ADVENTURE BIKES OPEN NEW HORIZONS
Superbikes, hyperbikes, sports bikes, adventure bikes, naked bikes, dirt bikes, tourers, cruisers, scooters, commuters. You able to drool over whatever two-wheeled treasure tickles your fancy at the Johannesburg International Motor Show that runs until 16 October at Nasrec.
Kicking off the alphabet soup of brands at the show is Aprilia with their awesome new Tuono V4 R APRC. Aprilia Performance ride control (APRC) is the most up-to-date traction and wheelie control system that motorcycling has so far to offer.
The Tuono is a hot-rod street-fighting version of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike that brought reigning champion World Superbike champion Max Biaggi the title in 2010, its second year of competition. Also on show for the first time is the new Dorsoduro 1200 with ABS and traction control, and the RSV4 APRC. The RSV4 Factory roadgoing version of Biaggi’s superbike is on special offer for the duration of the show, or until stocks sell out, whichever comes first!
BMW is styling at the show with their awesome six-cylinder K1600 GT and GTL as well as the new G650GS single cylinder adventure bike displayed alongside their comprehensive range of highly comfortable tourers and extremely capable adventure boxer and parallel twin motorcycles. They’re also showing off their S1000RR – arguably the finest superbike that money can buy today. It’s also undeniably the most powerful, with 193 bhp on tap – that’s 144kW, and more than double the output of most supermini cars!
Honda fans will be keen to take a peep at the fresh-from-the-oven VFR800X Crossrunner, a street bike with the styling and comfortable riding position of a big adventure bike allied to the on-road performance of a sports tourer.
The Crossrunner, that uses the excellent V4 engine from the ever popular VFR800 sports tourer, also comes in a guise unique to South Africa, the 800 Touring, which includes panniers, a touring screen and a top-box for just R5000 extra – these accessories would set you back more than R20 000 if bought individually.
Honda also has some excellent machines at budget prices at the moment. The VT750S V-twin cruiser at R59 999 and the XR650L on/off-road adventurer that retails at just under R50 000 offers possibly the best value for money in South Africa at the moment. You’ll find them at JIMS lurking amongst the rest of Honda’s comprehensive line-up.
Kawasaki has always offered high performance road bikes and their display includes the superb ZX-10R and ZX-6R superbikes, as well as the newly launched Z1000SX that is a superb all-in-one combination of superbike, street-fighter, and tourer. The SX has already won numerous Bike of the Year competitions around the world. Team Green’s recently-arrived 2012 model year KX250F and KX450F motocross bikes are also on show, and those of us who love to wallow in nostalgia can see an immaculate Kawasaki 500H1 Mach III – the 500cc two-stroke triple that challenged Honda’s groundbreaking 750 Four and launched the marque’s reputation for building fast machinery more than 40 years ago.
Kawasaki Motors South Africa also imports Aeon, PGO and Zongshen scooters and quads, and those products too are on display.
KTM has become one of the dominant brands when it comes to hard-core motocross, enduro and adventure bikes, and the Austrian company has really come out swinging in 2011 with a full range of new single-cylinder and V-twin engined motorcycles. They’re all waiting for you at JIMS! A special treat for motorsport enthusiasts is that the 450cc KTM Rally that Darryl Curtis will use in the next Dakar has also arrived and will be on display at the show.
Suzuki’s comprehensive range of motorcycles, quads and outboard motors are all strutting their stuff at their eco-friendly Suzuki Way of Life outdoor display at JIMS, and amongst them are four new arrivals for this year.
The GSX-1250A (ABS) is an addition to the legendary Bandit model range, while the GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 are both thoroughbred contenders in the middleweight supersports arena. The naked GSR750 that this year replaced the smaller GSR600 of earlier days was clearly born to be a top streetfighter and is expected to do well in traffic light GP’s and in sales. Suzuki’s subsidiary, Motana SA, also has a display of Sym scooters and motorcycle accessories for your attention.
Triumph Motorcycles is showing the best of British at JIMS, and, with their products having been voted Bike of the Year in numerous categories around the world for the last few years they’re seriously worth looking at. Triumph sells about 20 models in South Africa ranging in size from 675cc to the behemoth 2,3 litres of the Rocket family. The company produces an historic line of twin cylinder machines alongside the more sporting triples they’ve become famous for since the brand’s rebirth 20 years ago.
New arrivals this year were the pair of 800cc Tiger 800 three-cylinder adventure bikes – there’s a standard Tiger 800 and an XC version that features taller suspension, spoked wheels instead of alloys and various other changes to make it more user friendly in the rough stuff. These will both be exhibited along with a dozen or so other interesting Triumph models.
Royal Enfield is another iconic British brand name that will be at JIMS. Now based in India, the company builds historic Royal Enfield 350cc and 500cc singles that now have five speed transmissions, disc brakes, and electronic fuel injection and ignition systems. They have a number of interesting variations on the theme on display.
More recent arrivals on the South African scene that are exhibiting include Big Boy with a range of inexpensive but high-quality scooters and smaller motorcycles, and their rivals, Puzey, Jonway, Bajaj, Bashan, and Gomoto. All of these brands sell well and have first class backup and spares availability.