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Proudly Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha riders podium at the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa

20191207 131119Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho, 05 December 2019

The Proudly Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha team riders, Kyle Flanagan (competing in Gold), Lloyd Kirk (Competing in Gold) and Bruce May (Competing in Silver), as well as the entire bLU cRU support team attended the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa with the goal of taking podiums for the Yamaha team.

Thursday 05 December, 09:00, Round the HousesIMG 20191207 WA0043Thursday morning saw the team take to the streets of Maseru for the traditional Roof of Africa “Round the Houses” event. Kyle Flanagan put on a spectacular show for the crowd in the Gold race as he was battling for second position but would eventually end up in fourth.

Thursday 05 December, Thaba Bosiu, 11:00, Time Trial (Silver and Bronze)

Bruce May took off into the Lesotho mountains and would qualify a solid tenth place.

Thursday 05 December, Maseru Mall, 11:00, EnduroX (Gold only)

Kyle Flanagan, put on quite a show for the crowd the whole day and eventually end up with a solid third place and a great qualifying position for the following day.IMG 20191207 WA0046Lloyd Kirk, who led one of the EnduroX heats would eventually secure a solid ninth place and a good starting time for the following day.

Friday 06 December, Thaba Bosiu, Day one of racing

06:00 saw the start of the racing as Kyle Flanagan, Lloyd Kirk and the rest of the Gold riders took off into Lesotho Mountains for a gruelling 180 Kilometre race.

Kyle Flanagan would eventually take a solid third place for day one just behind his 2019 National Enduro rival Scott Bouverie in second and Wade Young taking first.IMG 20191208 WA0032Lloyd Kirk would unfortunately be forced to pull out of the race due to a severe viral infection and was taken back to the pits by the medics and immediately placed on a drip.

Bruce May took off at 07:00 with the rest of the Silver competitors for a total distance of 158 Kilometres and would eventually take a solid fourth place.

Saturday 07 December, Thaba Bosiu, Day two of racing, The Final day

Once again the Gold riders would take off at 06:00 into the Lesotho Mountains for a total racing distance of 136 Kilometres.

Kyle Flanagan took off, bar-to-bar, with rival competitor Scott Bouverie as Wayde Young started ten minutes ahead of both competitors. Kyle knew he had to ride hard to try close down the time Wade had on him and he set off to do exactly that.

Kyle would eventually secure a third place for the day and a third place overall with a mere three seconds ahead of multiple extreme enduro event winner Graham Jarvis. “I knew I had to push hard today to make sure I closed down the gap and I’m really happy with my overall result. A massive thank you to the entire Proudly Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha team for making this happen” says Kyle Flanagan.IMG 20191208 WA0042Kyle would see that the Gold podium was an all-South African podium, Wayde Young first, Scott Bouverie second and Kyle Flanagan third.

Bruce May would set off into in the Lesotho Mountains with the Silver competitors at 07:00.

Bruce knew he had to push hard this time round to close down the gap and try secure a podium finish.

“Coming into day two my plan was to try ride smoother and continue to push through to achieve a podium finish in the end “says Bruce May. Bruce did exactly that in the end and would secure a third place for the Motul Roof of Africa 2019 Silver class.20191207 133808In conclusion the Proudly Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha team did exactly what they had set out to do and once again secured podium positions with Yamaha’s dominance.

Thank-you must be expressed to the entire bLU cRU team and sponsors for their support throughout the 2019 racing year: Bidvest, AMP, Shoei, Acerbis, RK Chains, Progrip, Yamalube, GYTR, PSP Racing, Metzeler Carbontech, Hayward Suspension and Racestar Graffix.20191207 133847end bike test

Honda Quest True Adventure is an adventure challenge designed to give adventure motorcycle enthusiasts a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the ultimate adventure motorcycle.

44514593 1914864182143678 7280833787154399232 o 1800x1800It's not often that the chance to ride a brand new 2020 Honda Africa Twin across Southern Africa's most beautiful landscapes comes along.

Honda Quest 2020 will give 14 lucky riders the experience of a lifetime and the opportunity to experience the essence of adventure riding. Best of all, two participants of the Honda Quest, will get to keep the bike they competed with.44629760 1915614065402023 7040887965920264192 o 1800x1800Honda Quest is not a race or a rally, it is an adventure expedition, designed to test human endurance and adaptability. It will test your adventure motorcycle riding, mechanical skills, as well as endurance, courage, and resilience against the African terrain. If you long for the road less travelled with like-minded adventurers and you are resourceful, independent, yet mindful of your fellow man, then Honda Quest is for you.

Interested parties must be residents of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or Swaziland and in possession of a valid motorcycle license.

Once again Honda Motorcycles Southern Africa has partnered with Specialised Adventures, a company renowned for their execution of extreme events, to deliver a tough expedition experience where riders will be put to the test in challenging terrain.

After the receipt of entries, 30 applicants will be invited to attend Quest Boot Camp. At Boot Camp the instructors will select 14 finalists, to participate in the Honda Quest True Adventure.

Do you have what it takes?

Entry forms will be available on www.quest-trueadventure.com or www.honda.co.za from February 2020 for Honda Quest True Adventure 2020 - the ultimate adventure motorcycle competition, on the ultimate adventure motorcycle.44979710 1918553325108097 6050024626887589888 o 1800x1800end bike test

BIRCH RETURNS TO MOTUL ROOF OF AFRICA ENDURO LEGEND CHRIS BIRCH HAS SIGNED UP FOR THE ‘MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO’

Chris Birch Chris Birch will be racing for Brother Leader Tread KTM at the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa. The motorsport legend is a multiple New Zealand Enduro overall champion, three time Roof of Africa winner, and the 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs champion. He has also competed successfully in the world’s biggest enduro races like Erzberg, Red Bull Last Man Standing, Hells Gate, ISDE, WEC and EEC.

The wait is over and an orange onslaught on the Kingdom of Lesotho is imminent. The annual Motul Roof of Africa will take place from 4-7 December with a brand new start / finish venue at Thaba Bosiu.  

This has been a watershed year for the event described as the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ as new owner Charan Moore has dared to take the race to places it has never been before.  

To kick off the festivities the traditional ‘Round the Houses’ race will return in 2019 – an event that takes riders through the streets of Maseru. In an attempt to bring the sport to the people, Gold riders will battle it out for a starting position on an enduro cross track instead of a time trial before the two main race days.

Adding a particular sense of excitement to the orange camp is the entry from Chris Birch, who will be racing for Brother Leader Tread KTM. The motorsport legend is a multiple New Zealand Enduro overall champion, three time Roof of Africa winner, and the 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs champion. He has also competed successfully in the world’s biggest enduro races like Erzberg, Red Bull Last Man Standing, Hells Gate, ISDE, WEC and EEC.  

With an unquenchable thirst for adventure, Birch commented, “I’m super stoked to be coming back to race the Roof of Africa. This is one of the ultimate adventures you can do on a dirt bike. The Roof comes with a lot of challenges, but it’s also brought some of the most fun that I’ve ever had on a dirt bike!”Chris Birch in actionAlso on the Brother Leader Tread KTM squad is Scott Bouverie, a household name in the South African world of hard enduro. 

The rider has stepped onto the Roof of Africa podium twice in his career, finished third in the coveted Red Bull Sea to Sky, and placed fifth in Red Bull Romaniacs. He also managed to add his name to the handful of riders that conquered Erzbergrodeo in 2017 – only narrowly missing a top ten finish. 

After pulling out of the 2018 ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ due to an illness, Bouverie is determined to make up for lost time and return to his former Roof of Africa glory on board his trusty KTM 300 XC-W.

“Difficult times have built me as a rider and taught me to ride within my limits. My confidence is back and stronger than ever,” said Bouverie. 

Bradley Cox A new name will be added to the list of elite riders lining up at the Roof of Africa this year - Bradley Cox, who will be entering the Gold Class for the first time in his career. While the multi-disciplined star is more widely known for his cross country and motocross skills, he is fast making a name for himself in South Africa’s world of hard enduro.

“I want to be one of the best enduro riders in the country, and I think I’m slowly on my way up there. I’ve always been known as the ‘motocross or cross country kid’, but I want to start building a reputation as the ‘enduro kid’ too,” said Cox.

Enduro queen Kirsten LandmanKirsten Landman, as always, is set to steal the spotlight.  

The Queen of the Mountains will round out the Brother Leader Tread KTM squad and has spent more time in the saddle than ever as she prepares for the 2020 Dakar Rally. 

As the first woman in Roof of Africa history to have finished the gruelling Gold route, she will line up in Lesotho as no stranger to the unforgiving terrain in store. 

 “I’m so excited to come back here and race! The fitness we need for technical riding is even more than what we need for Rally racing, so doing enduro will prepare me in the best possible way. Just because my focus is on the Dakar doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my passion for enduro. I love technical riding – it’s where I come from. I’m so excited to get back to my ‘smaller’ enduro bike, which is half the weight of my Rally bike!”  said Landman about her KTM 250 XC-W.end bike test

2020 HONDA AFRICA TWIN

189578 20ym africa twin and africa twin adventure sports 1800x1800A major evolution for Honda's definitive full-size adventurer: harder-edged off-road performance comes via lighter chassis, slim rally-style bodywork and revised riding position; weight is reduced by 5kg, while engine capacity is increased, boosting power and torque. It's also EURO5 compliant. A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit now manages riding modes and HSTC as well as three additional systems - Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version. A full colour 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED headlights feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and cruise control is fitted as standard.

  1. Introduction

It's been over three decades since the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name - launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin - was a brand-new machine from the wheels up, it fully inherited the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.189520 20ym africa twin adventure sports 1800x1800It was the balance between power and weight that was at the heart of the original bike's appeal, just as it was for the new model. With its unique, athletic appearance, an enjoyable, usable engine and capable, comfortable chassis, the CRF1000L Africa Twin proved itself a true modern-day all-rounder and has been hugely popular with round-the- world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike.

2018 saw the Africa Twin, in both manual transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) form, receive Throttle By Wire (TBW) control plus 3 riding modes, expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) options, as well as intake and exhaust development for improved engine response and sound. The platform also expanded: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports - with the same updates but featuring improved wind protection, greater tank range and longer-travel suspension - extended the machine even further into long-range off-road territory.

Building on strong European (and global) demand for both models, with over 87,000 sold worldwide since its 2016 relaunch, 2020 is set to be a landmark year for the Africa Twin.

The touring comfort, technology and ability of the new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports* are further enhanced - and it adds the option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (SHOWA EERAT). Meanwhile, the CRF1100L Africa Twin itself is comprehensively redrawn with an aggressive, compact rally style and even sharper off- road focus. It also packs more power and torque and is significantly lighter - in keeping with the first principles set out all those years ago.189408 20ym africa twin handlebar 880x500

  1. Model Overview

The 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin has a sharply-renewed focus on off-road core ability, that brings with it the look - and feel - of a true rally machine. Smaller, slimmer and 5kg lighter, it offers even more athletic performance, thanks also to changes to the engine, which now produces 7% more peak power, 6% more peak torque and is much stronger everywhere in the rev-range. It's also EURO5 compliant.

The frame has been completely revised and now features a bolt-on aluminium subframe. The swingarm, too, is aluminium and based on that of the CRF450R moto-crosser. And at the centre of the Africa Twin, the addition of a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) controls not only the 7-level HSTC but also (new for 2020) 3-level Wheelie Control, Cornering ABS (with off-road setting), Rear Lift Control and DCT cornering detection. An OFF-ROAD setting also joins the URBAN, TOUR and GRAVEL default riding modes.189534 20ym africa twin adventure sports handlebar 880x500

Tailored for complete control, the riding position features a slimmer-section seat and higher-set handlebars. A full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen offers immersive engagement with the machine's systems, plus Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are highly visible, improving safety, and cruise control is standard-fit.

  1. Key Features

3.1  Styling & Equipment

Compact body style designed for off-road, with slim seat and high handlebars

Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen

Apple CarPlay® allows use of Apple iPhone® through the MID

Bluetooth connectivity, Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and cruise control

Aggressive and compact. Two words that sum up the Africa Twin's taut new rally-style bodywork. And it's for a reason - to work better off-road. The fixed screen is much shorter than before, to allow for easy scanning of the trail ahead and, while seat height remains 850-870mm, the handlebars now mount 22.5mm higher, giving a more upright riding position and comfortable control, whether standing or seated.

The tail section is slimmer and the seat itself is 40mm narrower, for easier ground reach; its shape has also been carefully contoured to allow easier back and forth movement.

Low 825-845mm and high, 875-895mm seat options are also available as accessories.

New dual LED headlights are set higher, deliver a penetrating beam and also feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) that automatically adjust to ambient light intensity, improving safety, no matter the conditions. Knuckle guards are standard.

The full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen keeps the rider in control of all of the Africa Twin's systems, with each of the riding modes selectable through the top left of the screen. The MID can also be customised to show various levels of information relative to the riding mode chosen and is easy to use even when wearing gloves.

It also incorporates Apple CarPlay®, allowing use of an Apple iPhone® through the touchscreen. Navigation apps can also be accessed and displayed and via a Bluetooth helmet headset calls can be made or received. The iPhone® itself plugs into a USB charging port on the right of the MID. Hands-free wireless Bluetooth connectivity is also an option for an iPhone® or Android device and all control inputs are made from the left- hand switchgear.

The front and rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal function. When braking suddenly over 50kph the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation.

For 2020 cruise control is now fitted as standard, to ease long-distance highway travel.

3.2  Engine

Capacity rises to 1,084cc giving 75kW peak power and 105Nm peak torque

Achieved through a new cylinder head, valve timing and lift, throttle body and exhaust

Manual transmission ratios and gear material optimised, saving weight

The muffler now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) for improved low-rpm sound and high-rpm performance

The SOHC 8-valve parallel-twin engine's essential architecture remains unchanged for 2020 but has a larger displacement of 1,084cc, up from 998cc. And as a result peak power goes from 70kW to 75kW @ 7,500rpm with peak torque going from 99Nm to 105Nm @ 6,250rpm. Significantly, the obvious increase in both power and torque makes itself felt from 2,500rpm all the way through to the redline.

To create the larger capacity, bore remains 92mm but stroke is longer at 81.5mm (from 75.1mm) with compression ratio of 10.1:1. The cylinder sleeves are also now aluminium. Along with other detailed weight savings in the transmission and elsewhere, the manual transmission engine is now 2.5kg lighter (at 66.4kg) than the previous design, the DCT version 2.2kg lighter at 74.9kg.

As before, the 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval create the engine's distinctive throb and feel for rear wheel traction. The cylinder head however is completely revised, as is the larger diameter 46mm throttle body; the bore and cylinder pitches are also now aligned to create a smooth air intake profile. The ECU setting is new and the injector angle has been modified to deliver a more direct spray into re- shaped twin-spark combustion chambers.

Honda's SOHC Unicam valve train is a feature of the MX competition-specification CRF450R and the low-set position of the cast camshaft contributes to the compact nature of the cylinder head. For 2020 the valve timing has been optimised and inlet and exhaust valve lift increased to 10.1mm inlet and 9.3mm exhaust (from 9.2/8.6mm).

To match and deal with the uprated intake efficiency and higher output (thus gas flow) the exhaust end-can now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) very similar to the unit fitted to the CBR1000RR Fireblade. It enhances both engine performance and efficiency as it opens at higher rpm and gives a pleasing exhaust note 'pulse' at lower rpm.

The crankcases are split vertically; the water pump is housed efficiently within the clutch casing with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head. Manual and DCT versions of the engine share common crankcases with only minor external differences; the water and oil pumps are both driven by the engine's balancer shafts.

It's a semi-dry sump design with in-tank lower crankcase oil storage. This allows a lower pan depth, keeping overall engine height low. As the pressure-fed pump is located within the tank where it delivers its oil from, there is no need for a pressure-feed passage.

Secondary vibrations are neutralised by the mutually reciprocating motion of the pistons, while primary inertial and coupling vibrations are cancelled by the use of biaxial balance shafts.

For 2020 precision of the front and rear balance gears has been improved, allowing removal of their scissor gears; the addition of a crank pulsar ring adds misfire detection, important for OBD2/EURO5 compliance. In addition for EURO5 the 02 lambda exhaust sensors have been replaced with Linear Air Fuel (LAF) sensors in the downpipes to allow for much more accurate measurement of the air/fuel mixture ratio.

The aluminium clutch centre and pressure plate use 'assist' cams to ease upshifts and 'slipper' cams for deceleration and downshifting; the clutch diameter is now smaller and features reduced spring tension for lighter lever feel. The gears are also re-shaped and constructed from stronger material. A quickshifter remains available as an optional extra.

3.3  Engine & Chassis Management Electronics

IMU-managed HSTC intervention levels optimised for off-road use

Wheelie Control features 3 levels and IMU management

OFF-ROAD joins the default riding modes TOUR, URBAN and GRAVEL

Two USER modes allow for complete riding modes customisation

The Africa Twin's engine received the benefits of Throttle By Wire (TBW) control in 2018, allowing much finer management of engine output and character as well as expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for rear tyre grip; for 2020 the system has smartly evolved and now works in conjunction with a six-axis IMU*.

The system offers 4 levels of power and 3 levels of engine braking. There are still seven levels of HSTC but each level's amount of intervention has been optimised to work with real-time input (yaw/roll angle and rate) from the IMU. The spacing of the levels has been optimised to allow the rider a finer choice of the amount of rear tyre slide for off- road riding. HSTC can also be turned off completely.

Wheelie Control is another new feature. Again, with the IMU measuring pitch angle and rate, and controlling engine torque via TBW, the rider can choose between 3 levels of input. Level 1 allows for intended wheel lift but suppresses any sudden movement. Level 3 stops any front wheel elevation and level 2 is mid-way between the two. Wheelie Control can also be turned off completely.

There are four default riding mode settings: TOUR, URBAN, GRAVEL and OFF-ROAD to cover most riding conditions and situations plus two customisable USER settings.

Even within the default riding modes, it's possible to change some parameters - HSTC between levels 1-7 (plus off), Wheelie Control between levels 1-3 (plus off) and DCT S mode shift pattern levels 1-3.

TOUR employs the highest level of Power (1), for touring loaded with pillion and luggage plus mid-range Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

URBAN suits wide-ranging riding requirements and uses mid-level Power (2) and Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

GRAVEL delivers the lowest level of Power (4) and Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; in this setting, the rear brake ABS cannot be switched off.

OFF-ROAD uses lower-mid level Power (3) and the lowest amount of Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; the rear brake ABS can be switched off.

USER 1 & 2 modes offer the rider a choice of two distinct personalized setups - choosing between Power levels 1-4 and Engine Braking 1-3, and ABS on-road/off-road parameters.

*See the Chassis section 3.5 of this press kit.189350 20ym africa twin 880x5003.4  Dual Clutch Transmission

Super-fast gear changes in either Manual Transmission (MT) or Automatic D and S modes

S mode (with 3 levels) revs higher and downshifts sooner than D, for more aggressive riding

G switch improves rear wheel traction when off-road

Incline detection adapts shift pattern depending on gradient

IMU allows corning detection function for improved shift timings

Honda has sold over 100,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles across Europe since the system first appeared as an option on the VFR1200F a decade ago in 2009. Testament to its acceptance in the marketplace, during the last financial year, DCT accounted for 48% of European sales on models where DCT was an option.

The unique DCT system delivers consistent, super-fast seamless gear changes, and very quickly becomes second nature in use. It uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging.

Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system pre-selects the target gear using the clutch not currently in use. The first clutch is then electronically disengaged as, simultaneously, the second clutch engages.

The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock and pitching of the machine is minimised, making the change feel direct as well as smooth.

The extra benefits of durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear) impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding and reduced rider fatigue add to DCT's appeal

Three modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode offers three levels of sportier riding, as the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, and shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking.

In either D or S mode, DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required - the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers on the left handlebar. At an appropriate time, DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

DCT for the Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch accessed via the TFT touch screen display. Activating the G switch in any riding mode improves the feel for available traction and machine control by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.

Further functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of an incline to provide optimum control.

A new feature for the CRF1100L Africa Twin's DCT system is cornering detection. When the IMU recognises the bike is cornering, the system subtly adjusts the shifting programme for the most natural gear changes.189373 20ym africa twin 880x5003.5  Chassis

A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit is housed in the centre of the machine

Revised, lighter frame, with bolt-on aluminium subframe and lighter, more rigid CRF450R-style swingarm for improved rear wheel traction and feel

Cornering ABS provides sure-footed feel and features an off-road setting

New damping and spring rates for the front and rear Showa suspension

At the very heart of the Africa Twin's elevated on- and off-road performance is a Bosch MM7.10 six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) tucked away at the centre of the machine, that measures - in real-time - roll angle/rate, pitch angle/rate and yaw angle/rate. It manages rear wheel traction via TBW and HSTC, front braking grip through Cornering ABS, front wheel lift through Wheelie Control and also adds Rear Lift Control.

In conjunction with the addition of IMU control for its 2020 evolution, the strength and rigidity balance of the steel semi-double cradle frame was completely re-examined by Honda's development engineers to boost off-road ability - at the same time reinforcing its all-round on-road manners.

Rigidity around the steering head has been optimised to enhance feel for front end grip; the main spars are also slimmer and straighter and do away with the front cross pipe. Frame weight is 1.8kg lighter than before.189282 20ym africa twin 1800x1800A bolt-on aluminium subframe (finished in red) replaces the integral steel structure of the previous design and is 40mm slimmer at a width of 195mm - crucial for easier ground reach. The aluminium swingarm is all-new, 500g lighter and based on the same design used by the CRF450R. Its improved rigidity improves rear wheel traction and rider feel.

Ground clearance remains 250mm, with wheelbase of 1575mm and rake and trail of 27° 30'/113mm. Wet weight is 5kg lighter, at 226kg.

With stroke length of 230mm the 45mm Showa cartridge-type inverted front fork offers long-travel bump absorption and features revised internal settings to improve both on- and off-road performance. Rebound and compression damping are fully adjustable. A cast aluminium top yoke and forged bottom yoke - joined by hollow aluminium stem shaft - clamp the fork legs with two bolts each top and bottom.

Similarly revised to match the front suspension the Showa rear shock delivers 220mm axle travel and features a 46mm cylinder and remote reservoir for stable damping control under extreme off-road riding conditions. Spring preload can be adjusted via a dial on the shock body; rebound and compression damping are also fully adjustable.

The swingarm pivot points' inner plates now use 600MPa high-strength steel and the upper cross tube that connects them acts as the rear shock upper mount (through a pillow-ball joint) improving feel for rear wheel traction.

The IMU takes in lean angle, deceleration (from front/rear wheel speed sensors) and incorporates the slip rate of the front and rear wheels to manage braking pressure through the ABS; likewise if it detects sudden rear wheel lift, it finely controls brake force to maintain stability. When stationary the rear ABS can be cancelled for off-road riding.

As before, compact two-piece radial-mount four-piston calipers work dual 310mm 'wave' floating discs through sintered pads. The rear 256mm 'wave' disc features hole punching and shaping. 21/18-inch front rear (stainless steel) spoked wheels wear 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tyres. Block pattern tyres (Continental 90/90-21M/C 54S and 150/70B 18M/C 70Q, rated at 180km/h and 160km/h respectively) are approved for fitment.189501 20ym africa twin adventure sports darkness black metallic 1800x1800Accessories

The range of Honda Genuine Accessories for the Africa Twin has been expanded with luggage options that includes premium (42L) aluminium top box and panniers plus large (58L) plastic top box and panniers, two seat heights (a lower 825-845mm and taller 870- 895mm option), touring screen, radiator guards, engine guards and side pipes, knuckle guard extensions, heated grips and an ACC charging socket.

Pricing:

CRF1100 Man (Normal Tank) - R210 000 Incl Vat

CRF1100 DCT (Normal Tank) - R222 499 Incl Vat

CRF1100 Man (Adventure Sport) - R236 000 Incl Vat

CRF1100 DCT (Adventure Sport/Elect Sus) - R269 000 Incl Vatend bike test

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP headline Honda’s 2020 EICMA line-up

2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 1

  • The all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP are revealed, offering unprecedented levels of track-focussed performance
  • New frame and engine draw strongly on Honda’s RC213V MotoGP technology; peak power increases by 13% to 160kW
  • The perennially popular SH125i and SH150i are completely upgraded with new design, more power and storage space, and increased fuel efficiency
  • The CMX500 Rebel compact cruiser receives upgrades including full LED lighting, slipper clutch, gear position indicator and a new factory-fit accessories pack
  • The new CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports make their first European motor show appearance
  • New colour schemes and cosmetic updates for the CB1000R Neo Sports Café flagship

2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 2Honda today reveals its full 2020 European motorcycle line-up at EICMA in Milan. Headlined by a brand-new flagship model, the additions to Honda’s product range for 2020 span the worlds of racing, adventure, roadsters and commuters.2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 3

CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP

For 28 years the words ‘Honda Fireblade’ have been synonymous with perfect handling, balance and sheer riding enjoyment. For 2020, Honda starts a new chapter in the Fireblade’s illustrious history with a new machine that is ‘Born to Race’.

Heavily inspired by the RC213V MotoGP machine and its street legal RC213V-S counterpart, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is powered by the most powerful inline four-cylinder engine that Honda has ever made. Sharing the same bore and stroke as the RC213V-S, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade delivers maximum power of 160kW @ 14500rpm and peak torque of 113Nm at 12500rpm while tipping the scales at only 201kg.2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 4The CBR1000RR-R will also be available in an SP variant. Complete with second generation semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control featuring 43mm NPX forks and Öhlins TTX36 Smart-EC rear shock, new Brembo Stylema four-piston radial-mounted front calipers and the same rear Brembo caliper as used on the RC213V-S.

In both variants, a cutting-edge aerodynamic package – also influenced by HRC’s multiple championship-winning RC213V – works in tandem with a new Bosch six-axis IMU. This replaces the five-axis unit of the previous design, giving supremely precise calculations of yaw, pitch and roll to allow even finer control of bike behaviour for unprecedented levels of handling and outright performance.2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 5In line with Honda’s mass centralisation philosophy, both the CRB1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP are equipped with a lightweight titanium Akrapovic exhaust end can. Both will be available in two colour schemes: an HRC-inspired Grand Prix Red and a Matte Pearl Black.2020 Honda CBR1000RR R Fireblade 6

SH125i

The market leading SH125i is practically a brand-new machine for 2020. Building on a million-selling heritage stretching back to the SH50 introduced in 1984, for 2020 the SH125i is equipped with a more powerful and efficient engine mated to a sleek, restyled body that offers over 50% more storage space thanks to its redesigned frame.2020 Honda SH125IA new four-valve ‘eSP+’ EURO5 compliant engine powers the 2020 SH125i. Providing more top end power and stronger acceleration, the new engine also returns even greater fuel-efficiency than the outgoing model. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) now joins Idling Stop as standard fitment.

The new redesigned frame not only improves handling, but also frees up extra and ever-useful internal storage space, with the SH now offering up to 28L of under seat storage. The inclusion of a USB charger, Honda Smart Key - which now operates together with the new Smart top box - and the optimisation of the rear suspension geometry enhance both practicality and comfort.

For 2020 the SH125i will again be joined by the SH150i, featuring all the same exciting updates and innovations.

CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports

The recently revealed CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports will also make their European motor show debut at EICMA.2020 Honda Africa TwinPowered by a lighter more powerful 1100cc parallel twin engine – increasing both power and torque while meeting Euro5 requirements - both versions of the Africa Twin use a lighter, narrower frame, improving both agility and comfort. A first for Honda, the Africa Twin comes complete with a new 6.5in TFT colour touchscreen interface.

At the heart of each bike is a cutting-edge electronics package complete with a new six-axis IMU, which guides the Honda Selectable Torque Control, Wheelie and Rear Lift Control and Cornering ABS, while also allowing more intuitive gear shifts from the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) system.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin - available in Grand Prix Red and Matte Ballistic Black - is primed for off-road adventure, with rally style body work, a slender 18.8L tank, low fixed screen and tubed tyres as standard.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports stands apart from the base Africa Twin, coming fully equipped for the long haul with a five-stage adjustable screen, three stage cornering lights, tubeless tyres and a 24.8L tank. For 2020, the Adventure Sports comes with optional Showa Electronic Equipped Rider Adjustment suspension ensuring the perfect ride no matter the road conditions. It’s available in Pearl Glare White Tricolour and Darkness Black Metallic.

CMX500 Rebelimages 1

Honda’s A2 licence friendly 500cc parallel twin-cylinder compact cruiser receives a round of updates for 2020. Benefiting from revised suspension, full LED lighting - including a distinctively redesigned round headlight - a new gear position indicator, slipper clutch, more comfortable seat and new exhaust, the CMX500 Rebel is also now Euro5 compliant. The CMX500 Rebel S Edition comes in Matte Axis Grey Metallic with a new set of factory-fitted accessories, including headlight cowl, all-black fork covers and gaiters, plus a diamond-stitch style seat.

CB1000R

Honda’s flagship Neo Sports Café naked machine – the CB1000R – combines classic lines with a modern feel and exhilarating performance. Since its 2018 introduction, it has inspired a wide range of customisations, and for 2020, subtle cosmetic changes further enhance its premium look and commanding road presence.2020 Honda cb1000RReplacing silver accents, an all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. Colour changes to the rear spring and front brake discs are capped off with a striking silver racing stripe running up the spine of the fuel tank.end bike test

Monster Energy Yamaha End Valencia Test on Top

yam 001Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued their work at the Valencia MotoGP Official Test, eager to collect as much data as possible for the upcoming Jerez Test next week. They enjoyed a positive second day at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo, testing the new engine and chassis. Their enthusiasm about the new parts showed in the results: Viñales took first both Day 2 and in the combined test results, while Rossi set the ninth fastest time of this day and was tenth in the combined standings.

Viñales was pleased with the new prototype bike on the first day of the test and continued the positive vibes today as he noticed consistent progress on each run. The Spaniard picked up where he had left off yesterday, working on the 2020-engine spec and trying to further tweak the prototypes chassis set-up. He rode a total of 67 laps and bettered his personal best time from the first day by 0.478s, setting a 1'29.849s on his 56th lap, making him the only rider to dip under the 1'30s during the test. He ended the session in first place, leading a Yamaha top 3. The result puts him also in first position in the combined test timesheets.yam 002Rossi was on the case again on the second day of testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, underlining his dedication to his beloved sport by clocking 68 laps in total. The Doctor had nothing but positive feedback for the new prototype YZR-M1 and was, like his team-mate, fully focused on getting the new engine and chassis in perfect shape before testing them again in one weeks’ time. He set a 1'30.781s towards the end of the day, enough to put him in ninth position in the rankings, 0.932s from today's best time. The lap earned him tenth place in the overall Valencia Test results.

The Yamaha engineers will thoroughly go over all the data of the Valencia Test, in order for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team to make another step at the joint private Jerez Test held on 25th – 26th of November.end bike test

New Kawasaki Z H2 marks a new era in the Hypernaked class

20MY ZH2 shot 2Stretching back in an unbroken series of models over nearly fifty years to the iconic and ground-breaking Super Four model Z1 of 1972, Kawasaki has an enviable Z heritage in the naked class.

Kawasaki is not looking back with its latest top level Z though. Instead, it encourages riders and fans to look to the future and anticipate meeting the most radical, most technically advanced and most powerful Z ever; the Z H2. Harnessing Kawasaki’s considerable in-house experience with the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R, the Z H2 forces the world of motorcycling in a new direction with the ultimate Hypernaked machine.2020 ZH2 BK3 DET 1Being at the pinnacle of the 2020 Z family is a huge responsibility which calls for a machine with a feature list satisfying the wants and needs of even the most demanding rider, delivering a specification that exceeds those demands thus creating “The Ultimate Z”. Echoing the core spirit of Kawasaki’s unique “Sugomi” design philosophy – where each styling innovation is matched equally by an engineering feature - the Z H2 literally bristles with interesting rider focused facets.2020 ZH2 BK3 DET 10Of course, most attention will initially be focused on the majestic 998cc four-cylinder engine equipped with Kawasaki’s in-house developed and manufactured integrated balanced supercharger. With a targeted heady peak of 200PS, the virtues of the design are a controllable yet invigorating flow of power building to a satisfying crescendo matched to more down to earth subtleties such as a rider friendly character that results in an eminently manageable ride. So whilst the Z H2 will be attractive to highly experienced riders, its all-round manageability makes it accessible to the wide potential audience.2020 ZH2 BK3 STR 1Exterior clues to the special nature of this “ultimate Z” abound with a new take on Sugomi styling and visual updates such as all LED lighting including indicators and licence plate illumination. The easy to read TFT meter panel is instantly recognisable and – upon closer inspection – the up/down quick shifter is apparent plus, on the left bar cluster, adjustment for the standard fit cruise control and a host of other rider-centric features. Kawasaki’s much praised trellis type chassis as used on previous supercharged models is updated for the new Z while Brembo M4 calipers appear attached to the Showa BPF front forks attesting to the high-quality specification of this class leading naked machine.2020 ZH2 BK3 DET 23Deeper inside, Kawasaki engineers have worked hard to ensure a dynamic balance between performance and durability making a supercharged streetbike a practical yet exotic reality. With its assist and slipper clutch plus dog ring gearbox technology, clever use of oil as a coolant to eliminate the need for a bulky intercooler and manifest oil jets playing on key components, KHI engineers have married reliability to rideability in a way only they know how.

A large number of electronic rider aids via the Bosch IMU such as traction control, intelligent anti-lock braking, cornering management function, selectable rider and power modes, anti-wheelie control are matched in the tech league table by Bluetooth connectivity which – via the Kawasaki Rideology Smartphone app – allows riders to interface with their machine and discover more about their ride and machine status, all via the screen of their mobile phone. Allied to practical information such as fuel economy and journey facts, there are also features such as a lean angle meter recorder that are sure to be a popular function.2020 ZH2 BK3 STU 5From its asymmetric supercharger air intake to one side of the menacing twin LED headlamps, via the reverse embossed “Supercharged” icon on the impeller unit to the aggressive Sugomi stance and dramatic colour coded trellis chassis with its imposing bodywork, the Z H2 is a symphony of sensation. Much anticipated, much talked about and perhaps most eagerly awaited of all 2020 Hypernaked machines, the Z H2 is here and ready to take its place at the head of the Z family and to take charge of the popular naked class.2020 ZH2 BK3 STU 7end bike test

KTM DOMINATES NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP

ktm 001KTM South Africa completed its dominance of the National Cross Country Championship in Bronkhorstspruit on Saturday. Not only did the orange brand walk away with the 2019 Manufacturers Award, but a total of five national titles.
 
It was a nail-biting end to the season with almost every one of the championships coming right down to the wire. In the OR1 Class, Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Louwrens Mahoney entered the double-header event just three points ahead of teammate Ross Branch.
 
In what was described as one of the most physically demanding races of the season, Branch was forced to retire from the event after sustaining an injury. With the 2020 Dakar Rally looming, the rider was relieved to discover that he will be able to get back into the saddle after two weeks of rest.
 
From the moment Mahoney set off from the start line, it was clear that he was prepared to pull out all the stops in his pursuit of victory. It was an emotional moment for the multiple national champion as he stormed to a hard-fought victory on Saturday onboard his KTM 450 XC-F machine where he was crowned 2019 National Cross Country king.
 
Fans soon discovered that this would be Mahoney’s 7th and last national title when he officially announced his retirement from racing.
 
“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the year than taking one more national title. This is a massive blessing for me, especially because I have decided to hang up my racing boots. As the new marketing manager of KTM South Africa, I have stepped into a new season of my career. I can’t thank my wife and the Brother Leader Tread KTM team enough for the opportunity they’ve given me to pursue my dreams,” said Mahoney.ktm 002The celebrations at the orange camp didn’t stop there. In the OR2 Class Jarryd Coetzee managed to close the seemingly insurmountable gap of 13-points to the top step of the podium.
 
Coetzee snatched victory at both rounds of the double-header season finale, but the championship title would only be decided by the number of riders that finished between him and his championship rival Gareth Cole.
 
One of the riders that helped bridge the gap was Coetzee’s own teammate, Louw Schmidt, who raced his heart out to finish the event in third place in class. After minutes that felt like hours at the finish line, it was an unforgettable moment for Coetzee when he realised that he would officially take the 2019 OR2 crown.
 
“Like they say – it’s not over until the fat lady sings. The chance of winning the championship was so slim coming into this round, but there’s a lesson I took from this – never, ever give up no matter how impossible the situation looks,” said Coetzee.
 
It was a ground-breaking victory for Bradley Cox in the OR3 Class as he received the first National Cross Country title of his career.
 
Like Coetzee, the chance of an overall victory was uncertain as Cox entered the double-header event.  He’d received a DNF at the previous round of the series after breaking his collar bone and was 9 points behind fellow KTM rider Haydn Cole.
 
Cox managed to take the win on both days of the event. It was not only a proud moment for the rider, but for his father and motorsport legend Alfie Cox.
 
“I started my career with a motocross dream, and never imagined that I’d be experiencing a moment like this. I have unbelievable support back home and couldn’t ask for a better mentor than my Dad,” said Cox.

Rounding out the list of national victories for Brother Leader Tread KTM was Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen, who for the sixth consecutive time managed to defend the Senior title.
 
“Victory always gets sweeter, but it definitely doesn’t get easier!” joked van Rooyen.
 
A cherry on the top of a day that will not soon be forgotten by KTM South Africa was an impressive performance from Ryan Pelser who won the High School Championship.
 
“What an incredible season we can look back at as it all came down to the wire at this last round of the championship. This is not just any other team you’ve ever seen, the Brother Leader Tread KTM squad and their stable mates are one big orange family and some of the toughest riders who are never afraid to battle it out on the track. To see all the efforts come to fruition and taking home and array of championship titles this past weekend is just the cherry on top. A huge ‘thank you’ goes out to all the sponsors and supporters, to the mechanics and families behind the scenes and to the organisers who give us the platform to do what we do best. 2019 has been one hell of a season and we are looking forward to what 2020 will hold in store for us.”, says Franziska Brandl, Managing Director KTM South Africa.end bike test

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT to run two A-Spec Yamaha YZR-M1 bikes in 2020

001PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will field two A-Spec Yamaha YZR-M1 machines in 2020 thanks to additional commitment from PETRONAS and Yamaha. 
 
The team has fielded one A-Spec and one B-Spec Yamaha YZR-M1 for its debut MotoGP season in 2019. Heading into its home race, the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, the team sits in fourth position in the overall Team standings as well as leading the Independent Team classification by 58 points. Over the course of 2019, the team has started from the front row of a GP fourteen times, with four pole positions and six trips to the podium.

This new agreement means that both Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will run with equal machinery next year.end bike test

 

 

 

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