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June 2017 Welcome to the June issue of Cycle Torque! This month we test Harley-Davidson’s Road King with the new Milwaukee Eight powerplant. It’s bigger, smoother and breathes easier. Kawasaki is back with its venerable Z900, this big naked has been refined and it won’t break the bank either. Smarty bought the YCF BIGY Factory 150E fun bike for the family. Read what got him over the line! Cotton’s reign continues with a rant on adventure bikes and our ex FZ6 Cup trackbike needs a new heart. There’s news, new products and more. Hope you enjoy the issue – Ryan Grubb Digital Editor
CHECK OUT SEASON 4 OF CYCLE TORQUE TV
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Ridden YCF BIGY Factory 150E MX
2017 Harley-Davidson Road King
2017 Kawasaki Z900
Features 44 SHOP TORQUE 55 CYCLE TORQUE BOOK SHOP
Regulars 06 NEWS
46 BIKE STUFF
15 QUAD NEWS
56 MARKET TORQUE
57 RIDE DAYS & TOURS
19 U-TURN Cover Photos: YCF Smarty, Z900 Paterson, HD Grubb 4 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
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Nicky Hayden dead after cycling accident
Nicky Hayden, 2006 MotoGP World Champion has passed away after colliding with a car whilst training in Italy, May 18. Hayden was cycling at the time. After the accident, he was taken directly to a local hospital by ambulance. Following immediate treatment, the American from the state of Kentucky, was then taken to Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena for further treatment and possible surgery, with fiancé, Jackie, and team members beside him. Every effort was undergone in order to provide Hayden with the best possible care, but on Monday 22nd May it was announced he had succumbed to his injuries. Nicky’s brother, Tommy made a statement on behalf of the family: “On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way. “Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. “He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that. “Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. “We will all miss him terribly. “It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. “With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.” Continued > 6 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
Nicky’s World Superbike team, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team also made a statement: It is with great sadness that Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has to announce that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday. Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening (Monday May 22) (3:09 AEST 23.5.17 ) at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side. Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP World Champion with Honda in 2006. As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere. Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky. The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt. The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Patrick Hayden. n cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 7
Horsham MX Nats: Stuck in the mud The latest round of MX nationals at Horsham, May 21 was a muddy affair, the track sodden with lead up rain made for one of the hardest and most challenging tracks in recent times. MX1 CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris turned in his most impressive performance to date, winning both MX1 motos in the tough conditions.
Ferris said it was a thinking man’s track, but he managed to have a “good time” in the mud. “It wasn’t a track that rewarded crazy riding.” “Fortunately the team and I were able to get those right on the weekend.”
KTM’s Kirk Gibbs and Luke Styke finished the round in second and third.
KTM team manager Jay Marmont said “It was great for the team to have both riders on the podium here.
“As a team we worked hard during the week finding little things to create a bit more confidence, but unfortunately the track didn’t allow us to feel all those gains – it was basically just survival mode.” Gibbs had earlier qualified fastest for the round and set the fourth-fastest Go-Pro Super Pole time, but couldn’t quite nail the moto starts he needed to bring his abundant speed to bear. He got tangled with lappers and had a couple of small falls in the first race, but in both cases pushed on with trademark Gibbs grit on his way to 5-2 results. Gibbs wasn’t happy with his performance, he said “the fitness is there and it feels like the speed is there, but I’m not getting away early and it’s too hard to make it up.”
On the other hand, his KTM team mate Luke Styke started well to begin both his campaigns from top-two positions, and despite a fall in the second moto he registered 3-4 finishes. “I changed my program up a little bit in the last few weeks and just set about trying to be more efficient on the bike and it helped a lot.
Continued > 8 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
“My bike was awesome, and the changes we made going into the round improved our balance, too,” Styke said. Kawasaki Racing Team racers Aleksandr Tonkov and Nathan Crawford struggled in the tough conditions.
Tonkov set the fifth fastest qualifying time, but in the opening MX1 race, he crashed at the midway point and bent his handguards into the handlebars, affecting his clutch. He still managed to soldier around the challenging track for seventh.
In the second moto, Tonkov grabbed another solid start and was pushing for third when he again crashed in the rutted, muddy conditions. He regrouped to cross the line in eighth place and eighth overall for the day.
Crawford had a small crash midway through the opening race which forced the 19-year-old to withdraw from the day’s racing in an effort to preserve a niggling wrist injury. MX2 DPH Motorsport’s Wilson Todd was the man to secure the Motul MX2 overall victory and the category’s red plate.
“I knew when I went out for qualifying that there was only one gate that I wanted and that was the inside, so I put in my best effort to get there and it paid off,” Todd said. “It’s awesome to get the championship lead back – I went out there today and I was consistent in the mud and these aren’t conditions that usually suit me so I’m pretty happy.” Incredibly, 16 riders registered a DNF in the first Motul MX2 class race, indicative of the conditions that competitors were forced to contend with.
MX2 rookie, Mitch Evans carried the points leader’s red plate into the round after some sensational racing at rounds two and three. Evans was confident in the mud as he had previously done well in wet conditions but on the day Horsham proved unlike anything he had raced before. “It was a tough weekend, no question,” Evans said.
“Starts here were so important as vision was terrible when behind other riders and my starts weren’t what they needed to be today. “I made a few mistakes and it was hard to even keep it on two wheels in some sections but I was able to keep my bike running and get through the day safely and not lose too many points so that’s the positive. “Hopefully it won’t be as wet at Murray Bridge next week and we can get things back on track there.” n
Round Four Results – Horsham MX1 1st Dean Ferris – 70 2nd Kirk Gibbs – 58 3rd Luke Styke – 58 4th Todd Waters – 55 5th Kade Mosig – 55 6th Kyle Peters – 48 7th Hamish Harwood – 48 8th Alexsandr Tonkov – 47 9th Lachlan Davis – 43 10th Keiron Hall – 40 Championship Standings – After Round Four 1st Dean Ferris – 288 2nd Kirk Gibbs - 243 3rd Todd Waters - 224 4th Kade Mosig - 223 5th Luke Styke - 215 6th Kyle Peters - 182 7th Alexsandr Tonkov - 173 8th Luke Clout - 173 9th Nathan Crawford - 149 10th Keiron Hall - 148 MX2 1st Wilson Todd – 70 2nd Hamish Harwood – 64 3rd Kyle Webster – 58 4th Ricky Latimer – 56 5th Mitch Evans – 50 6th Dylan Wills – 49 7th Jackson Richardson – 46 8th Egan Mastin – 44 9th Aaron Tanti – 42 10th Thomas Ravenhorst – 42 Championship Standings – After Round Four 1st Wilson Todd – 257 2nd Mitch Evans – 246 3rd Jackson Richardson – 224 4th Egan Mastin – 215 5th Hamish Harwood – 213 6th Kyle Webster – 208 7th Dylan Wills - 186 8th Aaron Tanti – 178 9th Ricky Latimer- 168 10th Jayden Rykers - 168
cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 9
2017 Sydney Motorcycle Show returns to Darling Harbour The bi-annual Sydney Motorcycle Show will return to Darling Harbour, with organisers confirming the 2017 event will be held at the all-new Sydney International Convention Centre (ICC), November 24-26. Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive Officer Tony Weber said returning the show to Darling Harbour provided the motorcycle industry with the best possible showcase for its products. “When we toured the venue with our brand representatives late last year we couldn’t help but be impressed by the ICC’s location, wireless connectivity, vast open spaces (all under cover) and stand design potential that such a versatile exhibition area creates,” Weber said. Despite Honda and KTM not being involved with the show in both Melbourne and Sydney over the last two years, Weber hinted at both manufacturers being involved this year. “Our member brands are really enthused about the show and keen to support it,” he said. “That’s always a great sign that we can expect a terrific showcase of what the industry has to offer.” The show also welcomes a new presenting sponsor for 2017, with Shannons Insurance coming onboard. Shannons Insurance NSW Business Development Manager Sheena Watkins said the organisation was excited to partner with the FCAI and Troy Bayliss Events to present Australia’s largest motorcycle show. “Shannons is proud to be the presenting partner of the Sydney Motorcycle Show,” Watkins said. “We are excited to be part of this prestigious event and being back at Darling Harbour at the Sydney International Convention Centre is a fantastic opportunity for everyone.
10 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
“We are also looking forward to showcasing the Shannons Super Rig as the main stage for the expo,” Watkins added. Boasting 15,000 square metres of indoor exhibition space as well as an additional 5,000 square metres of outdoor decking overlooking Darling Harbour the iconic location will provide a unique location for showcasing the latest offerings from the motorcycle industry. Over 100 exhibitors are expected to participate in the event which will unveil the latest new release motorcycles to the Australian market. Event organiser Troy Bayliss said he expected the show to reach exhibitor capacity before the end of the financial year. “Moving the show back to Darling Harbour has proven to be popular with the motorcycle industry,” Bayliss said. “Exhibitor sales are extremely high, and I expect we will be at capacity by the end of the financial year. “This event will bring together the latest products, services, and offerings from all disciplines of the motorcycle industry for consumers to experience in the one place. “We will be announcing some new initiatives in the coming months including a fantastic program targeting new riders,” Bayliss continued. Visitors receive the opportunity to see the latest bikes, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides in the flesh, engage with industry experts, test ride a range of both adults and children’s motorcycles as well as be entertained by a full program of demonstrations, stunts, and special features. Building on the successful 2015 event, the Sydney Motorcycle Show continues to grow under the management collaboration between the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and Troy Bayliss Events. n
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Indian’s Wall of Death Scout
Indian Motorcycles is releasing a very limited run of custom-built ‘Wall of Death’ Scouts to pay homage to the pre-war models used in early 20th century American sideshows. The bike has been customised by Johnny Gee of Antique Motorcycles in Melbourne. Johnny has been a “huge fan” of the Wall of Death, “when I saw the Scout, I thought it was a great platform for a custom bike that celebrates the most dangerous and daring motorcycle show on earth,” he said. Indian will be showing off a fully-customised Wall of Death Scout in each Indian Motorcycles’ dealership around Australia. The Wall of Death became a worldwide phenomenon of speed and fury, drawing massive crowds each time one was set up. It was a spectacle like no other, with lions sometimes being released into the arena to increase the thrill for the spectators, who could already not believe their eyes as they stared down into barrel at riders defying death at high speed. n
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FRENCH DESIGN FUN BIKES
McKenzie leads Aussie SXS Champs Dan McKenzie is currently setting the pace in the Australian SXS Championship Superlite A class. McKenzie has taken out the first two rounds of the Championship. Round two saw an all-Yamaha podium as fellow YXZ1000R driver Ivan Szkut kept McKenzie honest with a close second spot ahead of Tim Liston of Canberra finishing third. The Yamaha YXZ1000R proved to be the most reliable vehicle at the meet and withstood all the punishment the Mount Kembla track had to offer. Big step up and step down jumps provided lots of carnage, however the YXZs finished every race with no damage. “My Eastcoast Powersports service crew had an easy day,” McKenzie said. “All YXZs finished without any repairs on a very rough track.” McKenzie’s form continued with another win, this time at the Gladstone Stadium Short Course, May 20-21. Dan won six out of nine races and once again placed first overall in Super Lite A. “The racing is door to door and the event included racing at night, which is the most exciting racing I’ve experienced this year,” McKenzie said. n
Can-Am out to impress at Finke
The weeks are quickly ticking down again to the biggest off-road race the country has to offer, the Tattersalls Finke Desert Race, June 9-12. Can-Am has 29 side-by-side vehicles entered this year among 50 competitors and the manufacturer has high expectations for a win.
Digital Editor RYAN GRUBB Advertising DENNIS PENZO 0420 319 335 firstname.lastname@example.org Design & production DIONNE HAGAN email@example.com Chief Button Pusher NIGEL PATERSON
BRP, the parent company of Can-Am has teamed up with Polaris again and Yamaha for the first time to offer a support program to the racers.
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Meals, technical support, spare parts, equipment and transport will be provided by the manufacturers toand from- the overnight stay in Finke itself.
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The race itself lasts two days and spans across 500km of the Northern Territory Desert is the toughest competition to date in the CAMS Australian Off-Road Championship. For competitors and supporters, the Tattersalls Finke Desert Race is the most important event in the OffRoad racing calendar, with spectators camping across the desert course eager to see the drivers compete. n
Cycle Torque is published by Motorcycle Publishing Pty Ltd. ABN 91 085 871 147 Printed by RURAL PRESS, NORTH RICHMOND. Print Post approved PP255003/04198 ISSN 1441-8789. Cycle Torque is available from bike shops across Australia. If you can’t find our latest issue, call 0420 319 335. Subscriptions are available. $34.95 per year, call 02 4956 9820 for details. THIS WORK IS Copyrighted. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including electronic, without written permission of the publisher. PLEASE CONTACT THE EDITOR BEFORE SUBMITTING FREELANCE CONTRIBUTIONS.
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The metamorphosis I am writing this column after only having just returned from Sydney Motorsport Park, where I spent the day watching the metamorphosis of three of my mates begin. These blokes* are a few years older than me and while I kind of know them in different capacities, they are all known to each other in slightly different ways. Their bond has been forged through riding bikes together and my connection to them is growing because of it.
involved. I have been a big advocate for this kind of training because I’ve seen firsthand the exponential increase it makes. When I found out the guys were going I invited myself to tag along and take pics. They were going to ride down until I suggested to take a trailer: these days can suck it out of you so it’s nice to break up the driving and I offered to help with anything else I could with CT track gear.
It’s great to see a group of guys who ride together with different riding stories. One has returned after a few years away and is enjoying being rekindled with two wheels; another is bikemad – setting his alarm to ‘sparrow-fart’ when there’s a MotoGP on; and the other has been on his full licence for a few years and has just bought his first big-bike: a Honda VFR1200F.
At the start of the day the guys looked a bit nervous and I suppose that’s the big thing which puts people off from booking a course but the people at Stay Upright did a great job of making everybody feel comfortable. The best advice in the world means nothing if you don’t see yourself as a peer of the people you’re talking to, so it wasn’t long before the guys felt comfortable talking about different things and it was beginning to translate on the road.
Their reasons for riding are the same: the guys ride do a day ride every few weekends and a couple of times a year they throw their betterhalves on the back and spend long weekends visiting the food bowl regions of New South Wales.
It was just before lunch when everything started to click and their confidence grew exponentially. I felt like I was having just as much fun watching the boys open the taps down the main straight and watching them work on getting their braking and turning points more consistent.
Although all three ride big sports-tourers, they each have different challenges to overcome. The returner rider has plenty of experience going fast – he has driven plenty of quick cars but he isn’t really interested in riding with that same fervour. It’s a case being completely confident two-up on a big bike. The race fan has plenty of confidence, enjoys giving it the berries when he can but his technique up until this point has been self-taught, so identifying moments and areas where he can improve is limited. The newest rider, having only recently upgraded, is facing a bike which is 90 kilos heavier, sportier and puts out over thrice the power. He is a bit of a mix of the other two, wanting complete confidence riding two-up and some groundwork in the techniques that enable him to ride faster (and safer) on powerful bikes.
In the afternoon I saw a group of riders who looked consolidated. Sure they made a few mistakes throughout the day but they were riding with the confidence that they’d get it right next time and they did (most times). Again I think I had just as much fun listening to the stories where each got it wrong, why it happened and how they overcame it.
One made the decision to book a Stay Upright course and before two long the other two got
– Ryan Grubb
Speaking over a Big Mac on the way home, the now bond has an extra dimension with each speaking about their massive transformation. They reached the consensus that ‘we’re gonna have to do this once a year’. I hope they do. *Names have been withheld to prevent incrimination from a ‘sickie’.
cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 17
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Ugly Adventure Bikes With their seats in the stratosphere, a severe beating from the ugly stick and all the compromises of a trail bike, you’ve got to wonder why anyone would ride an Adventure bike. I mean, Seriously? 250kg in the bush? No wonder most of them are ridden by poseurs in the big cities, wankers who think they are getting serious when they ride across the grassed nature strip in front of their McMansion… Dirt bikes have incredible suspension despite weighing in at not much more than 100kg. This means you can muscle them along single-track trails, which is what dirt bike riding is all about. Adventure bikes are too wide for single track, too heavy to be muscled by less than four people and too expensive to be allowed to fall over. Seriously, Obi-Wan and his equally-bad-acting mate need slapping, having convinced too many cashed-up geriatrics there is time for them to live out their dirt-bike riding fantasies by buying an overweight, overheight computer on wheels. Seriously, you can leave a bike shop 30K poorer when you ride your new adventure bike out of the showroom, and you still haven’t paid for the lobotomy you obviously need after signing that contract. Seriously, why would you want to own a motorcycle which requires a computer science degree to set-up? More knobs, buttons and dials than the space shuttle, and it takes another knob to ride it! Seriously? Of course, they can’t possibly work properly on the road and off. The ‘dual purpose’ tyres are a giveaway, these things aren’t supposed to handle on the bitumen, and low guards means it won’t work in the mud. And what are you going to do if you get a flat? Half of them don’t have centrestands, so you’re going to lay your bike over on the ground to get the wheel out to replace a tube? What year is this? Why don’t we have tubeless tyres? OK, some do, but by no means all… If you want tube tyres buy a Delorean! Can you believe some of them produce north of 150hp from their massive multi-cylinder powerplants.
150 horses in the bush? Seriously? No wonder they have fat, grippy tyres, you need it to control even 100 horsepower on a loose surface. Of course, 100 horsepower is about what they produce in their enduro modes, where the fancy electronics reduce output to give back control, and you can’t have traction control without fancy electronics. The rider needs control over the electronics because their needs change based upon road surface, rain, load and ability. By keeping the rear wheel under control, adventure bike riders can use a lot of those horses, even offroad, which is a bit of an adrenaline rush. And because they start out heavy and are designed as touring bikes, they can carry a bit - a Serious load in fact. Two people and luggage for the roundthe-world trip can be bolted straight on. Of course the riding position has to be suitable for standing, which means Adventure bikes are quite roomy, and options of thinner seats and lowering kits make them accessible to shorter riders. That same riding position would make you a windsock on a naked bike or enduro machine, so adventure bikes have a fairing, and many of those are quite protective, usually without increasing heat too much. Because you’re able to sit upright it turns out adventure bikes are generally comfortable on the highway, their big engines eating the miles effortlessly and that riding position being perfect for freeway speeds. The weight disappears when you’re travelling a decent speed too, so while they might not be suited to single-track off-road work, they can easily be ridden hundreds of kilometres in a day if you’re using the top three gears. Turns out this could be Serious Fun. If you’re serious about going everywhere and anywhere, carrying a load and doing it day-in and day-out, there’s nothing better than an Adventure Bike. Seriously. – Norman Cotton firstname.lastname@example.org
cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 19
CYCLE TORQUE TEST
YCF BIGY FACTORY 150E MX
N BY DARREN SMART
20 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
For 2017 YCF has introduced five ‘BIGY’ models to their extensive range of dirt bikes being made available to the Australian market via an ever expanding dealer network and our ageing test rider in Darren Smart recently got his hands on the YCF BIGY Factory 150E MX. Before we get into the nitty-gritty who and what is YCF? Well, YCF is a French motorcycle manufacturer founded in 2004 by Yannick Coquard, a national motocross rider who practiced on pit bikes in the off-season and Dimitri Bera, an expatriate French technician living in China. Since the launch of YCF, Coquard and Bera have opened a research and development department in France and they also run the distribution for the French market where the brand is extremely popular. In addition to this they are expanding into various global markets including Russia, Colombia, USA, Canada, UK, France, Portugal, Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Ukraine, Poland and obviously Australia through YCF Australia Pty Ltd, a company that has a long-term plan for the brand with all OEM parts
and aftermarket parts available through the YCF dealerships. YCF has its own factory in China where they are able to control the quality and the performance of its entire model range which has attracted riders like Justin Barcia, Romain Febvre, Jean Michel Bayle, Mickael and Zack Pichon, Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin, Jordi Tixier and Jeremy McGrath to name a few. In a nutshell, these are not elcheapo pit bikes, like ones that have flooded the market over the last decade or so. For 2017, YCF have a total of 20 different models from 50cc to 190cc and one Electric Junior dirt bike to offer a range that will suit riders of all ages, sex and size so with all of that in mind I was excited to get a ride on the latest BIGY Factory 150E MX. The BIGY Factory 150E MX features a 2-valve, air-cooled 149.8cc motor which is fed by a Mikuni carburettor with has an all new air-box, electric start and a four speed gear box all tucked into a light and narrow Chrome-Moly ‘Semi-Perimetric’ frame, a 890mm seat height, adjustable upside-down forks Continued > cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 21
CYCLE TORQUE TEST
YCF BIGY FACTORY 150E MX
and shock, disc brakes front and rear with aluminium rims, CNC Hubs and Aluminium Swingarm. After my very first ride I can tell you that this is no ordinary trail bike – the YCF BIGY Factory 150E MX is what I would call ‘serious fun’. It only weighs 84kg and features class leading ground clearance with 14-inch rear and 17-inch front wheels so when I want to rail berms or grab some air-time the YCF takes everything in its stride and here’s the kicker, when my daughter Rebecca or my girlfriend Mandy want to go for a ride the YCF is light and stable while being easy to pickup and re-start if they happen to stall or have a little tip-over. Even with my 90kg frame (plus riding gear) the suspension works exceptionally well while the brakes match the bikes performance without being overly aggressive. Ergos are slim and even at 172cm I find standing on the YCF more than comfortable and transitioning from sitting to standing is no problem. The wide footpegs are what we would expect these days and are quality units but the gear lever over-laps the foot peg a little and that needs a little bit of a rethink as does the chain guard which I took off after the first ride. Motor wise there are no flat spots from idle to redline and letting the motor rev’ out when trying to put in a serious lap time or catch the rider in front of you definitely gave me some serious pace between corners and that is where this bike shines, cornering is an absolute breeze and about as much fun as one can have on a dirt bike. How many dirt bikes are out there that a former Pro rider can share with the women in his life? Well, there aren’t many and I am so impressed with this unit that I have actually purchased the test bike so that Rebecca and Mandy can have something 22 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
light with electric start to ride and obviously to have something that I can pull out of the shed and get angry on at my local track. The base model YCF BIGY starts at $2749.00 (all YCF prices are ride away) and at $3,699.00 the BIGY Factory 150E MX isn’t cheap but when you look at what you are getting for your money compared to some of the Japanese alternatives there is a serious argument in favour of the YCF. Honestly, this bike is serious fun and worth considering. n
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CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 KAWASAKI Z900
Big naked on a budget
Who would have thought getting change out of $15,000 could buy you so much motorcycle? N TESTED BY RYAN GRUBB, PHOTOS NIGEL PATERSON RYAN WEARS AIROH HELMET, WILEYX SUNGLASSES, MOTODRY JACKET, FIVE GLOVES, DRAGGIN JEANS AND FALCO SNEAKERS 24 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
KAWASAKI’s Z900 has such an iconic heritage that it could be held responsible for more wet dreams in the 1970s than Debbie Does Dallas! The cult following spawned around the world thanks in-part to what we mostly take for granted today: an inline four-cylinder engine with double overhead cams. The Z1 (as it was known) of 1972 was the first consumer-produced sportsbike to feature this technology, it was claimed to produce 82 brake horsepower and had a top speed of over 200km/h. In Australia, we have a bunch of rogue filmmakers to thank for further propelling the status of Z900… Get the right people talking about this machine, built some 55 years ago, and to this day you will find it hard getting them to shut up about it! In 2017, the new Zed-9 is a fair departure in style from the early UJM machine with its angular stance and it currently occupies a neither here, nor there place in Kawasaki’s 2017 catalogue. While it replaces the Z800 of 2016, you will still see it parked next to the Z1000 on showroom floors across the country. To an untrained eye both the performance and style of the Z900 and Z1000 seem
to be pretty close to each other. This leads one to question, did the head honchos at Heavy Industries HQ mad a big mistake by not tipping their cap to yesteryear with a modern interpretation of its revered retro? It seems to be the thing to do currently and Kawasaki is certainly late to the party in that respect. In saying that, Kawasaki could well deserve high praise for being ballsy and sticking to its guns. It know what works and it know how to build a high-performance motorcycle well. Why do anything different? After to-ing and fro-ing I still think the Z900 really needs to separate itself from both this and last year’s large-capacity machines to sell well. So let’s take a look at it.
The powerplant The 948cc inline four-cylinder engine is down 95cc compared to the Z1000, which is due to a smaller bore, while the engine achieves the same compression ratio of 11.8:1. Press material shows the power delivery being quite linear, the Zed-9 produces Continued > cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 25
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 KAWASAKI Z900
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a claimed 125 horses at 9,500 and 99 Newtons at 7,700, which is down 12.5 per cent on power and 10.8 per cent on torque. On paper it should be a bit easier to ride on the road, and the Z1000 is great to ride on the road. I expect it should provide more bang for buck in that sense. While it will still be a ‘top-end screamer’ of sorts, the output figures mean riders looking to upgrade from middleweights and supersport 600s shouldn’t find the output too intimidating despite the engine capacity being near enough to 1000cc. Experienced riders coming from a big bike that has a host of technology (whilst never using it) will relish Kawasaki’s ballsy attitude to rider modes and traction control. Z900 riders get one map called ‘Full Throttle’ and two traction control levels called ‘Right Wrist’ and ‘Don’t Overcook It’. I couldn’t tell the difference between them… On a serious note - there are no rider modes on the Z900 and ABS is the only rider backup. So there’s not much to speak about and I’m not sure what to make of it.
On one hand, it’s 2017 and Kawasaki has developed great safety technology. Why not use it? On the other hand, the Z moniker carries great expectations with it. A Zed is supposed to be ballsy. Ballsy riders don’t need any mamby-pamby rider aids. That might appeal to a lot of buyers both new and old. More on that later…
The chassis and styling In 2017 the Z900 receives some significant updates over the model it replaces, namely a new trellis frame which uses the engine as a stressed member. It’s 21 kilos lighter than the 2016 Z800. A new swingarm also contributes to weight saving, and although there are too many differences in the geometries to compare the bikes side-by-side - improved handling should improve as a result of unsprung weight saving. The bike has also received a major update in style from the previous generation, without compromising the aggressive silhouette and imposing aura that Kawasaki dubs Sugomi. There’s a Z pattern LED tail light first seen on this year’s Z650L and if it doesn’t Continued >
26 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 KAWASAKI Z900 ENGINE: Liquid-cooled in-line four-cylinder CAPACITY: 948cc TRANSMISSION: Six-speed DRIVE TYPE: Chain drive FUEL CAPACITY: 17L FRAME TYPE: Trellis SEAT HEIGHT: 795mm WEIGHT: 210kg Wet FRONT SUSPENSION: 41mm upside-down forks with preload and rebound adjustment REAR SUSPENSION: Horizontal back link with preload and rebound adjustment BRAKES: Twin 300mm discs with four piston calipers and ABS, Single 250mm disc with single piston caliper and ABS TYRES: F: 120/70-17; R: 180/55-17 PRICE: $12,499 plus on-roads CALL FOR A QUOTE
1800 24 34 64
cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 27
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 KAWASAKI Z900
28 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
do it for you, I don’t know what will. The trellis frame is an obvious departure in style from earlier twin spar models and I really like the statement Kawasaki has made by painting it candy lime green. There’s new instruments which have three different display modes which cycles through different tachometer styles (needle, bar and hybrid), a gear position indicator, and a programmable shift light. The wheelbase is slightly shorter than the Z1000, it has the same rake but a few millimetres extra trail, a smaller 180-section rear tyre, lower seat height and it weighs 11 kilos less. Brakes and suspension are different too, the Z900 receives slightly lowerspec components, but radial-mount calipers and stepless adjustment suspension would be overkill for the somewhat milder performance.
So far so good… I put over 1000 kilometres on the Zed-9 throughout the time the bike was in for testing and I found it incredibly hard to fault. The standout feature on the new bike has to be its 948cc inline four-cylinder engine, with its butterysmooth gearbox and slip-and-assist clutch. Kawasaki deserves the utmost praise for its linear power delivery. Fuelling is bang on, with smooth throttle response right across the board. It’s a pretty refined bike that has come from good stock. I really can’t believe how easy to ride this Zed nine engine is fast or slow. There’s enough headroom to ride a bit ‘lazier’ and use the torque to your advantage, but you can also ride at those stratospheric revs like a Supersport machine, but faster. It’s the best of both worlds. When you open the taps, you have sheer excitement not only in your hands, but in your ears too. The Z900 is the second bike from Kawasaki which has been designed with its intake howl in mind. Hearing the engine spin up the point where 99 Newtons force 125 ponies to dance is a uniquely Kawasaki experience and something to behold. I can’t fault the way the bike steers, 24 and a half degrees of rake and 103mm of trail is a nice balance between agility and stability. It tips into corners
confidently and picks up well. Providing a bit more trail over the Z1000 while taking some rear tyre width away is a good counter-action, though it could cause a problem or two in rear traction or front-end stability, depending how hard you ride. The hardest of riders might benefit from a steering damper but what I reckon you’d really need is a sportsbike instead. In the city, low speed handling is great: U-turns and lane filtering are a cinch. The rear brake is an improvement upon the Z1000. Weight management and steering geometries are spot-on.
What’s not so good? Big capacity nakeds tend to have pretty stiff uncompromising suspension and while and the Zed nine is on the firm side, I found it to work pretty well. Part of the extensive amount of riding included taking the bike on tour for three days over some of Australia’s best and worst roads. The front complied with every change in surface, while the rear shock took the harshness out of the bumps, and boy were there a few of them.
cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 29
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 KAWASAKI Z900 Both the front and rear are preload and rebound adjustable. I did find a potential issue with the rear shock however. The rear preload was at its softest setting from the factory. I weigh about 110 kilos and static sag was pretty close to perfect for my weight. This could be bad news for anyone who weighs less because the rear spring will be too firm for rougher surfaces and not have enough extension available in the shock’s stroke. Stick it on a nice piece of bitumen or take it to a trackday and you will find it hard to fault. If it’s a problem for you a lighter spring improve the bike enormously. Pulling the bike up are two four piston calipers on 300 mil petal discs. They aren’t the strongest stoppers on the market but they are matched well for the Zed-9’s output. Initial bite is strong and brake feel is excellent through the adjustable lever. ABS is standard and it engages positively. The riding position is slightly forward and into the wind, I found the seat-to-‘peg distance pretty good, same with the seat-to-‘bars. Everything falls to my hands and feet nicely, but I think Kawasaki can slightly improve the bike here too. The seat could do with a bit more padding, the sidestand could be easier to locate and the pegs felt a bit slippery in the wet. So I hear you asking, is that all that’s wrong with the bike? Really there’s not much to fault on the bike Kawasaki has given us… But I am yet to make my mind up over one thing which is more a case of what Kawasaki hasn’t given us…
What’s missing? Besides ABS, for a large-capacity machine to be without any major safety package by the way of electronics in 2017 is puzzling. I think it puts the bike in a precarious position when you consider the overall quality and fierce competition in the sub-$15k big naked segment. One questions whether anyone with enough talent to ride this bike to its full potential might want higher-spec suspension and a touch more braking performance. That will set you back over 15-grand though… And for those without the talent – while the bike is really easy to ride – there may be the thought in the back of your mind - push the bike too hard or lose your concentration and it has the capability to bite you on the bum. 30 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
Does the bike need rider modes? Nope! The engine is so tractable I had no hesitations even riding in the wet. I get that Kawasaki hasn’t added arbitrary modes just for the sake of it. Does the bike need rider aids? Not really… and therein-lies the issue I have trouble getting past. Is ‘not really’ good enough nowadays? I think switchable on/off traction control would take the Z900 to the top spot in the segment, purely because it would make the bike much more suitable for a wide range of riders. You can always turn traction control off if you have it, but if you don’t, well it doesn’t take a rocketscientist to take that to its logical conclusion… However I completely get that there are riders who like their bikes to be ballsy, so part of me really loves the fact Kawasaki has the cojones to make this bike the way it has. People should have the choice to buy an all-out street machine and do whatever they damn-well want with it. If a wobbler doesn’t know where the limit is, do they even deserve to ride a bike with such a legendary status? Fortunately the answer is ultimately up to you, dear reader and/or potential buyer. Because at the end of the day, there’s absolutely no denying Kawasaki has delivered us an exhilarating naked machine and it’s remarkably easy to ride fast or slow for that matter. At $12,499 plus on-roads the Z900 offers the best engine you can buy in a big naked for under $15,000 and it offers plenty of bang for buck across the board. It may not have the same list of features as some others but it’s so close to being that good it doesn’t need them. n
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CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING
The King is dead, long live the King
If you rip the heart out of a bike and replace it with something new, is it the same bike? N TESTED BY NIGEL PATERSON, PHOTOS RYAN GRUBB 36 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
THE KING has had a heart transplant. His faithful but tired Twin Cam 88 has been ripped-out of his chest, with a new muscular Milwaukee-Eight slotted in, breathing new life into old bones. Not that the old bones are really all that old after all, for they were replaced a few years back when the Project Rushmore models were introduced, so really, there’s not much left of the ‘old’ Road King… which dates back to the early 1990s, when the bike was launched to replace the Electra Glide Sport, a silly name for a Harley-Davidson touring bike, and probably the biggest handbrake on the bike’s sales… So as we approach a quarter-century of Road Kings, does this American monarch have a future coming from Donald Trump’s capitalist republic?
The style The smallest of the Harley-Davidson touring bike line-up, the Road King features classic styling which dates back the 1950s with a classic touring screen and hard cases to make it a bagger. Both can be
quickly removed to lighten the look, but you’ll need to get the tools out and remove the crash bars to make it narrower. Up front is a big circular headlight and running lights, wide-spaced forks and a massive mudguard covering the wide 17-inch cast wheel. The 22.7-litre fuel tank has the Harley-Davidsonsignature fake filler cap/fuel gage on the left, unlockable filler cap on the right. In between are the tank-mounted instruments, a big central speedo and an array of hidden idiot lights, only visible when there’s a problem in Houston… As it comes from the factory, the Road King is ready to go on tour – but maybe not too far. The screen is so high even tall riders have to look through it, and there’s no weather protection for hands, feet or legs. Luggage capacity is great for solo or two-up short trips, the panniers swallowing 64 litres of luggage, which is enough for many people most of the time, but there’s no standard way to easily add more luggage – however a journey through the HarleyContinued > cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 37
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING
CHECK OUT SEASON 4 OF CYCLE TORQUE TV
38 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING ENGINE: Liquid-cooled V-twin with four valves per cylinder ‘Milwaukee Eight’ CAPACITY: 1753cc TRANSMISSION: Six-speed DRIVE TYPE: Chain drive FUEL CAPACITY: 22.7L FRAME: Semi double cradle SEAT HEIGHT: 705mm WEIGHT: 379kg Wet FRONT SUSPENSION: Conventional forks REAR SUSPENSION: Softail BRAKES: 32mm-piston fixed front and rear TYRES: F: 130/80-17; R: 80/65-16 PRICE: $33,995 ride-away CALL FOR A QUOTE
1800 24 34 64
Continued > cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 39
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING
Davidson accessory catalogue will turn up options. For day rides and weekends though, the Road King is fantastic. The panniers are easy to use, flipping the lid outward with the latch on the inside of the pannier. Unlike so many conventional panniers, everything doesn’t want to fall out when you open the lid, so using these panniers when you park the bike is a joy – ideal for cameras, hats, handbags and handguns, but you might want to put the change of clothes in a soft overnight bag, because you won’t want to carry the panniers to your hotel room. As I mentioned, they do come off the bike easily, thanks to a pair of hand-operated mounting screws inside each pannier, which is especially handy for accessing the rear shocks’ remote preload adjuster, which I recommend you do when adding a passenger and a load – it’ll make the King a bit more Royal and less like a juggling jester travelling down Australia’s hideous highways. 40 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
A Royal Ride “The King should be plush,” I’m sure somewhere some spokesperson for a monarch has said at some time… Well, I’m not sure what happened, because the Road King doesn’t have the greatest seat in motorcycling, although it’s not actually bad. Indeed, it’s another reason I say the bike is great for day rides and weekends, because it’s only on the long haul you’ll start to wish his Royal Highness was a few millimetres higher. Overall comfort has been improved though, new suspension at both ends going some way to reducing the pounding on our royal derrieres compared to older Road Kings. The riding position is upright and proud. The high handlebars induce a straight back, the slightly forward-set floorboards with heel/toe controls sitting just where you expect.
It’s an easy riding position, the wide ’bars offering leverage when jockeying the big King while being comfortable on the road – at least while the screen is in place. Remove the screen – a 10-second job – and the riding position becomes tiring if you’re on the highway as the wind wants to push you off the back. For this I’d like ’bars a bit lower and wider, but then it might be uncomfortable when the screen goes back on but I at 183cm tall I think it would be worth it. So if I owned a Road King I’d get a smaller screen or lower ’bars for the summer, and go back to stock in the cooler months. It’s somewhat back-to-the-future with the suspension, Harley-Davidson dumping the air shocks at the rear (which hardly anyone ever actually adjusted) for hand-adjustable units. It’s a bit of a shame the knobs can’t be accessed until you remove the panniers but at least you don’t need an air hose. The new 49mm conventional forks use ‘dual bending valve fork technology’. This basically means at low suspension speed the forks are plush, but damping increases if the suspension speed increases – over large bumps and into potholes, for examples, which in turn offers comfort most of the time and control when you need it.
Certainly the 2017 Road King handles bad roads better than ever, being more comfortable and inspiring more spirited riding…The Pudgy King For a motorcycle which tips the scales at 379kg ready to ride, our King didn’t mind trying to keep up with the jokers out there when the time was right. He’s a beast to manoeuvre and feels chubby off the sidestand, but he carries his weight well when charging at the blacktop. Proud and stylish, our new King makes his predecessors look downright pedestrian. For a start, his Milwaukee-Eight motor is making more power and torque than any of his ancestors, his new mill spinning up much more readily than the old, pushing him to higher speeds quicker. The new suspension means more control in the twisties and having a steering damper up front helps, too. The Road King does everything better than you expect for a classically styled, heavyweight touring machine. Even cornering clearance is better than I expected and a big improvement over the other 2017 Harley-Davidson I’ve ridden, the Fat Boy S.Who can stop The King? You can stop The King. It’ll take a bit of a squeeze on the lever and a push on the pedal, but the Reflex Continued > cycletorque.com.au JUNE 2017 I 41
CYCLE TORQUE TEST 2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING Linked Brakes will pull the Road King up, and there’s ABS hidden away preventing lock-ups, too. Optional in some markets, the linked and ABSequipped stoppers are the only way you can buy the bike, but I found them fine. There’s a pair of discs at the front and a single at the rear, all gripped by four-piston calipers. The linking doesn’t kick-in until you reach about 40km/h, so there’s no front end dive if you use a bit of rear brake in a U-turn… and because His Royal Highness is about a mile wide, I don’t recommend filtering. Are you good enough for The King? Well, maybe rich enough is a better question than good enough – your Harley-Davidson dealer will ask you for at least $33,995 plus on road costs for a new Road King, but I don’t think that’s too bad. Being built on the touring line, the Road King is more comfortable than anything other than the even-more-expensive touring bikes, but it’s got the classic 1950s American style. It’s more capable than a Softail in nearly every respect, and doesn’t cost much more than any of them. It’s going to be a great bike for years and years… That’s not to say it’s great value for money. With a $34K Harley-Davidson that’s very much in the eye of the beholder, but if you have a desire to own what could be described as the most classic of the modern Harley tourers, you will love being His Highness’ faithful servant and pilot. n
42 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
A history lesson NEW ENGINES have been coming thick and fast from Harley-Davidson. Last century it took decades for the Motor Company to move from F-Head to Flat Head to Knuckle Head to Pan Head to Shovel Head to Evo. But since the Twin Cam 88 was introduced in 1999 we’ve seen the Twin Cam 96, Twin Cam 103 and now, for 2017, the Milwaukee-Eight. Looked at another way, it’s only the third all-new big twin in 80 years. Harley-Davidson was no doubt developing a new motor to comply with the latest international noise and emission laws, but I’m guessing the company might have also been spurred on by Indian’s 111 Thunderstroke fitted to all the large-capacity machines. The Milwaukee-Eight is being built initially in 107 (1750cc) and 114 (1870cc) cubic inch capacities with four valves per cylinder – Harley-Davidson’s done that before, but only a handful of racebikes have had four-valve-percylinder heads, not streetbikes. The Milwaukee-Eight is powering the touring range in 2017 – Road King, Street Glide, Road Glide and Ultra Limited, but there are some variants to the engine too. The most obvious feature is the capacity, with the CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide getting the larger 114 motor. Some models feature oil-cooled heads while Ultra Limited and CVO Street Glide have liquid-cooled heads.The aims Market researchers told HarleyDavidson that riders wanted more torque in their touring bikes, particularly when carrying a passenger. They also wanted improved cooling and improved reliability without losing the characteristic Harley-Davidson V-twin feel.
Harley-Davidson’s engineers decided to adopt the four-valve, twin sparkplug approach with higher compression and just a single camshaft to make the power, with a balance shaft to control the tingles. The four-valve heads with two sparkplugs allows for faster burning, reducing heat. Much of the heat which is produced is controlled by the oil or liquid-cooled heads, increasing engine longevity and reducing the heat transmitted to the rider. The forked rocker arms and hydraulic tappets actuating the valves should require no maintenance for the life of the engine, which is pretty remarkable. Having a balance shaft is new, but it isn’t designed to cancel out all the vibration, rather to create a HarleyDavidson-like feel without shaking the fillings loose. The balancer works in harmony with the rubber engine-mounts of the touring line-up to create a bike everybody can enjoy. Idle speeds have also been dropping, with the Milwaukee-Eight happy at the lights doing just 850rpm. That’s one of the points of owning a Harley – the Road King shakes and throbs at idle like a big traditional twin should. Roll off the line and the increased torque improves acceleration while the balance shaft and rubber engine mounts induce a level of smoothness which makes the ride enjoyable without being sterile. And in many ways that’s the point of the Milwaukee-Eight – it’s attractive to riders who might otherwise have bought a different brand while being attractive to Harley riders looking to trade-up. n
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METROPOLITAN MOTORCYCLE SPARES
Spare spares It’s no secret these days that it is difficult and expensive to buy genuine motorcycle parts to keep your motorcycle going. Generally you have to find an accommodating dealership with a spare parts manager who is older than the bike you are riding! If you are successful in this, the regular reply will be: “six to eight weeks… Back order from Japan” Which no doubt will turn into four months. Fortunately for the Australian motorcycling community, Metropolitan Motorcycle Spares in Silverwater, Sydney has been stocking and supplying genuine manufacturers parts for over 36 years. With over six million original parts in stock it is no wonder they are the biggest and most successful motorcycle wrecking yard in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s something that makes each of us feel good when we are able to buy genuine parts at a fraction of the cost of new parts and that they are readily available for collection or even more convenient of having them sent to your address. All this can be done from the comfort of your home with a simple phone call or e-mail. Metropolitan Motorcycle Spares can supply new aftermarket smash repair parts like mirrors, blinkers, levers etc. They have a small range of new genuine items for grey import bikes, like CBR250RR and ZXR250, as well as some common smash repair parts for the Hyosung GT range and the Kawasaki 250 Ninja. They also stock a huge range of engines for all late model bikes and they also specialize in motorcycle engines for cars and buggies. They can supply motors with everything to run including electrics, fuel injection, airbox, etc. So next time your pride and joy is in need of repairs or upgrades whether it be a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Hyosung, BMW,Ducati or Triumph, give the crew at Metros a call on (02) 9748 7400 and get it back on the road. n
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Metro saves the day… The Cycle Torque project track bike and ex-FZ6 Cup racer has been sitting around the office for too long without progress. So far, we have re-built the front master cylinder to work with new Venhill braided brake lines. Now they’ve been bled, the bike needs a new battery, new chain, oil, oil filter, and Bob’s your uncle. Resurrected. Brought back to life. Well, things worth doing aren’t easy and this little track bike that could bike certainly gave us some headaches. Luck came into play more than once, scraping bits together to get the bike ready for trackday action. Well, we finally did it, and what a fun hour it was…
motoDNA and I see Nige riding the FZ6 on the back of a trailer. I start to wonder if he got a bit too excited and parked it in the weeds? As I came out of the classroom to go down and find out what happened, Nigel said he heard an awful crunching sound at high revs, deciding to pull the clutch in and hit the killswitch. As he reached the track limit he noticed oil was starting to regurgitate out of the bike. On further inspection, it looks like it has punched a rod through the top of the crankcase. Our day was over. They always go before they blow.
There are a few things you can do in a situation like this: cut your losses and drop it in the lake; replace the engine and go again; or, find a complete bike and use it as a donor. Sure, the easiest option is to replace the engine, but a second-hand bike is worth roughly $3,000 so you can see its appeal. A low-km, second-hand engine is roughly half that plus you get wheels with discs, levers, another tank and so on. It depends on a lot of things which way you go. With a more expensive bike than this one, it won’t take long before it owes you way more than you will ever get back. With the FZ6, most people won’t need the spare wheels and other parts, so we decide to source an engine, opting to fix the tank ourselves and if we find we really need a spare set of wheels, we will burn that bridge when we get to it.
There is only one way to get the ball rolling on stagnant projects which is to organise its first outing. When you have a date set you invariably pull your finger out. So we organised a day out with Mark McVeigh and motoDNA. This is going to be the first time the bike has spun a wheel in over five years, which we were a bit naive to think we only had a little bit of work to do. What followed was a few days of running around like headless chooks. The ‘like new condition’ the tank was bought must have only meant on the outside, because on the inside it is chock-full of rust. We robbed my daily runabout, a later model FZ6R of its tank for a few days. We switched the fuel cap assemblies out too so we only had to worry about one set of keys. Nigel and I set off to Eastern Creek for the maiden voyage. I head out first with basic intentions to take the shine off the new tyres and remove the rest of the surface rust from the discs. If anything is going to fail after five years, it’s most likely to do it now. Reporting back to Nige’ after pulling in early the bike feels good. I came in early to make a few adjustments to the ‘bars and levers. Nigel went out for his first session soon after myself and his pace looked like it was much faster than mine, which gave me confidence everything was running as it should. He came back with a smile from ear to ear, saying the bike felt like it was on rails. That was all I needed to hear to push the bike harder in each session. Both of us were having so much fun on this bike, until tragedy struck…
The disaster Each with about four sessions under our belts, I was upstairs in my classroom session with the guys from
What’s next? We did a bit of research online and saw Metropolitan Motorcycle Spares was wrecking a similar FZ6, so we gave the guys a call and they were happy to help us with a new engine. Track projects like ours is just one way they can help you out. If you have an older second-hand bike you need a few parts for, a lever for a dropped bike, or if major surgery is required I recommend checking them out. At this stage, all we have to do to get back on track is replace the engine, repair the tank, either repair or replace the reservoir cap, fit a steering damper supplied with the bike along with some race bodywork we sourced in the meantime. But without Metro Spares, we would have been well and truly stuffed. – Ryan Grubb
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
Give me a brake
Goodridge and the team from John Stamnas now have the best brake line set-ups to suit the latest ABSequipped motorcycles. From harley-Davidson to Suzuki, sportsbike to offroad bike, Goodridge have a brake line to suit your needs. Price From $85 incl GST. Get them from: John Stamnas More info: 07 5447 7411 www.johnstamnas.com
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We provide a one- stop shop for all your motorcycle,
We provide amule onestop shop for alla browse your motorcycle, and ATV needs. Have through our Virtual Used Bikes Showroom, which displays cross mule, ATV & jet ski needs. Have a browse througha our section of our stock - approx 160 bikes on the floor. Virtual Used Bikes Showroom, which displays a cross We proudly and professionally service later model section of our stock approx 160facilities. bikes All ontypes the of floor. bikes in our- onsite service service is covered including fitting tyres. We carry a full range See our professional team of technicians for all your of accessories and spare parts. We also have a loan service Wemobile. carry a full range of bike serviceneeds. to keep you accessories, and spare • 9 Buckingham Dr Wangara tyres - p 08 9409 2330 • 237 Great Eastern Highway Midland 08 p 9250 2522 parts. We also have a loan bike service to keep you w w w. m a c k 1 . c o m . a u mobile.
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
Chuck me a Motion Pro
Motion Proâ€™s unique, patent pending pivoting angled head design not only allows access to difficult to reach tyre valves, but also provides added hand clearance between filler and hot brake rotors. The 1/4inch NPT female inlet allows use of common air hose couplings and fittings. Anodised blue, billet aluminium construction dramatically decreases the weight and adds precise fitment and function. Price $79.95 Get them from: Good bike shops More info: www.a1accessory.com.au
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
Protect the Zed
Rad Guard has developed a radiator guard for the new Z900 and Z650 Kawasakis. The radiator is in a vulnerable position exposed to rocks and other road debris. Rad Guard design their guards to be robust and still allow the radiator to do it’s job – let air through. The Rad Guard sits off your radiator core by approx. 10-15mm so is able to take the hit of rocks and not just push the guard into your core! Cheap insurance and Australian made. Price Special: $159 (normally $195) Get them from: From Rad Guard Australia More info: 02 6658 0060 www.radguard.com.au
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
Ladies polo shirts
Kawasaki’s ladies polo shirts are designed with performance, style and wearability in mind. They are made of 155 GSM Polyester HexaMesh for breathability and are resistant to fading. Quick dry means you can wash and wear. ‘Kawasaki’ across the chest and back with ‘Kawasaki Finance, Insurance’ and ‘Accessories’ logos stacked on the left sleeve. Australian female sizes 8-18. Full range of men’s polos also available. Price $50. Get them from: Your local Kawasaki dealer More info: http://www.kawasaki.com.au/ dealers/find-a-dealer
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
A new high flow replacement air filter from K&N is now available for both the 2015-2017 Yamaha YZF-R1 and the 2016-2017 Yamaha MT10. K&Nâ€™s HighFlow air Fflter offers low air flow restriction, resulting in increased throttleresponse. The deep pleated K&N cotton media provides a large filtration area offering long service intervals and excellent filtration. This filter is designed to fit directly into the OEM air box without any fitting or cutting required. Price $169.95 Get them from: Better bike shops. More info: 02 9604 3377 www.ctaaustralia.com.au
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
CrossTour comfort Ixon has produced a technical and modern looking pant and jacket set, connected via a full 360 zip. Cut short in the front for ultimate comfort, CrossTour retains the full coverage longer jackets offer while the 3 in 1 concept offers versatility regardless of the weather. Large zipped vents on chest, sleeves and thighs, removable winter liner, removable Drymesh waterproof and breathable line, fixed mesh grid on back for airflow. Plenty of 3M reflective material for safety. Multiple pockets inside and out, including one large pocket on the rear for the liners. Riplan reinforcements in knees - CE Protectors in knees, shoulders and elbows. Avail in SM-4XL. Price Jacket $379.95, pants $299.95 Get them from: Good bike shops More info: ficeda.com.au
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CYCLE TORQUE BIKE STUFF
Anyone who wears a suit to work and rides a motorcycle knows the Genteman’s Ride look isn’t practical. Henty’s CoPilot garment bag looks like a top-notch solution. The Henty CoPilot consists of an outer garment bag, and a spacious grab 20 litre inner utility bag. This means you can throw your suit or work clothes in the garment bag and roll it up around the utility bag, minimising creasing. Price CoPilot Messenger: $319; CoPilot Backpack: $349 Available henty.cc More info: henty.cc
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Who will tell your story? Affordable Media which doesn’t Suck. Adrenalin Images, the name behind Cycle Torque’s TV show, can create everything from press releases to photography to video productions for your business. From individual product shoots at our studios to on-site video productions, talk to the guys who know bikes, cameras and media.
02 4956 9825 www.adrenalinimages.com.au 54 I JUNE 2017 cycletorque.com.au
1. Classic Bike Dreaming
IT’S fourth time lucky for Newcastle author Peter J Uren with his latest tome, Classic Bike Dreaming, yet more stories of an old motorcycle mechanic. It follows in the footsteps of his first three books The Old Mechanic, Dominator in the Shadows and the Classic Bike Workshop. For a new author Peter is certainly making his mark in the publishing world. His latest story follows the plot already developed in the first three books and as each book came out you could see the evolution of Peter’s writing style as he sought to further develop his characters and focus more on building them and their inter-relationships. Be prepared for a bit more of an emotional ride with his latest work as Peter introduces a new, if far more complex character, tangled in a few more social issues. The new character is an Aboriginal of the Kamilaroi mob who is trying to live between two cultures. Peter’s knowledge of the issues involved comes from personal connections who have first hand experience and he has captured the essence of the struggles and issues that are confronted. He has woven a rich story not only about his new character but the impact that this newcomer’s arrival has on the classic bike workshop we’ve come to know. Peter joined Stroud Writers in July 2012 and by September the following year he had written and published his first book. He says that this one is likely to be the last in the series. Price $19.50 plus postage each, or all four for $69.90
2 Riding the road of bones 2 disc DVD set. – $39.99
The 30,000 km motorbike ride from London to Magadan, on the edge of Russia, has been described as one of the most challenging rides in the world. For four long months a group of adventure riders from around the world travelled across a quarter of the Earth’s surface, pushing themselves and their bikes to the limit.
3. Italian Custom Motorcycles – $39.99
Many books have been published about Italian motorcycles, but none has focused exclusively on the Italian motorcycle-based chopper, bobber, trike, and quad custom bike scene – until now.
4. And On That Bombshell – $32.99
I was Top Gear’s script editor for 13 years and all 22 series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig. I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Then I realised that I had quite a few stories to tell from behind the scenes on the show. I remembered whose daft idea it was to get a dog. I recalled the willfully stupid way in which we decorated our horrible office. I had a sudden flashback to the time a Bolivian drug lord threatened to kill us. I decided I should write down some of these stories. So I have. I hope you like them.
5. Eyes Wide Open - Isle of Man – $24.95 37+ miles of pure adrenalin... The ultimate test of man and machine... The world’s most dangerous racetrack... A father and son realise a dream... This is the their story.
6. Weekend Warriors 1 and 2 – $44.95
About five years ago Shaun, Andy and I (Jake) started to run out of places to ride. We were sick of riding the same places time and time again so we decided to pay a visit to the Melbourne Map Centre in Chadstone to see if there was a guide book on the subject. Much to our surprise there was nothing to be found. Sure there were heaps of 4WD and Mountain Bike books but, alas, no trail bike books. The guys in the shop were also surprised, as they had had a lot of enquiries from other trail bike riders. This gave us an idea - why not write our own book? And that is exactly what we did!.
7. Along for the ride – $39.95
Jim Scaysbrook has enjoyed a rich and varied life in which motorcycles have always been the common theme. Itching to follow his father’s footsteps, he began racing at the age of 16 and has since competed in virtually every form of competition, including both motocross and road racing at international level. He has competed on the American professional motocross scene, at the infamous Isle of Man TT, and throughout Asia.
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Cheques or money orders should be made out to Motorcycle Publishing Pty Ltd.
Send your order to: Book Sales, Cycle Torque, PO Box 687, Warners Bay, NSW 2282 Ph: (02) 4956 9820, Fax: (02) 4956 9824
Shop online at www.cycletorque.com.au
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Best deals on new and used Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Honda, Triumph and Ducati. Huge range of tyres, on and off road merchandise and apparel. Modern well equipped service department with dyno room. 244 Goonoo Goonoo Rd, Tamworth, NSW
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HEL BRAKE PADS - NOW AVAILABLE! RACE AND STREET PADS NOW AVAILABLE! HEL Performance have just released their new line of HEL Performance Brake Pads, which feature two options – the Street Pro pads, which are SPD Sport HH+ compound pads recommended for late model sportsbikes, for road and track day performance. The Track Pro pads are designed specifically for the track to meet & exceed the extreme demands of national and international circuit racing with high friction race compound sintered metal pads!
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TORQUING BACK LETTERS
Write A Letter!
WIN A GREAT PRIZE
This month Stuart Hoadley has won a Book from motobooks.com.au. To see what selection of books are available go to www.motobooks.com.au 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
Engine Braking help?
My new zx10r has a choice of different engine braking, what would be best for use in twisty roads, as the engine braking seems to slow my rhythm, so what’s the point of it? Peter Cook, Facebook Engine braking can help you control your speed into a turn, but it’s a bit of a preference thing: when I learnt to ride fast it was on two-strokes. They have little engine braking because they have low compression. Big, modern road bikes have lots… On a twisty road I prefer reduced engine braking. I control my speed with the throttle and brakes, but if you’re the sort of rider who doesn’t like to brake hard into turns you might prefer more engine braking, which tends to reduce the fore-aft pitch of the bike because it’s only acting on the rear wheel. –NP
Just wondered if you might consider sending someone to a ‘try-out day’ to film and report on for the next series, such as Moto Trials, Road Race, Vinduro. You get the idea.… Anyway, just a suggestion. Keep up the good work. Nathan Webster, Facebook Great suggestion. Todd Reed mentioned he is keen to try road racing and we’d love to put someone on a speedway bike! Anyone’s help making this happen would be appreciated. –RG
RIP Nicky Hayden
How do you find the balance in the human race when a talented young man like this is taken away far too soon? You left a very big footprint for such a short visit. Shane Byers, Facebook
A Z900 discussion…
I had a short ride on the z900 a month ago. Great bike for the money. Nimble, refined, comfortable and fun to ride. It’s got enough torque to burble around town at low rpm but once you get above 6,000rpm then things really start to get serious. And IMHO the lack of Traction Control is really not a big deal as the power delivery is so linear and predictable that you’d really have to be ham-fisted to get into trouble with this machine. It’s not as exhilarating in its power delivery as the MT-09 but it feels better put together, has better suspension and handling, was more comfortable (for me), and I particularly loved the throttle response on the z over the MT (2016 model). I haven’t ridden the Triumph [Street Triple] but would expect it to be better than the Zed, but then it costs a bucket load more too… And compared to the z1000 I found the z900 much smoother and more refined, the suspension on the bigger bike was rock solid but harsh. The 1000 was more brutish in its power delivery, which some may prefer; though I reckon the z900 is a better all round bike. Stuart Hoadley, YouTube Thanks for the comment! I haven’t ridden the Triumph yet either. The Z900 traction control discussion is interesting. I think a lot of people will realise what you say… after taking the bike for a spin, it’s not a big deal. Whether they can get over the fact it’s not there is another matter. –RG
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Isle of Man 37+ miles of pure adrenalin... The ultimate test of man and machine... The world’s most dangerous racetrack... A father and son realise a dream... This is their story.
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Available Now. To order call 02 4956 9820 or shop online at www.motobooks.com.au
cycletorque For the Love of Motorcycling
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Published on Jun 1, 2017
In the June issue of Cycle Torque is a full test of Harley-Davidson’s road Road King with the new Milwaukee Eight powerplant. It’s bigger, s...