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MotoGP hits Sepang for penultimate contest of season 2018

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

MotoGP heads to Malaysia this weekend as the final leg of the three-week fly-away tour concludes with a visit to the Sepang International Circuit, before returning to Europe for the season finale at Valencia.

MotoGP Preview gp malaysia
Sepang International Circuit – MotoGP 2018

The melting pot of Malaysian culture is perfectly reflected in the layout of the 5,543m circuit, a track where extremely high-temperatures can heat the surface to highs above 50°C, while the abrasive asphalt can quickly be soaked by heavy downpours.

All of this is mixed with a technical layout over the five left and ten right corners, interlinked by two long straights. This provides alternating challenges to riders, bikes, and especially tyres, so much so that Sepang has become a regular test venue and one that is synonymous with preparing a MotoGP bike and all of its components for the season ahead, during the winter tests.

MotoGP Preview gp malaysia
Sepang International Circuit – MotoGP 2018

Viñales looked unstoppable in Australia and was back on the top step for the first time since Le Mans in 2017, boosting his confidence and adding a spring to his step on the way to Malaysia so he’ll be one to watch for sure.

Maverick Viñales

“After the victory in Australia, sincerely, I’m very happy. The team has worked very hard to overcome the crisis that we were going through. I’m feeling comfortable and I’ve regained my confidence. But we have to think about the next race in Sepang. We are highly motivated. It’s a circuit with very different climate conditions to those we’ve had in Phillip Island and in Japan – it’s always really hot and that makes it a very physically demanding race. I thought we made an important step in Phillip Island and actually I felt really good on my M1. We are on the right path and if we continue like this, hopefully we can finish the season with more victories.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Vinales GP AN
Maverick Vinales in Australia – Image by AJRN

For teammate Valentino Rossi it wasn’t quite the same weekend, however, as the ‘Doctor’ fought for second before then getting relegated to sixth by the flag.

Valentino Rossi

“Unfortunately in Australia I lost important points for the championship and I’m very disappointed about that, but I’m happy for Maverick and for Yamaha. Now we have to concentrate on the third and last race overseas at Sepang and it will be important to have a good weekend. We must continue to work hard because we have to be competitive at every race. Sepang is not one of our favourite tracks, but we will always try our hardest to get the best results possible.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Vinales GP AN
Maverick Vinales – Image by AJRN

Viñales has reversed the trend of late and that means the two are now separated by only 15 points in the Championship – will he continue to turn the screw? Or will the vastly different venue turn the tables once again?

Valentino Rossi - Sepang 2017
Valentino Rossi – Sepang 2017

15 points is now also the gap between Rossi and second overall Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – so it’s all in play behind newly-crowned Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

Ducati took a 1-2 at the venue last year, too – and Dovizioso won that and the 2016 race. Will the Italian be able to do the hattrick and win in 2018 too? He said Phillip Island was important to see how they’d improved this season, given it had always been a more difficult venue – and he took third, and fought for second. That’s a big leap forward so back on ground with a stunning track record, can anyone bet against ‘DesmoDovi’?

Andrea Dovizioso

“Our main aim now is to try and win in Malaysia and for sure we can be competitive at Sepang, even though things are different than last year for many reasons. The fight for second place in the championship is now becoming interesting, because Rossi is still not far behind me, even though in Australia I gained a few points on him, so we must remain focussed because this is a track where he has always gone well.”

Andrea Dovizioso - Image by AJRN
Andrea Dovizioso topped the podium at Sepang in 2017 – Image by AJRN

His teammate last time out, Alvaro Bautista, also had great pace at the Island on the GP18 so it wasn’t a one-pony trick for the Borgo Panigale factory. But he now returns to the Angel Nieto Team as, in turn, Jorge Lorenzo returns from injury.

Keyhole surgery undertaken and on the mend, the five-time World Champion should be fit to race – so what can he do? Second last year was a good showing but even more pivotal was Lorenzo’s form in testing earlier in the season: he was at his poetry-in-motion best to put in the fastest ever lap of Sepang International Circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Only eight days have passed since I had an operation on the ligament of my left wrist, but I’m feeling a bit better. For sure the operation was quite recent and so we’ll have to wait until I get on the bike to see how the wrist responds and if I still have a lot of pain when I ride. On Thursday I’ll go to the circuit medical staff for a check-up on my condition and I hope to be able to race even though I won’t be at 100%. I haven’t been able to train for the past few days and the Sepang circuit is very challenging, so this is not exactly an ideal scenario to return to the track.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Lorenzo GP AN
Malaysia will see Jorge Lorenzo make his return from injury

Not so fast, however – at least on paper. The fastest official lap, from a race weekend, remains Dani Pedrosa’s 2015 1:59.053 and the ‘Little Samurai’ has some serious form at Sepang: five poles and three premier class wins. Higher temperatures raise expectations too, so what can Pedrosa do coming back from a DNF?

Dani Pedrosa

“The Malaysian Grand Prix is a demanding venue due to both the extreme weather conditions and the track itself, which isn’t an easy one, being wide and requiring precise lines and a good setup. That said, I like it very much, so I hope we can do good work and find a setting that allows me to feel good on the bike and to try to have a good weekend.”

Dani Pedrosa could also be a look in with a strong record at Sepang with his fastest race lap record
Dani Pedrosa could also be a look in with a strong record at Sepang with his fastest race lap record

His teammate Marquez, meanwhile, also ended up with a 0 in Australia. Hit from behind by Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and sustaining too much damage, he agreed it was a racing incident but both didn’t manage to finish – leaving a few usual suspects out of the mix at the front. Marquez has only one win at Sepang in the premier class, taken in 2014, but he’s been showing similar signs to that season’s domination a few times in 2018 – and the title is already done. Will he be straight back on top?

MotoGP Australia Marquez Damage
#AusMotoGP – Damage to Marquez Honda

Marc Marquez

“We had quite an eventful race in Australia and it was a pity we couldn’t fight until the end, but that’s gone now and we look forward to the next round in Malaysia with our usual spirit and positive mentality. We still have our target of two more titles to achieve, and we also want to try and win again if we have the chance to do so. Malaysia is a demanding round from a physical point of view but that’s something we’re prepared to deal with, so we’ll keep our concentration high and try to start strong beginning on Friday morning.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Marquez GP AN
Marc Marquez – AJRN Image

Andrea Iannone is fresh from his second place only a few days ago in Phillip Island and he will be taking this momentum as a further push to try and end the season in the best possible way. He feels that the competitiveness of his GSX-RR and his riding is very close to that of the best contenders, thus giving him high hopes for a positive race in Sepang, despite the hot and humid weather expected there.

Andrea Iannone

“Last year’s Malaysian GP was a strange race because it was wet, but we showed good performance when the conditions were dry. We arrive after a positive weekend and good moments, I hope we can continue to be as competitive as we expect. Overall Sepang is never to be considered an easy one because it’s always very hot, so we struggle both with the physical condition and the tyre management and choice. We will need to manage everything in the best possible way. The last race in Australia of course gave us positive confidence and I also trust in the work they are doing in Japan, we have the important awareness that we are now very close to the best contenders.”

MotoGP Australia Iannone Dovi Bautista Rins Rossi Miller

Alex Rins got a result below his expectations in Australia, but he could take important lessons from his solid 5th place. His performance in Japan was good, taking third place in the race, thus his confidence with the bike is getting better and better and he now has a well deserved place among the fastest riders.

Alex Rins

“In Malaysia I will try to do my best, as always. We will try the maximum and hope to keep the momentum we’ve had in the recent races where we’ve always been in the Top 5. It is true that after the Motegi podium I expected a bit more in Australia, but the race was like that and we have to take the positive points. Sepang is a good track for us, a track we know really well because we usually test there in the pre-season, so we will work hard again to stay in the front positions. Suzuki is working very well in those matters, we need to improve a little more but we are feeling very positive for the coming races.”

MotoGP Australia QP Vinales Rossi Rins Dovi
Alex Rins chasing Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales

Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin can’t wait to arrive in Malaysia for the second last round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship, with Zarco’s Australian GP ending with a high speed crash that also took Marquez out of the running, leaving him tied with Andrea Iannone on 133 championship points and ranked seventh, with Lorenzo three points behind, and Danilo Petrucci just four points ahead, ensuring the last two rounds will be interesting ones.

Johann Zarco

“The Sepang International Circuit is a track I like and one, I can be fast on. I hope my Yamaha will give me a good feeling again. It’s going to be like in Thailand with very hot temperatures and difficult conditions to race, but I feel fit for this round, even after the crash in Australia. Therefore, I look forward to have a good race and catch as many points as possible to be the first independent rider.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Zarco GP AN
Johann Zarco

Syahrin will be on home ground meanwhile and sure to be the crowd favourite, with Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager Hervé Poncharal explaining that there’ll be plenty going on for the local.

Hervé Poncharal

“The next round only in a few days’ time is going to be Malaysia – a very important race for the Championship, great event, great circuit, where we do a lot of testing during the winter, where we have a lot of data and where MotoGP is big like it was big in Thailand. This year it will be even bigger, especially for us, because we have the home hero, the MotoGP star in Malaysia, which is Hafizh Syahrin. He will arrive there as a rock star. There are quite a few things organized around him by the media for the marketing of the Malaysian Grand Prix, so we will be very busy there, helping everyone. In terms of results, this has always been a circuit where we have had interesting races. Hafizh should be fast, we hope, although he has never rode a MotoGP bike on that circuit, but it’s his home country, which is always a very special boost. Especially after the nightmare day we experienced in Australia on Sunday, we can’t wait to be on track for FP1 just to forget about this and to be focussed on Malaysia. I hope there will be many, many fans for Monster Yamaha Tech3 with Johann and of course the local boy Hafizh. See you all there!”

MotoGP Phillip Island Syahrin GP AN
Hafizh Syahrin

Hafizh Syahrin currently sits ranked 18th in the championship with 34 points to his name, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to convert the home ground advantage into results, but he’ll have the crowd’s support nevertheless. Heading into his first home Grand Prix in the premier class, the Malaysian crashed out in Australia but took a top ten in Japan and is on form in terms of pace.

Hafizh Syahrin

“I’m looking forward to arrive in Sepang after the good sensations we got in Phillip Island. Although the result was not great in the end, two thirds of the race were fantastic and I learned from the top riders in front of me, plus I was able to stay close to them. Unfortunately, we lost the front in turn four and also in the straight we were missing some power from the engine. I just can’t wait for my home race, which gives me some extra motivation. We keep working hard and believing in ourselves. For sure, we’ll try to do our best there.”

MotoGP Motegi Syahrin GP AN
Hafizh Syahrin

Aleix Espargaró arrives in Malaysia on the back of a good race at Phillip Island, finishing ninth after a comeback ride with a convincing pace. The Spanish rider, who has apparently suffered no injury after taking a blow to the hand on Sunday, will continue working on an evolution of the RS-GP in Malaysia.

Aleix Espargaró

“In Malaysia it will be important to test the new advanced bike. Phillip Island is a particular track and we raced there in decidedly difficult conditions, so I want to put the new solutions to the test on a different circuit. My hand shouldn’t give me any problems. The pain has gone down and I don’t think it will condition me for the next race.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Espargaro Aleix GP AN
Aleix Espargaró – AJRN Image

Getting back into the points will be extra motivation for Scott Redding who has been steadily improving his feeling over the last few races.

Scott Redding

“At Sepang I’ll be expecting a physically demanding race, in some ways similar to Thailand. We’ll need to work on grip and tyre life. I want to take on my last to MotoGP races with peace of mind, trying to have fun and achieve the best possible result.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Redding GP AN
Scott Redding – AJRN Image

The Ángel Nieto Team head to Malaysia with two riders bang in form after best results of the season in Australia for both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham.

MotoGP Phillip Island Bautista GP AN
Alvaro Bautista – AJRN Image

The Spaniard took fourth at Phillip Island, riding the factory Ducati GP18 in place of Jorge Lorenzo, and he is looking to fight at the front again at Sepang to round off a strong run of flyaway races.

Álvaro Bautista

“We go to Malaysia in even higher spirits if that were possible because this trip is turning out to be really positive. We are on an upward curve, constantly improving. Sepang is one of my favourite tracks, it has a bit of everything and the objective as always will be to have some good practice sessions, work well with the bike and look for a place in Q2. We have seen that if we can start with the front guys we can run with them, so qualifying is very important. Then we can aim for a top ten, which is what we can achieve with the material we have.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Bautista GP AN
Álvaro Bautista – AJRN Image

His teammate Karel Abraham took eleventh place at Phillip Island to double his points tally for the season. This weekend the Czech rider shifts back to his Ducati GP16, the race-winning bike at Sepang in 2016, and he is hoping it can power him to another points finish.

Karel Abraham

“I am going to Malaysia looking forward to racing again and fighting for more points, even though I don’t like the weather conditions there. At Sepang I won’t be riding the Ducati GP17, which I had my best result of the season on in Australia, but I will be back on my usual bike to give my best as always.”

MotoGP Australia Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham

The heat is on at Sepang and another piece of the puzzle will be played out at 300 km/h around the fast and challenging circuit – so who can tame the Malaysian masterpiece? Find out on Sunday 4th November.

MotoGP Championship Standings

2018 MotoGP Championship Standings
Pos Rider Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 296
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 210
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 195
4. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 180
5. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 148
6. Petrucci Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 137
7. Zarco Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 133
8. Iannone Andrea Team Suzuki Ecstar 133
9. Lorenzo Jorge Ducati Team 130
10. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 129
11. Bautista Alvaro Angel Nieto Team 96
12. Pedrosa Dani Repsol Honda Team 95
13. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 83
14. Morbidelli Franco Marc VDS Racing Team 46
15. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 39
16. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 35
17. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 35
18. Syahrin Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 34
19. Smith Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 29
20. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 21
21. Redding Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 15
22. Abraham Karel Angel Nieto Team 10
23. Kallio Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6
24. Nakasuga Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Team 2
25. Simeon Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 1
26. Pirro Michele Ducati Team 1
27. Luthi Thomas Marc VDS Racing Team 0
28. Bradl Stefan Honda Racing Corporation 0
29. Torres Jordi MV Agusta Reparto Corse 0
30. Jones Mike Reale Avintia Racing 0
31. Guintoli Sylvain Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team 0
32. Ponsson Christophe Ponsson C. 0


Aussie youngsters selected for 2019 Asia Talent Cup

2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup

Harrison Voight and Jacob Roulstone make it in!

Riders for the 2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup have been decided at the Selection Event in Malaysia.

Asia Talent Cup Selections
Asia Talent Cup Selections

The Selection Event to choose the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup riders for next season is now over for another year after taking place at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Asia Talent Cup Selections
Asia Talent Cup Selections for 2019

Following inscriptions on Tuesday and a day of track action to assess the new crop of hopefuls on Wednesday, eight young riders from across Asia and Oceania have been selected to join the grid– as well as five reserve riders.

Asia Talent Cup Selections Harrison Voight
Harrison Voight – Asia Talent Cup 2019

Aussie youngsters Jacob Roulstone and Harrison Voight are two of the youngest to make it through the selection process while Luke Power has been named as a reserve rider. 

The Selection Event took place largely in the wet at Sepang, but it didn’t put too much of a dampener on proceedings.

Asia Talent Cup Selections Jacob Roulstone
Jacob Roulstone – Asia Talent Cup 2019

Over 90 youngsters were put through their paces throughout the day before the Selection Committee made their final decisions.

Asia Talent Cup Selections Harrison Voight
Harrison Voight – Asia Talent Cup 2019

The committee, led by Talent Promotion Director Alberto Puig, selected riders from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan to either join the grid next year or be on the reserve list.

Asia Talent Cup Selections Jacob Roulstone
Jacob Roulstone – Asia Talent Cup 2019

Now the grid for next year is decided, it’s time to decide the Champion this season. The 2018 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup will be decided at Sepang this weekend, and young Aussie Billy Van Eerde currently leads the championship by 12-points heading into this weekend’s finale!


RES 56 LUKE POWER AUS M 13 162 52
RES 113 KADIR ERBAY TUR M 12 170 48

Alberto Puig

Alberto Puig (Talent Promotion Director):

“It was difficult, especially because of the conditions. It was pouring. We couldn’t do our full intended program of testing but we did what we could. Out of all this I think we’ve selected the riders who were faster today, and the reserve riders. It’s the first time we’ve had rain like this during the selection at Sepang. But we did it and we’re happy, we have some young riders of different nationalities. It’s also important that no one is injured although we had some crashes, everyone is ok. So for one more edition, job completed.

“We always try and find young riders because they always have more potential to learn and grow. We hope we’ve got some potential selected here. They understand they have an important opportunity but at the beginning it will be difficult for them, like it has been for all the riders who have come to race in the Cup. But as always, the guys who are strongest and have the most passion will make it on this road.”


Now Ducati Has an EICMA-Ready eBike

Say, weren’t we just talking about how ebikes are lately cutting into the traditional motorcycle market? Why, yes we were, right here among other places. The Luddites as usual contend that putting a motor on a bicycle is cheating, but then they’re the same people who eschew ABS and TC. Sure, Eddie Merckx didn’t need assist in his prime, but now that he’s 73 I’m guessing he’d love an ebike, if he’s not pedalling around on one right now. And in any case, companies are in business to make money. What does it tell us that Yamaha can’t loan MO a test ebike because they’re selling them too fast?

Ducati Press Release:

An exclusive Ducati e-mtb ready for its debut at EICMA 2018

30 OCT 2018
The wait for the Ducati World Première is almost over and we are starting to reveal some secrets!

On Sunday 4 November 2018 the Ducati World Première in Milan (streamed live worldwide on starting at 19.00) will unveil the new Ducati e-mtb, the MIG-RR, an enduro born out of close collaboration with Italian company Thok Ebikes.

E-mountainbikes let cyclists take on climbs that, without the motor boost, wouldn’t be possible and, at the same time, they allow everyone to live the off-road on two wheels in total freedom. E-mtbs sales are booming worldwide. Ducati has now entered this market segment relying on the experience of a specialized company, Thok Ebikes, born from the passion of the BMX and Down Hill champion Stefano Migliorini.

The Ducati MIG-RR, which will make its public debut on the Ducati stand at EICMA 2018 (Fiera Milano Rho, 8-11 November), is a true high-end e-mtb developed by Thok Ebikes specialists in close collaboration with Aldo Drudi’s D-Perf and the Ducati Design Center.

While the new Ducati e-mtb is an offshoot of the popular MIG series produced by Thok, it features some unique technical solutions: wheels with different diameters and suspension set-ups with different degrees of wheel travel (29″ and 170 mm at the front, 27.5″ and 160 mm at the rear) make it a true enduro that meets the needs of even the most demanding rider.

With high-level components such as FOX Factory Kashima suspension, carbon fibre Renthal handlebarsMavic wheels4-caliper Shimano Saint brakes and an 11-speed Shimano XT gear set, the MIG-RR features a Shimano Steps E8000 motor – which puts out 250 Watts with a torque of 70N – powered by a 504 Wh battery.

The battery is positioned underneath the down tube. The resulting low barycentre makes the Ducati MIG-RR an easy-to-ride yet precise bike even on the toughest terrain.

The Ducati MIG-RR will be distributed throughout Europe via the Ducati dealership network starting from spring 2019.

The post Now Ducati Has an EICMA-Ready eBike appeared first on News.

Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT Review | Interceptor Test

Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT Review
Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor Review

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

Royal Enfield. That name summons up various thoughts depending on how old you are, where you come from and of course your knowledge of motorcycling history. 

Right now though history is not where we should focus when we talk Royal Enfield. The Indian brand is undergoing a thorough modernisation program that aims to shift its perception as somewhat of an antiquated boutique brand for the eccentric, or simply an option for those a little or strapped for cash, in to a mainstream choice in mature markets such as ours.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

Royal Enfield is striving to elevate their wares to new levels of quality and performance, but still aim to deliver motorcycles at a price point that makes them not only remarkably affordable for us in more affluent regions. While also remaining realistically attainable for the masses in emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Thailand.

To help them modernise and develop motorcycles with much broader global appeal Royal Enfield recruited dozens of staff from Triumph, and elsewhere in the motorcycle industry, to gain as much expertise as they can in order to bring a new range of much higher quality Royal Enfield motorcycles to market.

Siddhartha Lal CEO Royal Enfield
Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal is a man on a mission to make the company a force to be reckoned

Last year they opened their Royal Enfield Technical Centre at the Bruntingthorpe Testing Ground. Here a 100+ strong international team of designers, engineers and test riders are permanent Royal Enfield staff all busy at work designing and refining new products.

The new Interceptor and Continental GT are the initial fruit borne of this new approach, but these are just the first of many new models on the way from the Indian brand as they position themselves to start making a real impact in mature markets.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Launch
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor Launch loop – This loop and a variation of it was ridden each day of the two-day ride program on the launch recently attended the worldwide media launch of this new twin-cylinder range to gauge just how well the next generation approach from Royal Enfield is playing out in the real world.

As I first spied the brace of new Royal Enfield models that filled the parking lot of the Santz Cruz Dream Inn, my eyes were drawn immediately to the handsome Continental GT.

Royal Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

They all glistened in their various colours in the Californian sun against the glorious backdrop that is the famous century old Santa Cruz Wharf, the longest pier on America’s West Coast. The Continental GT in white was immediately my favourite. 

The plain hue accentuated the clean lines of the machine to my eye, and I must admit to being taken aback a little with just how attractive these new machines were.

Royal Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

I liked the Interceptor also, it was tasteful and promised what looked like slightly more comfortable ergonomics, but the Continental GT had more brooding intent along with a little menace. Clearly the first impressions of these new machines were positive, and as I looked deeper they didn’t disappoint.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

The paintwork and chrome looked brilliant, I would later learn these improved finishes are the product of improved production techniques now being used by Royal Enfield. I can’t of course attest to the longevity of both treatments in the long term, but I can say that on all the bikes I examined the paint, chrome, stainless steel and alloy surfaces all looked great.

Royal Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

The bends of the 2-into-2 exhaust leading to the long upswept mufflers are a signature element of the styling and one that has been carried off beautifully. They sound bloody good too, but alas only to onlookers, as they exit too far behind the rider to be heard from the cockpit.

Royal Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

If you want to listen to the concert while riding you will need to tick the optional extra box for some freer flowing units. The rortier pipes also come with what feels like a modest improvement in top end surge in the final third of the conventional 9000 rpm tachometer.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Pipes SS
Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor with optional S&S pipes

Despite looking quite individual, the two models share almost all the same parts. Primarily, it is only the seat, tank and bars that are markedly different, and along with peg position it is these items that also differentiate the ergonomics of the machines.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

The GT has a little more ground clearance and a slightly stiffer base setting on the rear spring, but otherwise it is identical to the Interceptor. Ground clearance is generous on both machines and you are going full pelt with very little in reserve before you touch anything down.

In the corners these machines really do shine.  The designers, or ‘felt-tip fairies’ as the engineers and test riders refer to them, decided from the outset that to achieve the stance they wanted the bikes had to roll on 18” rims at both ends. Dynamically, this posed numerous challenges that had to be overcome in order to obtain a sweet steering and handling motorcycle.

Royal Enfield Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

The development team left no stone unturned and has delivered a chassis that is remarkably competent and exhibits no bad traits that I could ascertain. They steer sweetly, hold a line well and do not run wide or stand up under brakes.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

In fact, the dimensions and geometry of the tubular steel, double-cradle frame had been decided, and the production of tooling was well down the track when test riders found another breakthrough in dynamics while using yet another variation on their Harris Performance produced test frames. The fact that they then managed to convince Royal Enfield management to junk that purportedly seven-figure investment already made in tooling, in order to bring those improvements to the first production run, is a testament to how committed the company is to getting these new twins right.

Royal Enfield Continental GT Detail
Royal Enfield Continental GT

The suspension is basic but actually works pretty well.  41mm conventional forks offer no adjustment and have 110mm of travel while the piggyback rear shocks offer 88mm of travel. They are identical across both machines, save for the five-stage adjustable rear preload on the Continental GT having a base #1 setting equivalent to what would already be three-clicks on the Interceptor, however the spring rates remain the same.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Detail
Royal Enfield Interceptor

I never copped any significant smacks in the arse or the goolies during my 400 kilometres onboard the machines and remained pretty comfortable throughout.  The seats feel quite thinly padded and at the end of each day I was starting to move around on them a little, but overall they do the job reasonably well.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

Seat height on the Continental GT is 790 mm while the Interceptor perch is marginally higher but still duck friendly at 804 mm.  Both bikes roll on a 1400 mm wheelbase with 24-degrees of rake.

The tyres are of a tubeless specification but the 36-spoke rims they are fitted to are not. However, the extra carcass strength afforded by the tubeless spec’ rubber helps to add stability and poise to the chassis as a whole. 

Royal Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

The Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp rubber also looks pukka and offer plenty of grip despite their unusually slim sizes, 100/90-18 at the front and 130/70-18 at the rear.  These were jointly developed between Royal Enfield and Pirelli specifically for these machines and the compound was actually tweaked further after testers thought more improvements could be made while doing endless test runs in California ahead of the world launch.

It would have been nice, however, if the rims were able to be used without a tube as punctures on tubed tyres are not as simply fixed on the run via a plug and gas cartridge. That said, at least tubes should be easy to come by as 18-inch is the size widely used on almost all off-road enduro motorcycles. Thus any motorcycle shop in the back of Bum Fuck, Idaho, should be able to help you out if you get stranded.

Royal Enfield Engine
Royal Enfield 650 Twin

The 648cc engine is all-new and will no doubt also power a cavalcade of more new models to come from the Royal Enfield stable over the next couple of years. We are also likely to see a slightly up-sized unit at some stage.

Remarkably, for an air-cooled engine, Royal Enfield have not only met Euro4 emissions levels, but tell us that they will also easily meet Euro5. It does sport a reasonable size oil-cooler but of course no liquid-cooling also means more simplicity, no water pump, hoses or radiator. It was pretty warm during our time in California but the bikes did not seem to get hot and bothered at all and I can’t remember feeling any major levels of radiant heat making their way up to me in the cockpit.

Royal Enfield Engine
Royal Enfield 650 Twin

A 270-degree crank was chosen for the same reasons that this crank phasing has almost become the default in modern parallel twins. It gives more of a v-twin feel while retaining the packaging and cost advantages that a parallel engine affords. I am not sure if I agree that was the right move, I quite like the feel of a 360-degree crank and they are now so rare that this could have been another welcome point of difference for Royal Enfield to capitalise on, after all that is the original song of the British twins. 

Thumbing the starter from cold sees the twin idles a little over 1500 rpm before settling down to around 1200 rpm once warmed up. The feel and sound brings a smile to your dial. 

A single overhead cam actuates the four valves on each of the 78 mm cylinders and the engine runs a remarkably low 9.5:1 compression ratio.  Obviously that is to cater for low octane fuel found in some regions, but it certainly doesn’t help the engine muster any sort of immediate urgency under throttle.

Royal Enfield Engine
Royal Enfield 650 Twin

Throttle response is pretty much faultless though, from closed to open the response is smooth at virtually every rpm.  I don’t think you could even purposefully be ham-fisted enough to elicit any sort of abrupt response. This is a boon for new riders, and a credit to the team responsible for tuning the Bosch engine management system, but I would like to feel a little more instantaneous shove when I hit the throttle, and think this would add a little more to the riding experience.

Of course, a learner legal 47 hp is never going to rip your arms off but still I would prefer a little more urgency when hitting the throttle on the exit of a turn, and feel this could have easily been achieved.

Royal Enfield Engine
Royal Enfield 650 Twin

Maximum power is reached at 7250 rpm whilst torque peaks 2000 rpm earlier at 52 Nm. Royal Enfield claim that 80 per cent of that twist is available right down to 2500 rpm. That sounds about right to me as there are certainly no real peaks or troughs to speak of throughout the rev range. It is virtually impossible to stall and a generous 37.5-degrees of steering lock makes tight manoeuvring a doddle.

Cruising at 130 km/h sees you at that 5250 rpm torque peak and proves pleasant enough with no real vibrations to speak of. If you are extraordinarily patient you can see as high as 185 km/h on the conventional speedometer as you eventually brush the rev-limiter in sixth gear just over 8000 rpm.  The box itself is smooth and sweet while the clutch is of the slip-assist type and proved light at the lever.

Royal Enfield Continental GT Trev
Royal Enfield Continental GT

I accidentally tested the slipper function a couple of times.  The first machine I rode dropped out of gear a couple of time as I whacked the pair of 34 mm throttle bodies open while still carrying a decent amount of lean on corner exit. This was no fault of the gearbox, but due to the shifter not being adjusted for my size tens correctly, which in turn had prevented me from completing the previous shift properly. Once the shifter was adjusted to a more suitable height it never happened again. That slipper clutch did save my arse though. 

Braking performance actually proved quite good considering there is only a single disc front, albeit a large 320 mm item clamped by a twin-piston ByBre caliper. The ABS control unit is a contemporary Bosch dual-channel item quite minimalist in size.

Royal Enfield Continental GT Detail
Royal Enfield Continental GT

The mirrors work well enough and while the switchgear has a slightly tacky look it proved functional enough. In another cost saving measure the lights are conventional globes and not LED. A small LCD panel housed in the speedometer shows a fuel gauge along with the usual trip and odometer functions. By necessity of the crazy traffic from where it hails from the horn is very powerful by motorcycling standards.  The Continental GT is crying out for some bar-end mirrors from the aftermarket catalogue.

Royal Enfield Continental GT Bar End Mirrors
Royal Enfield Continental GT with bar end mirrors

The look of the Continental GT had me immediately favouring it over the slightly more upright and little more staid looking Interceptor, however, for day to day commuting and possibly overall riding enjoyment it is perhaps the Interceptor that gets the nod. At 13.7-litres the Interceptor also scores a slightly larger tank than the more sculpted 12.5-litre tank fitted to the GT.

I can’t help myself though, and still think it would be the Continental GT that would get my dough as I really am quite taken by its looks.  Then I would be looking at the louder exhaust, a set of high-compression pistons and some hotter cams to add the final pieces of the puzzle to produce some increased urgency to the throttle and a little more thrust out of the bends. But then with more power of course I would then need to tweak the suspension… 

Royal Enfield Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT

As they rock out of the box there is little to complain about. Overall, in my opinion, they are a much better ride in every scenario than, for example, Harley’s Street 500. And dynamically, it is a sweeter handling machine than the outgoing Triumph Street Twin.

As I said in my initial thoughts published on immediately after the launch, I would not hesitate in recommending one of these to a new rider in Australia. Or an experienced rider just after a really affordable fun bike, and who doesn’t find a 47hp motorcycle beneath them. That’s something I would have never said of their previous models, but these new twins have broken the mould and most certainly have elevated the Royal Enfield to a new level of engineering competence.

Those of you that have followed my reviews for a long time, know that I am rarely so glowing and overwhelmingly positive about any bike, that’s generally not really the way I roll. You may have also noticed that I use the world ‘surprised’ quite a lot here, even though I went to great pains to try and not be too repetitive. But Royal Enfield really do need to be congratulated on taking this massive step forward. The real test of course will come out in the field, to see how well that lovely finish holds over the long term, and how well the mechanicals hold up as the kilometres are racked up. Early indications are positive in this regard but only time will tell.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor

Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but early indications are that the range will start around $10,000.  Cost of ownership is also looking attractive with 10,000km service intervals while a market leading three-year warranty adds considerable peace of mind. Hopefully the dealership back-up and after sales support also proves positive.

These new twins are a successful marriage of Royal Enfield’s basic roots of mechanical simplicity, but with just enough modern technology to ensure that the ride is fun, but without the fuss. 

I look forward to what’s coming next from Royal Enfield. I am not sure what that will be, but I am damn sure there is going to be a lot more to look forward to from this company than we have ever anticipated before. And I find that pretty exciting.

While they have nearly gone out of business at low points in their history, Royal Enfield have always been producing motorcycles since the brand was first born in 1901. Thus Royal Enfield are the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer to be in continuous production. I think perhaps the best chapters in Royal Enfield’s long history are still to be written.

Royal Enfield Interceptor Continental GT Scene
Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT & Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor


Honda EOY Deals | CBR1000RR | Africa Twin | CBR500R

Honda Deals

CMX, SH150, CB300R & CRF250 Rally

Summer is knocking and Honda have a whole host of EOY deals on a range of road motorcycles, from the LAMS legal CBR500R and CRF250 Rally, all the way up to the CBR1000RR SP2 and Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT, just to name a few.

Honda's CBR1000RR SP
Honda’s CBR1000RR SP

Inject more excitement and thrill into your daily life with the ultimate Supersport machine – the famous Fireblade! You can pick up a free Snap-On Tool kit** valued at $1529 RRP with the purchase of either the CBR1000RR, CBR1000RR SP or CBR1000RR SP2 Fireblade models.

New riders after something with Honda’s renowned sporting heritage and performance features packaged with real-world considerations of comfort, affordability and power will love the CBR500R. Another exciting Sportsbike to be seen on and now available for $7,999 Ride Away* and 0% finance+.

2018 Honda CBR500R in Grand Prix Red
2018 Honda CBR500R in Grand Prix Red

LAMs approved, the CBR500R packs no nonsense punch with a large 16.7 litre fuel tank, perfect for extended travel range when needed. 41mm adjustable pre-load front forks have external preload adjusters to allow for adaptation to different riding situations and results in controlled ride. Sophisticated Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension offers nine-stage spring preload adjustability. The CBR500R also has LED lighting, ABS as standard and the front brake lever features a five-step adjustment mechanism to suit rider preference.

The CMX street bobber is also now available for only $8,499 Ride Away. LAMs friendly, powered by a 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine with a smooth, linear power delivery. The CMX is slim, with a low seat height designed for easy manoeuvrability at low speeds.

Honda's CMX 'street bobber'
Honda’s CMX ‘street bobber’

Rolling on fat tyres its low and lean ‘bobber’ silhouette – crowned by the steeply raked 11.2L fuel tank and fat handlebars – sits the rider firmly ‘in’ the machine. From every angle of its stripped form, it expresses an offbeat individuality.

Riders looking for something with a completely new style tone should make the most of the special 3% introductory finance offer^ available on the brand new, 2019 CB300R. A lightweight machine, tipping the scales at only 143kgs, this machine truly stands out on its own with its minimalist, bare-boned looks.

Honda CB300R arrives in dealers
Honda new CB300R features stripped back styling

There is also something for adventure riders, with a very enticing deal if purchasing an Africa Twin Adventure Sports manual model, you can upgrade to the DCT version for free.

The Africa Twin ‘Adventure Sports’ DCT with ABS offers long-distance riders an elevated adventure touring experience. A worthy successor to the original and very much ‘Go Anywhere’ machine it promises to be, with Throttle By Wire (TBW) with three ride modes to tailor engine character and traction.

Honda Africa Twin DCT ABS
The Honda Africa Twin DCT model

It also has Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) which has seven levels and OFF, as well as a new intake design and exhaust to aid mid-range response and lithium-ion battery which saves 2.3 kg and enhances durability.

The CRF250 Rally also has $500 Honda Dollars available – an ideal choice for riders who want the option of a machine with on/off road capabilities in a compact package, which brings the spirit of Rally-raid racing to every day.

Honda CRF250 Rally at Enoch Falls
Honda CRF250 Rally

The deals don’t stop there, with $500 HondaDollar* on the stylish SH150, its lightweight and a joy to ride while offering optimum fuel economy thanks to PGM-FI fuel injection and Idle Stop.

For more information on this sale or on entire Honda range; visit your nearest Honda Dealer, ring 1 300 1 HONDA or visit (link).

The Fine Print

*Ride away offers available on all year models for CBR500R, and all year models for the CMX. Price includes GST. *Credit provided by BOQ Credit Pty Limited ABN 92 080 151 266 (BOQC) (Australian Credit Licence Number 393331) trading as Honda MPE Financial Services. BOQC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Queensland Limited ABN 32 009 656 740 (BOQ). BOQ does not guarantee or otherwise support the obligations or performance of BOQC or the products it offers. BOQC’s standard credit assessment criteria apply and fees and charges are payable. The interest rate is 0.00%pa and applicable on a 36 month term secured consumer loan agreement.The comparison rate of 0.00%pa and is calculated on a loan amount of $10,000 for a term of 36 months. These rates are for secured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.This offer is subject to approved applicants who finance new All YM CBR500RA models during 1st October 2018 and 31st December 2018. Full terms and conditions available at authorized, participating Honda MPE dealerships.+Ride away offer available on the CBR500R (17 year models and older). Price includes GST. Available between 1 October and 31 December 2018. Only at participating Honda Dealers. Overseas models shown. ^HondaDollars may be used instore to purchase accessories, servicing or reduce purchase price. $500 HondaDollars when purchasing an SH150 Scooter, 2017 year model and older. **DCT Upgrade available only when purchasing an Africa Twin Adventure Sports Manual model, customer gets the option to upgrade to the DCT variant for free. Available between 1 Oct and 31st Dec 2018. Only at participating Honda Motorcycle Dealers. Whilst stocks last. For full terms and conditions see in store. Overseas models shown, accessories not included and subject to availability, 1.44 volt polisher (tool only), 14.4 volt 2.0 Ah (Amp hour) lithium battery (2) Charger and Tote bag.


1934 BMW R7 inspired | R nineT based | From $49,500 USD

NMOTO Nostalgia Project

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project
Inspired by legendary 1934 BMW R7 prototype
NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

From $49,500 USD
47 orders already taken

NMOTO, a Florida based motorcycle manufacturing company has unveiled its Nostalgia project: a beautiful design inspired by the 1934 BMW R7.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

Combining vintage aesthetics with modern technology, NMOTO’s Nostalgia Project allows consumers to own a piece of history that rolls on a BMW R nineT chassis complete with up to date electronics and a current spec’ air-oil cooled 110 horsepower R nineT boxer engine. 

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

With comfortable suspension and unique steering mechanisms encased in a canonical design inspired by the BMW R7 pre-war prototype, the Nostalgia motorcycle gives enthusiasts a slice of the past without sacrificing performance or rider experience.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

In just 9 months from concept and final product, the Nostalgia project’s streamlined profile mimics the dimensions of the 1934 prototype despite it’s modern R nineT base.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

Primarily constructed of aluminium, the final product is lighter than both stock BMW R nineT and the prototype from which it gets its design inspiration.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

In total, 74 custom parts were created in-house by NMOTO’s expert engineers and fabricators. This includes a new 12-litre fuel tank and custom exhaust system.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

NMOTO designers didn’t stop with a beautiful exterior. The entire electrical system was also re-designed to accommodate this unprecedented project. NMOTO is the first company to successfully integrate the BMW R nineT electrical system with non-standard, aftermarket control panels in the bars.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

The Nostalgia project imitates vintage design by reincorporating the ignition lock and speedometer into the headlamp housing, though both parts are modernized.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

LED indicator lights and a keyless ignition system were both worked into the redesign of the R nineT electrical system, which is mostly concealed within the framework itself.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

NMOTO also takes special pride in the exhaust system on the Nostalgia project, which is completely handcrafted from stainless steel.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

The 1937 BMW R7

The BMW R7 was one of the most innovative motorcycles of its time. It introduced the telescopic front fork, had a concealed gas tank, and also featured an 800 cc boxer M208 engine with a solid cast crankshaft. Despite this, many of the technical advancements found in the R7 weren’t seen again until 1969. Unfortunate timing and high manufacturing cost also buried the unique art deco design of the R7 for decades until it was rediscovered in 2005. Thankfully for motorcycle enthusiasts, the BMW R7’s original prototype was completely restored and  reintroduced to the world at Pebble Beach in 2012.

Jay Leno on the R7

The primary objective of the Nostalgia project was more than simply creating a scale accurate look of the R7; NMOTO aimed to adapt the design to a modern chassis, taking into account the features of the serial BMW R nineT so as not to lose any modern performance dynamic.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

In particular, NMOTO engineers and designers worked together to design, develop, and fabricate completely new aluminum body parts. This also required them to narrow the rear subframe to better match the original prototype’s build. By concealing all the wiring into the framework of the motorcycle, NMOTO was able to maintain the sleek and streamlined appeal of the R7.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

Collectors know that vintage motorcycles require constant maintenance and attention, which is why they are more often kept as collectibles than for utility. NMOTO believes that the primary pleasure in motorcycle ownership is in riding and this project is aim to marry nostalgia with modern day comfort and reliability to provide a motorcycle that can be ridden every day. 

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

The serial BMW R nineT is modern, fast, and comfortable, with the latest generation of the legendary air-cooled Bavarian boxer engine. The 1170 cc and 110 hp engine, six speed gearbox, traction control and anti-lock braking system all help to propel the Nostalgia project into the modern motorcycle arena. 

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

While working on the Nostalgia project, NMOTO designers paid special attention not to disturb the balanced chassis or engine of the original BMW R nineT, as it closely resembled pre-war hardtail motorcycles which lacked rear suspension. Instead, they crafted a special bracket for the original wing mounting system and added the new mufflers to enhance the vintage style.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project

With 11 colour combinations, adjustable steering and seat trim finish, NMOTO offers customers the broadest customization options. The rear of the motorcycle can be equipped with a luggage trunk or passenger seat, or customers can opt for a manual gear shift mount on the tank in the style of pre-war motorcycles. NMOTO also plans to have its own line of accessories for the BMW R nineT.

NMOTO Nostalgia Project BMW R Homage
NMOTO Nostalgia Project


ASBK MotoGP Support Races | Superbike | Supersport 300

Australian Superbike MotoGP Supports

It was a fairly limited supports program at this year’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with only two classes present, Superbike and 300 Supersport.

MotoGP ASBK CRw Supersport
Supersport 300 was manic as usual – Image by Colin Rosewarne

While there were 26 Superbike entrants, a lot of Australia’s fastest Superbike teams had decided to forego the non-championship event in the face of budget constraints. Thus Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell and Daniel Falzon were not in the field, nor was Team Suzuki’s Josh Waters. BCperformance Kawasaki were also not attending the event.

There were, however, a lot of riders in the field that do not regularly compete in ASBK Superbike events so some of the speed differences were very large indeed. A massive 14-seconds separated the fastest and slowest competitors.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Troy Bayliss Glenn Allerton TBG
Troy Bayliss – Glenn Allerton – TBG Image

It is fair to say, that Australian Superbike did not have its best feet forward in front of the MotoGP circus and the strong crowds that were present across the Phillip Island Grand Prix weekend. Albeit that the support class action was largely held at times when most of the crowd were yet to arrive, or had already left. That notwithstanding, the racing was tight and action packed across both classes.

The weekend also clearly underlined yet again why ASBK should not, and do not, schedule championship races at the MotoGP event. We are nothing more than card fillers, and as such there are never any guarantees of our events going ahead. We can generally get away with it at WorldSBK events, as they are generally at the beginning of the season, thus the championship connotations are not quite so important, but at MotoGP it would be madness to have championship points on the line.

MotoGP Australia CRw ASBK R Bayliss Allerton
Troy Bayliss – Glenn Allerton – TBG Image

A three-hour delay after a hefty oil spill early on in Moto3 first practice saw most of the day’s domestic schedule postponed. Luckily, ASBK Superbike competitors had got out on the circuit for FP1 at the ridiculously early time of 0755. An hour later they then got out for their single 20-minute qualifying session on a track registering a cool 16.7-degrees celsius, and an ambient of 13-degrees.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Glenn Allerton TBG
Glenn Allerton – TBG Image

It was the NextGen BMW of Glenn Allerton that set the pace by lapping fractionally faster than the DesmoSport Ducati Panigale of Troy Bayliss.

2018 Australian Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss was around half-a-second slower while young Mark Chiodo was the fastest Suzuki. Chiodo was riding his private machine due to the non-appearance of the Ecstar Suzuki squad.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Marcus Chiodo TBG
Mark Chiodo – TBG Image

We were scheduled to have two Superbike races on Friday, a ten-lap race followed by another eight-lapper. Instead competitors only got to race a single eight-lap bout on Friday which got underway at 1720. Superbike then got a second race at 0855 on Saturday morning and a third and final race from an originally scheduled four then took place at 0935 on Sunday morning.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Supersport Race Start
Few people were at the track early enough to witness the support class action – Supersport 300 Race One – TBG Image

Predictably, it was the three men with multiple high-level road race championships under their belts that ran away with the show up front in Superbike.

MotoGP ASBK CRw Allerton Bayliss Herfoss
Glenn Allerton, Troy Bayliss and Troy Herfoss in close formation at Phillip Island – Image by Colin Rosewarne

Troy Bayliss, Glenn Allerton and Troy Herfoss all shared a win apiece. It was however the elder statesman that won the meeting with Bayliss scoring two more points than Allerton, who in turn scored two more than Herfoss.

Troy Bayliss won the first bout in what was a ripper duel between the Ducati legend and NextGen BMW’s Glenn Allerton, a quarter-of-a-second separating them at the line.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Troy Bayliss TBG
Troy Bayliss – TBG Image

It was an important indication that Allerton is really back from injury, up for a fight, and keen to re-establish his place in the top echelons of Australian Superbike’s pecking order come season 2019. The BMW has quite often been found a little wanting at Phillip Island, but clearly the NextGen squad had the S 1000 RR working well last weekend. 

Troy Herfoss had an early off-track excursion that took him out of the battle but he still easily took third place, seven-seconds ahead of Mark Chiodo who just managed to hold off Alex Phillis to claim fourth.

MotoGP Australia CRw ASBK R Herfoss Bayliss Allerton
Superbike Race Two – Image by Colin Rosewarne

The second race was staged in drizzly conditions early on Saturday morning. This time around Herfoss was back in the hunt for the win and fighting up front with Bayliss and Allerton.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Superbike Race Allerton Bayliss Herfoss
A wet Saturday morning at Phillip Island – Image by TBG

17-thousandths of a second separated Allerton and Bayliss at the flag but it was the nose of the BMW that was in front and Allerton was credited with the win.

MotoGP Australia CRw ASBK R Allerton Herfoss Bayliss
Superbike Race Two – Image by Colin Rosewarne

Herfoss was only a bike length or so further behind at the flag in third place, but a huge 25-seconds ahead of fourth-placed Yannis Shaw.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Yanni Shaw TBG
Yannis Shaw – TBG Image

Shaw beat Superbike debutante Max Croker to the line by a single thousandth of a second to claim that fourth place in a photo finish.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Max Croker TBG
Max Croker made his Superbike debut at Phillip Island – TBG Image

The third race was another cracker and staged in completely dry conditions at 0935 on Sunday morning in front of what was already quite an impressive crowd. Herfoss, Bayliss and Allerton were at it hammer and tong throughout the entire eight-laps, and looked set for a fierce final lap battle to the line.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Troy Herfoss TBG
Troy Herfoss – TBG Image

Alas, lapped riders pretty much decided the outcome as Herfoss threaded his Fireblade through the backmarkers at the most opportune parts of the circuit, while Bayliss and Allerton were baulked at Southern Loop, Honda and Siberia.

MotoGP ASBK CRw Herfoss Rossini Allerton Bayliss Vella
Troy Herfoss put himself in to the lead on the final lap and it worked out in regards to the 2018 ASBK Champ navigating the backmarkers the best to take the win – Image by Colin Rosewarne

That gave Herfoss the breathing space he needed to remain unchallenged through Hayshed, Lukey Heights, MG and the final high-speed turns to take the win by three-tenths. Luck played its part for sure, but Herfoss had made his own luck by being brave enough to lead at the start of that last lap and it paid dividends. 

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Superbike Race Herfoss Win
Troy Herfoss celebrates winnin the final race – TBG Image

The battle for second was still on in earnest though with Bayliss pipping Allerton by a single thousandth of a second in a photo finish at the line to claim second place. That second place was enough for Bayliss to take the overall event victory from Allerton.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Superbike Bayliss Allerton Herfoss
Australian Superbike MotoGP Supports 2018 Overall
Troy Bayliss – Ducati 25-20-20 / 65
Glenn Allerton – BMW 20-25-18 / 63
Troy Herfoss – Honda 18-18-25 / 61

All three champions recorded laps in the high 1m32s in that final race. The next quickest competitor was Mark Chiodo, with a fastest lap of 1m34.172 on his way to a lonely fourth place.

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Alex Phillis TBG
Alex Phillis – TBG Image

Alex Phillis also got into the 1m34s with a best of 1m34.969 on his way to fifth place in the final bout while Max Croker showed that he is adapting to the big-bore Superbikes with a best lap of 1m35.454 on his way to sixth. Croker will step up to the Superbike category full-time for season 2019 with the Mat Mladin Motorsports squad. 

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Superbike Race Start
ASBK Superbike support races at MotoGP 2018 – TBG Image

Phil Cjaz got in the 36s, Shaw the 37s, while the rest of the field from ninth place back were in the 39s or slower. In contrast, at the ASBK finale a fortnight earlier the top 20 were all lapping 37s or better, with the top ten all in the 34s or better.

Supersport 300

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Seth Crump TBG
Seth Crump and Oli Bayliss – Sons of two Australian motorcycling legends battled fiercely in Supersport 300 – TBG Image

It was a great finish to the Superbike season for Troy Bayliss, made all that much sweeter when 15-year-old son Oli took out overall honours in the Supersport 300 category after some titanic battles with Seth Crump, Hunter Ford, Lachy Taylor and Dylan Whiteside.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Supersport Race Crump
Seth Curmp #57 – Oli Bayliss #86 – Hunter Ford #20 – Dylan Whiteside #32 – Image by TBG

It was certainly somewhat surreal witnessing the sons of two of Australia’s most successful ever motorcycle racers going at it hammer and tong around Phillip Island.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Supersport Race Bayliss
Oli Bayliss leads Supersport 300 Race Two – TBG Image

Troy Bayliss is of course a three-time World Superbike Champion, while Seth’s dad Jason Crump took three solo Speedway World Championships, along with a very long list of other Speedway honours both at home and abroad.

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Supersport Race Start Graham Chequers Stewart
Graham ‘Checkers’ Stewart flags the finish of the opening Supersport 300 race with Seth Crump taking the victory – TBG Image

The sons of Aussie motorcycle royalty shared a win apiece at Phillip Island while Hunter Ford took second in both races. 

MotoGP ASBK Supports TBG Supersport Bayliss Crump Ford
Australian Supersport 300 MotoGP Supports 2018 Overall
Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki 18-25/ 43
Seth Crump – KTM 25-16 / 41
Hunter Ford – Yamaha 20-20 / 40
Image by TBG

Australian Superbike MotoGP Supports 2018 Overall

  1. Troy Bayliss – Ducati 25-20-20 / 65
  2. Glenn Allerton – BMW 20-25-18 / 63
  3. Troy Herfoss – Honda 18-18-25 / 61
  4. Mark Chiodo – Suzuki 17-14-17 / 48
  5. Alex Phillis – Suzuki 16-15-16 / 47
  6. Max Croker – Suzuki 15-16-15 / 46
  7. Yannis Shaw – Kawasaki 13-17-13 / 43
  8. Phil Czaj – Aprilia 14-12-14 / 40
  9. Corey Forde – Honda 11-11-12 / 34
  10. Jake Drew – Yamaha 12-10-11 / 33
MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Oli Bayliss TBG
Oli Bayliss #86 – TBG Image

Australian Supersport 300 MotoGP Supports 2018 Overall

  1. Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki 18-25/ 43
  2. Seth Crump – KTM 25-16 / 41
  3. Hunter Ford – Yamaha 20-20 / 40
  4. Lachy Taylor – Yamaha 17-17 / 34
  5. Dylan Whiteside – Kawasaki 15-18 / 33
  6. Luke Power – Yamaha 16-14 / 30
  7. Zane Ford – Yamaha 14-15 / 29
  8. Mitch Kuhne – Yamaha 12-13 / 25
  9. Ben Bramich – Yamaha 13-11 / 24
  10. Luke Johnston – Yamaha 11-12 / 23
MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Seth Crump TBG
Seth Crump – Supersport 300 – TBG Image


Oceania Rookies Cup riders to be fitted out by Ricondi

Ricondi partner with Oceania Rookies Cup

So often in the lower ranks of road racing riders present in questionable leathers in various states of disrepair. This deal with Ricondi should help ensure this new junior road racing venture portrays a professional appearance at every outing. 

Ricondi, an Australian company which design, develop and test their products right here in Australia, will be the exclusive supplier of gear used by riders in the 2019 bLU cRU Oceania Rookies Cup.

BLU CRU Oceania Rookies Cup
bLU cRU Oceania Rookies Cup

Ricondi will provide all riders of the Junior Road Racing Academy with custom designed leathers, as well as providing repair services to ensure all participants are at their safest and looking their best.

Ricondi Logo

Andrew Smart – Director of Ricondi

“It’s a big step in recognition for Ricondi as a manufacturer to be chosen for such a big venture as the Oceania Rookies Cup. It’s also great to see junior motorcycle sport recognised and supported in such a substantial way. Ricondi will provide all finalists of the bLU cRU Oceania Rookies Cup with custom designed leathers which are designed to keep the kids as safe as possible, whilst also allowing the sponsors to get as much exposure as they can. Ricondi will also provide a repair service to keep kids protected regardless of any incident. We recognise that these suits are going to get a few scuffs. In partnering with the Rookies Cup, we are delivering this service to ensure the kids remain safe and look good at all times.

BLU CRU Oceania Rookies Cup
The bLU cRU Oceania Rookies Cup will be exclusively supplied leathers and gloves by Ricondi in 2019

“Our race suits have evolved over the last eight years to become a truly world class and trusted product, as is evident by the number of riders racing in Ricondi suits. We’re always updating and perfecting our suits to make sure they are the best they can be and the extent which the brand has been embraced is humbling.”

Martin Port – MA Operations Director

“In collaborating with Ricondi this partnership is an exciting move forward for Australian Junior Road Racing. Ricondi’s commitment to producing quality suits is second to none, but their additional focus on developing junior race suits made this partnership a perfect solution to fitting our junior competitors in safe and stylish suits.”

Registrations for interest remain open until October 31st, via the ASBK website (link). Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on additional partners who have come aboard to support our new Junior Road Race Academy commencing in 2019.


2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots | $199.95

2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots

Special introductory pricing of $199.95 RRP

Fly Racing and McLeod Accessories have announced the 2019 Maverick Boot, which as a limited introductory deal is available for $199.95 RRP and is available in both Adult and Youth sizes.

The 2019 Maverick Boots are CE Approved to EN13634:2015 and feature a three-buckle system on Adult sizes and two-buckle system on Youth sizes, with adjustable quick-lock buckles of open design to ensure dirt doesn’t clog the buckle.

Fly Racing MAVERIK Boots
2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots
– $199.95 RRP

A 3D moulded shift-panel includes added grooves and a texture which helps reduce premature wear, while pre-shaped molded plastic shin protection ensures impact resistance and comfort.

The inner anke panels are durable and flexible plastic construction, with articulated rear ankle for the flexibility to bend your foot, while also remaining supportive.

Fly Racing MAVERIK Boots
2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots
– $199.95 RRP

A molded outsole is light weight and stylish, alongside a injected fish-tail midsole, and the rubber outsole is designed for grip and durability. The rubber heat sheilding is heat resistant to ensure it won’t melt, while an elastic gaiter makes sure comfort around the calf is strong, while preventing the ingress of debris.

Fly Racing MAVERIK Boots
2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots
– $199.95 RRP

2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boot features

  • 3D molded plastic shift panel
  • Articulated rear ankle
  • Pre-shaped molded plastic 3D shin
  • Plastic inner ankle panel
  • CE Approved to EN13634:2015
  • Molded outsole
  • Rubber heat shield
  • Elastic gaiter for comfort and sealing
  • One-piece plastic injected ‘fish tail’ midsole
  • Adjustable quick-lock buckles
  • Adult (3-buckle)
  • Youth (three-buckle, 2 inches shorter than adult)
  • Available Now at special introductory price of $199.95
Fly Racing MAVERIK Boots
2019 Fly Racing Maverik Boots
– $199.95 RRP