken on a small trip or the daily grind, a 30 litre top box is available from Yamaha as is a choice of screens of various heights, which can all add to rider comfort. A large bash plate is also available from Yamaha if regular dirt or off road riding is contemplated.
The last word
The Yamaha XT660R is a well
mannered machine, that certainly shines when ridden through the suburbs. The motor is really well suited to this type of riding and although it can handle some off road work, it’s really more of a suburban scrambler. It’s learner approved and backed by Yamaha’s extensive warranty. A choice of colours is available in either Yamaha Black or Sunset Red, with a price tag of $11,499. n
CYCLE TORQUE TEST - Cougar 125 TEST BY
When a bike distributor doubles the warranty on a vehicle then you know that something’s working out right.
RIDING GEAR: RXT helmet, Laro jacket, Thomas Cook ‘Calibre’ boots, gloves by Five Gloves, WileyX eyewear.
on the pace Kick start backup.
A bit of bling on the footboards.
Clean lines for the clocks.
The Laro Cougar is a Taiwanesebuilt scooter (by Adly Moto) which has been available in Western Australia for a couple of years, where it’s proven to be reliable, economic and popular. So good, in fact, that Laro has just increased the warranty on the bike to an industry-leading two years. The four-stroke 125cc single cylinder air-cooled engine runs smoothly and does all the work through the CVT transmission so it’s a simple twist-and-go operation. Nice light alloy wheels helps keep the weight down and there’s plenty of stopping power for a bike this size with disc brakes front and back. The 12-inch wheels instead of the 10-inchers usually found on
many scooters this size is a plus when it comes to road holding and stability. You need them for some of the potholes in our district. Suspension duties are handled by hydraulic forks up front and hydraulic/spring shocks at the rear. I loved the sound the blinkers make. A lot of scooters we’ve ridden have a solid “click-click” sound to them, but Laro’s Cougar has this high pitched pinging sound like those sonar pings you hear in those old wartime submarine movies, loved it. The Cougar has a sidestand and centrestand and also comes with a kick start to back up the CDI ignition. A net weight of only 90kg makes the Cougar an easy bike to manoeuvre through city traffic.
This scooter has pretty slim dimensions at 675mm wide and 1780mm long, very much at home in the city. We liked the checkerplate style floor that offers a really grippy surface to keep your feet securely placed. Seat height is 770mm so it’s not too tall if you’re a little bit height challenged. The seat is quite thick and comfy for the rider and got a thumbs up from our pillion guinea pig. Instrumentation is very clean and easily read with speedo, tacho, fuel gauge and assorted warning lights. The six-litre fuel tank is accessed under the seat and this little bike will run for ages between fuel stops. The little Cougar has a catalytic converter fitted so you know you’re also doing your bit for the environment too. Top speed is about 90km/h making this an ideal city commuter, and also capable of getting around the ‘burbs. We’ve got a couple of big hills in our vicinity which we always use for testing some of the smaller scooters and the little Cougar handled our test incline as well as any other similar capacity vehicle. Headlights work well and provide plenty of illumination, with a reasonable high beam too, even outside of the big city. And it has all the other standards like a large lockable compartment under the seat which fits a full face
CYCLE TORQUE TEST - Cougar 125
on the pace
helmet, where you can also access the carby. The battery is located underneath the bike and slots neatly into its cavity. There is a handy lockable storage compartment up front. A topbox is available as an optional extra if y o u re a l l y n e e d i t . P a s s e n g e r f o o t re s t s a re b u i l t i n a n d t h e re a re a l s o s t u rd y p i l l i o n g r a b h a n d l e s . T h e carbon colour printed plastics look nice and clean. F ro n t b l i n k e r s a re s e t i n t o t h e l o w e r l e g s h i e l d w h i c h w o r k s w e l l t o p ro t e c t t h e r i d e r f ro m t h e e l e m e n t s . T h e m a n u f a c t u re r h a s a l s o s e t u p a
w e b s i t e f o r i t s p ro d u c t s , w w w. a d l y s c o o t e r. com.au that, at this stage, gives details o f o n l y t h e WA d e a l e r n e t w o r k . M o re i n f o r m a t i o n o n L a ro M o t o rc y c l e s p ro d u c t s a n d i t s d e a l e r n e t w o r k i s a v a i l a b l e o n w w w. l a ro . c o m . a u . Wi t h a re c o m m e n d e d re t a i l p r i c e o f $ 2 5 9 0 p l u s o n - ro a d c o s t s t h e C o u g a r 1 2 5 i s p re t t y h a rd t o b e a t o n v a l u e f o r m o n e y. L o o k o u t i n f u t u re e d i t i o n s o f C y c l e To rq u e f o r i n f o r m a t i o n o n L a ro â€™ s n e w V- R e t ro 2 5 0 a n d T R 2 5 0 r a n g e o f b i k e s . n
Touring Feature – Riding through Romania – Part 2
Cycle Torque’s Chris Pickett took off to deepest Transylvania. He continues his journey and stakes his claim into the heart of darkness. Pickett models a traditional mask. Master woodcarver Grigore Tulean and his family join the party.
We said goodbye to Alin and Herta and said hello to Bogdan and Daniel. Bogdan kicked us off with a walking tour of Brasov, his home town. Bogdan is a solicitor, a history buff and motorcycle enthusiast. He also acts as a guide in a part-time gig. Maybe solicitors in Romania don’t charge like the ones back home. His knowledge of Brasov was
extensive and the tour was an insight into the history of the city, and indeed Romania. From there we headed to a health and ski resort on the mountain top just outside of town. After that it was through a great winding forest road - where brown bears live incidentally - to Bran Castle. This is generally associated with The Count Dracula story but in reality has
nothing to do with it. The only link with the Dracula myth is Vlad the Impaler apparently stopped two or three nights in this castle a number of centuries ago, and Bram Stoker did the rest. That doesn’t stop souvenir shops selling everything to do with the fanged one. In the castle you get a full rundown of its history, including the fact it is falsely associated with dear old
Vlad. Last stop for the day was the walled citadel of Sighisoara where we stayed in this delightful hotel which is hundreds of years old itself amazing. Sighisoara is actually the birth town of Vald the Impaler. footnote: Love the local ale and tucker.
We started the day with a walk around the
Does Brasov live up to its claim? Not sure about that but it is a wonderful city. Continued from last month; Click Here if you mised it.
town, The only inhabited citadel in Romania. Included in this was a personal tour of the church which sits high up on the hill. When the church guide found out where we were from he said, “Gidday Mate!” From there we hot footed it to Bistrita for lunch, checked out the town by foot, and then travelled to a mountain resort some 50 kilometres outside the city. Here we stayed at a hotel with a Count Dracula theme, including a basement show where we all got a fright when someone jumped out of the coffin during the show, and especially Glen who got grabbed in the dark. He squealed like a baby. It was pretty cold up in the mountains but it was a very enjoyable night, telling tales and singing songs with our guides. Young Daniel was quiet and not into ’80s music but Bogdan is a head banger from way back.
One thing you find is that 100 kilometres takes much longer to travel than it does back here. It’s not that the roads are bad, they aren’t all good but then again many of the roads I’ve travelled in Australia are no better. Instead of towns being separated by open roads, you find they consist of a house either side of the road and countryside directly behind it, so one town tends to continue into the next. It’s not all like this but it is hard to keep the speeds up at times.
We woke to rain which was to continue for the whole day. Even though my crotch quickly got soaked despite me having good rain gear, this was one of the best days of the trip for me. We left the Vampire motel and headed to the region of Masemura.
Along the way we visited an old enclosed wooden bridge in a small village, the only remaining one in Romania. While we were taking a few photos we were greeted by a local man, and the next thing you know we were invited into another lady’s home, drinking Polenka – a plum brandy which tastes pretty wild – eating and having a great laugh with them even though most of our group didn’t understand a thing they were saying - it was great. The old bloke even gave our two ladies a touch up on the way in for good measure. After that we had a peasant lunch in this little cafe on top of the mountain. It wasn’t actually open but the owner did so for us. Imagine having that done for you here. It was a simple meal but tasted great, even if we were cold and wet. Just down the road we visited a
Get ready to be scared.
This wonderful cottage is the abode of the Sighisoara cemetery caretaker.
The view at the top of the Trans Fagarasului Highway. well known wood carver and his parents who treated us with so much respect it was astonishing. He gave us the meanings and history behind why some of his carvings are done a certain way. Although these people live very simply and would be regarded as poor by many westerners, they are rightly very proud of their culture and position in life, and how could you argue with that. After some more Polenka we braved the weather and continued to our overnight stay. This region is close to the Ukrainian border and is renowned for its woodcarving. Our hotel which was right next to a monastery displayed much of this, including an ornate staircase which was exquisite. The reason this was such a great day was the people we met who opened their hearts and homes to us. This was very special to me and goes to show we can all be friends no matter where we are. The local people are interested in us as much
as we are them. Bogdan complained he had no mobile phone service here in the middle of nowhere, and due to extensive flooding in the direction we were to go tomorrow we might have to ditch the bikes and take a boat. We told Bogdan to harden up. Footnote 1. In the corners Glen is holding everyone up. He is so slow we christen him the ‘Squeaky Wheel’. Footnote 2. Bogdan thinks we are crazy and hopes all Australians aren’t as mad as us. We assure him they are worse.
The last day is the longest in kilometres but we are getting used to the Romanian swing of things on the road and knock over the distances quicker than before. During a U turn I fail to give the big GS enough revs, the engine stalls the bike is quickly going over. To have this happen in the middle of a Romanian road isn’t the best thing to have happen and I try my hardest to keep it upright.
On top of that the horn is jammed against the tank bag and lets everyone know that I’m in a spot of bother. I’m fighting a losing battle but all of a sudden the bike gets lighter and I get it back up, helped by the fact Kerrie has fallen off and Geoff is pushing the bike back up. Glen thought this was extremely funny, and delights in reliving the moment when we stopped for a traditional lunch in Baia Mare, organised by Transylvania Live even other locals were getting a laugh out of his antics. Maybe I shouldn’t have sledged his riding so much. We check out the ‘Merry Cemetery’ which is very colourful and each gravestone tells the story in first person of the deceased person’s life story. It is all about celebrating the person’s life, but one little girl who died after being hit by a car had me in a sombre mood for a while. It’s not hard to notice the change in people’s looks in this area. You see many with blond hair and blue
The Merry Cemetery.
eyes, almost Nordic in looks. This town is much like the others but Bogdan says we need to make up time so a slightly frantic ride through the heart of Sighetu Marmatiei leaves us laughing. Even Glen is coping, bipping his horn so drivers know there’s a madman on the loose. We take a detour due to the flooding, finding a bumpy but almost deserted road, and enjoy a ‘spirited’ strop. Bogdan tells us it’s a poor area and people either stop and stare or wave to us. We finally arrive at Cluj Napoca to drop our kit off, and continue back to our starting point in Turda for a farewell dinner supplied by the local town council which is promoting tourism. It was sad to say goodbye to the Transylvania Live crew. We were treated with great respect and they went out of their way to ensure we had a special time. The trip was exotic, humorous, sobering, wild, breathtaking, and visually spectacular. To say this is one of the greatest things I’ve done on a motorcycle is a major understatement. It’s hard to describe the region’s beauty but there’s many areas in Australia just as beautiful. I found the culture and the way of life of the Romanian people the special part of the trip. It might be a cliché but it’s truly
a country of contrasts. Every country in the world is to a degree but I found the differences between old and new, and the communist architecture an intoxicating mix. Our friends Glen and Sue had a blast as well, and considered it money well spent. Each day was around 200 kilometres or so and with the walking tours, and the generally slow pace of Romanian traffic it will take you most of the day to get to your destination. The 650 Glen and Sue were on was fine two-up, Sue even fell asleep on the back a few times during the trip.
Prices and other stuff
Transylvania Live don’t just do motorcycle tours, also on the menu are cultural tours, historic tours, vampire tours, pretty much whatever you’d like to check out in Transylvania the team at TL can organise it. On the bike side of things the fleet is mostly BMW F650 GS single cylinder go anywhere machines, with a couple of 1200 GS adventure tourers as well. These types of bikes are perfect for negotiating the mainly poorly maintained roads, and TL is looking to continually update its fleet. You can do the full tour like we did, or
you can hire a bike off TL with a written guide and tips of where to go for the best Transylvanian experience. You can also bring your own bike if you like, so getting it shipped over to Europe by Get Routed is an option, especially if you do this as part of a longer trip. You can also opt for an enduro tour which is mostly off road. If it’s by bike, by horse or even by helicopter it can be done by TL. The guided tour we did costs around AUD $1400, pillion an extra $550, and bike hire for seven days $700. This is subject to exchange rates. This also covers all accommodation and some meals. Food and alcohol is pretty cheap. You can’t fly direct to Cluj Napoca. We decided to spend a night in Munich, and then the flight into Romania was a short hour and a half from there. Check out Transylvania Live – Adventure Motorcycle Tours, www. motorcycle-tours.travel, (02) 8005 7337. Do yourself a favour, a riding tour of Vlad’s old stomping ground is something you’ll thoroughly enjoy and cherish forever. – Chris Pickett
Project Triumph Daytona 675
Dynamite THE last time we visited Cycle Torque’s Triumph Daytona 675 race project our rider Alex Pickett had just completed the first round of the FX Pro Twins Championship, coming away in second place in the F3 class after some stirring battles at Wakefield Park near Goulburn. The meeting also highlighted some issues with the bike in regards to power delivery. As Alex decided to concentrate on the Pro Twins Championship we were able to modify the bike to suit the class rules rather than run it as a compromise. As a result we fitted a larger diameter exhaust system from Foran Exhausts near Gosford (www.foranexhausts.com), keeping our Staintune exhaust system (www. staintune.com.au) for Superstock racing. Having both systems allows us to run whichever class we like with only minor changes required. Between the first and second rounds the Daytona went back to Procycles Bikecare in Newcastle (02 4952 1352) to tune out a persistent flat spot which made it hard for Alex to get on the power as he liked. The flat spot was just before 8,000rpm, and when the revs went over that the power came on hard, unsettling the suspension and lighting up the rear tyre. The Daytona is known for its mid-range grunt. Our modifications had given us more top end mumbo, but at the expense of mid range. Jamie had already liberated a few extra horsepower, with 111 at the rear wheel, but he fitted a Power Commander tuning device and went to town on the Dyno. The result? 116hp at the rear wheel, and no hole in the middle.
We scrambled to borrow a set of spare wheels just in case it rained at Winton, which it didn’t, but we’d like to thank Cliff Stovall from Triumph Australia for helping us out in this regard. Friday practice went well and Saturday dawned cold but fine. Races one and two saw Alex on the podium both times, showing a clean rear tyre to most of his competition. Things were looking good for race three,
but just as Alex was tipping in to turn one off the start, a rampaging Aprilia RSV4 ploughed straight into the side of him, sending our once beautiful Daytona into the infield, on its side.
Daytona Cycle Torqueâ€™s Daytona 675 has its power cleaned up and visits the podium.
Dynamite Daytona Project Triumph Daytona 675 Once we had it back in the pits we could the GB Racing (www. carreragroup.com.au) side case protectors and Gilles Tooling crash knobs (www.gillestooling.com.au) was much less than we’d imagined. The standard footpeg bracket was snapped but we were able to borrow one off fellow Triumph rider Gary Peake. Our Gilles Tooling ‘Vario’ left handlebar just moved on its axis, so a clean up with the file and placing it back in position had us ready to go there. The GB Racing side cover protectors were slightly scuffed but did their job admirably requiring nothing but a quick wipe down to liberate them of infield dirt. The Gilles Tooling crash knob saved the Daytona’s fairing from major damage, and the same brand axle adjusters and rear stand mounts were undamaged. In fact the left side axle stand knob which screws into the side of the swingarm was bent and unusable. These were some I had kicking around and we never bothered to take them off when we fitted the Gilles units. We have seen this type rip open a hole in the swingarm but we were lucky. It all depends on the nature of the crash. Some duct tape, a new standard screen and a clean had us ready to go for Sunday. Our custom screen from Eagle Screens in WA (www.eaglescreens. com.au) was much
taller than standard, allowing Alex to tuck in much better, but it was back to the low version which does give more buffeting. While Saturday is the FX Nationals series, Sunday is the Australian Formula Extreme series, a totally separate round. Alex was able to put Saturday’s crash out of his mind, qualifying on the second row with only much bigger capacity bikes in front of him. From there he went on to lead home the rest of the F3 field in each of the three races, finishing around 5-7 outright. He didn’t have it all his own way though, having to battle with Gary Peake to the flag each time. This gave Alex a three point lead in the championship going into round three at Eastern Creek. With less than a month until the next round and an overseas trip for the team mechanic we were only able to clean the bike up, fit a spare fairing we had, and replace the broken fairing mount and some other small bits. There’s still a huge dent in the
Alex cops a post-race interview.
tank but we’ll try and overlook that for the moment.
We turned up on Saturday to race. Qualifying was in the wet with slick tyres, so Alex was to start down the field in 18th place. We weren’t worried, the progressive grid system of the FX series allows you to start the next race where you finished the last. The circuit had dried up but a poor start saw Alex in last place on lap one. He quickly got over this and made his way through the field to finish 14th outright, fourth in class. The interesting point was he set a faster lap time than the next six riders in front of him. The next two races saw Alex take a win and a second, allowing him to claw back most of the points KTM’s Angus Reekie had on him after the crash in Winton. Heading into the next round Alex sits in second place in the FX Nationals Pro Twins F3 Championship. On Sunday’s Australian FX
Championship Alex took class wins in the first two races, and second in the last, taking the overall win for the round and increasing his lead in the championship. Alex’s best outright result was 6th, with a fastest lap of 1m40.550s. It’s hard to fault the Daytona 675. After setting up the suspension late last year we haven’t needed to touch it at all. Aside from a lighter rear spring the suspension is standard, even down to the fork oil. With the increase in power and the smoothness the Power Commander has given the power delivery, it is fast, reliable and a pleasure to ride according to Alex. Round four will be held at Wakefield Park from September 10-12. If you’re there, call in and say hello, we might even get you to change a tyre or two. – Chris Pickett
Below: Damage to the tank didn’t dampen Alex’s enthusiasm.
Cycle Torque Test â€“ Torino Terra 400 A road trail for under five grand brand new? Are you kidding?
Fox helmet, EKS goggles, M2R jacket, Alpinestars boots.
Terra firma TEST BY
TORINO’S mid sized road/trail bike will do pretty much whatever you ask of it. Trail riding, commute to work or even take it on the beach. The Terra 400 is not the best on the market for any of these riding disciplines but it’ll do a decent job of them.
The motorcycle is manufactured by Chinese company XingYue. It’s own engine is a 387cc four-stroke unit which looks to have some origins in Rotax and Honda designs. The four-valve engine is also liquid-cooled, boasts electric start and has an old school carby pumping fuel into the head. Power is listed as being 22kW, which is around 30HP. Getting the back wheel to turn is a five speed gearbox and chain drive, just what you would expect on this type of bike. Upside down forks and rear shock help stifle the bumps but adjustment is what you would also expect on a bike of this price – minimal. Brakes are disc front and rear. It’s a snazzy looking thing, with decent instruments and a standard rack and bum bag. A tool kit comes with the bike but during one of our first rides the bag’s zip came apart and the tool kit went missing. I nearly lost my wallet, which was also in the bag, too. I might not have had much money in there but still, being a schoolkid, what was in there was important. From what I’ve seen Chinese made bikes usually fall down in build quality, compared to Japanese made machines, but they are getting better all the time. The Terra 400 had me thinking if you put a different sticker on it it might be harder to tell the difference between it and dearer bikes than you might think.
startlingly. It’s not going to keep up with a Japanese or Euro 400 enduro or trail bike but it’s no dog either. I quickly realised the speedo was wildly optimistic which is probably not a bad thing to help you keep your licence but it might have car drivers on your tail bipping their horns at you to go faster. For me it didn’t matter, I was happy to try the bike out on dirt and country roads near my place. Once I got used to the universal style tyres letting the bike wander a bit I was able to cruise at a decent pace on the tar. On the dirt the Terra 400 feels at home. I could get the rear end stepping out under power and the suspension dispensed with pot holes without fuss. On the tar you can even provoke it into doing wheelies and stoppies, but only if you try hard enough. It was time to check out the bike’s off-road ability so I took it to a riverbank which had some sand and some jumps. You have to remember the bike was only wearing road/trail tyres but I was pleasantly surprised with how the bike tracked through the sand and how it coped with me giving it a hard time in the rougher stuff. The only fly in the ointment here is the soft suspension set-up. I had the front and rear ends bottoming out on the guards but to be fair I wasn’t taking it easy on the Terra.
After I ripped it up in the sand I went for another 20
With a touch of choke the Terra started easily enough, and liked a bit of a warm up before it ran cleanly. Heading up the road the bike accelerates nicely, if not
kilometre ride – I’ve just got my bike Ls and my new found freedom – because it was a beautiful afternoon. I think that’s where a bike like this is at home. The more established brands have it over the Torino Terra, at the moment. But for only $4,999 + ORC (with a full 12 month warranty) it does give you a cheaper brand new option to get out there and have some fun. During my test nothing went wrong or broke on the Terra, apart from the bum bag zipper, and I used it as you expect a bike like this to be ridden. You can see more about this bike if you go to www.torinomotorcycles.com.au. 16-year-old Alex Pickett may be a learner on the road but he also rides Cycle Torque’s Triumph Daytona 675 in the FX Pro Twins class.
Right: It would be nice to have a tacho in the instrument pod. Below left: Handy rack comes standard. Below centre: Engine is built by Lifan. Below right: Rear disc looks like a saw blade but works fine.
Published on Aug 23, 2010
Published on Aug 23, 2010
Austra best motorcycle magazine's digital edition - look out for the separate Quad Torque September 2010 for info on everything ATV.