The rain is coming down hard, soaking us to the skin even though we’re decked out in the finest waterproof gear known to mankind. And we’re freezing because the temperature has plummeted to somewhere down in the single digits, and there’s a gale blowing that means the wind chill factor is enough to make even a seasoned mountaineer grimace.
This wouldn’t be anything particularly out of the ordinary for the UK if we were testing bikes ‘Up North’ somewhere in the middle of winter, but we’re not.
It’s August and we’re on the south coast – an area that is occasionally laughingly referred to as the English Riviera – and we’re not even on the bikes at this point, but Bill is still slowly turning blue and I’m shivering uncontrollably as I fumble with numb fingers to revive my waterlogged phone.
We’re cowering under Brighton pier, trying unsuccessfully to shelter from the rain which is now coming in almost horizontally, as it often does in this ‘green and pleasant land.’Pleasant my arse – which by the way is soaking wet and in danger of getting frostbite – but definitely green. How could it not be, with all this bloody water falling on it, all the sodding time?
I’m wondering whether my editor at Superbike magazine, and my prospects for becoming his Deputy Editor will be affected if I leave the bikes and take a taxi home when I hear a low growl followed by a string of profanities that border on a severe case of hypothermia induced tourette’s.
Bill is staring at a small metal pipe and the nearly empty space that housed the tiny bit of sodden hash that was in there moments ago. With most of his scarce supply scattered to the wind and lost in the pebbles of Brighton beach, he stares forlornly at the remaining crumbs, mumbling something about death and how he wants to surrender to its dark embrace.
With a manoeuvre straight out of a David Attenborough documentary about exotic birdlife Bill somehow thrusts his head into his armpit while simultaneously summoning flame from a soggy match and emerges with lungs brimmed with smoke, thrusting the pipe into my hands before exploding into a spasm of coughing that threatens to turn him inside out.
Once I’ve stopped my own impersonation of the ageing Marlboro man after his first gasper of the day I let the psychologically warming effects of the assassin’s narcotic take me away to a better place.
That place is where I’ve recently spent three years working for a bike magazine. A place where the sun shines so frequently that you need never look at a weather forecast to plan your next photo shoot. A place where speed limits seem to be only advisory. A place where the weed doesn’t cost a week’s wages for half a week’s supply and where more people seem to smoke it than not.
That place is South Africa.
“For fuck’s sake!” Bill is fiddling with a smouldering hole in his waterproofs where a hot rock has proved that it will always get you, no matter how severe the prevailing conditions. “What the fuck are we doing freezing our tits off under Brighton pier in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the fucking summer!” he yells at nobody in particular.
“Let’s go to the pub,” he adds with what might be the most intelligent thing he’s said all day.
“Let’s go to South Africa,” I reply, surprising myself with this sudden thought that seems to have escaped from my brain through my mouth without any conscious input from me.
Several medicinal pints later it has been agreed that this is indeed a worthy and valid course of action. Although we have what are literally dream jobs – working with the best people on the best bike magazine in the UK, possibly the world – we are both also in the process of being dumped by the women in our lives and always seem to be skint. And wet. And cold.
Three weeks later we’re drinking beer on a BA flight to Joburg with our entire lives stuffed into a couple of suitcases and with enough cash to keep us going for a month or two before starvation and shame sends us scurrying back to Blighty.
This is how Bill and I found ourselves in South Africa, where we ended up working for the nascent Superbike SA, and went on to start 2Wheels magazine that ran for a very enjoyable and successful decade before the world changed and print media began its inexorable decline. The financial crisis of ’08 instigated a chain of events that saw Bill establish this eponymous website and me go into further debt buying enough equipment to start ‘The Bike Show’ that, miraculously, still survives nearly 10 years later.
I will never forget that moment under the pier on Brighton beach towards the end of the 20th century, it was a defining moment in my life. I remember the weather, I remember that it was a two-bike test that we were shooting but I can’t remember who the photographer was and I have only the vaguest recollection that they were two naked bikes. Possibly.
But I remember the pipe, and the calm, warming aura of certainty that enveloped me as the plan for a South African return began to take shape.
I have now known Bill for a very long time, first professionally, and quickly thereafter as a mate. He is in many respects, like me, a bit of an arrogant knobhead, but two things that I have always been guaranteed during twenty-odd years of friendship are – between the epic bouts of whingeing – a massive amount of laughter and an honest, expert and encyclopaedic knowledge of bikes.If you want to know about bikes, then keep reading this website. Chances are you’re going to have a laugh along the way, too.
With over two decades of working together, and a good few years of professional collaboration ahead of us I have many, many anecdotes that I feel it is my duty to record for posterity.
In the telling of these stories I hope to pass on the wisdom I have gained – in this case ‘a hot rock under a cold pier foretells a cool adventure’ – not just about life, but about the thing we all love most – bikes.
In my next Chat I will tell of the scariest winter riding episode I had as Road Test editor at Superbike UK, and the outrageously expensive and monstrously rapid special that so very nearly didn’t make it back alive.
watch The Bike Show on Ignition (DStv ch189) or search The Bike Show on You Tube.
The seventh round of the MotoGP™ World Championship saw a battle of tyre choice, high temperatures and high attrition.
Suzuki’s sole representative for the weekend, Joan Mir, got an impressive start from his 10th place grid spot, going eighth, before very quickly carving through to fourth on the first lap. On the following lap he had made his way into a strong third, which he defended very well against attacks from his rivals. He then briefly moved in a super second place, but on Lap 7 he found himself back in third.As the race wore on, tyre choice became the dividing factor between the field and Mir began to struggle with his medium-medium compounds, especially on the rear of the bike. Despite this, he stayed focused under pressure from the Ducati pairing of Zarco and Miller behind him, holding them off until Lap 16. After that he switched his attention to bringing home the best possible finish; in the closing laps he saw off a chasing Maverick Viñales to achieve a very useful fifth place finish. With this result he also maintains fifth in the Championship standings.Shinichi Sahara - Project Leader and Team Director:
“In spite of only getting 10th on the grid yesterday, as usual Joan made a good start and recovered positions very quickly to get up to the front. Due to the tyre choice and maybe a few other factors, Joan couldn’t keep hold of a podium position, but 5th is still a nice result and it’s very important for the championship, so we’re feeling pleased. There are still a lot of races left this season, it’s a very long championship, so we will work to improve and continue getting strong results. I’ve realised this weekend how important it is to have two riders in the box, for comparisons and for judging the situation, but hopefully Alex will come back for the next race. Anyway, overall, this Top 5 result from Joan has been important for us.”
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager:
“Today we couldn’t replicate last year’s race where we managed a double podium, but last year we had the advantage of better tyre longevity. This time around we couldn’t manage the same durability of the tyres, and this is a pity and a shame for Joan. However, Joan did a very good job to hold onto a Top 5 finish in this difficult race. We will continue pushing and developing, we also have a test here tomorrow which could be useful. So now we’ll be turning our focus towards the next races and trying to build on our championship points. Hopefully at the next round in Sachsenring Alex will be able to rejoin the team and begin riding again.”
“We didn’t make the right decision with the tyres today, I switched to the medium-medium on the grid and then I had to battle against the rear spinning and it was a struggle, especially in the last part of the race. It’s a shame because I felt I had podium pace, but in the end I still achieved 5th place which isn’t bad. I tried my best to manage the situation and stay on the bike. The first four riders in the race had the hard rear tyre and it seems that was the better choice, but we will learn from this mistake - both me as a rider and the team too. Tomorrow we will try a few things and let’s see if there’s something that can help us in the future.”GRAN PREMI MONSTER ENERGY DE CATALUNYA - MotoGP™ Race Classification:
1. M. OLIVEIRA - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 40:21.749
2. J. ZARCO - Pramac Racing - +00.175
3. J. MILLER - Ducati Lenovo Team - +01.990
4. F. QUARTARARO - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - +01.815
5. J. MIR - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +05.325
6. M. VIÑALES - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - +06.281
7. F. BAGNAIA - Ducati Lenovo Team - +08.175
8. B. BINDER - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - +08.378
9. F. MORBIDELLI - Petronas Yamaha SRT - +15.652
10. E. BASTIANINI - Avintia Esponsorama - +19.297
11. A. MARQUEZ - LCR Honda CASTROL - +21.650
12. L. MARINI - SKY VR46 Avintia - +22.533
13. T. NAKAGAMI - LCR Honda IDEMITSU - +27.833
14. J. MARTIN - Pramac Racing - +29.075
15. L. SAVADORI - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - +40.291
I. LECUONA - Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing - 27:01.887 - 17 laps
V. ROSSI - Petronas Yamaha SRT - 25:24.511 - 16 laps
A. ESPARGARO - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 16:52.680 - 11 laps
M. MARQUEZ - Repsol Honda Team - 11:51.134 - 8 laps
D. PETRUCCI - Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing - 08:33.342 - 6 laps
P. ESPARGARO - Repsol Honda Team - 06:49.922 - 5 laps
MotoGP™ World Standings:
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 118
2 Johann ZARCO Ducati 101
3 Jack MILLER Ducati 90
4 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 88
5 Joan MIR Suzuki 76
6 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 74
7 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 54
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 44
9 Brad BINDER KTM 43
10 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 40
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 31
12 Pol ESPARGARO Honda 29
13 Enea BASTIANINI Ducati 26
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 25
15 Alex RINS Suzuki 23
16 Danilo PETRUCCI KTM 23
17 Jorge MARTIN Ducati 19
18 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 16
19 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 15
20 Iker LECUONA KTM 13
21 Luca MARINI Ducati 13
22 Stefan BRADL Honda 11
23 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 4
24 Michele PIRRO Ducati 3
25 Tito RABAT Ducati 1
KTM’s relationship with the world-known Red Bull Erzbergrodeo dates back a few decades already. This long and successful history dates to the event's inception in 1995, with KTM riders taking no less than 16 wins since then. To celebrate the wealth of race success already achieved and with a keen eye on future victories, KTM is proud to introduce the 2022 KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO as a special tribute to the iconic event.
Using the 2022 edition of the wildly successful fuel-injected KTM 300 EXC TPI as a platform, the KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO steps up the READY TO RACE-ability with several race-inspired upgrades. Taking feedback from elite extreme enduro riders into consideration, the KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO is specially built for the toughest offroad terrain across the globe.Featuring a long list of special protection parts, including closed hand guards, clutch slave cylinder protection, a robust skid plate, brake disc guards and radiator protection, the 2022 KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO is developed to withstand the most extreme, jagged rock-hopping scenario.
The 2022 KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO also comes with further additions such as factory wheels with anodized orange hubs, enduro-specific pull straps, radiator fan, mapping select switch, CNC machined triple clamps, a grippier Factory seat and a special frame coating in orange for added racing appeal.2022 KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO – RACE-FOCUSED FEATURES
// Special Red Bull Erzbergrodeo graphics
// Frame finishing coated in racing orange
// Factory wheels with anodized hubs
// METZELER 6 DAYS EXTREME soft tire set-up
// Closed, heavy-duty handguards
// Radiator fan & radiator protectors
// CNC-machined triple clamps
// Factory seat & lightweight skid plate
// Chain guide bracket protection
// SUPERSPROX STEALTH rear sprocket
// Clutch save cylinder protection & orange oil plug
// Front & rear pull straps
// Front brake disc guard
// Solid rear disk & disk guard
// Rear brake safety wire
// Map selector switchJoachim Sauer - KTM Product Manager: “The KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO is a bike 100% built for purpose - and that purpose is to tackle the most extreme of trails like those found at the notorious Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. Receiving all the updates of our 2022 KTM EXC model range, this special edition bike has features developed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders to meet the extreme demands of every hard enduro rider. For 2022 it also comes with a unique set of Red Bull Erzbergrodeo graphics that make it stand out in any paddock. This is undeniably the most READY TO RACE extreme enduro motorcycle on the market – a bike that is fully ready to line up in the quarry and tackle the famous Iron Giant.”
The 2022 KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO will be available in authorized KTM dealers from June 2021 onwards.
After making a final corner pass for victory in the opening FIM Supersport World Championship race on Saturday, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal did exactly the same in the weekend’s second race to take a sensational second victory at MotorLand Aragón. Meanwhile, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel produced an incredible fightback from last on the grid - due to a tyre pressure infringement - to a podium finish in third.
Off the back of his maiden WorldSSP victory, Odendaal lined up third for the second race and immediately took the lead after an incident ahead. Over the opening few laps, the South African dropped to third, but started to reel the top two back in when Cluzel overtook him with six laps to go. The 28-year-old followed the French rider through on the front pair with four laps to go, before a titanic battle for victory ensued.On the following lap, Odendaal made his move at the final corner to take the lead of the race, holding on until the last lap, as Raffaele De Rosa’s Kawasaki got by. However, heading into the last corner, the Evan Bros Yamaha rider fired back up the inside and held on until the line for victory.
Having started from last on the grid and off the back of a disappointing end to the opening race, GMT94 Yamaha’s Cluzel wasted no time in his charge to the front. The three-time winner in Aragón was into the top 10 by lap three, and continued to pick off the riders ahead. With barely two-thirds of the race completed, Cluzel had overtaken Odendaal for the podium places, and just two laps later he had hit the front.It then turned into a four-way battle for the lead, with the 32-year-old dropping back to third in the final moments of the race. Cluzel held off a late challenge from Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer to score a deserved podium finish in third.
Soomer, who had enjoyed a solid first race in which he finished seventh, had already shown his wet weather prowess after two podiums in the Magny-Cours round last year, and was once again right in the mix at Aragón. The Estonian initially dropped back from sixth on the grid, but as the race wore on, his pace continued to improve. Soomer found himself in the lead battle in the closing stages, but just missed out on his first WorldSSP podium of the season by 0.055 seconds, finishing fourth.Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s rookie Dominique Aegerter enjoyed a strong first weekend to open his WorldSSP account. After finishing a sensational second in his maiden race, the Swiss rider put in another fine performance to take fifth, impressive considering he had never ridden the Yamaha R6 in these conditions.
Kallio Racing Yamaha’s debutant Vertti Takala was looking to make amends after falling in Saturday’s race, with the former Ice Road Racing rider using his experience of racing in slippery conditions to take a superb eighth from 18th on the grid.After taking a point in the opening race, Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama enjoyed a lightning getaway in the second race, finding himself in 12th by the end of the opening lap, having started down in 21st. The Indonesian youngster made up more places during the race and recorded his best-ever WorldSSP result in 10th.
ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez, who rode well to fifth on Saturday, was just behind in 11th, with the 18-year-old falling back after an initially strong start, while fellow Spanish rider Maria Herrera, who had finished 12th in Race 1 for the Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team, added more points to her tally for this weekend in 13th.GMT94 Yamaha’s Federico Caricasulo was involved in a first lap incident, which saw him drop to the back of the field. The Italian made some progress, but was too far back to make an impact and crossed the line in 18th.
Steven Odendaal: P1 & P1
Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team“It was the best way we could’ve started the season, with a double win. The conditions today were really difficult. Finally we won the race, it was a nice battle and I took a lot of risks, but in the end I can’t afford to play it safe if I want to win. It was tricky, I’ve never raced the intermediate tyres and I hadn’t even tried them on the warm-up lap, so it took some time to get into the race. Next we go to Estoril, I had a good race there last year so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
Getting key updates that elevate performance across the range, the updated for 2022 KTM EXC model line-up is landing at authorized KTM dealers now. Perfectly mixing cutting-edge technology with enviable handling and READY TO RACE offroad performance, the new line-up is here to master all extremes.
With the 2022 EXC line-up, KTM reconfirms its status as the provider of the most comprehensive and exciting set of offroad bikes on the market. Whether riders are searching for a peerless motorcycle to ace any terrain or equipment to find those extra race seconds, there is no reason to think anything but ‘orange’. The key to this bar-setting versatility is the high standards and the quality that is injected through the updated for 2022 KTM EXC range.Across the new line-up there are two key upgrades to boost performance. All new models receive updated WP suspension settings aimed at offering a firmer and even more planted feel while riding across the gnarliest terrain. The second key upgrade is the addition of new MAXXIS MaxxEnduro tires. After extensive testing, the new tire combo showed improved durability and puncture-resistance and will provide even comfort for extended hours across a myriad of surfaces.
Innovative Transfer Port Injection (TPI) engineering means KTM EXC 2-Strokes are perfectly meeting the increased demands of the modern offroad rider. The three motor capacities guarantee the best choice of horsepower and torque capabilities to suit the rider’s preferences. With the KTM 300 EXC TPI being the flagship model to satisfy any Hard Enduro ambition, it is the 2022 KTM 250 EXC TPI that has come under the R&D microscope featuring revised 13:52 gearing. This modification will help the quarter-liter in terms of traction and front end lift on the most technical sections.The 4-Strokes KTM EXC-F models talk the torque as dependable, reliable, accessible and thrilling fuel-injected machinery. For several years, the symbiosis of 250 handling and 450 power characteristics has positioned the KTM 350 EXC-F as the definitive offroader and the crown remains steadfastly in place. With the now firmer, sportier settings on their WP fork and rear shock, all new KTM EXC-F models come with improved high-speed performance.
KTM’s READY TO RACE mantra is a vital development pathway and the endeavors of racers like Manuel Lettenbichler and Josep Garcia help sculpt the KTM EXC models that make it into the hands of riders around the world. For 2022, KTM has visually emphasized the connection with competition even further through the incorporation of blue colors and the blue seat. The graphics and race plastics ensure that any KTM EXC will not be missed right at the front of the pack.Inherently involved with top-level offroad competition for decades, KTM reaffirms its support to the massively popular amongst racers FIM International Six Days Enduro with the release of the full line-up of revamped 2022 KTM EXC SIX DAYS models. For 2022, KTM designers have gone bold with the introduction of a striking new colorway that perfectly mixes elements of a modern world map with a head-turning retro style. Featuring a long list of race-inspired parts as standard, the 2022 KTM EXC SIX DAYS models are ready to take on the grueling week-long event out of their crate.2022 KTM EXC - KEY RANGE UPGRADES
// Revised WP suspension settings for a firmer & more responsive feel
// Improved oil circulation in the suspension for more consistent feedback
// New MAXXIS MaxxEnduro tires for unmatched grip in all terrains
// New 13:52 gearing giving the KTM 250 EXC TPI added bottom end punch
// Head-turning 2022 colors inspired by the Factory bikes
// Bold design & retro colors for the revamped KTM EXC SIX DAYS line-up
Since the original YZF-R1 changed the face of the Supersport world forever back in 1998, the Yamaha R-Series has gone on to establish itself as the definitive high-performance motorcycle line-up.
Today's range is headed by the flagship R1M – the most advanced production motorcycle ever made by Yamaha – and the R-Series offers track riders a superb choice of machinery including the R1 and R6 RACE, backed up by an extensive range of GYTR tuning parts that enable owners to attain even higher levels of engine and chassis performance. Yamaha is committed to offering the widest choice of Supersport models for all riders, and at the other end of the spectrum the 2-cylinder R3 and single-cylinder R125 are the ideal introduction to R/World for newer track and road riders.
The nature of the Supersport world is changing, and while the more extreme models continue to attract a devoted following of performance-focused riders, Yamaha is further expanding its segment-leading supersport range with the launch of the new R7 that will introduce a new generation of riders to R/World. Yamaha R7: Respecting the legend
No motorcycle would ever dare to compare itself to the original YZF-R7. Only 500 of these full factory race bikes were produced in 1999 to gain homologation for World Superbike and Suzuka 8 Hours. Raced by legendary riders including Noriyuki Haga and Wataru Yoshikawa, the YZF-R7 is considered to be one of the most exotic and desirable Japanese motorcycles ever built.
The new R7 has been named in order to show respect for the original limited edition YZF-R7 superbike. Proudly carrying this illustrious name, the 2021 R7 is a new kind of Supersport that has been created to appeal to a younger audience, and is built to introduce the next generation of riders to the thrills, excitement and pride of ownership that comes with every R-Series.
New Yamaha R7: Adding a new dimension to R/World
While there is always going to be a place for the legendary R1M, R1 and R6 RACE, the arrival of the new R7 makes R/World a reality for many younger riders who yearn for the Supersport lifestyle.
Powered by Yamaha’s outstandingly successful and much-loved CP2 engine that is famous for its strong and linear torque delivery – as well as its reliability and low running costs – the new R7 is ready to shake up the middleweight market. Clothed in exquisitely crafted bodywork and featuring an extremely high specification that includes radial-mount front brakes, inverted forks and an A&S clutch, the R7 is a new kind of motorcycle that offers exciting Supersport performance with outstanding handling and aggressive R-Series style – and all of this at a highly competitive price.
Light, compact and agile, this stunning looking machine is designed to give its rider the highest degree of control and the biggest fun factor in its class – whether they’re riding on the track or on the street. This Supersport really is within the grasp of every rider who wants to be a part of R/World. R7 is a new reality, and it’s ready to attract a new audience and have a significant impact on the Supersport world.689cc CP2 engine: Sports performance with everyday fun
With its clear focus on pure riding excitement, accessibility and affordability, the new R7 represents an exciting new dimension to the R-Series Supersport family. Regarded as one of the most characterful, responsive and reliable designs in its class, Yamaha’s successful 689cc CP2 engine is the perfect powerplant for this new model.
Featuring a 270 degree crankshaft that gives an uneven firing sequence, the 4-stroke inline 2-cylinder DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled CP2 engine delivers strong and linear torque across a wide rpm range, making it a lively performer in all gears and at all engine speeds. Maximum power of 73.4PS (54kW) is produced at 8,750 rpm, and more significantly the maximum torque of 67 Nm is achieved at 6,500 rpm, giving the R7 extremely strong standing start and roll-on acceleration – while the uneven pulses of the 270 degree crankshaft create a very real feeling of mounting excitement as the revs rise.
Dedicated changes to the existing CP2 engine include a new ECU specification and optimised air intake ducts, as well as a revised exhaust design and idealised fuel injection settings. These measures work to enhance controllability and deliver a smooth and responsive throttle response, contributing to the enjoyable torque-rich riding experience of the R7 – while also achieving full EU5 compliance. In addition to these dedicated modifications, the R7 also runs a slightly reduced secondary gear reduction ratio to give a sportier character with stronger acceleration. A&S clutch: Ultimate controllability
A key new feature on the R7’s CP2 engine is the adoption of an Assist & Slipper (A&S) clutch that delivers smoother gear shifting and prevents engine over-rev and rear wheel hop during hard braking, resulting in more predictable and controllable handling when approaching corners.
Another advantage of the R7’s A&S clutch is that it provides a significantly lighter feel at the lever, approximately 33 per cent less than a standard clutch.Optional Quick Shift System: Seamless upshifts for full-on acceleration
R7 riders can choose to have an optional Quick Shift System (QSS) fitted to their new Supersport by the supplying Yamaha dealer. This simple but effective QSS features a switch positioned on the gear shift rod, and when any upshifting movement is detected the ECU instantaneously cuts power to the transmission for a few milliseconds, allowing for faster and smoother full throttle upshifts for even more exhilarating acceleration.
Slim and lightweight frame: Ultra-responsive handling with agile cornering
Slimness and compactness are two of the defining characteristics of the R7, and this new Supersport features a lightweight backbone style frame that is designed to deliver responsive and agile handling together with fast and nimble directional changes.
A rigid mounted aluminium centre brace contributes towards the bike’s sharp handling performance on the track and road, and the high tensile steel frame uses tubing of varying strengths in key locations in order to achieve an idealised rigidity balance. Fully adjustable 41 mm inverted forks: Easily set up for track or road
A great deal of attention has been paid to the design of the R7’s new suspension package in order to achieve accurate front end feel during cornering and braking. The new KYB 41 mm inverted front forks provide a high level of stability together with confident roadholding on racetracks and twisty roads. And to ensure a firm and predictable front end feel, a gravity cast upper triple clamp and forged aluminium lower triple clamp are featured.
The R7 can be set up by the rider to suit different conditions, and these Supersport class forks are fully adjustable for preload as well as compression and rebound damping. With the compression function located in the left fork leg and the rebound function in the right leg, adjustments are quick and easy to make.
For precise handling with accurate feedback the R7’s high specification inverted forks give a steep caster angle of 23.7 degrees with 90 mm trail, and with a compact 1,395 mm wheelbase and a 51/49 front/rear wheel weight distribution, this new Supersport is built to corner hard and fast.
Newly designed link-type Monocross rear suspension
The R7 adopts a redesigned link-type Monocross rear suspension system with damping characteristics and a spring rate, that are designed to suit the sporty character of the bike. Being horizontally mounted, the shock contributes towards mass centralisation that enhances handling agility – and is easily adjustable for preload and rebound damping, enabling the R7 chassis to be quickly set up for track or street use.
Supersport riding position: Clip-ons, rearsets and solo-style rider’s seat
The R7’s sporty riding position is the result of many hours of test riding by factory riders, and the use of clip-ons confirms the bike’s genuine Supersport DNA. After experimenting with a wide variety of bar/seat/footrest configurations, the final result is designed to give a sporty yet adaptable riding position that allows plenty of freedom of body position to master different riding situations – especially race tracks and twisty roads.
An important feature is the seat design which is narrow around the rider’s inner thighs and wider at the rear, allowing maximum freedom of movement. The back sweep and drop angle of the clip-on handlebars and the positioning of the rear sets have been carefully considered in order to realise a tucked-in riding position that enables the rider to achieve optimum control together with the greatest possible aerodynamic efficiency. The ability to tuck tightly into the machine is enhanced by the deeply indented tank cover, and these knee pockets also enable the rider to grip the bike during braking and cornering.
The solo-style seat features a bump-stop design with a passenger pad on top of the tail, and the optional Yamaha Genuine Accessories seat cowl can be easily fitted to the R7 for riders who only go solo.
Radial mount calipers and radial master cylinder: High performance with fingertip control The R7’s genuine R-Series credentials can be seen in the high specification front braking system, featuring radial-mount 4-piston brake calipers that give accurate and uniform stopping power for the ultimate in fingertip control. This advanced front braking system also includes a Brembo radial master cylinder that delivers linear brake pressure for enhanced controllability.
Ultra-athletic dimensions: The search for perfect control
What makes the R7 such an attractive Supersport for a wide range of customers is the fact that it is designed to enable its rider to achieve a high level of control in many different situations. A key element that makes the R7 owner feel truly at one with their machine is its compact and athletic outline that allows the rider to be in charge of the machine, rather than the machine dominating the rider.
With a wet weight of just 188 kg and compact proportions, it means that the bike is highly accessible and riders can become an integral part of this new generation Supersport. Along with its mass centralised design, low frontal area and small moment of inertia, the compactness gives the R7 rider a feeling of total control that helps to elevate their riding and confidence to another level, while at the same time boosting the enjoyment of a trackday experience, weekend ride or daily commute.
Super-slim R-Series bodywork: Reduced air resistance for optimal performance
The key to pushing any Supersport bike through the air most effectively is to keep its frontal area as small as possible, and this is where the R7 has a strong advantage. Its compact CP2 engine is one of the narrowest in the 700cc class, and the minimalist tubular chassis keeps overall dimensions to a minimum. These factors have enabled Yamaha to create the slimmest ever R-Series – that’s even narrower than the R3 and R125 – making the R7 one of the most aerodynamically efficient bikes with a rider on board.
The incredibly small frontal area not only makes the R7 one of the most stunning looking supersport models, but it also pays dividends in terms of performance. Producing the same maximum power as any other CP2-powered Yamaha, the aerodynamic new R7 is capable of achieving a significantly higher top speed.
Evolving R-Series face: Pure and aggressive as ever
With its aggressive twin-eye glare and YZR-M1 MotoGP™ bike style M-shaped air intake, there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the R7 is a fully paid-up member of the R-Series family. The R7 represents the evolution of the R-Series face, and features a single LED headlight recessed within the iconic M-shaped air duct, while LED position lights are located within the twin-eye face – and there’s a new air deflector located at the base of the intake.
Newly designed full LCD instruments
The compact Supersport cockpit features newly designed lightweight LCD instruments with a high-contrast negative mode display that gives clear and easy to absorb information, allowing the R7 rider to focus on the road ahead. Features include gear indicator as well as a shift indicator light, and a QSS indicator when this optional feature is used.
Lightweight 10-spoke alloy wheels
For easy manoeuvrability together with agile handling and responsive suspension action the R7 is equipped with lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels. A high level of traction is provided by a 120/70ZR17 front tyre and a wide 180/55ZR17 rear tyre that deliver stable and confident roadholding when cornering, accelerating and braking.
Compact, high-torque, 689cc, CP2 crossplane technology engine
Ultra-compact design with pure R-Series DNA
Highly aerodynamic full fairing with aluminium lower cover
High specification inverted 41 mm front forks
Link-type Monocross rear suspension with newly designed shock
Lightweight tubular frame with aluminium centre brace for tuned chassis rigidity
Clip-on handlebars and lightweight rearsets with stylish heel guards
Sporty and adaptable tucked-in riding position
Aggressive R-Series twin-eye face with LED position lights
Powerful central LED headlight
Lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels
Radial mount front brake calipers with Brembo radial master cylinder
Supersport cockpit design with full LCD instruments
Central M-shaped front air duct
Powerful front and rear brakes
Slimline 13-litre fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents
R-series style tail
120/70 front tyre, 180/55 rear tyre
Fabio Quartararo braved the changing Le Mans conditions to take third place in the French Grand Prix, reclaiming authority at the top of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Maverick Viñales finished the race in tenth place.
Fabio Quartararo returned to the MotoGP podium this weekend, braving the ever-changing conditions to take third place in a chaotic French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Circuit.
A heroic effort in qualifying saw Quartararo head a Monster Energy Yamaha one-two on the grid but come race day a new challenge was ahead with dark clouds hanging ominously over the Le Mans Bugatti circuit. It was the YZR-M1 of Maverick Viñales who took the early advantage, leading in the early stages, but Quartararo was on a charge as he made his way into the lead on lap three. However, drama was ahead as the rain started to fall. Deciding to pit for his first MotoGP flag-to-flag pit stop at the end of lap five, the Frenchman emerged back on track with the wet tyres fitted in second place with Viñales eighth.
Quartararo returned to the lead on lap nine but was later penalised with a long lap penalty for stopping in Vinales' pit box when swapping machines. Taking it like a champion, the 21-year-old completed the penalty cleanly and continued in second.
Conditions would change yet again towards the end of the race with the track rapidly drying. Quartararo lost out on second to countryman Johan Zarco in the closing stages, crossing the line in third 14 seconds behind the winner. After a solid start to the race, Maverick Viñales ended in tenth place, collecting six valuable points for his championship quest.
The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders endured mixed fortunes in the challenging conditions. Franco Morbidelli fell victim to an opening lap crash while fighting for positions, before re-mounting and finishing 16th, while Valentino Rossi, who started the Grand Prix ninth, fought his way up to seventh before slipping back to 13th after getting caught up in the same incident as Morbidelli. After the flag-to-flag stop, Rossi remained in contention for the top ten, crossing the line 11th at the end of the race.Quartararo’s third place finish sees him re-take the championship lead, sitting one point ahead of Francesco Bagnaia. Yamaha is now second in the constructors’ table and teams’ championship.
MotoGP is back in action in two weeks for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello held across 28-30th May.
Shark Grand Prix of France Race Results:
- Jack Miller - Ducati Lenovo Team
- Johann Zarco - Pramac Racing +3.970
- Fabio Quartararo - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +14.468
- Francesco Bagnaia - Ducati Lenovo Team +16.172
- Danilo Petrucci - Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +21.430
- Alex Marquez - LCR Honda CASTROL +23.509
- Takaaki Nakagami - LCR Honda IDEMITSU +30.164
- Pol Espargaro - Repsol Honda Team +35.221
- Iker Lecuona - Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +40.432
- Maverick Viñales - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +40.577
- Valentino Rossi - Petronas Yamaha SRT +42.198
- Luca Marini - SKY VR46 Avintia +52.408
- Brad Binder - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +59.377
- Enea Bastianini - Avintia Esponsorama +1’02.224
- Tito Rabat - Pramac Racing +1’09.651
- Franco Morbidelli - Petronas Yamaha SRT + 4 laps
- Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda Team +10 laps
- Aleix Espargaro - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +12 laps
- Miguel Oliveira - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +15 laps
- Alex Rins - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +15 laps
- Lorenzo Savadori - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +16 laps
- Joan Mir - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +23 laps
2021 MotoGP World Championship Standings
- Fabio Quartararo - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 80 points
- Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 79 points
- Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing Ducati 68 points
- Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 64 points
- Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 56 points
- Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 49 points
- Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 35 points
- Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 33 points
- Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 28 points
- Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 25 points
- Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 24 points
- Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 23 points
- Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 20 points
- Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 18 points
- Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing Ducati 17 points
- Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 16 points
- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 16 points
- Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 11 points
- Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 9 points
- Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 9 points
- Luca Marini - SKY VR46 Avintia 9 points
- Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 8 points
- Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2 points
- Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing Ducati 1 point
The most complete and most technologically advanced line-up of Motocross and Supercross machinery is here. Featuring models to cater for all competitive needs, the updated KTM SX range is set to cut the dirt and bring the championship-winning experience even closer to riders across the world.
After decades of seamless flow of information from the race paddock to KTM’s production line, the complete 2022 KTM SX range is closer than ever to the bikes winning titles. Engineered on the racetrack, and perfectly meeting KTM’s superior standards for performance in their updated 2022 livery, the new models are the absolute reference for Motocross and Supercross competition worldwide.Built for those who know the importance of a solid technical base, the KTM SX-F model range is the choice of winners. The 2022 4-Stroke range includes three models that take advantage of KTM’s considerable gains in the segment featuring the latest WP XACT suspension technology and advanced tech solutions including Traction Control, Launch Control, variable engine mapping and reliable starters.
The purest definition of advanced motorcycle technology, the 2022 KTM 450 SX-F is an extremely compact package that produces an unrivalled 63 hp in the most effective way possible. The KTM 250 SX-F features unmatched outright speed in a class that pushes the boundaries of performance and the KTM 350 SX-F ideally mixes 250 agility with even more engine grunt.Building upon a legacy of class-leading performance for aspiring and experienced racers alike, the new 2-Stroke range includes three distinct models. A benchmark in the division, the KTM 125 SX is the development of the bike that occupied seven of the 12 top spots in the 2020 EMX125 European Championship. In its updated 2022 trim, the KTM 150 SX can battle with the potent 250 4-Strokes, while the KTM 250 SX is a 2-Stroke powerhouse with the same light feeling.
All full-size 2022 KTM SX models introduce a frame finishing coated in racing orange to further reinforce the proximity to the championship winning machines of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing stars. The updated frame aligns perfectly with the new blue seat cover and the fresh colors in the graphics to emphasize visually the close link to KTM’s Factory machinery.
Complementing KTM’s 2022 SX range is a series of Sportminicycles that share the exact same race-driven development approach as KTM’s full-size Motocross bikes. Junior riders that climb on any of the KTM 50 SX, KTM 65 SX and KTM 85 SX models can do so knowing that they are experiencing class-leading performance, state-of-the-art WP suspension, high-end brakes and minimal weight. For tech-savvy riders, the wheels can start rolling with the 2022 KTM SX-E 5, the latest incarnation of a high-end electric mini-crosser that can grow together with the young rider on it.
Widely recognized for his grit and determination to win, Webb has overcome his share of adversity since earning his first 450SX title in 2019. As the 2020 runner-up in Supercross, Webb missed most of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship due to a back injury and he even had a challenging start to 2021 with a ninth-place finish at the opening round. However, in true champion’s form Webb spent the early part of the season chipping away at the points deficit, as he prepared for a strong comeback in the second half of the series. The 25-year-old from North Carolina entered the final round with a comfortable 22-point advantage in the standings, but that didn’t slow the KTM ace when it came time for the gate to drop at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Webb delivered his eighth victory of the season with a masterful performance; the KTM racer concluded the 2021 series with his 13th podium from 17 races to secure the AMA Supercross 450SX class title, an FIM World Championship. Marvin Musquin furthered a remarkable night for the team as he delivered a strong runner-up performance to give Red Bull KTM Factory Racing back-to-back 1-2 podium sweeps in the final two races.From the last seven seasons, KTM has taken the prestigious AMA Supercross 450SX title on five occasions along with two closely fought runner-up results. The Austrian manufacturer is proud to again demonstrate its READY TO RACE philosophy with this latest success.
Cooper Webb: “It’s been a heck of a year with everything in the world going on, but we dug deep this year and stayed the course. It’s been an incredible journey, a hard-fought season with a lot of hard races but this is all worth it right here. Being a two-time champion is incredible and to get the win tonight is the cherry on top. I’m speechless, this is incredible.”
Ian Harrison – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “This season I think was Cooper’s strongest season – he got his most wins, and the competition was really tough, but he just fought his way through there. What a fighter, he was exceptionally strong at the end of all the races, and he put up a battle with so many guys on the last lap and came out victorious many times. Once we got to round four, he really found his groove and then he took command of the points lead around the middle of the season and there was no looking back. It was truly an amazing season, and it was awesome to be a part of it. Our team, everybody involved, they all did exactly what they needed to and more and we delivered, so I’m super happy.”
Roger De Coster – Director of Motorsports, North America: “There have been many great champions over the years but when it comes to race craft and the really deep desire to win, Cooper is special and he ranks at the very top. Even when it was not necessary to win today – he could have just rode around and 18th would have been sufficient – but he decided he wanted to win the race and it was very impressive how he ended the season. The guy has so much heart, he keeps impressing me time after time and I’m really thankful for that. I’m also thankful for the people that make this possible because of course the rider is the biggest factor in this sport by a long margin, but there are also a lot of people that make this possible that have influence and make a difference in getting there. Especially the people in Austria, also Slovenia with Akrapovic and then all the people in the U.S. like WP Suspension, Carlos (Cooper’s mechanic) and so many other people that have something to do with this championship. I’m just thankful to still be a part of it and witness this awesome racing.”
Robert Jonas - Vice President Motorsports Offroad: “It has been an incredible Supercross season. Cooper fought back to find some impressive consistency week after week and was able to deliver victories when it mattered most to take his second AMA Supercross 450SX Championship. It is KTM’s fifth championship victory in the category and our KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION is proven once again. I’d like to congratulate Cooper and the entire Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team for all of their success in what has been another intense season. Thanks also goes to everyone involved in achieving this victory - including those back at the factory in Austria, KTM R&D, KTM North America and to all of our partners. It’s great for us to be able to reflect on such a memorable season and celebrate this special achievement together.”
Back with an extraordinary line-up in 2021, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP & MX2 teams are looking fast and motivated as they set their sights on the first FIM Motocross World Championship gate-drop of the new season.
Boasting some incredible stats and a wealth of experience, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team will line up with three popular names inside the premier class, MXGP. Jeremy Seewer will remain on the team for a third consecutive season (fourth with Yamaha) and will be joined under the awning by hot new recruits, Glenn Coldenhoff and Ben Watson.
Spearheading the outfit in 2021, five times silver medalist Seewer hopes to steer his YZ450FM to the top step of the podium. "I've finished second in the world five times, two times in MX2, two times in MXGP and one time at the Junior World Championships" the 26-year-old Swiss rider said, "and these are not bad stats, you know, but of course I want to win, and yes, I think I can!"
"Usually, we race in 19 different countries and on different tracks, sand, hardpack, hot, cold, winter, summer, you know, so it's such an open book," Seewer continued, "it just takes a lot, a lot, a lot and at the base, I think it's hard work from everybody."
Seewer's search for World Championship glory will not come without a challenge from his new teammate Coldenhoff. "Yeah, I think there's a lot of hard work," the 30-year-old Dutchman agreed, "not only for myself, but I also think from the whole team. I think I was ready for a big change this year, which I actually did, and I really feel good already within the team. I feel like I have really good people around me, and the goal will always be to get the world title."
While his teammates strive for more race and Grand Prix wins, 23-year-old rookie Ben Watson hopes to soak up their knowledge and experience as he gets set to get his feet wet. "For me it's a really big opportunity, to join the Yamaha Factory MXGP team" he said "and something I'm really grateful for because obviously the beginning of the season in MX2 last year, it wasn't going really the way I wanted and the opportunities to show myself were coming less and less. Fortunately, at the end of the season I found myself and started to ride how I know I can, so it was definitely my time to take this step to the 450."
Yamaha has a strong strategy to develop the next generation of MXGP champions from within its own ranks, and as Watson progresses up the Yamaha Racing pyramid, so too will young Yamaha stars Maxime Renaux and Thibault Benistant as they join title favourite Jago Geerts inside the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for 2021.
"It means a lot to me to become a Yamaha Factory Rider for the MX2 team. For sure, it was a goal. It's the highest team in the MX2 class that we can have in Yamaha" Renaux said.
It's no secret that Yamaha is on the hunt for FIM Motocross World Championship glory as the riders aim to secure the MX2 Championship gold plate while defending Yamaha's title as the MX2 Manufacturer of the Year.
"I will try to fight again for the world title," Geerts stated. "The benefits of staying in the same team for a couple years is you get to know the people very good and we made really some improvements with the bike this year, for sure suspension wise and setup of the bike."
As 21-year-old Geerts gets set to focus on consistency, his 20-year-old teammate Renaux is not holding back… "this year I really want to to get back on the top step of the podium" the Frenchman said, "I want more moto wins, more GP wins, and to do better let's say."
Meanwhile, Benistant is enjoying the move from the GYTR kitted YZ250F to the fully-fledged Factory YZ250FM. The 18-year-old sets his sights on a promising rookie season. "Of course everything is a little bit different," he said, "the engine, suspension, everything is a little bit more strong and to be a rookie, I think I have a little bit less experience than the more older, but it's similar because we have almost the same hours on the bike, just not in the same championship, in MX2 I won't have pressure. I know what I need to do and I'm working for."
The 2021 FIM Motocross MXGP and MX2 World Championships are expected to kick-off on the 13th of June in Orlyonok, Russia.