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0 Chr S RZR17 I R A L O P 'S FIRST istm WORLD -BY-SIDE SIDE as B YOUTH uyers’ Guide Feature inside > DECEMBER 2009 - 1
December 2009Contents 48
Kawasaki Ninja 650
KTM 250 & 450SX-F
features 22 PUBLISHER’S PIECE 27 Keeping the oil warm 30 CHristmas Buyers’ Guide 47 E-Torque 56 QUAD NEWS REGULARS 3-13 News 20 bike stuff 22 guntrip 24 race torque 23 Dirty Torque 26 major events 30 EDITORIAL 51 LETTERS
Cycle Torque: 02 4956 9820 Full details page 24 Cover: Ducati by Nigel Paterson, Kawasaki by Chris Pickett.
Crump wins world title No. 3 AUSTRALIA’S Jason Crump has wrapped up the 2009 World Speedway Championship despite riding the final two rounds with what could well have been season ending injuries. Crump has become only the eighth rider to win three or more Speedway World Championships but it didn’t come easily after sustaining serious burns and muscle damage to his left arm in a crash at Belle Vue (club race venue), which required over four hours of plastic surgery and skins grafts just two weeks out from the penultimate round in Italy. Crump battled on and scored four valuable points at the Italian round then came into the final round in Poland only having to score a minimum of 8pts to close the door on his closest rival, veteran Polish legend Tomasz Gollob, who is known to perform well at his home round. After winning Heat 13 it was mission accomplished, Crump had nine points in the bag and another title to add to his 2004 and 2006 championships.
“Five weeks ago I thought my season was over after my crash at Belle Vue, but a fantastic team of people have got me back on track and I have to thank them all,” said the ecstatic Crump. “The first half of the season went like clockwork, but I messed up a little in the second half when I became a speedway rider rather than a speedway racer.” “The injury never helped but things came good at the end and it was pretty special to win Heat 13, it’s an awesome feeling to be world champion again.” Outgoing world champion Nicki Pedersen won the final round at Bydgoszcz, ahead of Australia’s Leigh Adams, who came close to bowing out a winner in his championship swansong. Final 2009 World Championship standings: Crump 159; Gollob 144; Sayfutdinov 139; Hancock 121; Jonsson 116; Pedersen 110; Holta 99; Bjerre 98; Lindgren 94; Andersen 91; Adams 81. n
Buell DEAD, MV FOR SALE
HARLEY-DAVIDSON has stopped production of Buell motorcycles permanently and put MV Agusta up for sale.
In what looks to be the first major brand to go down the chute as a result of the GFC, Buell’s demise was a shattering blow for founder and chairman Erik Buell, who started the company 26 years ago. For a number of years Harley-Davidson has owned Buell, but it’s only recently that the American icon company bought MV Agusta, chiefly it seems as a means to get a sports machine brand under its wings, and a foothold in Europe for its own Harley-Davidson brand. Buell introduced a number of technically avant-garde ideas to motorcycles, like the ZTL rim perimeter brakes, underslung mufflers and also housing fuel for the engine inside the bike’s frame. Harley-Davidson has announced it’s committed to producing and supplying parts for Buell motorcycles long into the future, and considering the number of unsold new machines on dealer’s floors, the company probably didn’t have much choice. Remaining stocks of Buells will be sold well into 2010 in
Australia, with all warranty and dealer support continuing. Whether or not Erik Buell moves over to Harley-Davidson is unknown, but the fate of many of Buell’s workers is. Close to 200 workers will be shown the door, resulting in Harley-Davidson spending serious money just to close Buell down. MV Agusta has also become a victim of Harley-Davidson’s dwindling profits, even though millions of dollars have been spent on the next model of the Brutale, as well as a number of other projects. The Italian brand has been put on the market, with rumours of interest from car maker VW. Harley-Davidson will most likely lose a bundle when MV Agusta is sold, although things will continue as they are in Australia, with new shipments of bikes continuing to enter our shores. All this is despite the news that motorcycle sales worldwide are in fact going up, with reports indicating an increase of over five per cent is likely in 2011. n
The latest toys…
THE EICMA (Milan) and Tokyo Shows were the perfect place for manufacturers to show their wares, especially their concept bikes.
Honda’s headline product was the new VFR1200 sports tourer which continues the V4 engine theme and brings to the table a host of new technology, including the twin clutch semi-auto gearbox. Honda was also big on retro, with a couple of CB1100 machines decidedly ’70s looking. Also unveiled by
some of the features.
control, linked brakes and shaft drive
On the whizzbang front is the new TTX02 electric superbike from Mavizen. The machine uses a KTM RC8 chassis and twin Agni electric motors which gives a top speed of over 200km/h, depending on gearing. Distance is an issue, with around 80 kilometres achievable on the standard battery pack, but there’s also a 200 kilometre pack available. Weight is around 160kg with batteries. We wonder if there’s a cd player on the bike somewhere putting out brm brm noises. From BMW is a gorgeous inline six cylinder sportsbike which oozes excessiveness. Displacing 1600cc, the engine is 100mm narrower than any production motorcycle inline six ever made. Power output is mooted to be in the vicinity of 170hp, with huge torque a given. Honda was the new Cub, borrowing heavily on styling from the original model but now powered by a battery which drives both wheels. Honda’s out there DN-01 also copped a bit of a makeover, with a touring concept model with panniers giving a glimpse of Honda’s future. Yamaha had some novel ideas, especially the sliced open HVX concept machine which was different to say the least, with a massive engine using close to horizontal cylinders. Closer to production reality was the Super Tenere concept, which used a Bedouin style of cloth to mimic the actual body style. The bikes, which we might see in production sometime towards the end of 2010, is rumoured to use a 1200cc version of the TDM engine, with traction
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Anyway, it has six cylinders in a row, looks horn and should go like a cut cat.
NEWS torque Electric Superbike
We want one now BMW! Piaggio’s displayed the world’s first hybrid three wheeler, the MP3, utilising a direct injection two-stroke engine and an electric motor. It only weighs 130kg and has impressive economy figures, 1.5l/100km, or in old speak 156 mpg. Now that’s being frugal to the extreme. Photos courtesy gizmag.com
1200 Multistrada DUCATI’S multi purpose Multistrada is about to be replaced. The new 1200 Multistrada boasts a 150hp V-twin, heavily based on the 1198 Testastretta engine, and an all-new look. There are three models available, the standard 1200 which has fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi forks and a Sachs rear shock, also fully adjustable. The 1200 Sport uses 48mm Ohlins forks and Ohlins shock to soak the bumps, as does the 1200s Touring, which in addition to everything the ‘S’ has, comes with panniers,
heated handgrips and a centre stand. Big brakes are a feature of all three machines, as is the all new Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) which allows the rider to adjust the Ohlins suspension and ABS system at the touch of a button. Of course there’s much more to this bike, like the traction control and carbon fibre touches on the ‘S’ models. Prices and release dates are yet to be announced for the 1200 Multistrada. n
DECEMBER 2009 - 5
Wanneroo King WORLD Superbike rider Jonathan Rea has won the Kings of Wanneroo recently in Perth. The event attracted a host of overseas stars, many of them pure road racing specialists who normally concentrate on events like the Isle Of Man TT. With all the international stars is was great to see Shannon Johnson take pole on the KTM RC8R, the very same bike he’s ridden to great effect in this year’s Formula Extreme series. Rea and Johnson played a game of cat and mouse during qualifying but the rider from Northern Ireland couldn’t better the Aussie’s times. Race one saw Rea charge in to the lead very early, with Johnson languishing places down the field after a poor start, eventually making his way up to third behind Ian Lowry from Northern Ireland and Rea who took the win. In race two Johnson got a much better start, leading the race for the first few laps until a coming together with another rider saw his gear lever hit by the other machine’s front wheel, causing the engine revs to go into the stratosphere. The end result was mechanical damage which forced Johnson to retire from the race and take no further part in the meeting. Rea again
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took the win, this time from fellow countryman Alistair Seeley on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Lowry, making it an all Northern Ireland podium for race two. Race three again saw Rea dominate on the Honda Fireblade, taking the win by nearly nine seconds from Australia’s Andrew Pitt who races for the same Ten Kate Honda team as Rea, and England’s Simon Andrews on a Kawasaki ZX-10R. Out of the three races only two Aussies made it into the top three in any of the races, a fantastic result for the travelling internationals, especially on a track many of them would never have seen before. As Rea won each race he naturally won the event overall, with Andrew Pitt’s consistency getting him second on a Honda CBR1000RR, with Simon Andrews, Daniel Stauffer and Ian Lowry all finishing on equal points overall for third. n
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DECEMBER 2009 - 7
Stewart to miss Brisbane SuperX
2009 AMA Supercross Champion James Stewart will not contest the SuperX round in Brisbane on December 5, citing health reasons.
He has also confirmed he will not contest the 2010 AMA Nationals or put his name forward for the 2010 Motocross of Nations. At a press conference held before the opening night of the annual Bercy Supercross, Stewart revealed his plans to concentrate on his reality TV show and the 2010 AMA Supercross Championship. “I will have a Supercross only contract in 2010 and I don’t think you should race the Motocross des Nations if you haven’t been riding Outdoors. I’ve made my decision and I will stick to that.” When asked about racing the world motocross championship Stewart shocked the press gallery with this answer. “I would be open to race the World Motocross Championship, it would be a good plan to race both AMA Supercross and FIM World Championship, although we have to look at that in the future, for 2010 it’s just Supercross.”
“I am really bummed about not being able to race in Italy and Australia,” Stewart said in a press release. “I’ve had such a great experience racing internationally. The fans are incredible and the race organisations really go out of their way to support me racing. I really wish I could still go but after talking with my doctors and team it’s not in my best interest to jeopardise my health before the long Supercross season starts.”
But putting a spanner into Stewart’s plans for world domination is the fact he recently withdrew from the Brisbane round of the Australian Super X series, citing health reasons.
This will be a huge blow to the fans who had purchased tickets especially to see Stewart and Reed go head to head. – Darren Smart
e-Mag’s Web of Winners OUR eMag competition has bee run and won. The amount of entries was staggering, and the answers ranged from hilarious to just plain weird.
Many entertaining, and somewhat frustrating hours were spent going through each and every entry, but we think we’ve picked the cream of the crop. We’d like to thank each person who took the time to enter the competition. Commiseration to the entrants who didn’t win, and congrats to those who came away with a prize. On prizes, there was something to suit everyone. We had an Ixon race suit and matching gloves – value $1470. GRO oils supplied 10 oil or bike car product packages, each one valued at $150. Honda was on board too, with an enduro jacket and gear bag representing $560 value. OGK helmets came to the fore with an FF5 head protector. If you had a $549.50 head you were set. ABUS are in the game of stopping thieves, with locks, not guns or dogs of course. You could win either a Platinum chain worth $242.95, or a Detecto disc lock worth $287.50. For Woodstock lovers there was the Honda Woodstock Thor racing apparel package valued at $580. Ventura came on board too, with a luggage and Armadon lock package worth $578. There was also another chance to win some awesome pit wear, with a Motologic Racing Team package valued at $500. Duncan McFarlane from Wahroonga in NSW came away with the
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Ixon package, so he’ll be cheering. GRO oil winners were Mogens Brunott of Hillcrest in Qld; Paul Muddle from Narellan in NSW; Lisa Kirkness from Capel in WA; Patrick W from Maroubra in NSW; Robert McCrindle from Abernethy NSW; Phillip McCabe from St Albans Park in Victoria; Judd Hingerty from Sylvania NSW; Don Gregory from Brighton Qld; Mark McMahon from Beecroft, NSW and Kevin Hennessy from Eleebana are all oiled up. Decked out in a Honda jacket and pulling a Honda bag will be Peter Benedetti from Brandy Hill in NSW. Keeping his head safe in an OGK FF5 helmet is Troy Bamford from Coffs Harbour, while Peter Richards from East Gosford told us about his dad buying him a PeeWee 50 at the age of 102, netting him the Moto Dry set up. Rod Kerr of Albury in NSW went all out with a host of very funny stories; he’s now the proud recipient of the ABUS chain lock. Also winning an ABUS product, this time the disc lock, was David Lynch of Girrawheen in WA. Decked out in Woodstock Thor Racing apparel will be Kelly Wilson of Seymour in Victoria, and Jane Kershaw from Marion in South Oz will be decked out in some great apparel too, this time with Motologic plastered across it. And lucky last was James Treadwell of Mayfield in NSW, who told an entertaining story of pubs, soiling his friends and of wearing dodgy old helmets. James wins the Ventura luggage and lock package – lucky bugger. So, once again congrats to all you lucky winners. Don’t contact us, we’ll contact you. n
KTM UNVEILS EVERTSDEVELOPED 350SX-F
KTM’S all-new 350 SX-F saw the light of day at the 2009 EICMA show in Milan.
With the ethos of less is more, KTM’s design team came up with the new motocrossert which boasts fuel injection and linked rear suspension, and stays with a steel chassis, although it’s a new design. World MX champ Antonio Cairoli will ride one of the bikes in the 2010 Motocross World Championships but punters won’t be able to get a production version until 2011. We think KTM will hit on a winner here, especially when it brings out an enduro EXC version. Many trail riders will flock to the 350, as it represents the perfect middle ground between a 450 and a 250. n
Sarah McLeod on a Trumpy FORMER Superjesus singer Sarah McLeod has joined Daniel Day Lewis and Ewan McGregor as an international ambassador for Triumph Motorcycles. The edgy pop artist has also released a new single, Tell your story walking, which was released in November. An avid rider since she was young, McLeod is a strong supporter of safe riding and has spent the last couple of years riding her Thruxton motorcycle around LA, NYC and the UK. Her favourite ride was from London to Hinckley, Leicestershire in 2008 and McLeod dreams to ride from Milan to Sicily. McLeod also plans to release a new album in early 2010, so look out for that one from the talented rock chic. n
DECEMBER 2009 - 9
Dan Reardon back to USA for 2010 FORMER Australian Motocross and Supercross champion Dan Reardon will campaign the all new Yamaha YZ450F for the MotoConcepts Racing Team throughout the 2010 AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships. Reardon’s immediate plans are to complete the 2009 Australian SuperX series then head back to the US to join the MotoConcepts team where he will start testing the new Yamaha. “This is an exciting time for MotoConcepts Racing,” stated Team Owner Mike Genova. “With Dan and Ryan Sipes we have added two excellent riders to our team and they help complete a 2010 squad that will represent our sponsors very well and be extremely competitive on the track. With the support we receive from Yamaha and the talent of our riders, we look forward to great race results,” continued Genova. Two-Time AMA National Champion and former Honda factory star Steve Lamson is the team manager and is looking forward to the 2010 series. “We have put together a great looking 2010 team that has a lot of talent and experience, the new Yamaha bikes are really strong and the opportunity for a high level of success is very motivating as we prepare for Anaheim one.” Reardon will join Ryan Sipes, Jeff Alessi, Vince Friese, and Matt Goerke as the 2010 members of MotoConcepts Racing. n
Whibley leads ANZAC podium at GNCC
KIWI Paul Whibly and Aussie Josh Strang have dominated the 2009 GNCC series with the ANZACS winning 10 of the 13 rounds. Whibley eventually won the title over Strang after a solid fourth at the final round at the Klotz Ironman GNCC. Shock Doctor KTM’s Nate Kanney won the final round after a race long battle with the FMF Makita Suzuki duo of Charlie Mullins and Josh Strang, the latter leading the race until getting bogged in a huge mud hole. Eventually Strang got to the line in third just ahead
of GEICO/JG Racing/Monster Kawasaki’s Paul Whibley whose fourth place was enough to claim the championship. “I just can’t even believe it,” said Whibley. “I don’t have the words for this right now. This is my ultimate goal, to win the GNCC Championship in the U.S.” Kanney’s third Ironman win in the last four years was a lucky one. “I feel really comfortable in this dirt, today was kind of dumb luck, I think Mullins and Strang were going faster than me.” n
agent of a licensee or a police officer) to refuse to admit or turn out of licensed premises any person: (a) who is at the time intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly, or (b) whose presence on the licensed premises renders the licensee liable to a penalty under this Act, or (c) who smokes in a smoke-free area, or (d) who uses, or has in his or her possession a prohibited drug or plant, or (e) whom the authorised person must refuse entry under the conditions of the license or a term of a local liquor accord, to refuse access. This Act does not give any power to ‘authorised persons’ to refuse you entry because you are a member of a motorcycle club, 1 per cent member or otherwise. Nor does it give any power to refuse you entry because you wear your club colours, have club related tattoos or wear any kind of insignias. The State Government, having given these limited powers to Hotels, have obviously considered what kind of powers Hotels needed and clearly decided they do not require any further powers. Any Hotel refusing members of Clubs entry for reasons not covered by Section 77 above are at risk of being sued. These Hotels may also be in breach of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act which incorporates in Schedule 2 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The behaviour of the police, if accurate, appears to be in breach of the Criminal Law. n
WITH all the hullabaloo over the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang laws recently it’s worth having a look at this letter, recently forwarded on to us from the United Motorcycle Council. This letter was reportedly written by UMC’s legal team. Please be aware that Cycle Torque in no way validates or confirms the letter’s accuracy. Why Publicans can’t refuse you entry. IT SEEMS for about three years now certain licensees have been refusing entry to their Hotels to members of some motorcycle clubs. According to some licensees they have been doing so because certain police have threatened them with adverse consequences if they do not. Entry onto anyone’s property without their permission is trespassing. Yet, if this were always the case society would not be able to function properly. So the law creates an implied permission to enter other people’s land unless they revoke that permission. This can be done with a sign telling you not to enter or it can be done by the land owner telling you to leave. However, with businesses there is no need for an implied permission to enter as by their advertising, or their very existence, they are inviting you to enter. Having invited you to enter, the business owners need power to ask you to leave if you misbehave. In the case of Hotels that power is to be found in the Liquor Act (NSW) 2007. Section 77 provides for ‘authorised persons’ (a licensee, an employee or
10 - DECEMBER 2009
Brayton pips Bubba at Bercy
JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton has won the 2009 King of Bercy Supercross after L & M Yamaha’s James Stewart pulled out of the final nights main event with food poisoning. This was the 27th year for the now famous Bercy Supercross held in France’s capital Paris and the three night program saw riders score points in the Superpole Shootout, the ‘Countries’ Race and the Main Event. In front of a packed Palais Omnisports stadium the 2009 event was looking to be a James Stewart benefit after the 2009 AMA Supercross Champion dominated the Friday and Saturday night main events. And it was looking ominous again on Sunday night with Stewart winning the Superpole Shootout and the Countries race earlier in the night but just as the riders were getting ready for the main event Stewart is reported to have felt faint and reported to the first aid room with what was later diagnosed as food poisoning. Once the gate dropped Sunday’s final was full of action with Brayton and 2009 World MX2 Motocross Champion Marvin Musquin tacked on to the back wheel of JGR’s Josh Hill before taking each other out handing Hill the win. Musquin showed plenty of speed to get back up to third by race end while Brayton’s fifth was enough to out point Stewart for the King of Bercy crown. “I felt like I was the second fastest guy to James again here this weekend, he’s fast man, but tonight I felt like I could’ve won the main. I just want to get closer and closer to him and today in one of the match races, I was trying so hard and went down and tweaked my ankle. Going into the main it hurt and I crashed again when I was in second behind Hill, thankfully I got back to fifth and that was enough for the title,” said Brayton after the race. King of Bercy 2009: 1.Brayton; 2. Stewart; 3. Aranda; 4. Musquin; 5. Izoird; 6. Hill; 7. Wey; 8. Boni; 9. Martin; 10. Degli Espoti. n
Everts wins French beach race
FOUR years after retiring from full time competition, Stefan Everts has convincingly won the 6th annual international beach race at Berck sur in France. The 10 time World Motocross Champion found himself battling with Rui Goncalves and Shaun Simpson who Everts usually assists as KTM’s Race Co-ordinator while factory stars like Josh Coppins, Steve Ramon and Mickael Pichon were on hand to keep their former nemesis honest. But Everts’ biggest threat would come from French sand specialist Timoteï Potisek who had trained hard for his home town event. When it was all said and done Everts won the two 25 minute open class motos with ease and then destroyed the competition in the Super Final. “This is a very pleasant surprise, as I had not done any special training for this event,” Everts said after the final race. “Beach races with the many waves are so hard! After the super final I was totally exhausted. Race another race or the Le Tourquet? No. Probably not. I have to concentrate as Team Chief for KTM for the coming 2010 season.” Superfinal results: 1. Stefan Everts; 2. Timoteï Potisek; 3. Shaun Simpson; 4. Steve Ramon; 5. Mickael Pichon. n
DECEMBER 2009 - 11
KARIONG on the NSW Central Coast has been home for BMW motorcycle sales for more than seven years as part of the Worthington BMW dealership. But now the motorcycle division has its own dedicated showroom just for motorcycles located right next door. The new showroom is full of brand new and second hand BMW as well as a quality selection of other traded in bands, General Manager Ian Furlong is excited at the opening of a new BMW specific motorcycle showroom on the Central Coast. “Our new showroom will be open seven days a week to provide an excellent level of service to our customers,” Ian said. “Our location is just 30 seconds off the F3 Freeway which makes the Kariong location a perfect stop-over for customers from north or south looking for their next BMW motorcycle.” Used Motorcycle Manager Tony Hagan is also going to be a busy man with the modern new showroom. “As well as new and second hand bikes we will also have apparel and riding gear available,”Tony said. “Worthington BMW also will provide bike servicing, while you wait, on a Saturday and we will even have free demonstrator loan bikes available for our customers. “We have a senior BMW technician, who has almost three decades of servicing BMWs, on hand for a fully professional service. “And there are two other technicians who have trained and worked in various Japanese bike dealerships, so we are looking to service all brands as well.” The new showroom is very modern and spacious and has a lounge area with coffee bar and there are even plans to put in a pool room and plasma TVs on the walls. The new Worthington BMW showroom is located at the corner of the Central Coast Highway and Kangoo Road, Kariong. Ring them on 02 4340 9988 or check out www.worthingtonbmw.com.au. n
Norton 961 a reality in OZ
HOW many of you believed the new Norton 961 would never reach our shore, or even get going as a major concern in Europe? Well, it seems those of you who did are wrong. Not only are a number of the reborn Nortons from the first batch of 200 coming to Australia, but one of Cycle Torque’s friends John Oirbans has already been allocated his machine. By all accounts John expects to be riding his around June 2010. We can’t wait to see one in the flesh, and you never know, we may be able to bludge John’s machine for a quick test. “I waited ages for a reply to my email asking for a bike,” said John. I persevered, and then got the news I was after, that I would be getting one of the first batch. “Cycle Torque can test the bike for its readers, I want all of Australia to know how good a bike the Norton 961 is,” he continued. We might have made that last quote up, but as we reported a while ago and what is correct is the first batch of 200 will be a limited edition run, with other mass produced models in the pipeline for the near future. n
SYDNEY now has another place to go if Desmodromics and Ducati Red courses through your veins. Recently opened in the Ryde area is a specialist Ducati service workshop called Desmo Clinic.
12 - DECEMBER 2009
Desmo Clinic is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Michael and Dallas Berry. Michael is an award winning Ducati Technician twirling the spanners and Dallas is a trained Legal Secretary who looks after the administration side of the business. Together they are dedicated to providing servicing procedures to ensure longevity and riding satisfaction to the owner, each customer’s Ducati being looked after as if it were one of their own. Mike is a great guy and a very experienced Ducati mechanic. He will work on other brands as well, because he knows how to, but the Ducati force runs strong through Mike. Seriously though, the Desmo Clinic is all about providing a cost effective alternative to existing service options and treating the Ducati owner to a higher level of satisfaction from their motorcycle. Desmo Clinic is at Unit 3/25-29 Nancarrow Ave, Ryde, Ph. 02 9808 4277, email email@example.com. n
Matt Moss to U.S. Suzuki
THE dominant force in the 2009 SuperX Lites class Matt Moss is rumoured to have inked a deal to race for one of the Suzuki race teams in the 2010 AMA Motocross and Supercross Championships. According to several insiders from America, Moss will race the 2010 Suzuki RMZ250 for either the factory team run by Roger DeCoster or one of the factory backed teams that run Suzuki machines. On current form, Moss could well shake up the ultra competitive 250F class in the AMA championships.
World MX Champs calendar announced
THE FIM has released the 2010 World Motocross Championship schedule, recently confirming several changes from the 2009 series as well as Lakewood, Colorado as the venue for the 2010 Motocross Of Nations. Rounds: April 4 - Sevlievo, Bulgaria; April 11 - Fermo, Italy; April 25 - Valkenswaard, Holland; May 9 - Agueda, Portugal; May 16 - Bellpuig, Spain; May 30 - Newport, Great Britain; June 6 - St. Jean d’Angely, France; June 20 - Teutschenthal, Germany; July 4 - Uddevalla, Sweden; July 18 - Kegums, Latvia; August 1 - Lommel, Belgium; August 8 - Loket, Czech Republic; August 22 - Canelinha, Brazil; September 5 Lierop, Holland; September 12 - Mantova, Italy; September 26 - Motocross des Nations (Lakewood, Colorado).
Yamaha goes Dutch
YAMAHA Australia is supporting Dutch couple Annemiek van der Ham and Huub can Loon in their 17,000 kilometre trip around our country. Yamaha is supplying two XTZ660 machines for the trip. The trip is especially personal for van der Ham who lived part of her youth in Perth. Her father made a special trip through Europe locating a number graves of Australian servicemen who came from the community of Bridgetown. Van der Ham planted a lone pine in their honour while in Australia. The trip is also to raise funds for the Dutch Cancer Society.
DUCATI has officially launched its brand in China, opening a store in Shanghai.
“In terms of potential development, the Asian Pacific Region today represents the most dynamic and interesting area worldwide,” declared Ducati President Gabriele Del Torchio during the store opening ceremony. “Ducati, whose dynamic mission has always been performance excellence, had to be present with a solid structure in this part of the world. “Given the speed of Chinese economic development and growing interest towards “made in Italy”, we are convinced this is a tremendous opportunity for Ducati. We are proud to be here in China and, with this opening, mark the start a long and constructive road ahead,” he added.
Honda fury HONDA is giving its VT1300 a huge promo by holding a Fury Blast Off Tour. You’ll be able to check out and ride one of the new VT1300s at 35 bikes shops throughout Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia over a six week period. Check out where you can ride a VT1300 at www.vt1300cx.hondampe.com.au/tourdates.html. But you’ll have to book in as interest is likely to be high.
KAWASAKI has released an updated version of its very popular KLX110/L. The engine remains essentially the same, but now has electric start in case you are too lazy to kick. Two versions are available, the standard and the ‘L’ which has longer travel suspension for the ‘older’ kids. New graphics, more grunt, and updated suspension are just part of the package ready to go under the Chrissie tree.
Happy Birthday Frasers
FRASER Motorcycles’ new store in Sydney has turned one. It’s a happy birthday, even though Frasers previous store just down the road kicked off in 1968. It’s sort of like happy 41st and 1st birthdays all in one. The store has set standards most other bike shops will struggle to match. Well done guys and girls.
Australia back to World Motocross Championships?
THE Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA) met at the FIM headquarters in Switzerland on October 20 to discuss the future of motocross world wide. The outcome could change the face of the sport forever, including a round of the World Motocross Championship back in Australia. Most mainstream motorcycles manufacturers were represented at the meeting, as was a number of promoters and relevant authorities. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a new starting time for the 2011 championships, the middle of May instead of the traditional April start. This move is obviously being done to avoid having races clashing with the AMA Supercross series but it does mean that the GPs will not end until late in October with the MXDN held in September before the World Motocross Championships are over. Additionally, Giuseppe Luongo also announced that he wants to eliminate several European GPs in favor of more GPs in North America, Asia, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. And, he wants to hold the MXDN in the USA once every three or four years. Stay tuned for more from the MSMA. n
Win a dream machine with Michelin
AS Cycle Torque goes to press the Win a Dream Machine with Michelin draws to a close - at 5pm on November 30 in fact. Since September Michelin has been running a competition whereby you can win a motorcycle of your choice, up to the value of $17,000 RRP, by purchasing a set of Michelin Pilot Power tyres from a participating Michelin dealer. Runner-up prizes in the Michelin Dream Machine competition include a Leo Vance slip-on exhaust valued at $849, Icon Motorhead jacket valued at $590, Titax clutch and lever valued at $349, a Xena chain and alarm lock valued at $306, Titax quick chain adjustors valued at $269, Z1R Devil Girl motorcycle helmet valued at $249.95 a PBR rear sprocket valued at $139, Icon accelerant gloves valued at $99 and a Stomp grip valued at $79.95. Entries close November 30. For the full terms and conditions of the Michelin Win Your Dream machine Competition check out www.michelin. com.au. n
DECEMBER 2009 - 13
Cycle Torque Launch Report – 2010 Husqvarna range TEST BY
RIDING GEAR: Vemar helmet, Spyke jacket, Spyke gloves, MC Performance jeans, Diadora boots.
A host of updates, and an allnew 250.
2010, here we come.
Husky’s heritage and innovation
HUSQVARNA is one of the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers yet the famous brand has been through the highs and lows in a volatile market over the last two decades but with BMW taking the reins in 2007 the future is looking bright for future ‘Husky’ owners. What’s new? OK, let’s simplify things, for all of the 2010 models the plastics are stronger while radiator shrouds feature IPD (In-Mould Plastic Decoration), which basically means the colouring and graphics are no longer stickers on plastic, it’s in the plastic. All models also get an upgraded chassis, rear suspension and new Kashima Coated KYB forks with new triple clamps. All enduro models get a new rear guard equipped with an LED light and stronger number plate holder while all TE (4-stroke)
14 - DECEMBER 2009
models get the new headlight, larger radiators, upgraded cooling system and a cooling fan, shorter swingarm and race-ready aluminium muffler. The all new models are the TE and TC250, featuring an all new motor that is 13 per cent smaller and heaps lighter than its predecessor, plus all of the above…you got all of that? Bottom line is that the BMW influence is obvious, the bikes look great and have so many improvements they just have to be better…
WR250/300: The WR250 and WR300 two-strokers were a blast; things that stand out include a cable operated clutch, rather than hydraulic. Both bikes go like a cut-cat (obviously the 300 is stronger throughout the rev range), they turn extremely well and thank god, the brakes work as good as any I have felt.
DECEMBER 2009 - 15
Cycle Torque Launch Report – 2010 Husqvarna range Continued
EFI for 2010 four-strokes.
s masses of grunt.
The 2010 510TE ha
I really couldn’t criticise the suspension too much, both ends did what was asked throughout my time on the bikes. Obviously if I owned one I would do some mucking around with the settings but from bog stock I was impressed. Both bikes will sell for less that $11,000 RRP so they should be a hit for those of us who still like to smell the bikes we ride. Thumbs up and a big smile from Smarty.
Four Stroke enduro
TE250: My first ride of the day was on the all new TE250 around a snotty little motocross track. My first impression was how light it felt and how well it turned and stopped, I felt comfortable in both the sitting and standing positions. Actually, the TE handled the jumps quite well, the track we were on had quite a few little table tops and doubles and I felt comfortable attacking the jumps. The motor had a little flat spot off the bottom that must have been sorted during the day because my second ride on the TE250 was on a nice grass track/mini enduro loop and the flat spot was no
16 - DECEMBER 2009
longer there, making the ride much better. At $11,495 this much improved TE250 should sell well in the Australian market, everything works well, it can be plodded along or hammered, a nice trail bike or an enduro weapon, up to you really… TE310: The 310 was all new last year and was a hit for many Husky owners. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a 310cc four stroke but the best way to describe this bike is that it would suit almost anyone – no matter how good or bad you ride or what you want to do. I was just two laps into my first ride on the 310 when another rider came blasting by filling me in with a nice face full of loamy dirt. I spent the next three laps battling toe to toe with this other rider, bashing and smashing my way around the track and it wasn’t until I was riding off the track that I put my mind back on the bike I was riding and my immediate thought was…’hey, this 310 is great fun!’
To my mind, if you can just throw a bike around without trying to second guess its inadequacies you have a good bike under you. Nuff said… TE450: I make no bones about the fact that I like high powered dirt bikes. The TE450 fits into that category. We all know by now that the best thing about the modern four stroke is the power spread is really broad, so they are all user friendly. So I kinda knew the 450 motor was going to be fun, what I wanted to see is how the rest of the package worked around it. Well, after doing lap after lap on the 450 trying to get the bike to screw itself inside-out I came away really impressed. It turns really well, even when I was braking very hard into corners I could still get it to the corner, no pushing or shoving to get it in, just lean it over and through you
go. Suspension was again up to the task, brakes are great, all up, a bike almost anyone could enjoy riding as long as they have half a brain. TE510: All of the above, I mean really, other than the extra flywheel effect, the 510 felt similar to the 450 except when you pulled the throttle to the stops you could feel that extra grunt. It’s on a bike like this that the chassis design and the suspension components have to work together – on the 510, Husqvarna has it dialled. Open trails, grass tracking, desert stuff, this is the bees knees…
Four Stroke Motocross
TC250: The motor on the TC compared to the TE was a lot snappier and seemed to rev harder (that could have just been me being greedy). Great cornering, suspension and brakes. It’s a package that should be competitive against
Huskyâ€™s heritage and innovation
WR300 - Two-stroke big bore.
DECEMBER 2009 - 17
Cycle Torque Launch Report – 2010 Husqvarna range Continued
the 250F market but only time will tell. I rode the TC as hard as I could for about five laps and I didn’t even look like coming undone once, it was the best of all the bikes I rode in the tight corners with ruts. You could really smash the ruts, yet it was stable at speed, handled braking bumps with ease and jumped beautifully, a hit in my eyes. TC450: I rode this bike with great interest. I have raced 450cc motocrossers for the last four or five seasons and tried to picture myself owning and racing the Husky 450. Well, the bottom line is this, I can’t see how the TC450 could possibly be a disadvantage. The motor is smooth and fast, like the rest
18 - DECEMBER 2009
of the bikes I rode that day it turns and brakes really well and with a bit of tuning for my weight the suspension would be spot on.
The hydraulic clutch on all of the bikes worked well. I have a tendency to ride the clutch a lot and there was no drag, slip or grabbing throughout the day, even on the cable clutched bikes. A little harder to pull but still no problems. For me the ergos were something I only just thought about, there were no bumps or lumps between my legs that shouldn’t be there so moving around on and the general comfort of the 2010 Huskies were not an issue.
The Paul Feeney Group has dropped the price on all 2010 models bar one (CR125) so couple those savings with all of the improvements made I will be very surprised if the Husky dealers throughout Australia aren’t busier once the new models hit the showroom floors. Do yourself a favour, go in and say hello to your local dealer and take a look at the new Husqvarnas, I have changed my mind regarding Husqvarna as a brand so whether you’re a fan or not, my advice is to give them a go. n
Huskyâ€™s heritage and innovation
DECEMBER 2009 - 19
INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVERTISERS 1
A STORE that never closes, there are no queues and it is conveniently located on the World Wide Web. www.store.ducati.com.au offers you the latest range of Ducati apparel, merchandise, and safety gear. Awaiting you is a range of men, women and children’s Ducati apparel. Turn heads, stop traffic, be seen. Accessorise in Ducati. The store features the newest designs, trends and looks direct from Italy. From T-shirts and polos to sweatshirts and leather jackets. Price: TBA Avail able from: Direct from website More info: www.store.ducati.com.au YAMAHA now offers you more meat for your monster with a fatter rim for your VMax. The high quality die cast wheel is the same design as the stocker except it’s 8.5 inches wide and allows fitment of a 240 tyre. The wide rear wheel requires the wide rear wheel hardware kit, sold separately. Hardware kit contains bearings, seals, O-Ring, collar, screws and valve stem for complete installation. Price: Wheel $1319.43, kit $126.94 (both inc GST) Avail able from: Your Yamaha dealer More info: www.yamaha-motor.com.au NEW from Draggin jeans are Knee Guards which are designed to fit under your Draggin Jeans. Using CE approved for road use soft armour, the guards are easy to use, you simply slide them over your legs and over your knees. We all know how some armour can sit uncomfortably on your knees. Maybe this is the way of the future. Price: $75 Avail able from: Draggin Jeans stockists More info: www.dragginjeans.net 4
AUSTRALIAN Motorcycle Components now has a range of accessories to both protect and pretty up your Harley-Davidson XR1200. Made by R&G Racing, there’s Aero crash protectors, tail tidy and an oil cooler guard. Price: From $106.90 Avail able from: Direct from Australian Motorcycle Components More info: www.amcmotorcycles.com, or phone 07 5451 8733. 3
20 - DECEMBER 2009
THE Ducati Fine Arts collection offers enthusiasts the possibility to decorate their living and working spaces with the authentic Ducati touch. Covering all ends of the Ducati spectrum the launch collection features three themes: The Bikes, Racing Art and Ducati Icons & Vintage. Each artwork focuses on the importance of the motorcycles, key inspiring moments and Ducati iconography. The Ducati Art range features exclusive designs from Mirko Phole, Di Chio, Andrea Mariani and Gabriel Phillips. With a certificate of authenticity and a choice of selection within an exclusive limited edition range. Price: From $160. Avail able from: Online only. More info: www.ducatiart.com
NO LONGER do you have to worry about a flat battery on your Triumph. Well, not if you have a Triumph Battery Optimiser. Triumph has got together with a company called Optimate, to produce this handy little charger which is suitable for all 12V lead-acid batteries. You simply hook it up to the battery and let it give the battery a hit whenever it needs to, making sure it’s charged and ready to go when you are. Price: $89.95 Avail able from: Triumph dealers More info: www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au
Place your feet
GILLES Tooling products are well known throughout the world of motorcycling. Now they will be available in Australia through its local importer, IMS. Check out these rear sets, available for a huge range of bikes. Not only do they look trick, but they are adjustable, have carbon fibre heel pads and also serrated pegs. Just the shot for Cycle Torque’s Project Daytona we think. There’s also plenty of other products available from Gilles Tooling, like frame sliders, ’bar risers, race shifters and much more. Check them out. Price: TBA Avail able from: IMS direct More info: 1300 858 931, or firstname.lastname@example.org. 8
WE HAVEN’T even seen a 2010 Yamaha YZ450F in the flesh, but Unifilter already has filters available for the new avantgarde machine. The ProComp2 airfilter will keep the engine as clean as possible, that’s unless you never start it. A number of colours are available. Price: $29.95 Avail able from: Good bike shops everywhere. More info: www.unifilter.com.au
DECEMBER 2009 - 21
Alternative history FORGIVE me for this. One of my fondest memories is of 350 Yamahamounted Jarno Saarinen cleaning up a quality field of 750s at Silverstone (then the fastest track in the land) in 1972, and Flackie’s recent warm tribute to the original Flying Finn (see the October 2009 issue - www.cycletorque.com.au) brought it all back. It got me wondering once again how the pages of history might have looked without that bad day in 1973. Here’s my fictional (sadly) take on it… The unseasonal deluge that forced the cancellation of the full program at the Italian GP in May of 1973 might have slowed Jarno Saarinen’s majestic progress to his first 500cc world title but there’s little doubt Yamaha appreciated the break. Yes, Phil Read took MV Agusta to yet another senior class title as the year wore on but the Japanese team made good use of its time out of the spotlight to broaden the reedvalve stroker’s powerband and cure one or two lingering mechanical ailments. And, needless to say, Saarinen hounded the Brit every step of the way. The result, as we all know, was that Saarinen swept all before him in 1974 after a leisurely start, winning the title with relative ease and apparently building a platform for the kind of dominance unrivalled since the Agostini hegemony of the late Sixties – except that Saarinen had some credible opposition. But if MV’s glory days became a matter for the history books, Suzuki was quietly setting about making a name for itself among the big boys. The Hamamatsu outfit’s near-silent development of its RG500 square four yielded encouraging results with Barry Sheene at the helm, and while it would always be a tall order to launch a solid bid for the 1975 championship after making a debut as late as the 1974 Dutch TT, wins to Sheene in Austria and Finland that year underlined the point that the powder-blue Suzuki International bike was about to deliver a serious message, loud and clear. Not quite so easy to hear, perhaps, were persistent rumours of an interest in the premier class by the smallest of the big four. The efforts of Gary Nixon notwithstanding,
22 - DECEMBER 2009
the nearest Kawasaki stronghold was Australia, where Gregg Hansford and engine man Neville Doyle used their finely honed H2R air-cooled triple to play a very convincing game of cat and mouse with much more potent Yamaha TZ700s. Those were the facts. The whispers? New water-cooled 750s and 500s: the first, an interim triple based on the H2, to be followed by a four-cylinder scorcher; the smaller bike, a disc-valve square four a la Suzuki. But none of these wonder weapons had as much substance as the Cheshire Cat’s grin as the flag dropped on the first race of the ’75 season – or indeed Saarinen’s smile as it became clear that a close season’s development for the reed-valve Yamaha made it almost a match for Sheene’s Suzuki, and much more reliable. Even so, honours rocked back and forth and both riders clearly relished the challenge. Saarinen drew deep on his mastery of the craft to see off the precocious newcomer, to the palpable relief of Yamaha’s executive after the Finn had strung together three late-season wins to renew his grasp on the crown. The affable Cockney took it well and promised better for the 1976 season and, flanked by Texaco Heron teamsters John Williams and John Newbold, delivered. He secured the title with five wins to Saarinen’s four. The Finn looked tired. Two championships and a gritty if unsuccessful bid for a third had taken their toll and the first rumours of retirement were wafting from the Saarinen camp. The silly season yielded even more whispers than usual, ranking in plausibility from vaguely reasonable to downright daft. It was certainly true however that Yamaha was looking for more talent to draft into its hardpressed squad. In the end, Canadian-American Steve Baker got the nod as number two to Saarinen, with the suggestion of mightier talents to follow. But with the appearance of a lime-green transporter in the paddock at the first European GP of the 1977 season, in Austria, all the headlines were suddenly concerned with Gregg Hansford and his swiftly delivered square-four Kawasaki. With wins at Le Mans and Assen, and a fighting third place
to Saarinen’s Yamaha at Silverstone for the newly reconfigured British round of the championship, the big blond Aussie proved himself a master of the scratcher’s tracks on the calendar. Sheene, meanwhile, cleared out to big wins at Monza and Spa and took enough podiums to claim second place in the championship; but it was the Finn’s year again and with his third premier-class title in the bag, Saarinen told a silent but hardly surprised press corps that the 1978 GP season would be his last. His announcement was followed by word from Yamaha that the twice American Grand National Champion Kenny Roberts would compete under the Yamaha US banner in the 1978 World Championship, with the aim of becoming team number one after Saarinen’s departure. As I write this from the Jarama press box, I look out on the grid for the first European round of the 1978 championship, shrouded in smoke from a score of two-stroke engines. Abruptly the deafening crackle is cut and the riders dismount and lean forward on their front brakes, waiting for the starter’s flag and the beginning of Saarinen’s long swansong. Hansford has pole position, relishing the tight, switchback nature of the track; second is Sheene, using the midrange punch of his RG500 to advantage; Roberts is a creditable third, and then comes the master himself, Jarno Saarinen, facing a long final season, and perhaps the most competitive yet in the decade he has done so much to dominate. We’re all looking at the starter’s box, waiting. Seemingly in slow motion, the Spanish flag swings down in a fluttering arc and heralds a long, final moment of silence. Yeah, well, sorry. Goodness knows, we’ve had an abundance of quality competition in the past 60 years of GP racing (this year, happy anniversary Les Graham!), many more than any other form of motorsport, and the wonder of Jarno Saarinen is that he was among us at all, not that his reign was so brief. But, as I said, I can’t help wondering. – Bob Guntrip
Greatest Of All Time
A FEW mates and I were sitting around the pool in my backyard the other day with what was without doubt the coldest Coronas in Australia resting in our stubbie coolers, when someone piped up that he thought Jean-Michel Bayle was the best dirt bike rider ever. Two cartons of Corona later and the argument was still raging… I’ll make no bones about it, I believe….no, I know that Stefan Everts is the best dirt bike rider in the world and always will be. No-one has done (or ever will do) what Stefan has done. 10 World Motocross Championships and 102 GP victories. He won three GP races in one day, won the Belgian Motocross Championship over 10 times, has countless beach race wins and Motocross of Nations victories and individual moto wins, several European supercross victories. He even won the ISDE outright in 2004 for godsake! And just recently he hammered the current GP regulars at a beach race in France. All this I knew from the memory. As for Bayle, I had to go and search for his results (his website is useless) and sure, the guy was handy. In 1988, the Frenchman won the World 125cc Motocross Championship, the French National 125cc Motocross title and the French 250cc Supercross title. In 1989 he won the World 250cc Motocross Championship then set his sights on America. After a year of settling in with a few wins here and there in 1990, Bayle and Honda put together a program in 1991 that would see the testy Bayle win the AMA 250cc Supercross title, the AMA 500cc Motocross Championship and the AMA 250cc Motocross Championship. A clean sweep of all of the major AMA championships. From there Bayle went on to a mediocre road race career and that was it, done and dusted for JMB. Ricky Carmichael’s name was thrown into the hat at one stage and sure, I give RC the nod as being the next best to Stefan. His championship list goes like this: 1997/1998/1999 AMA 125cc Motocross Champion, 1998 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross Champion, 2000 AMA 250cc Motocross Champion, 2001/2002/2003 AMA 250cc Supercross and Motocross Champion, 2004/2005/2006 AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion (now on 450cc), several Motocross of Nations victories and X-Games victories. To my mind though, Carmichael’s racing world was completely different to Everts. Sure, he dominated the US scene but RC never ventured beyond his year-to-year program (other than a few ‘high-jump’ contests at the X-Games). Everts on the other hand was always challenging himself, ie: ISDE, beach races, race two and three classes in one day. Is there anyone else even close to Everts and RC? Well, ever heard of Jeff Smith? Well, let me tell you, this guy is right on the heels of RC as far as being the best dirt bike
rider ever. Not sure? Well, take a look at this. Jeff Smith started his career by winning the 1952 and 1953 British Trials Championships but in the late ’50s he turned his hand to scrambles and won the 1964 and 1965 World 500cc Championships. Smith also won nine British Championships (the toughest competition in the world at the time), he went to the States and won the first two Trans Am Motocross events ever held (Ohio and Unadilla) and scored eight gold medals at the ISDT (now the ISDE). The guy is a god to true dirt bike fans. Behind these three legends (Everts, RC, Smith – Bayle didn’t make ‘legend’ status sorry) of our sport there are hundreds of riders that would fit into the category of ‘Greats’. Pioneers like Smith, Don Rickman, Paul Friedrichs, Rolf Tibblin, Sylvian Gebeors, Torsten Hallman, Sten Lundin, Bill Nilsen and Joel Roberts. Then came the likes of Gaston Rahier, Harry Everts, Guennady Moisseev, Roger DeCoster, Pierre Karsmarkers, Jimmy Weinert, Heiki Mikola, Bengt Aberg, Brad Lackey, Gary Jones, Andre Malherbe, Marty Smith, Trevor Williams, Hakan Carlquist, Tony DiStefano, Trampas Parker, Danny LaPorte, Chuck Sun, Mike Landman, Kent Howerton, Stephen Gall, Johnny O’Mara, Eric Gebeors, Anthony Gunter, Dave Thorpe, David Bailey, Broc Glover, Bob Hannah, Mike Bell, Mark Barnett, Donnie Hansen, George Jobe, Jeff Ward, Glen Bell, Donny Schmidt, Rick Johnson, Craig Dack, Jeff Stanton, Mike Keidrowski, Doug Henry, Craig Anderson, Jeff Leisk, Steve Lamson, Mike LaRocco, Joel Smets, Mickael Pichon, Sebastian Tortelli, Jeremy McGrath, Alex Puzar, Jeff Emig, John van den Berk, Chico Chiodi, Frederik Bolley, Steve Ramon, Chad Reed, James Stewart, Antonio Cairoli…..to name a few. That list is off the top of my head so if I missed someone or misspelled a name…shoot me! Take a look at that group of riders, Google any of them. All have won state, national or world motocross championships several times over, all have done sensational, marvellous, magnificent things on a motocross bike. They have inspired us, amazed us and in reality, changed the way we ride today and the bikes we are riding right now. And it soon makes you realise how great the likes of Everts, Carmichael and Smith really are when they sit on top of such a list of riders. Anyway, my mates are coming over again next weekend, we are going to debate who is the best rider never to win anything substantial while maintaining a history of substance abuse – the event is unofficially sponsored by Corona. I am confident of the outcome and that this debate shouldn’t take too long, though I may string it out till we are out of beer… – Darren Smart
DECEMBER 2009 - 23
Top Ten 2009
SEASON 2009 was a ripper, replete with wonderful rookie performances from Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi’s seventh premier class victory and Hiroshi Aoyama’s historic win in the last-ever 250 world championship. We watched as Bradley Smith’s quest to become Britain’s first GP solo champion since 1977 slowly crumbled in the face of his team-mate Julian Simon’s superb run to the 125 title. We also watched as Casey Stoner took three races off, an unprecedented move that sparked wild speculation as to his very future in motorcycle racing. He returned faster than ever, serving notice that he if can stay fit and aggressive the others better get used to seeing his red Duke disappear into the distance next year. We also said farewell to Mat Mladin, one of the hardest competitors to leave our shores. He is also one of the most successful, and possibly the wealthiest. The number one slot for 2009 was a difficult choice, but the nod has gone to Ben Spies for his quite brilliant debut season in WSBK where he simply dominated the most experienced Superbike riders in the world. His ability to claim a record number of pole positions at tracks he had never seen before underlies the class and raw speed of the tall Texan. While Rossi didn’t dominate, he timed his best performances
24 - DECEMBER 2009
of the year superbly, namely Catalunya, Misano and Brno. They were enough to keep Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo at bay, and under pressure. Rossi was always in control of the championship, and unless his protagonists can come up with a serious game plan to beat him, it could be situation normal yet again in 2010. 1. Ben Spies – Big Ben’s historic WSBK win on debut replete with all sorts of records including Yamaha’s first rider’s championship was enough to edge out Valentino Rossi from the top spot. MotoGP-bound in 2010, Spies has wisely played down expectations in his first year in the premier class. Like other Superbike-bred riders, he will find the transition to 800cc GP anything but easy but his businesslike and adaptive approach could eventually take him a long way – maybe all the way. 2. Valentino Rossi – Rossi was our number one in 2008 but being edged out by Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa in the last third of the season indicates that The Doctor was not dominant in 2009, just smarter. The influence of Jeremy Burgess cannot be underestimated in his MotoGP success. You’ve heard about Lennon/ McCartney sharing song credits – what about Rossi/ Burgess sharing these titles? 3. Jorge Lorenzo – Jorge bounced back from his crashfest MotoGP debut in 2008 but still fell at crucial times in 2009, namely Jerez
and later at Brno to let Rossi off the hook. Yes, The Donkey did leave the championship door ajar for Jorge with his Indy indiscretion, but Rossi’s solid win at Misano left Jorge in an unlikely catch up position. Despite Rossi putting the pit wall up between them, Jorge reckons Rossi nicks his set-up for race day. 2010 could be his last year alongside Vale if Rossi holds good to his threat and moves to Ducati. 4. Casey Stoner – More ink has been devoted to Casey than any other rider in 2009, including Rossi. His threerace sabbatical has been well-documented but when he returned, Casey proved what any objective observer already knew – he is the fastest rider on the planet, and up there with the very quickest of all-time. Heaven help his opposition if he ever gets on a Yamaha. 5. Cal Crutchlow – Like Spies, Crutchlow was the dominant rider in his class and thoroughly deserved to claim the WSS title on debut. Pushed all the way by Eugene Laverty, Calvin held his nerve to win the big prize - a seat in
the Yamaha WSBK - a prize that he would happily trade for a ride in Moto2. How far can he go? Hopefully further than James Toseland, who hit a brick wall in MotoGP and never recovered. 6. Julian Simon – Simon soaked up the pressure all year and out-muscled team-mate Bradley Smith, who failed to step up we he needed to most. Hungry but calm, fast but calculating, Simon flipped 125 racing on its head with a clever and strategic championship plan. It will be interesting to see if he can carry his 125 championship momentum into Moto2. 7. Hiroshi Aoyama – Hero brought home a very ironic victory for Honda in the final and 61st running of the world 250cc grand prix championship. It wasn’t without drama, or knocked-knee nerves, with the final result not settled until Hero brought home a shaky seventh in the last GP of the year at Valencia. Forever hunted down by the fast and furious Marco Simoncelli, Hero regained the championship initiative
Spies & Rossi
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with a superb victory at Phillip Island, which was enough to assail his jittery final round performance. 8. Eugene Laverty – But for two lapses at Donington and Magny-Cours, Geno could’ve been WSS champ on his Parkalgar machine. Clearly the top Honda WSS pilot in 2009, he made Calvin Crutchlow work hard all the way to Portamao for the title, and proved that his moderate results in 250GP were equipment related. 9. Marco Simoncelli – The 2008 250 world champion’s defence was over before it had begun after sustaining a pre-season training injury but he nevertheless threatened to de-rail Hiroshi Aoyama’s bid for the title with a string of devastating victories. An impressive WSBK debut at Imola on an Aprilia suggests that he will adapt quite quickly to MotoGP – that’s if he can fit on the Honda that was originally designed for Dani Pedrosa who is 20cm shorter. 10. Mat Mladin – Tough and uncompromising to the bitter end, Mladin is the only non-world championship rider to make the 2009 list. In the absence of protagonist Ben Spies, Mladin took out the desiccated DMG/AMA Championship, his last in a stellar AMA Superbike career that is unlikely to be bettered. We bet he’s delighted that Spies dominated WSBK this year. Honourable mentions: Leon Camier and Dani Pedrosa. – Darryl Flack
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JLT DIRT BIKE INSURANCE • 1300 655 931 • At home or away...we’ve got you covered • www.jltmotor.com.au/dirtbikes/
D EC E M BMore ER info www.cycletorque.com.au & in the next issue TOY RUNS
Ipswich Qld, December 13 Ride departs 10.30am from Brassall Shopping Centre. Info: 0423 697 081. Mornington Peninsul a Vic, December 9 Assemble from 8am at the car park at Frankston Pier for 9.30am departure for Rosebud. Info: John, 03 5978 6280. Cranbourne Vic, December 13 Assemble at the Cranbourne Centro car park from 8am for 10am departure for Williamstown. Info: Barbara 03 5998 2424 MRA SA , December 13 Hahndorf welcomes over 12,500 motor cyclists participating in the annual Motocycle Riders Association Toy Run from Glenelg to Hahndorf. Entry to the oval is a toy or gold coin donation. St Vincent de Paul will be collecting the toys for distribution to needy kids. Please bring a toy for older children, games, books or sporting goods. Info: 08 8391 7238. ACT, December 12 The motorcycles will start to gather in front of Old Parliament House from 8.30 for breakfast and a coffee. Leaves 10am to ride down Yamba Drive to Woden, around the large roundabout and back via Adelaide Ave into Civic to muster in Garema Place for the judging of the best dressed rider, pillion and bike, and to donate the many toys and cash brought along by the riders. Many Canberrans are expected to line the route to support the riders. Info: 0409 984 008. Newcastle NSW, December 6 Leaving 9-30 am sharp from Sandgate Regional Produce Markets to travel to Newcastle foreshore park to make donations of toys, food & cash to the Salvation Army to help the underprivileged children of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter Valley. Info: www.wwwildcats.net.
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MRA Tasmania , December 5 Riders from all over the state converge on the Derwent Entertainment Centre on Hobart’s Brooker Highway, then ride ‘enmasse’ into Hobart to donate toys and other items to the Salvos. Info: www.mratas.org.au.
Departing 11am sharp from Belmont Park car park, taking the Shenton Ave freeway exit and concluding at Joondalup Arena. CONTACT: Bikes Unlimited Inc. PO Box 863 Balcatta WA 6194.
These toy runs are only a small selection of what’s happening out there in December. For more information check out www. toyrun.org.au.
WHEN: December 6, 2009 WHERE: Old Parliament House lawns, ACT. WHAT: An event for British bikes and cars. Come along and display yours. CONTACT: Peter 0409 350 984
Summer Blood Challenge
WHEN: 1st December 2009-28th February 2010 WHERE: ACT, NSW, VIC WHAT: It all began in 1979, when the Motorcycle Riders’ Association (MRA) issued a challenge to other organisations to give more blood than the state’s motorcyclists during the three summer months. The MRA recognised that summer was traditionally a difficult time for the Blood Service, particularly after Christmas. Groups such as the Scout Association and Police Victoria joined in and met the challenge. Today these organisations maintain their support and enthusiasm for the challenge. They have since been joined by over fifty businesses, clubs and government departments, building the Summer Blood Challenge into a well recognised annual community event. CONTACT: Call 13 14 95 for a blood bank near you. web www.donateblood. com.au. Remember to nominate complete the challenge form provided at the blood bank.
34th Annual Perth Bikers Charity Ride
WHEN: December 5, 2009 WHERE: Perth, WA. WHAT: In aid of the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. Be early; entry to main group closes at 10.30am and all latecomers will be directed to a separate car park from where they will ride at the end of the procession. Open to individuals and clubs. No entry fee, but every participant must be on a motorcycle and bearing a gift for the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal.
Terribly British Day
Ulysses Club Macarthur Branch Annual Toy Run
WHEN: Sunday 6th December @ 11.00am WHERE: Ride commences Macdonalds car park cnr Narellan Rd and Camden Valley Way, Narellan. WHAT: Police escort ride to Koshigaya Park, Campbelltown. Included is a prize for the best decorated Yuletide theme bike and/or rider, a sausage sizzle with proceeds to be donated to the Appeal and a gab fest. Salvos request any donated presents be unwrapped and suitable for older children. CONTACT: For addition info visit our web site www.ulysses.org.au/branches/ macarthur/
3rd Pickled Galah New Year’s Eve Rally WHEN: New Year’s Eve, 2009 WHERE: Maidenwell Hotel, Maidenwell, Qld. WHAT: $25 inc badge. Live music, show & shine, Toga Party (30th), pub olympics including the infamous ‘bike jousting’, wet t-shirt comp, great camping inc hot showers, fully catered & country pub prices. CONTACT: Sunstate Riders, web www. sunstateriders.com.au.
Cycle Torque Feature – Touring to WA – PT 1
Keeping the Oil Warm
Reliving the old days of BMWs, long days in the saddle, and a magic pudding. EARLY morning – and I’d relaxed – the sun was up – weather fine and the charge down Horrock’s Pass lay ahead. Touring folklore maintains that it’s the ’roo you don’t see which brings you down and the big grey loomed close and personal on my right – collision apparently inevitable. My mind had been in neutral and there was no time to react besides a slight swerve to the left. Suddenly the animal chose to change course. It slipped on the wet road and crashed on its side before attempting a slide tackle on my rear wheel – missing. A glance in the rear view mirror revealed the ’roo
still on its side, considering an attack on Brian’s R 1200 R. If you do enough kilometres, these situations will occur. So far I’ve come off once out of three contacts – fortunately, this was just a near miss. We continued on – not even an adrenalin shot hitting the body – the whole episode was over so quickly. When I announced that a BMW F650GS was going to carry me on a 5600 kilometre, six day charge, some doubted that the 52 kw machine would handle the pace. ‘Take something bigger!’ ‘Nah, it will be too hard on that bike,’ were some comments. They obviously weren’t aware that from 1973 to 1991, I used a 37
kw BMW to cart my bones plus Adriana and gear all over Australia. The F 650 GS had no luggage (although factory gear is available) so I modified a Robyn Marshall tank bag (circa QLD 1970s) and attached an old waterproof BMW duffle bag over the back seat. Not perfect but acceptable for jocks, socks and Ts for six days, plus jeans and warm gear. Within 12 hours of leaving Sydney, the mineshaft heads of Broken Hill were in sight. Western NSW and the Mitchell and Barrier Highways had passed by dominated by wheat silos,
railway lines, sheep, ’roos and goats. Green gave way to dirt, rocks and cotton bush when we had passed Cobar – the sheep apparently surviving on little more than dust and hope. The jumbucks made a couple of half hearted attempts at suicide, running out onto the road in all directions, crashing into each other, then curving back for a strafing run. The wild goats were calm – never running the gauntlet of motorcycles at speed, simply ambling away into the bush. Red dirt and stones! How many do you want? I was conquering the information system on the GS – average speed, fuel
DECEMBER 2009 - 27
Keeping the Oil Warm
consumption and the distance until you may start pushing. The latter appeared to be a lottery – although the instrument did give you a warning at 50 kilometres. I was initially tricked by the tyre pressure readings on the dash – damned technology! The cubic centimetre snobs are advised that 130140 kph touring is easily achieved on the F650GS. At 120 kph, fuel consumption is from 4.2 litres per 100 km to 6.4 litres per 100 km at 140 km/h. It is still reasonably easy to cover 300 kilometres per tank at the low speeds. You can squeeze almost 17.5 litres into the tank. Broken Hill has great old buildings, mine visits, an artist’s trail, great museum and sculptures – to name a few. The first three have no particular access issues and are good value. When I first saw the sculptures, it was a case of rock up and view at sunset or sunrise. Now you have to collect a key from the tourist office (8.30 am to 5 pm) to gain access to the road to the site. We didn’t make it. We did, however, head for Silverton, probably the site of more film and commercial shoots than almost anywhere else in Australia. There’s a range of pub names stored on the verandah waiting for the next one. The Ford used by Mel Gibson in Mad Max 1 is parked out front looking just as menacing in real life as it did on film. Besides the pub (famous), the various old buildings mostly have artists in situ distributing their own interpretation of the outback. Yes, the man with the VWs likes emus. The rail museum was closed, however, from a previous visit I can vouch that it is better than anything in the ‘Hill’. The numerous dips on the way to Silverton have pounded Brian’s back – which has a bulging disc – his doctor wasn’t aware of
28 - DECEMBER 2009
his intended trip and most thought him mad to attempt it. He has already declared quite sensibly that he won’t undertake the 500 kilometre dirt road loop to Arkaroola next day. A good decision. So far the GS has proven to be comfortable, smooth twin cylinder engine, good seat (up to two hours), nice power spread and acceptable brakes – complete with optional ABS. It takes a while to get used to the front end drive of the forks if you have become used to modified forks or Telever front ends. The brakes are, however, more than acceptable for the machine’s performance. It was 1.5°C (the number flashing warning of black ice) when we left Broken Hill under the cover of dawn – the light behind us meant we could spot and avoid the wildlife. No concerns about spotting ’roos as we charged towards Cockburn and Olary – both virtual ghost towns beside the railway line. The ‘minimise exhaust brake noise in urban areas’ beside these settlements seemed to be rather meaningless. We are in SA – still sheep and goats, barren land, salt brush and low scrub basked in the rising sun. Some stern warnings by the management of Thackaringa Station indicated that bush bashing without permission may result in a frosty welcome. Metal concrete power poles march away into the distance like surf lifesavers of old, operating the reel. At Yunta, Brian heads for Hawker on the tar – quite rightly predicting that potholes, corrugations, bulldust, gibber desert and roly-poly rocks (like riding on marbles) may be too much for him and the wider tyres on the R 1200 R. We have been up this road when it was largely unmade 20+ years ago on a CBR1000 Honda and a R 100 GS BMW – latterly
Cycle Torque Feature – Touring to WA – PTI – Continued I’d tackled it when it was closed due to rain, an interesting challenge. The challenge was known, however, rain can dramatically alter the surface. The early kilometres were an easy high speed road with straights and curves into the mandatory dips and creek beds. As I approached the Frome Downs turnoff, the surface changed, with gravel banks and large corrugations entering the hazards menu. I was catching a Pajero, which had passed me at Wilpena Creek on a routine photographic stop. The wind was blowing its dust away across the gibber plan. Suddenly it disappeared in a cloud of dust – the telltale sign of bulldust. It appears as though Weetaloona station had hauled out cattle, destroying the road surface – dust holes mostly all the way across the road, hindered progress. I didn’t have to head into the desert to get around them. Simply steadying the bike and accelerating through the dust, easing the handlebars slightly side to side to stop the front end bogging down. After the Blinman turnoff, gibber creek beds and large stones over potholes made me wonder what I was doing pounding away on this road. The F650GS mag wheels were handling the rough stuff but the front end seemed vague at speed over these surfaces. The 300 kilometres Yunta to Arkaroola only took 3 hours so perhaps speed was a factor. The final kilometres after the turnoff to Copley provided a lovely rollercoaster ride as the road followed the gorge into Arkaroola – the rock strata in the wall pointing towards the sky and the barren landscape quite interesting. Arkaroola was dry, a haven for bushwalkers and those interested in wildlife, however, there was little time to explore. Turned into an ecotourism
destination by the Spragg family in 1967, it is a popular destination. There are great gorges and ranges close to the settlement which offers a range of accommodation. There are excellent 4WD tours which provide specific access to the more remote areas. As always the road out seemed better. I nearly head the 430 kilometres up the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka –
another time. The road to Blinman soars along the ridges presenting new challenges at every curve – some rock walls seem imposing as you charge towards them, trees sprout out of the desert. Gorges define the course of the road. Progress was slow but very enjoyable. It was like riding a maze – forever seeking the way out of the creek bed to get back onto a ridge – then down again into the next river bed. Always in the back of my mind the enormous power of the waterways when the heavens open up over the Flinders Ranges. The flood signs really are indicative of what can happen. As I approach Blinman, there is clear evidence of the dust bowl turning to green grass. Old buildings emphasised by the green carpet of the desert floor. The lady at the pub confirms a good storm has helped the country regenerate and tries to barter for my Eric Clapton T-shirt. I declined the offer. Blinman is small – more a kick off point to the outback, however, the pub appears to be quite famous although
there were few at the bar. I am conscious of my commitment to Brian. “If I am not back by 6pm, send a search party”, so I soldiered on. As there is no mobile phone reception until nine kilometres from Hawker – that was a dumb instruction. Who would he ring? And which cliff should they investigate to see if I’ve left the road? Back into the rollercoaster ride past Mt Elkington, I headed for Parachilna Gorge, a massive creek bed with no water and evidently a huge hazard after rain. The last five kilometres across the plain to the Stuart Highway leads to the huge communications tower at Parachilna – no mobile reception. The sun is low on the western horizon so I skip the Brachina Gorge – Wilpenna round option and head for Hawker stopping to snap the range in the receding light. The Brachina Gorge road is also well worthwhile – with cliffs framing one side of the gorge. Watch out for the large rocks in the dry creek beds. Hot shower, beer at the Hawker pub and then off to the Old Ghan Restaurant for steak before a well earned sleep. Some of my joints are protesting about dirt roads – but it’s an easy run to Streaky Bay next day. Damp roads slowed our progress to Alligator Gorge near Wilmington and down the Horrocks Pass Gorge where the road follows the creek – a road which has always been a favourite blast to Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta – an opportunity for hard cornering between some long straight stretches. – Geoff Hall Continued next issue.
DECEMBER 2009 - 29
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009
Holidays and champions BEEN on a holiday recently and enjoyed every minute of it. Well, I enjoyed nearly every minute of it. I was on a cruise with my family, and I get sea sick. You can guess the rest. That only happened for one day. The rest was a heady regime of exercise to cope with the overeating and cocktail binges, bingo, stage shows and the like. You think being on a cruise ship would get you away from bikes, but not when we docked at Noumea in French Caledonia. I couldn’t believe how many motorcycles there were. KTM motards were popular with the mainly French riders, as were Harley-Davidsons and Suzuki Bandit 1200s. Also abundant were small scooters and 50cc GasGas supermoto machines, screaming around the place with very young riders at the controls. I’m not sure what laws there are but you could tell they were very young, much younger than the minimum age riders in Australia can get their licence. It might interest you to know what sort of cost was involved for the cruise. Cruise companies have been doing good deals lately, and for $3700, four of us went for seven nights to the South Pacific and back. The racers among you would know the costs of attending motorcycle race meetings, but to put it into perspective, it wasn’t much dearer to go on the cruise than it was to drive from Newcastle to South Australia during the year for my son Alex to attend a road race meeting. At the time my wife and I thought, spend a week travelling to, compete and then return from the SA race meeting, or go on a cruise. The decision took about two seconds to make. It’s easy to blame promoters for the rising costs of going racing but the costs for them to run such meetings escalates each year to the point someone has to meet those rising costs. Generally this falls to the competitors, and as crowd numbers aren’t high, competitors pretty much have to accept this. Promoters don’t do it for the love of it, and you can’t expect them to. With the GFC still going on there seems to be record numbers of racers returning to Australia as they lose their rides overseas, both in the road racing and MX game. This is sad to see because many have pinned their life hopes on success, and the chance of getting a paid ride back in OZ at the moment is very slim to say the least. One race I missed out on while on the cruise was the Australian GP. I didn’t even get to watch it on television. Of course Casey Stoner won and that was a great result for him, and Australia. After speaking to some mates about the TV coverage when I returned, I got to thinking about what makes a champion, regardless of the sport. Look at Valentino Rossi for example. I think most Australian motorcycle enthusiasts would have been just as happy
30 - DECEMBER 2009
if the smiling Italian had won at Phillip Island. He’s so popular because he has a great personality and likes to put on a show. I can’t remember seeing him surly during a telecast, or in the flesh at PI. You could mention a few other riders with the aura of Rossi. Names like Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene and of course Troy Bayliss come straight to mind, all champions in their own right without the aloofness and ego that often comes with the territory. As I said before, it doesn’t matter what the sport, look at Peter Brock, ’70s cricket star Dennis Lillee and surfing icon Mark Richards. All guys that had, and still have, huge followings because they always seemed approachable to the average person. There’s plenty more men and women who fit the bill, but you get my drift. Many of our current, and even past sports stars could well take a look at how these champions conduct themselves and take a leaf out of their book. I heard there were some dark mutterings over the way Chad Reed conducted himself at the first round of the SuperX series. Reed took his new Kawasaki KX450 to a podium but didn’t look well pleased about the result. At the next round in Geelong he won outright and in his victory speech made, what seemed, a passing comment about the negative press he’d received after the first round. I thought Reed conducted himself well on the Geelong podium, after putting on an awesome display of riding, especially over the stutters. We are all human and we all have bad days. The trick is not to show it in public, especially when your name is usually up in lights. You don’t have to win races to be a champion in my book, although the term is often overused. Recently my family and I attended a fund raising day run by the Old Boars Motorcycle Club, a charity based organisation headed by a good mate of mine, Dale Woods. It’s a feel good club all about riding and sharing a joke with friends. Woodsy and his team of helpers are doers, raising money for needy organisations, this latest fund raiser for prostate cancer. But it wasn’t just the club that did the work. A group of volunteers from Luskintyre Airport went out of their way to accommodate the crowd, even putting on free, that’s right, free plane rides all day long. It’s people like this who are the real champions in life, willing to donate their own resources, money and time for others. Lastly, how good has Yamaha done with its racing program this year? When was the last time one manufacturer won MotoGP, World Superbike, World Supersport, World MX and AMA SX in the same year? – Chris Pickett
Christmas Buyers’ Guide Great gifts for everyone!
IT’S that time of year again where we spend time with our loved ones and generally partake in too much Christmas cheer.
It’s also a chance to take some well earned time off work and get out and about on your bike. Check out our Christmas Buyers’ Guide on the following pages. There’s sure to be something inside which would be a well loved gift for that special person in your life who has the two wheeled bent. All of us here at Cycle Torque would like to wish our readers, advertisers and our supporters a fantastic festive season. We couldn’t have brought you 12 fantastic editions of Cycle Torque during 2009 without your help. Cheers, Chris Pickett, Cycle Torque
DECEMBER 2009 - 31
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 1
Yamaha Hardcase Black Backpack 1
Molded polyurethane shell, laptop compartment. Part Number: CRP-09QFU-BK-NS RRP: $189.71 2 Yamaha Softcase Bl/Bk Backpack
Fleece lined, laptop compartment. Part Number: CRP-09QRH-BK-NS RRP: $168.98
Yamaha 2 Ltr Hydro Backpack 3
Adjustable straps for comfort 2 ltr waterbag. Part Number: CRP-09QTX-BL-NS RRP: $99.46 4
Yamaha Racing Backpack
Helmet net, mobile pocket & plenty of internal storage compartments. Part Number: B08-4A04D-00-4A
Yamaha Racing 1.5lt Water Bag 5
Bladder type water system and small pocket. Part Number: B08-4A04B-00-4A RRP: $69.89 6
Yamaha Racing Gear Bag
Oversize bag can handle all essential riding gear. Part Number: B08-4A04A-00-4A
Yamaha Racing 2l Water Bag/ Bum Bag Pack 7
Yamaha racing backpack / 2ltr hydration / bumbag system, heavy duty 600d nylon light weight shell, 2 ltr water bladder capacity & multiple compartments. Part Number: YMA09WAT-BG-2L RRP: $116.91 8
Yamaha Laptop/Briefcase Bag
Dual zone compartments to protect a 15â€? laptop in a fleece lined storage zone. Part Number: CRP-09QCB-BK-NS RRP: $92.06 9
Yamaha Carry-On Trolley Bag
This roller bag makes short work of clothes or your job essentials, easily holds laptops up to 43cm in size and has multiple compartments for organization. Part Number: CRP-09QLP-BK-SM
Yamaha Sports Tailbag/Backpack
Designed perfectly to match your Yamaha R1 or R6 Sport bike. Polycarbonate hard-shell is aerodynamic and features two internal storage pockets and a large main compartment with security strap. Durable nylon base. A built-in hidden shoulder strap converts the Tail bag into a handy shoulder bag. Colourmatched in Yamaha blue and black. Size: 30 X 33 X 16cm. BLUE Part Number: CRP-09QTL-BL-NS. BLACK Part Number: CRP-09QTL-BK-NS RRP: $178.23
32 - DECEMBER 2009
not tools included
Sports Tank Bag/Backpak Blue
Designed perfectly to match your Yamaha R1 or R6 Sports Bike. Polycarbonate hard-shell is sleek and aerodynamic. Features include a 38cm laptop compatiable design with security strap, five-internal pockets and magnetic or velcro straps. Durable nylon base, fitted side pockets for added storage. Hidden shoulder straps convert the tank bag into a handy back pack. Colourmatched in Yamaha blue or black. Size: 36 X 46 X 17cm. BLUE Part Number: CRP-09QTBBL-NS. BLACK Part Number: CRP-09QTB-BK-NS
RRP: $197.82 12
Sun Glasses Blk Frame Non Plr
400 nm ultra violet light lenses, protection, impact resistant and anti static. Tough frame but mouldable for fit. Meets Australian and New Zealand standards AS, NZS, 1067 2003. Part Number: YMA-SUN33-17-7N RRP: $44.39
Sun Glasses Blk Frame Non Plr
400nm ultra violet light lenses, protection, impact resistant and anti static. Tough frame but mouldable fit. Meets Australian and New Zealand Standards AS, NZS 1067:2003. Part Number: YMA-SUN33-13-8N RRP: $44.39 14
Yz/Wr S/Syn 10w40 2l Oil Kit
Yamalube have put together a convenient kit, available in both Semi Synthetic and Full Synthetic engine oils, with a choice of three oil viscosityâ€™s to suit your riding conditions. Each kit contains 2 litres of Yamalube Oil (in a choice of viscosity) and all the genuine Yamaha parts required to complete an oil and filter change to ensure you donâ€™t end up with any oil leaks out on the trails. FROM RRP: $54.95
for further information please visit...
Available from your local Yamaha Motorcycle dealer or contact email@example.com DECEMBER 2009 - 33
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 4
Great range of bike titles just in time for Christmas
It doesnâ€™t matter if it is Moto GP, Motocross, Enduro or Road Racing they have something for everyone. 2009 Road Racing 2009 Isle Of Man TT 3 2009 Moto GP 4 2009 World Superbike 5 Joey Dunlop 6 2009 X Fighters 7 2009 World Mx 8 2009 AMA Mx 9 2009 World Enduro 10 2009 World Trials 11 2009 World Supermoto Review 12 Globeriders - Silk Road Adventures 13 Bathurst & Bikes - History Of Bike Racing 1 2
Available from bike shops and selected DVD retailers.
Further trade enquiries from Duke Home Entertainment 02 4646 1120 or online www.pitlanedirect.com.au
34 - DECEMBER 2009
DECEMBER 2009 - 35
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 4
10 All items are available from your local Honda Motorcycle Dealership. For locations call 1300 146 632 To view the Honda Genuine Merchandise Range go to www.hondampe.com.au/catalogue 36 - DECEMBER 2009
The Winners Tee - 625 and Counting...
Own the t-shirt that symbolises Honda’s wonderful achievements in World Championship Racing. In honour of Honda’s revolutionary racing machines this great tee highlights the very first championship winning bike, 1961’s RC143, to today’s winning RC212V – the embodiment of Honda’s five decades of motorcycle racing know-how. The tee also pays tribute to the seventy-two riders throughout Honda’s racing history that have helped make it happen. Beginning with Mick Doohan’s legendary 54 wins, the tee captures Honda’s 625 wins up until June 2009. The t-shirts come complete with a statement of authenticity. Only 600 Available. S/M/L/XL/2XL/3XL. Part No. L08TS090WC RRP $49.99 2
Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Honda Watch
Genuine carbon fibre dial • Stainless steel case with black aluminium fixed bezel • 10 ATM water resistant • Full colour 50th Anniversary logo print on the dial • Laser engraved Honda Racing logo on buckle clasp & 50th Anniversary logo on the caseback • Miyota OS10 Japan chronograph date movement • 2 year warranty on movement • Comes complete in a 50th Anniversary black leather look box, with a statement of authenticity • Only 250 Made. Part No.L08WT005WC. RRP $285 3 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary X-Large Framed Illustration - Size: 83.7cm x 135cm.
This impressive collectable framed illustration pays homage to the legendary motorcycles that put Honda’s name firmly on the world racing stage. Honda set itself apart from other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers by entering the first ever Japanese team into World Championship competition, at the Isle of Man TT race in 1959. Honda entered four 125cc bikes and claimed 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th in the 125cc light weight class, as well as taking out the Manufacturers’ Team Award, which prompted Honda to compete in the full GP series in the following year. The journey that began in 1959, and includes over 600 World Championship race wins, has been illustrated by Japanese artist Kendge Seevert and framed in Australia. Seevert is renowned amongst expert motorcycle enthusiasts for his highly detailed illustrations of world class racing cars and motorcycles, and for his ability to painstakingly research his subject material to maintain historical accuracy. This limited edition frame features illustrations of eighteen race bikes and three Production Racing motorcycles, starting with the 1959 RC142 Naomi Taniguchi raced to 6th place at Honda’s first Isle of Man, through to the 1967 RC181 winner of the Isle of Man TT by Mike Hailwood. The print is UV protected and displayed on an acid free matte board, in a frame of walnut coloured wood. Each frame comes with an individually numbered metal name plaque. Only 250 available. Part No. L08FR100RC. RRP $499.95 4
Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Keyring
Genuine black leather keyring with genuine carbon fibre insert supplied in two piece black cardboard gift box. Only 1000 available. Part No. L08KR090WC. RRP $15.00 5
Limited Edition 50th Anniversary ‘Super Cub’ Bear
Hi! My name is Super Cub and I’m the mascot for the most popular powered vehicle of all time. It was only three years after the Super Cub motorcycle made its debut in 1958 that Honda won its first ever World Racing Championship, & look at how far we’ve come! With over 600 championship wins to our credit, we have dominated on and off the race track - Super Cub. This collectable comes packaged, complete with a unique numbered certificate to certify it is one of only 2000 produced to celebrate Honda’s 50th year of participation in Motorcycle Racing. 12“ high plush Honda Racing Bear • Honda Wing logo on collar, front chest & on side of legs • HRC logo on the back • Team Honda logos front chest & knees • Honda Racing belt • Removable outfit. Part No. L08BR001HR. RRP $75 6
Rolling Gear Bag with FREE Boot Bag
Black/Grey/Red colour scheme • Retractable pullman handle • Large storage with flip top opening • Multiple grab handles & haul loop • External compression straps • Interior divider & various compartments • FREE PVC lined boot bag valued at RRP $40 • Pullout changing mat • Dual vented main compartment • Two large external pockets • Skate wheels for added stability • Rugged zip pullers & heavy duty size 10 zip on main compartment • High impact fabric - Jacquard PVC/Polyester 600x600D • Size: Approximatley 89cm length x 42cm wide x 44cm high: (0.164cbm) / 164 Litres. Part No. L08BG006BGXL. RRP $285 7
Woodstock Thor Honda Racing Team Polo
This sharp looking 100% black cotton polo with white contrasts and red piping, features the major team sponsors embroidered on the front, sleeves and back. Also features a stylish front neck zip. Sizes S/M/L/XL/2XL/3XL. Part No. L08PS095WT. RRP $90 8
CRF Racing Cap
Embossed Off Road look stretch fit cap with raised 3D embroidered logo, rubber felt Wing badge on the side and adjustable embossed Wing buckle. Part No. L08CP221CRF. RRP $25 9
Ladies ‘Dreamer’ Tee
This raspberry coloured, 100% cotton, must have summer tee has a scooped neckline with button detail, contrasting silver foil & light pink print, feminine gathering on shoulders and Honda silver foil print front & back. Sizes 8,10,12,14,16. Part No. L08TS501R. RRP $35 10
Ladies ‘Fantasy’ Hoodie
Fun and chic with a real feminine style, this white & lilac hoodie in a poly cotton brushed fleece for comfort and durability features a contrast binding trim at hood & placket, glitter graphic on the front & back, a cut out Honda Wing on the back, a silver zip pull and Honda embroidery on the front. Sizes 8,10,12,14,16. Part No. L08HD007W. RRP $60.00
DECEMBER 2009 - 37
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 1
EKS Brand Goggles
The EKS Brand GOX goggle has quickly become a leader in the goggle market. With an AMA Supercross win, several podium finishes, along with high praise from several leading off road magazines, EKS Brand has become a true player in the goggle world, seemingly overnight!
RRP $59.95 2
Axo Boxer Boot
The Boxer and Boxer Junior are constructed with high quality materials chosen for their weight, strength and value. Optimised plastics provide support and protection, whilst also allowing movement. Replaceable buckles and foot peg insert in Axo’s own sole all come together to create a safe, comfortable boot that everyone will enjoy riding in, every time! RRP Jnr $179.95 Snr $199.95 3
Axo Dart boot
The Dart Boot is lighter, faster and built with all the experience gained from years of producing championship winning footwear. Optimized plastics are thicker where support and reinforcement are required and tapered in non critical areas. CAD designed lateral and medial support panels which allows natural twist that the ankle joints need whilst continuing to protect from side to side rotation. RRP $299.95 4
Axo Prime Boot
The Prime was designed and developed with the idea of combining the most safety and support with the best value available in top of the line offroad boots. Unique open cell PU molded shapes, lever locking buckles, fully wrapping molded sole, 8 degrees forward racing angle and much much more all come together to create a boot standing up to be counted in racing around the world.
RRP $449.95 5
Shark 2010 RSI Fire Helmet
• 4 Star Sharp Rating • Shell made from multi-directional composite fibres and strengthened with Carbon/Aramid • 2 shell sizes • multielement, internal shock-absorber with differentiated density • Airflow directed by integrated ducts and “Venturi” deflectors • Anti-Scratch “Total Vision” 2.2mm visor • Shark’s patented “Push One” visor quick release system • Optimized demisting using visor frame diffuser • Fully removable and washable interior in microfibre fabric • Ergonomic cheek pads • Anti-Scratch visor and chin cover • Sizes XS-2XL. RRP $479.95 6
Shark RSR2 V+ ABSOLUTE Helmet
5 Star Sharp Rating, with a shell made from Carbon/Kevlar multidirectional composite fibres in two shell sizes (XS-MD, LG-XL), Multi-element internal shock absorber with differentiated density and an F1 type enhanced safety 3 mm visor, Dual treated (anti-scratch/ anti-fog) ‘Total Vision’ visor, the Shark RSR2 V+ ABSOLUTE is the reference in safety and design. • ‘Push One’ visor quick release system using 4 anchorage points • High flow ventilation system with an easy opening vent • Optimized demisting thanks to ‘venturi’ side extractors • Adjustable, removable and washable interior using top of the range ‘coolmax’ and • sanitized fibres • Ergonomic cheek pads in 3D foam • Double D-ring ‘Racing’ chin strap • Anti-fog mask and chin cover • XS-2XL, Black or White. RRP $869.95 7
Ixon Ladies Strada Jacket
The ultimate summer jackets, the Ladies Strada feature mesh panelling, zipped pockets, CE protectors in the shoulders and elbows, comfortable
neck roll plus many more features to keep you safe and cool in the summer heat! RP $179.95
8 Ixon Mens Hacker Game Jacket
The ultimate summer jackets, the Mens Hacker Game feature mesh panelling, zipped pockets, CE protectors in the shoulders and elbows, comfortable neck roll plus many more features to keep you safe and cool in the summer heat!
RRP $179.95 9
Ixon Electra Ladies Jacket
• 3 in 1 all seasons • Mesh material panels • RIPLAN reinforcements on shoulders and arms • Removable insert, waterproof and breathable • Extended and reinforced back • Removable winter lining • Pre-curved sleeves • Adjustable Velcro tightening with gusset on cuffs • Adjustable tightening on collar, bottom and arms with diamond snaps • Extended back • 2 waterproof external pockets on sides • Loop to connect with any pant • CE protectors in elbows and shoulders. RRP $319.95 10
Ixon Rafale Jacket
• Leather and textile mix • Cool Air Process ventilation system • Mesh material panels • Removable lining, waterproof and warm • Cuffs and bottom adjustable with snaps • Sport cut, fitted • Pre-curved sleeves • Zip to connect with any pant • CE protectors in elbows and shoulders RRP449.95 11
Ixon Attack Jacket
• RIVTECH reinforcements on shoulders and arms • VENT SYSTEM front and rear • DRYMESH insert, waterproof and breathable • Removable winter lining with collar • Adjustable arms thanks to DYNAMIC TIGHT • 2 removable VISIBILITY armbands: neon and reflective • Sport cut, fitted • Pre-curved sleeves • Adjustable Velcro tightening with gusset on cuffs • Flex panels on elbows, on back of arms and back armholes • Vent system ventilates from front and rear • CE protectors in elbows and shoulders • Zips and loops to connect with any pant. RRP399.95
Available from your local dealer. For more information contact Ficeda Accessories P/L: P. 02 9757 0061 www.ficeda.com.au
DECEMBER 2009 - 39
XMASadventures BUYERS GUIDE 2009 Great bike that are hard to put down
Charley Boorman’s new book, Right to the Edge 1
Packed with adventure, and written with Charley’s trademark humour and enthusiasm, Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means, will delight fans and new readers alike. Charley Boorman recounts the highs and lows of his extraordinary journey, and gets under the skin of the countries and communities he travels through. Pushing himself and the machines, to the limit, this is his most challenging journey yet. 2
By Any Means
Grabbing whatever local transport he can get his hands on, Charley travels from his home town in County Wicklow all the way to Australia. 3
By Any Means Audio CD
Race to Dakar
Charley Boorman takes part in the Dakar Rally - the most dangerous and exciting race in the world. 5
Long Way Round
Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman travel around the world from London to New York by motorcycle - a unique and fascinating travel/adventure book. 6
Long Way Round Illustrated Edition
Long Way Down
After their trip in 2004, bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn’t shake the travel bug. This time they travel down through Africa. 8
Long Way Down Illustrated Edition
9 Barry: The Story of Motorcycling Legend Barry Sheene
The definitive biography of motor cycling legend Barry Sheene told by three people who knew him better than most. Steve Parrish, Nick Harris, and Barry’s widow, Stephanie. 10
In the late ‘70s Ted Simon rode 63,000 miles over four years through fifty-four countries in a journey that took him around the world. This classic is still regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle books ever written. 11
Dreaming of Jupiter
In 2001, at the age of 69, Ted Simon decided to retrace his journey, and Dreaming of Jupiter is the result. It took him two and a half years - during which time he revisited all the countries he had travelled through in the 1970s.
All books are available to buy online at www.cycletorque.com.au
www.hachette.com.au 10 9
40 - DECEMBER 2009
Perfect Pressies 2
www.cycletorque.com.au w ww.ccycletorquuee.ccom m.a .aau
Buy the best motorcycle books directly from Cycle Torque. 1
Kazoom – the madcap motorbike race
Young kids are fascinated by motorbikes. That’s why they stare, point and wave at bikers. Here’s a great book for them. Kazoom tells the story of a crazy race in superb cartoon images and rollicking verse. Twenty-six great bikes – including Beemer, Duke, Trumpy, Kwaka and Harley – ridden by a collection of zany characters. Written, illustrated and published in Australia.
Kazoom - $15.95 2
The Castrol Six Hour Production Race
For 18 years, the Castrol Six Hour Production Race was the biggest event on the Australian motorcycling calendar. Controversial, important and exciting, the Castrol Six Hour Production Race was one of those rare events which had bikes and tyres developed specifically to win it. The Castrol Six Hour Production Race – $69.95 3 The Art of BMW Covering the first 85 years of BMW bikes, this beautifully-produced book covers everything from the first R32 right through to the K1200S in a coffee-table book format. Exquisite photography and insightful text about many different BMW models makes this book essential reading for any BMW enthusiast. The Art of BMW – $69.99 4
Bitchin’ Bitumen is the sports rider’s guidebook to the East Coast of Australia. Featuring many great rides from Tasmania to Queensland, Bitchin’ Bitumen will help you find many of the best scratching roads in the country. Bitchin’ Bitumen $39.95 5
A hilarious guidebook to becoming a legitimate member of the American Biker culture. If you’re into American motorcycles but not sure if you’re a genuine ‘Biker’, the Biker’s Handbook is for you. If you’re just looking for a funny motorcycle book - a look at the crazy stuff American Bikers do - this book is also worth a read.
Biker’s Handbook – $34.99 6
The Last Hurrah
From Beijing to Arnhem, Des Molloy and Dick Huurdeman rode a 40-year old Panther and a 50-year old Norton halfway across the world in a trip which was part odyssey, part idiocy. This is the great story of the trip.
The Last Hurrah – $39.95 7
World’s Fastest Indian
Burt Munro, Indian Legend of Speed, is the definitive guide to the man who inspired many by making an old Indian go so very, very fast. Munro, of course, is the central character of the movie World’s Fastest Indian, which is a must-see film for anyone with an interest in motorcycles.One Good Run is a dramatic recreation of Burt’s life and includes numerous images. Burt Munro, Indian Legend of Speed - $26.95 One Good Run - $29.95
To Order Call 02 4956 9825 Shop online and download the full book catalogue from
DECEMBER 2009 - 41
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 3
www.cycletorque.com.au w ww.ccycletorquuee.ccom m.a .aau
Buy the best motorcycle books directly from Cycle Torque. 1
Riding in the Zone
Riding motorcycles is fun but Ken Condon maintains there is a state of being beyond the simple pleasure of rolling down the road, this book was written to help other riders find that state of being. It’s the experience of being physically and mentally present in the moment, where every sense is sharply attuned to the ride. Your mind becomes silent to the chatter of daily life and everyday problems seem to dissolve, you feel a deeper appreciation for life. Your body responds to this state of being with precise, fluid movements, you feel in balance, your muscles are relaxed, and it seems as though every input you make is an expression of mastery. This is the Zone. Condon has identified all the factors that affect entering the Zone and addresses each one individually, from the development of awareness and mental skills to mastering physical control of the motorcycle. At the end of each chapter are drills designed to transform the book’s ideas into solid riding skills. A companion DVD is included to demonstrate each concept and technique.
Riding in the Zone 2
Big Book of Harley-Davidson Horsepower
Evo, Twin Cam and V-Rod – it doesn’t matter, this book will give you the advice and tips you need to make it run harder. With different stages of tune explained and how to achieve them and also how to handle the increased horsepower, this is a great book if you’re keen to extract more from your Harley. Only $45 3
Doctor Costa Tears & Triumph
Claudio Costa is the doctor who fixes bike racers. He gets them back out there as quickly as possible: Gardner, Doohan, Agostini, Rossi, Biaggi and many others have all been clients. Here Dr Costa takes a close look at what makes riders tick, offering insight into why they ride and race. It also looks at the Clinica Mobile, the travelling hospital founded by Costa. The book is semiautobiograhical, showing us the man behind the medic. Doctor Costa Tears & Triumph - $80.00 4
Get the 2006-2007 edition of the definitive guide to MotoGP, Motocourse when you purchase the current 2008-2009 edition. Essential reading if you want to really know what happened in the world’s premier road racing championships. Contains detailed information from teams, riders and journalists you simply won’t find elsewhere. Superb photography. Also available is the 2007-2008 edition featuring Casey Stoner’s winning year in MotoGP ($119.95).
Only $139.95 for both editions
(2006-2007 & 2008-2009) 5
Covering machines as diverse as the Norton Commando through to Yamaha’s R1, these portfolios are collections of reprints of magazine articles about the featured machine. Each looks at the history of each model and is a great guide to learning the differences between models. Norton Commando Ultimate Guide - $59.50 6
Cycle World’s Manufacturer Guides
One of the world’s most popular motorcycle magazines, Cycle World, has collected it’s tests, features and articles about various brands through the years and put together the collections shown here. If you’ve an interest in the marques and years listed, you’ll find many hours of interesting reading inside. We’re selling the last of the editions in Australia at never-to-be repeated prices. TITLES INCLUDE: Cycle World On Bmw 81/86 • Cycle World On Honda 68/71 • Cycle World On Honda 71/74 • Cycle World Kawasaki Off Rd Bikes 72/79 • Cycle World Yamaha Street Bikes 70/74 • Cycle World Yamaha Off Road 70/74 • Cycle World Yamaha 62/69 Buy one for $19.95 or two for just $29.95! 7
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 8
Some bikes become legends, from Burt Munroe’s Indian to the Easy Rider choppers to anything owned by Steve McQueen or Elvis. This book tells their stories. Lots of modern and old photographs, hardcover, forward by Jay Leno. Legendary Motorcycles – $49.95
To Order Call 02 4956 9825 Shop online and download
the full book catalogue from
www.cycletorque. com.au 42 - DECEMBER 2009
Holiday reading 2 www.cycletorque.com.au w ww.ccycletorquuee.ccom m.a .aau
Buy the best motorcycle books directly from Cycle Torque. 1
This book brings BMW’s legendary motorcycles to life, describing the social and personal forces which brought the machines to life and saw them continue through to the present day, from high-priced exotics to stodgy tourers to the cutting-edge modern machines. Awesome photography.
BMW Motorcycles – $69.99 2
Blood, Sweat & 2nd Gear
Here’s some practical medical advice for motorcyclists delivered with a dry wit. There’s a lot more than just practical first aid here, it’s great background information which is good for any motorcyclist. Blood, Sweat & 2nd Gear – $34.95 3
101 Road Tales
A collection of entertaining columns first published in the USA’s Rider magazine, Clement Salvadori’s tales have been entertaining American riders since 1988. Now, 101 of those engaging Road Tales have been brought together in one book, cleverly illustrated by his long-time friend Gary Brown. Don’t expect a detailed travel guide to places near and far, but rather a guide to the enjoyment of travelling, especially by motorcycle. These tales are spun by an observant and experienced traveller who can make a quick ride on the back roads near his home just as entertaining as a trip across the country.
101 Road Tales – $44.95 4
Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel
This book is written to help motorcyclists prepare themselves and their motorcycle for traveling long distances over extended periods. Whether you are getting ready for a weekend trip beyond your home turf, or for a transcontinental odyssey lasting several years, Coyner’s book details the fundamentals for riding in comfort, safety, and convenience.
Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel – $49.95 5
This book gives you all the ideas and explains the techniques required by every freestyle rider. With 24 key tricks explained, this Australian book will help you dazzle your friends. From basic riding to the toughest tricks, it’s all explained here by the people who pull the sickest air. Ultimate Guide to Freestyle – $19.95 6
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 and the thrilling emotions experienced together. 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 Offical Book $29.95
Tattoo: From Idea To Ink, is an indispensable resource for tattoo artists and collectors alike. The book offers artwork, artists, and suggestions for anyone looking for that perfect piece of art. In addition to a full section filled with original artwork from master tattooists, the book features work by industry legends. Tattoo – $55 8
Covering machines as diverse as the Norton Commando through to Yamaha’s R1, these portfolios are collections of reprints of magazine articles about the featured machine. Each looks at the history of each model and is a great guide to learning the differences between models. Ducati 851 & 888 - $44.95 9
Around the World on a Motorcycle
The year was 1928 when two young Hungarians decided to travel around the world on a motorcycle. Like Robert Fulton, whose circumnavigation of the globe is chronicled in his 1937 book One Man Caravan, Sulkowsky thought his was the first around-theworld journey on a motorcycle. Sulkowsky’s account of his travels, originally published in Hungary in 1937, has recently been translated into English and published with the original photos. Around the World on a Motorcycle $49.95
To Order Call 02 4956 9825 Shop online and download the full book catalogue from
www.cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2009 - 43
44 - DECEMBER 2009
Blue Cotton Marle Jersey RRP $69.95 1
We Love the Skids
Black Cotton Jersey RRP $59.95 1
Atlas Mechanic Shirt
Khaki Cotton Herringbone Twill w/ patches RRP $149.95 1
Wreckers Mechanic Shirt
Indigo / White Cotton Ticking Stripe w/ patches RRP $149.95
98-104 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown 2050 Sydney, NSW Australia http://www.deus.com.au T. +61 (02) 8594 2805
DECEMBER 2009 - 45
XMAS BUYERS GUIDE 2009 ies
Christmas Good 1
DEP BOTTLE OPENER
Looking for that perfect Xmas gift, Dep Pipes has the answer. Dep’s Musical bottle opener plays 2 and 4 stroke motorbike sounds, perfect when opening your 1st beer on Christmas Day. RRP $9.95 2
RHK LIFT STAND
Make working on your bike easier with an RHK Lift Stand. The ultra wide nonslip support top plate provides stability, with 3 heights available depending on your bike.RRP $89.95 3
RHK SCX HANDLEBAR
Made from 7075T-6 Alloy these bars are stronger than the opposition, RHK SCX bars have butted and tapered tube walls to absorb vibration and help with arm pump, available in 3 bends and in 3 colours Red, Blue and Black. Comes with a free bar pad. RRP $99.95 4
RHK XS HANDGUARDS
Available in 7 colours, complete with mounts to suit either 7/8” (Std) or 1 1/8” (Tapered Bars). RHK Handguards feature a unique nylon rotator sleeve that grips around the handlebar inside the mounting bracket, this allows your handguards to rotate on impact when you crash, to avoid breakages. RRP $49.95 5
RHK CUSTOM GRAFIX ID KIT
Customize your bike and riding gear with an RHK Custom Grafix ID Kit. Provide us your name and racing number, choose you favourite colours and we will print you a Custom IK Kit which includes, helmet name and number stickers, assorted number decals, hub decals and mini plates all customized with your racing number. RRP $29.95 6
PROGRIP 788 GRIPS
The 788 Triple Density MX Grip is available in 7 colours. Progrip has designed an even stronger inner sleeve to help minimize grip movement, while providing both a soft gel material and a harder material where needed. RRP $29.95 7
PROGRIP 3450 GOGGLES
Known as the ‘Super Goggle’, the 3450 features a no fog light sensitive lens fitted with tear off posts, triple layered felted foam for unrivalled comfort and a triple layered silicone beaded strap. RRP $89.95 8
2010 PROGRIP TRIBAL GEAR
The 2010 Tribal range comes in 3 colours Black/White, White/Black and Black/ Yellow. Jersey features include, V neck collar, X-large vented panels and fully sublimated colours. Pant features include triple stitching, vented nylon mesh liner, heavy duty oversized zip, cowhide knee and shin panels. Made in Italy.
Jersey $79.95 RRP Pant $269.95 RRP
Available from your local dealer. For more information contact John Titman Racing: www.jtr.com.au Ph: 07 3245 7499
HEAVYWEIGHT T-SHIRTS Many more Mens, Womens & Kids designs available on the website
All designs above are back designs with Grinfactor logo on the front. Available Med-XXL one shirt $35. 2 for $65. 3 for $95. Kids $25 each
www.grinfactor.net.au RETAIL OUTLETS REQUIRED
46 - DECEMBER 2009
Available from you local Bike Shop
PHOTOGRAPHY was reinvented less than a decade ago when the first mainstream digital cameras started appearing, and now film is, well, dead. Making pictures of bikes in the days of film had its problems, many - but not all - of which have been solved by modern electronics and digital image capture. It’s obvious motorcyclists are keen on photography, too: a quick search of www.flickr.com found over a million images. Just a handful of those are Cycle Torque’s. As I type this Cycle Torque has just two galleries in its photostream – a collection from our recent test of the Victory Hammer S and some pictures from Phillip Island’s MotoGP. The Photostream was set up by Matt O’Connell, one of our occasional contributors and the man behind our current website. Don’t be afraid to check it out – Cycle Torque Magazine’s photostream – and let us know what you think. Carrying camera gear on a bike is always a hassle: as you can imagine we use professional gear, and it’s bulky, heavy and expensive, a combination which makes carrying it on bikes a hassle at the best of times – often we simply can’t take the gear we’d like to, so lately I’ve been looking at some of the new gear available which is more compact and versatile but still offers excellent quality. Recently I purchased the Olympus E-P1, (pen.olympus.com.au) three lenses and a flashgun. This new generation camera is about the size of a large compact camera, but its four-thirds sensor is huge compared to a compact, which means much better quality. The lenses and external flash add bulk, of course, but the whole kit is so much lighter and more compact than our Canon gear it’s seriously not funny. Of course, just like computers, digital cameras are out of date moments after you buy them, and recently Olympus announced the E-P2, which addresses the main shortcomings of the E-P1 – the new model has better auto focussing and the option to add an electronic eye-level viewfinder (on the E-P1 you have to use the screen on the back) and it can also accept an external microphone for video recording (essential if you want quality sound). But for what I bought the E-P1 for – scenics, static shots of bikes I’m on the road with, home video, it’s excellent, if a little expensive. If you want to shoot action shots of bikes though, you need more grunt. Canon’s new EOS 7D looks awesome. While it’s not cheap - you’re looking at three grand with a lens the specifications are amazing. Eight frames per second, 18 mega pixels, fast auto focus, excellent low light capabilities and all in a relatively compact body, at least when compared with any Canon EOS 1-series camera, which are much bigger, bulky, heavier and lots, lots more expensive. It will also accept the EF-S Canon lenses too,
which are smaller, lighter and cheaper than the standard ‘full frame’ lenses. A 7D with the new 18-135mm EF-S Canon lens covers a big range with just a single lens, and would be very suitable to shooting moving motorcycles at a reasonable price compared with just a few years ago – and you can also shoot video with the same kit! Youtube.com, flickr.com and a host of other sites are going to explode with great user-created content in the coming years as people post their images and videos for their friends - and the world - to see. Get into it. AND now a big thank-you to everyone who has downloaded one of our eMags, especially those of you who have done so from the iTunes Store – it’s pushed us through to be the number 1 automotive podcast as I type this (like a hit single, it’s unlikely to stay there for long). I never dreamed we’d crack the #1 spot in front of so many car titles, but we have. The eMag title is also featuring on the iTunes Store Podcast ‘New & Notable’ section, too, so readers who go straight to podcasts within iTunes can see it easily. If you haven’t checked out the eMag, audio podcasts and video podcasts, just go to iTunes on your computer (it’s a free download from Apple. com if you don’t already have it), click on ‘Store’ in the left hand navigation and search for Cycle Torque in the search box on the top right of the screen. You should find all three of our podcast streams there. Hope you like them: criticism, praise and suggestions are all welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address. – Nigel Paterson
DECEMBER 2009 - 47
Cycle Torque Test – Yamaha XVS950 TEST BY
RIDING GEAR: Zeus helmet, WileyX eyewear, Bikers Club Australia jacket, Cortech gloves, Draggin Metros, Joe Rocket ‘Big Bang’ boots.
With a few changes, Yamaha has revitalised its V-Star. YAMAHA’S successful V-Star range now has a punchy new cruiser in the XVS950 to fill the gap between the 650 and 1100. The new steed in the stable has fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, ceramic composite lined cylinders for excellent heat dissipation and reduced oil consumption and forged aluminium pistons whose light weight and highstrength design help contribute to lower vibration. The 60-degree vee-twin four-stroke SOHC engine has a pent-roof shaped combustion chamber to help improve performance characteristics and roller type rocker arms with needle bearings to keep friction loss to a minimum.
48 - DECEMBER 2009
On the stand
The steel double-cradle frame gives the bike a long, low look and contributes to the overall 2435mm length. This in turn probably helps make the seat height one of the lowest in the class at 675mm. The fuel tank is especially narrow where it joins the seat so no-one is going to have any trouble slinging a leg over this bike and having both feet firmly planted on terra firma. A newly designed large diameter gauge is mounted on the fuel tank giving it a traditional cruiser look. The gauge covers speedo, fuel level warning, oil level warning, two trip meters, fuel trip meter and clock display
with adjustable LCD illumination adjustment.
On the road
Apart from the nice low stance one of the first things we noticed about the XVS950 was the character of the veetwin rumble, partially because of the lack of an engine counter-balancer. Out on the highway the V-Star has a very light feel despite the fact it weighs in at 278kg with a full tank of fuel. Newly designed eight-spoke lightweight aluminium wheels keep things nice and light and the 18-inch front wheel is a good combination for the 16-inch rear. Handling is further enhanced with
injection S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2009 Yamaha xvs950A Engine Type: Air-cooled V-twin Capacity: 942cc Transmission: Five speed/belt drive Fuel Capacity: 17 Litres Frame Type: Steel Seat Height: 675mm Wet Weight: 278kg Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic Rear Suspension: Swingarm Brakes: Single 320mm disc/ Single rear disc Tyres: 130/70-18, 170/70-16 Price (RRP): $13,999 + ORC Call for a quote today Your Motorcycle free CALL
1 800 24 34 64
V-twin engine dominates the bike.
Stylists went for the sleek look on the front end.
Comfy footboards. DECEMBER 2009 - 49
Cycle Torque Test – Yamaha XVS950 – Continued
the 41mm front tubes while suspension duties down the back go to a bottomlink-type monocross shock. Settings are calibrated to give a plush ride which firms up as the suspension is compressed. The new fuel injectors are four-hole, two-directional types which aim spray directly at the valve surfaces to produce better atomisation for faster and more complete combustion and also features an ISC (Idling Speed Control) valve for excellent idling stability. Braking duties are amply handled by the 320mm single disc up front and the 298mm disc on the rear. The five-speed tranny is as smooth and reliable as I’d expect a Yamaha box to be. And the final belt drive adds to the smooth ride. Ground clearance is a reasonable 145mm, but like any cruiser if you’re going to push it hard you’re going to hear grindy grindy noises.
punter who doesn’t really notice the fancy goings-on inside an engine but I do know what I like - and that’s an engine that does what it’s supposed to do when it’s supposed to do it so I can get on and enjoy the business of sheer riding pleasure.
On the wallet
On my mind
Well, I might just be an ordinary
50 - DECEMBER 2009
Over the years I’ve owned a large variety of motorcycles, mostly European and Japanese, and among some of my earliest steeds were an XV750 Yamaha and later on, an XV1000. They were good reliable bikes in their day, but the new XVS950 is like the Starship Enterprise by comparison. Mind you, I had a heap of fun riding the Yamaha 1900 Roadliner to Victoria and back last year, but that’s a whole other story.
Long lasting belt drive makes maintenance easy.
Of course you get the regular twoyear unlimited kilometre warranty but the biggest thing about the XVS950 is its amazing price. With a recommended retail price of $13,999 this bike would have to be one of the best value cruisers on the market. This is a huge amount of motorcycle for a very small pile of dollars so the XVS950 must go to the top of the “must test ride” list. n
TORQUING BACK LETTERS Write A Letter!
WIN A Great Bike Book
This month Nic Wallis-Smith has won a copy of Biker’s Handbook. This hilarious book is about becoming part of the Biker culture - instructive if you want to be involved and enlightening even if you don’t. You can buy a copy for $34.95 by ringing Cycle Torque on 02 4956 9825. Send your letters (and/or great bike pictures) to The Editor, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687 Warners Bay, NSW 2282 or email email@example.com.
On the scrap heap
IT GIVES me great pleasure to launch the 2010 Scrapheap Adventure Ride and I would like your support. Visit www. scrapheapadventure.com.au for registration. I have a six year old daughter, Grace, who has Down Syndrome. This event is a fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Association of NSW. This organisation represents all of these special people and their families across NSW. This will be a fun event run over Easter 2010 at Wanaaring NSW 200k’s west of Bourke. Rules are pretty simple: get an old bike for under $1000, fix it up and ride to the Outback Hotel. There will be more information posted as it comes to hand. The pub is booked for the Saturday Night, April 3rd and will have available: evening meal for $25-30 being a camp oven and breakfast for around $12-15. We will be having prizes and trophies and a raffle as well. I am building up a CB400/4 with a 460 big bore kit and looking for an old XL to harvest the front end and swing arm. We have one guy riding from Townsville on a Yamaha RZ350 with WR Front end and swingarm, and others coming from Adelaide and Melbourne. There is a thread on Advrider, www.advrider.com/forums/ showthread.php?t=519541. Book On-line and pay your suggested donation of $100. If you don’t want to build a bike and want to attend please just donate on the site. We will be using the registrations to plan for meals, fuel availability etc.
I made a mistake! Nothing new in that, I’m human I make them all the time. However this one was monumental. Having attended every motor cycle GP in Australia since 1989, I decided for 2009 I would venture to Malaysia. A mate and I made our way to the Sepang circuit at K.L just before 10.00am on race
day. First issue, an hour plus wait in line to purchase tickets. Second, at the entry gate were asked to surrender all bottled fluids before entry, presumably so they could sell us more inside. Temperature at this time was about 32 degrees C. Thirdly, once inside we were asked to purchase coupons to be used in exchange for food and drinks. Fortunately we decided not to purchase these. I saw a number of people at the end of the day with handfuls of these and nothing to spend them on. Finally after three failed attempts to buy water or beer (we both had two goes at standing in lines that just didn’t move), at 2.30pm we were rewarded with two beers and two bottles of water from the one and only beer vendor at the circuit. My mate missed the entire 250cc race while standing in line. Food outlets were either sold out or had lines that disappeared in the distance. I brought a race program on exiting, which I read on the plane home, the foreword by the Malaysian Prime Minster had me laughing with rage when he stated Malaysians can match the world in international events and wished all fans to enjoy the 1Malaysia warm hospitality. His final comment “1 Malaysia” People First. Performance Now. This may have some meaning to locals but my experience at this event would suggest the people first comment does not extend to people attending this event. The best advice I could offer the event organisers is attend an Australian Moto GP and see first hand how its all done.
Hi Chris, BBS is a bit of an epidemic amongst motorcyclists here in the West of Oz, and unless you the editor at Cycle Torque and others like you do your bit to prevent its spread it could
easily become a plague Australia wide. What is this insidious disease you may be wondering? Big Baby Syndrome. Its causes are obvious and so are the symptoms some of which are: it’s all about me; complaints about the most pathetic and trivial matters; imagined slights; conspiracy theories; general displays of big sooky la la. So what can you the editor do to help prevent the spread of BBS? Simply do not encourage or acknowledge the infected individuals by publishing their whinging pathetic letters in Cycle Torque I specifically refer to Richard Pye’s letter in the September 2009 issue where he has a big cry baby attack because some one asked him to take off his helmet in a petrol station. For goodness sake, so what, get a life Richard, because unless you beamed down from Mars and were not briefed before landing this is a perfectly normal everyday reasonable request why make a fuss just say “oops my flip face is so comfortable I forgot it was on”, remove it, pay and leave. So simple. So to the editor just trash the BBS letters leaving more space for something a little new, clever, entertaining, or complaints of an important and serious nature and please do not further encourage those infected with BBS by also making theirs the letter of the month and awarding a prize. This is akin to tipping poor service in restaurants. So stay alert and you and I and the other readers can all do our bit to stop the spread of BBS.
Regards Nic Wallis-Smith
Hi Nic Because you are having a rant of your own, I think you deserve to get the Letter of the Month – Ed.
DECEMBER 2009 - 51
Thank You To all our listeners, viewers and readers You’ve made Cycle Torque’s eMag Podcast
No.1 ! *
As Cycle Torque went to press the eMag Podcast was the ‘Top Podcast’ in the automotive category on the iTunes Store. By subscribing free to the podcast iTunes will automatically download every issue of Cycle Torque - and our special features, such as the MotoGP special editions – to your computer whenever they become available, for you to read anywhere you have your computer. Our audio and video podcasts are also in the top 100. If you don’t have iTunes, it’s free software you can download to your PC (every recent Mac has it pre-installed) from www.apple.com/itunes. Not only will iTunes let you download Cycle Torque’s audio, video and eMag podcasts free (not to mention nearly 100,000 other podcasts from all around the world) you can also digitise your music collection and purchase music, TV show, movies and audiobooks easily and securely. To find the Cycle Torque podcasts, click on iTunes Store then type ‘Cycle Torque’ in the search field on the top right of your screen. *In its category of Games & Hobbies/Automotive.
52 - DECEMBER 2009
Evolution with passion
BOMBARDIER Recreational Products (BRP) is the company responsible for the worldwide development and distribution for Can-Am, Sea-Doo and Evinrude products, and the ‘Club BRP’ launch of its new products at Queensland’s picturesque Tangalooma Island was a testament to the company’s commitment to its products. Testing the new 800cc and 650cc Outlander ATVs was an opportunity to see what it was like to toss around a modern ‘big bore’ ATV and get an idea how new technology thrown at an ATV can enhance the ride.
The mothership of the Can-Am range is the Outlander 800 which features a Rotax V-Twin fuel injected engine, CVT transmission, power steering (no, I am not joking), independent rear suspension, double A-arm front suspension, front diff Visco-Lok, inboard disc brakes, digitally encoded security system and what is essentially a spar frame to lower the centre of gravity. The Outlander MAX 800R EFI LTD gets all of the above as well as a winch, a removable GPS and cast alloy wheels. New to the 800: new, larger air filter; optimised intake runner; new ECU calibration; new camshafts; new decals and revised coloration; centre-spar impact and scratch resistant skid plate; new front fascia and new XT-model-specific front and rear bumpers.
Jumping aboard the Outlander Max (that has an optional/removable doubling seat) for the first time was quite an eye opener. OK, straight up, we were in sand quite a bit, sweeping along trails, turning left, right, up,
down, over logs, under bridges, the whole shooting match was thrown at us and it was a great test bed for the Outlander. I was curious about the new Dual Mode Dynamic power steering that has different settings and is speed sensitive. Well, the bottom line is that it works, in the deep sand there was no effort in turning from lock to lock but at speed the steering stiffened up so that the machine remained predictable. I got comfortable with the steering system immediately so it was time to start critiquing the motor, brakes and suspension. Well, power wise, as you would expect, the 800cc V-twin was great, the CTV transmission has a low and high setting and in either position the power was obviously not arm snapping but it wasn’t long before you were racing along at a great rate of knots once you get stuck into the thumb throttle, yet, at lower speeds it was predictable and manageable in the low range mode. Handling wise, the 800 was very easy to move around on, it was stable in all the situations I put it in and the brakes were great. Actually, the brakes are fully inboard so no dirt or grit gets into them – great thinking. Even when I had to double someone the 800 carried us both very easily and the handling wasn’t affected too harshly. The V-Twin EFI motor is also used in the Renegade 800R and 500 as well as the Outlander 650 and 500. All up, it was a thumbs up all round for the 800.
Although unchanged for 2010, the 650 shares many of the features that bestow the 800 except the power steering so it was an interesting back-to-back comparison and sure, the steering was definitely harder in the really
tight stuff but I wouldn’t be too critical of the 650 because of that, we have been riding without power steering for a long time… Like most of the Can-Am ATVs, BRP is proud of the fact that the 650 is the most powerful of its class so the 650 lacks nothing in that department but one of the features that I found interesting is the Visco-Lok front differential which according to the blurb, “progressively transfers power from a slipping front wheel to the gripping one.” An interesting concept and although hard to test I did wedge the 650 against a log and try and stop it in its tracks but each time it clawed its way over the obstacle with ease, the only issue was the poor guy sitting in the seat behind me thought we were going to roll over as we bundled our way over the log at an angle (hey, I was there to test, not baby sit….). Like the 800 I found the 650 handled extremely well, the low centre of gravity made it stable at most angles. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t get either bike up on two wheels for any distance or even look like tipping over.
The botton line
Can-Am’s line up for 2010 looks something like this: 4 x 800cc models, 2 x 650cc models, 3 x 500cc models, 1 x 450cc model, 2 x 400cc models, 1 x 250cc and 1 x 90cc. A pretty comprehensive range so there should be something there for a potential customer, from the full on racer to the farmer and almost anyone in between. BRP work hard at and are proud of the features that make Can-Am stand out from its competition and after giving two of its models a pretty hard time I would have to say that if I was in their shoes, I would be proud as well. – Darren Smart
DECEMBER 2009 - 53
Quad Torque Test – Polaris RZR TEST & PHOTOS BY
’s d l r o w e h t d e c u d o r t n i s a h . V Polaris T A e d i s y b e d i s h t u o y t s r fi ALWAYS willing to test the waters, Polaris has built a tough, no-nonsense youth ATV. But in the RZR170, yes in not on, the occupants sit side-by-side in a semi enclosed cockpit which allows the driver and passenger to explore levels of fun not deemed safe on a regular ATV. Polaris makes all kinds of ATVs, from kid’s quads to side-by-side vehicles designed to carry shooters and farmers around in comfort and relative safety. It’s only recently companies like Polaris have decided to introduce Australians to such side-
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by-side ATVs. In the USA this type of vehicle sells in big numbers, obviously no doubt helped by America’s population and also the extent with which shooters and the like can roam the wilderness with gun in hand. But it’s not the first time Australia has seen this type of fun machine. Back in the ’80s, Honda was selling its popular Odyssey which shone for a time and then faded. More importantly, Polaris says its RZR170 is the world’s first ATV designed purely for children and teenagers (12 years plus)
to use. And even though it’s designed for the littler ones among us, it is still possible to squeeze an adult into one as long as you are not over six foot, unless you want to mimic a contortionist.
In the shed
Powered by a 169cc single cylinder four-stroke engine, the RZR is a moderate player in the power stakes. The basic engine is designed to produce enough power to be loads of fun without being high strung. Reliability on any type of fun vehicle is usually pretty high on the
list of buyer’s priorities, and the RZR170 shouldn’t disappoint, considering Polaris’ record in this area. It has a wet-sump for its 1.3 litres of oil, has a Keihin carby, and the 9.4 litre fuel tank will have the young ones charging around all day on a tank. Making it easy to drive is an electric start and CVT transmission, which has reverse gear too. No high/ low range, just forward or back. Basic suspension sits at either end, and is adjustable for spring pre-load only, while hydraulic disc brakes whoa up the wild ponies.
Side on Safety first
Let’s face it, we want to have fun but not at any price. Polaris obviously knows this and has put in place a number of safety features. It might seem basic, but the removable ignition key is the first step – there’s no need for the keys to get into the wrong hands. From there we have daytime running lights, side nets to keep your arms out of harm, three point seat belts, parking brake, full roll cage and even a speed control so ‘responsible’ adults can keep the fun to reasonable levels.
In the paddock
While I was a little too big to enjoy a blast in the RZR170, I did see two teenagers have loads of fun in one. A testament to the user friendly nature of the RZR170 was the fact neither driver had experienced one before, and were quick to explore the limits of it. After the ride both teenagers told me it was not intimidating, especially with the safety features previously mentioned. They also explained the RZR was very stable, due to its wide
wheelbase, and the engine was powerful enough to excite without detracting from the experience. With the teenagers at the helm the RZR170 always looked stable, and even when current Asia Pacific rally champ Cody Crocker jumped in and gave it the berries it still looked stable.
The RZR170 represents a major leap forward in the fun ATV market. Not only is it fun to drive, it’s built tough and you’d have to say it’s got to be the safest youth ATV on the market. It’s not that other youth ATVs are unsafe, it’s just that the RZR170 takes safety to the next level. The normal RRP is $6,495 but for Christmas, Polaris is offering them for $5,995 but only up until December 31. With all Polaris youth products, warranty is six months. Polaris is also throwing in two helmets for free with a purchase of a RZR170. If you want one call 1300 654 142 for your nearest Polaris dealer, or you can visit www.polarisindustries.com.au. n
DECEMBER 2009 - 55
Cycle Torque Feature – Racing the Finke – Pt2
ATV torture test ONE of the unacknowledged risks of doing a high profile race such as the Finke Desert Race is riders become pumped and go too hard and wipe themselves out in the first 20km. Last year on the start line I had five bikes next to me, revving their engines hard and acting like real tossers. I laughed so hard that I stalled my engine but quite happily let the go-hards go. Within 10km I found one of them crashed in the middle of the track. He was battling for a place with another bike and he came a gutsa. I stopped, pulled him and his gear off the track. He was devastated that his Finke was over as he broke his collarbone. I think when there is 456km in this race, finishing safely is a priority. Some people write things on bar pads etc to remind themselves of what is really important. I had a giggle at one, ‘ride safe and finish 1st’, ‘beat any Can-Ams 2nd’, and ‘have fun riding’, 3rd.
The significant stream of traffic heading out to setup in preparation for the start of the race passed through a police Random Breath Testing unit at Deep Well. There’s an amusing though unconfirmed report one race team’s support crew, towing a trailer to one of their fuel stops turned a corner however the trailer, fuel, spares and a quad, all continued in a straight line. They did not discover the lack of trailer for some distance, however an unknown vehicle towed the elusive trailer to the RBT unit. After we selected our fuel stop site at about the 158km mark, we broke out the gear in readiness for the morning. Then tried to set up the sleeping arrangements. I had an air mattress and had brought a new air pump in Alice Springs. The air pump made all the right noises however moved no air. A few guys were camping about 50 meters away – they turned out to be the the film crew from Imparja Television, and no, they didn’t have a pump, cause they had swags, of course! So back to the borrowed ute to lay the seat back and try to make the lumps somewhat comfortable with what I had. Sunday morning dawned cold but clear and before long the buggies started to come through. This was a revelation for me. They would launch off one whoop and fly over several then land briefly before launching again. Sometimes they landed on the wrong camber and their back end would kick round. Some were very close to losing it. It was at this point I realised, I didn’t have a first aid kit, not even a packet of Panadol or band aids. I started praying then for no offs here, please! Our first flash of a two wheeler was Ben Grabham then about 35 minutes later Chris Brenton on his KTM ATV came through. Within six minutes our leading rider, Aaron Ovens pulled in for fuel. He was
56 - DECEMBER 2009
nearly ready to go when “Cowchaser” aka Paul Smith aka 2007 and 2008 Finke Desert Race Champion flew past our fuel stop but still managed to pose for photos with arms and legs spread eagled – pity we weren’t faster as we didn’t have our cameras ready. The only mishap in our whoop section happened on day 1 – a quad slowed to pull off the track and a smart bike rider tried to overtake the quad on the side it was turning. The bike rider’s ego was dented and the quad flattening the sign trying to avoid the bike. Thankfully, no bandaids were required. Down at Finke we found out Mathew Stone had snapped his leg early in the day. He later said his foot slipped off the outer Nerf bar and went under the rear wheel, which stresses the importance of keeping your feet on the foot pegs at all times. If you weren’t asleep at Finke after day one, you were probably partying. Once all our tanks were full, including our gossip tank, it was back to the fuel stop. It was at one detour point, the track had a large number of officials and spectators camp near the detour. As the vehicle turned, the spot lights highlighted a couple, warmly clothed in the doggie position. The fellow appeared like a stunned rabbit, while the lass gave us a big grin and thumbs up. And no, the cameras were not ready…
Day two arrived after a refreshing snooze on my air bed under my doona and the stars. I saw Chris Brenton cruise past as though it was a gentle walk in the park. The Imparja crew, from the next campsite, asked for permission to film us filling our faster riders. Six minutes after Chris, Luke Beechy was our first rider in, followed by Aaron Ovens, five seconds later. These were the closest riders to come through. Lucky there was two of us. Luke’s bike was filled and his goggles cleaned in short order then he was gone. Aaron was ready to go not long after Luke, however the start button did nothing. On closer inspection, we found the battery terminals were still wired up but the rest of the battery was gone. We realised about then, we had no jumper leads. Being so fit after spending the last six weeks sitting around a hospital, some bright spark suggested we push start it. Imparja filmed twin idiots pushing a quad. After two goes, it was over to the loan ute to pull out the battery and get Aaron going that way. Murphy’s law, of course, it was hard to lay our hands on the right tools. As spanners were flying, Aaron kept telling me to “stay clam” and “calm down”. We finally got the engine going. Just as I sighed with relief, the loose terminal shorted it out and the engine stalled. So Aaron insulated the terminals with whatever I could find. Aaron was still saying “calm
down” as we worked with him to get the engine going, and then he was away. Then the Imparja crew thanked us for the track side comedy. We had enough time to find all the tools and things which had been thrown around and to fill the fast fuelers before our next rider came in. Eventually our last rider came through. We successfully fuelled 14 quads, including our two ladies. Once our riders had all been through, we started to pack up. I gave a cheer for paraplegic bike rider, Isaac Elliot, when he flew through. I felt sorry for his support riders who were looking tired and were having trouble keeping up with Isaac. They only had another 155km to go. Isaac demonstrates the old saying, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. By the time the sweep riders came through, we where packed up and so we headed back to Alice Springs via the service road next to the track. On our trip back I was shocked when we came across the skeleton shell of a $350 000 buggy burnt out. Rumor has it the driver hired a helicopter to film his Finke run. The pilot radioed down to the him, “get out quick, you’re on fire”. Apparently the driver just got out then the buggy exploded in flames. This brings me back to our mortality and the harsh reality that money will not guarantee your Finke Desert Race finish. We pulled in at the start/finish line, in the hope of any news, but we were too late. Everyone had packed and gone to get ready for the presentation, except those too drunk to drive and they knew nothing. Our next stop was at Race Motorcycles homestead to drop off some stuff. There sitting in the shed, staring at a KTM quad, was Chris Brenton and his dad. Apparently, the quad didn’t make it home to Alice. We made it back to the motel and I was stoked to find a bunch of very sore riders – at least they knew they were alive! Travis was pleased we had kept him going because he had made it back in 21st position. The Convention Centre for the presentation was packed, full of tired but mostly happy people catching up in the famous atmosphere for the presentation of Finisher’s Spikes and trophies. For many people, this is the last party before the trip home and preparation for next year. Luke Beechy sported a well deserved smile from ear to ear, he was the first quad home. Congratulations for the finishers were shared along with lots of hair raising stories. One rider on the way back to Alice Springs was hooking along and came across a Can-Am stationary in the middle of the track – apparently out of fuel. Unfortunately he hit a rut, and his front wheel clipped the Can-Am’s back wheel. For many first timers, completing the 2009 Finke Desert Race was
the culmination of a dream. The TQA Fuel stop committee is proud to have helped Travis #957, Brad #935, Rio #951, Bignuts #979, Donna # 933 and Jumbo #949 finish their virgin Finke Desert Race run. Back again, Victor #968 and Lond #936 managed to finish in 14th and 15th place respectively. We had long time Finke conquerer on the TQA team, James #967, who has completed the Finke Desert Race many times, most of which he came home in the top 10 quads. Unfortunately, his foot peg came adrift on the home leg but he still finished in 12th this year. This year’s quad ladies conquering the Finke Desert Race included Donna Newman #933, on her virgin run, managing a quick seven hours and 10 minutes (1st quad female home) despite still suffering from torn ligaments in her thumb. Her husband was a pillar of strength for her, helping behind the scenes. Donna is looking forward to doing the race again, you never know, we might even see her husband out on the track next year. The next fastest lady was Chelsea Deboo #938. If there was an award at the presentation for the happiest finisher, I think she would have won it, ’cause she was stoked. Lisa Hoyle #918 – after being timed out last year (while sporting a broken throttle thumb), completed the race in a respectable seven hours 31 minutes this year. The next lady home to gain her finishing spike was the lovely Lindi Van Der Merwe #922. All of these ladies put in a top effort and made it home within the time limit. Well done! Engines seizing, metallic oil, gearbox death and failing recluse clutch systems were the most common DNF problems I heard of this year. Our previous experience with the recluse systems failing on pre-run, led us to ask Woody at Race Motorcycles about them. He confirmed whilst these systems are fantastic in most conditions, they almost always fail in the Finke. The challenge of the Finke Desert Race and the full experience of the atmosphere is addictive. I hope to ride Finke again next year however I am undecided whether the Finke Desert Race is best experienced from a fuel stop or from a bike... But, being on the fuel stop team was very rewarding, we helped our riders achieve their goal of finishing the Finke Desert Race challenge. Even better was having the Quad class winner in our team! – Vivian Hoy
Part 1 in the November issue - online at www.cycletorque.com.au DECEMBER 2009 - 57
N e l d d i M
Cycle Torque Test – Kawasaki Ninja 650 TEST BY
RIDING GEAR: Vemar helmet, Spyke jacket, Spyke gloves, Draggin Camos.
s a h i k a s a Kaw g n i l b i s w e an y t r o p s e in th y l i m a F a j Nin
58 - DECEMBER 2009
PREVIOUSLY known as the ER6F, Kawasaki has put its engineers to work producing a sleek, smick, aerodynamic machine now called the Ninja 650R. Yes, this bike is definitely part of the same bunch we know from the Ninja 250 right up there to the Ninja ZX-14. After a week riding it all over I was simply impressed how easy this bike did the job. This Ninja can be sporty, a tourer or even a commuter.
On the stand – Cycle Torque HQ
Deep in a darkened cave I was given the key to the green menace. ‘Gees, that looks the business’ was my first thought. How good will I look
a j n i N
on this thing…I hoped. With a kerb weight of 200kg I thought, ‘No Way’. It looks too narrow and simply quite small for a 650cc. Check out the muffler, which you hardly notice. The bullet tip pokes out past the belly pan near the rear tyre on the right side of the bike; very tidy. The rear shock is mounted offset to the right of the swingarm (which Kawasaki has done before, but I like it simply because it is different). On the rear bodywork small sections clip out, revealing mounting points which could be used for luggage or pillion hand rails. There are two tie down points for attaching a bag to the seat if you didn’t want the rack etc. Two small cables bolted under the seat, which extend so allowing security of helmets. And the last thing I noticed was bobbins attached to the swingarm allowing a rear bike stand to be attached. All good stuff I thought.
DECEMBER 2009 - 59
Cycle Torque Test – Kawasaki Ninja 650 – Continued
The ride – easy and fun... S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2009 Kawasaki ninja 650R Engine Type: Liquid-cooled parallel twin Capacity: 649cc Transmission: Six speed/chain drive Fuel Capacity: 15.5 Litres Frame Type: Steel diamond Seat Height: 790mm Kerb Weight: 204kg Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic Rear Suspension: Offset single Brakes: 2 x 300mm discs with 2-piston calipers/ Single rear disc Tyres: 120/70-17, 160/60-17 Price (RRP): $10,990 + ORC Call for a quote today Your Motorcycle free CALL
1 800 24 34 64
60 - DECEMBER 2009
I went to sit on the bike and immediately noticed it was not a difficult task as far as seat height. 790mm, quite narrow but comfy enough. At 180cm, the seat to pegs ratio was a little short for me, but I can definitely see riders of less height really liking it. For me, I could just fatten up the seat or modify peg height. Starting up was quiet, but fuel injection made for smooth idle from the outset. The gauges sprung to life; all digital and flash to look at. They are a little confusing as far as the fuel bars when full running into info regarding the digital tacho, but this is minor though. Two trip meters and temperature light. Enough of all this, let’s get the thing revving. And how good does this liquid-cooled parallel twin rev! Kawasaki says it has
53kW and the bike is more than happy to unleash it. It pulls effortlessly from low speeds such as 50km/hr in 6th gear and just keeps on going (66Nm torque). This was surprising. The motor is compact and is surrounded by a lightweight steel trellis frame. Combined with a long steel swing arm and short wheelbase the overall feeling is quite nimble. This engine has previously been criticised for excess vibration, which Kawasaki has dealt with by using rubber mounts/bushings. I felt/heard no such problems. Overall, Kawasaki has tried to keep the bike narrow and with the smooth, sporty curves of the fairing the bike is simply easy to ride and looks good doing it. I commuted around for a good week and had to pull myself into line due to having too much fun in heavy traffic. Twin discs up front stop the thing with
little effort. Brake and clutch levers are adjustable to suit different sized hands, too. I personally had a little trouble sorting out the rear vision mirrors which are hexagonal in shape, but once sorted I got used to them. I used a tank bag all week, which was quite loaded up, and again the bike just did everything well. At 90-odd kilos I did wind up the rear pre-load, which is the only suspension adjustment on the bike. In any event the suspension, along
with the Bridgestone tyres, work well together, combining to allow you to tackle corners with, let’s just say some verve.
The wash up
I really liked the Kawasaki Ninja 650R. It just does everything easy and without fuss. It is a comfortable bike that will be enjoyed by a seasoned rider or a new rider who wants something a little bit bigger than say a 250cc. The only thing is the bike is not LAMS approved. (The LAMS
version is called the Ninja 650RL. And there is now also a LAMS version of the ER-6n called an ER6nL). Mind you Kawasaki obviously knows what it’s doing there with regard to the huge success of the Ninja 250. At around $10,990 plus ORC this bike has sports heritage, good for a weekend tour with the boys but also can pump out the old work commute in comfort. Available in blue or green colour. n
“I really liked the Kawasaki Ninja 650R. It just does everything easy and without fuss...”
Underslung exhaust helps the bike retain clean lines.
Budget single sided shock works well.
Front brakes are not overly powerful, but they are easily up for the job. DECEMBER 2009 - 61
RIDING GEAR: Troy Lee Designs helmet, AXO nylons, Alpinestars boots.
m e n Refi
WHILE THE new KTM 350SX-F Rcaing is getting all the headlines as the latest and most exciting thing to come out of Austria, don’t get too excited, it’s a 2011 model, so you can’t buy one yet anyway. For 2010 KTM is offering refined versions of its 250 and 450 SX-F models: refined, reliable, strong and ready to race and won out of the crate. KTM has a solid place in today’s motocross market and when you take a look across the tracks it’s not uncommon to see a flood of orange bikes sitting in the pits. The Austrian brand is building a strong reputation here in Oz and is big in the mini-bike market, while also taking a larger stake in the big bike market.
The latest version of the KTM 450 SX-F has been around now for a few years and has proved itself to be a very good bike, with bugs polished out over the years while refinements have ensured each succeeding year has been better than the previous model.
62 - DECEMBER 2009
The headline change for 2010 is an all-new transmission. The orange bikes have been running a four speed ’box, but for 2010 KTM has gone for an all new five speed. The new tranny’ helps bring the gears a bit closer and also gives that extra gear for those who like to go all out top gear pinned! A brand-new offset triple clamp replaces the old 18mm-20mm adjustable offset clamp system. The new setup is fixed at 22mm and features a two pinch bolt design on the lower clamp, instead of the old three bolt, for less tension on the bushings in the fork and a smoother overall action. The new 22mm offset ‘choppers’ out the front end gives it more straight line stability, taking away some of the twitchiness that KTMs have been renowned for in the past. The turning prowess of the bike has been slowed up with the longer offset and we found it handled the hardpack turns better than ever. Complementing the new triple clamp is the new steering head design. The front of the frame is now welded 10mm lower. This lowers the bike and brings the centre of gravity down, which
orque Test – 2010 KTM SX-F 250/450
Updates for e r o f e b , 0 1 0 2 e g n a h c g i b the in 2011?
t n e em DECEMBER 2009 - 63
Cycle Torque Test – 2010 KTM SX-F 250/450 – Continued.
helps with all the things we mentioned above with the new clamp setup. Other small changes include new piston rings, DLC coating on the big end of the connecting rod and a thicker crown on the piston.
450 in the dust
450 exhaust has extra can to help reduce noise.
On the track KTMs have a different feel to the Japanese bikes. We wouldn’t say it’s better nor worse, just different to the others. It only took a lap or two and we felt right at home on the big orange rocket. The power is smooth and linear and comes on as soft or hard as you please, and that all depends on how fast you turn your right hand. It’s smooth and easy when you’re out poking around with your mates, but when the gate drops on race day you’ll be taking off like a rocket. Overall we feel that the 450 KTM engine is one of the best powerplants in its class. It seems as though the Austrians haven’t mastered the art of fuel injection as yet but neither the 450 or 250 is at all hindered by having an ‘old technology’ carby bolted on. The big 450 runs like a dream, it doesn’t bog or miss and is very responsive at the crack of the throttle. The titanium exhaust system fitted standard is exceptional for an OEM pipe. It has a noise resonance chamber on the header to reduce the volume level, and conforms to worldwide noise standards without any issues. A quiet exhaust and a responsive, snappy throttle aren’t usually two things you hear in the same sentence but KTM has made it a reality.
Once again the two engines look very different.
The 2010 250 SX-F shares a number of updates along with the 450. The new triple clamp design, and frame modifications are as prominent on its big bore brother. The changes have the same effect on the 250 and we found the little thumper handled the hardpack stuff better than in ’09. The suspension settings are revised for 2010, and the WP forks and PDS shock system receive new internal valving. In stock form we found the setting a touch on the soft side for our 70kg test rider. However once we set the sag and played around with the clickers we came up with a good across the board setting that we would happily take to the race track. The engine on the 250 is where this bike stands out. The power produced by this little ripper is unreal. In stock form it punches out around 38hp at the wheels and it is a lot of fun on the track. This may get you thinking it’s a rocketship between your legs that takes off before you’ve had time to think about where you’re going. Not the case, however its power is very deceptive and creeps up on you quickly. It’s not punchy and aggressive, it’s more like a slow 450, very smooth and linear. The light and flickable nature of the 250 combined with a fast engine like this makes riding the KTM a lot of fun.
At the end of the day we came away with a big grin from the orange machines. We were quite impressed with how the small changes can add up to making these bikes so much more comfortable to ride. The engines stand out over anything else on both the 250 and 450, and the suspension and handling characteristics are coming along in leaps and bounds. Both bikes are very competitive in their classes and make for top class race bikes.n
Both bikes share the same suspension at either end. 64 - DECEMBER 2009
250 engine has quite a different look.
Clean left hand side.
S p e c i f i c at i o n s : 2010 KTM 450 (250) SX-F Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single Capacity: 449cc (248cc) Transmission: 5 speed/chain (6 speed) Fuel Capacity: 8 Litres Frame Type: Steel double cradle Seat Height: 985mm Dry Weight: 104kg (98kg) Front Suspension: 48mm WP USD Rear Suspension: WP PDS Brakes: Single 260mm disc/ Single rear disc Tyres: 80/100-21, 110/90-19 (100/90-19) Price (RRP): $12,795 ($11,795) + ORC www.ktm.com.au
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