Wow, look at that gorgeous Honda; nobody said ever in the history of bikes. The Japanese giant is not known for the looks of their machines, perhaps their design dept has too many non-creative engineers or HR frown upon the use of creative drugs. Personally I have never thought of any Honda as particularly good looking. The 80’s CB models had handlebars, a long seat & a tank shaped like a shoebox while Suzuki had the iconic Katana. In the 90’s Ducati had the 916 & MV Augusta the F4, Honda had the CBR which was decorated in stripes, splashes & bright colours but nothing worth noting in the looks department.
Even the current model won’t be selling millions based on its looks. Yes, they do sell millions but I doubt that is because it is the prettiest one on the shelf. I bet it was only when the final design was presented that somebody noticed the lack of a number plate & indicators. They were added 5 mins later by the guy who empties the trash at the office.
Fast forward to 2017 & Honda is no longer the ugly duckling. The latest Honda CBR1000RR looks like it could transform into a walking, talking, laser firing robot at any second. What happens if you try reset the odometer & press the incorrect sequence of buttons? Honda says CBR will first & foremost always be a road bike, sporty yet useable unlike the competition who produce race bikes with lights & number plate holders. No spec has been released to date but expect more power than the current FireTractor & all the latest safety gizmos & gadgets like traction control & ABS.
Incidentally the FIREBLADE name came about through a misinterpreted translation from French to English for the Japanese word for lightening. Good thing it didn’t get lost in translation with the German office. “Blitz” or “Feuer Klinge” doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it. Maybe the Dutch “Bliksem Blad” has some marketing value. Introducing the 2017 Honda “Bliksem Straal”! Yes, that will do just fine.
Friday beauty? I’m not sure beauty is the correct word to use for this machine; it’s not beautiful as the heading might suggest. Friday brute, perhaps? It started life as Kawasaki H2R & evolved into something more savage. Friday beast? The French freaks at AD Koncept (ADK) I suspect might be heavy drug users. How else would you explain the thought of this machine? No sane or sober person would dream of it.
Recently we witnessed Keenan Sufoglu reach 400km/h on a H2R. I’d like to see him try that on this naked bike with its wide handles & upright riding position. In the H2 family this is the sumo wrestler cousin, stripped to expose its muscles. It will undoubtedly be bringing a tyre iron or crowbar into the ring. I don’t think the current king of the ring, the KTM Superduke 1290 would want a match. The Superduke might want to bring a spade to this fight. Not as a weapon but to scrape it’s pieces together once the Japanese sumo is done working it over.
Streetfighters are not meant to play by the rules & this certainly does not. This beast could be dangerous, best leave it caged & admire from a distance.
When you saw the heading “Friday beauty” you probably expected a centrefold babe caressing the saddlebags of a new cruiser. If that’s what you prefer then you can use cash to persuade a strip club “beauty” to show you her saddlebags. I much rather prefer to visit a bike shop & feast my eyes on the exotic beauties found there. Unlike your Springs stripper with the fake accent this beauty is a real import. This Italian stunner is the Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario.
She is classy & exclusive so she’ll need more convincing than a few SA Rands to show you her carbon-fibre goodies. You will need deep pockets to persuade this beauty to come home with you. With the state of the South African Rand I could just as well be 10 years old again staring at a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on my bedroom wall. Make her feel uncomfortable by staring too seductively & she’ll disappear very quickly thanks to 205bhp on tap. Alone time in a dark corner will be impossible thanks to lightweight Marchesini wheels & active Ohlins suspension. Should you be lucky enough to see one in the flesh please don’t wave cash in her face, rather enjoy this beautiful photo,
t was a sunny Saturday in SA, yes it was. The meeting place was set but the time was not. You have to realise that when a plan has so many participants the meeting time will be set, changed, reset, changed again & eventually set to the original time. Is it 1pm or 12? Yes, 1 is good or is 12 better?
We are going to Cullinan & it is 74km from the meeting point. Yes, it might be a 5 hour ride so best we meet at 12. No, it is only 70-something kms so we’ll be back before dark so 1pm it is. No, RvR only lands after 10am from Slaapstad so 12 will be too soon. It’s winter & the sun might set while we’re on the road so best we leave early at 12. It might just be a 5 hour ride with all the smoke & piss breaks along the way. Allow for a few wrong turns & a 5 hour ride is a possibility so 12 it is!
So it’s 12 o’clock on a sunny Saturday in SA & there we are at the meeting point. All lined up & ready for the road, Backerman on his blue bike sporting a fresh set of Pirelli Angel GT tyres, JP on his Hardley Dangerous, Vin on his always-clean Gixxer, Kruger Snr on his custom cafe Bros & Kruger Jnr on his matching Bros with shiny freshly painted tank (that’s a story for another time). Wait, we are missing some people. Govander won’t make it, apparently failing a firearm competency test takes much longer than he thought. Where is RvR? His flight landed ages ago. The guys say he sent a message claiming his bags got burgled by the airport bag throwers. I suppose I’ll have to take their word for it seeing that I’m on shit network & will only receive the message on Monday.
It smells like a lame excuse to me so we decide he is a liar & make the arduous 2 km detour to his house. There we found a hungover drunkard who was easily persuaded to leave his family & come for a ride. While waiting for the hungover RvR to get ready I took the opportunity to “test” Kruger Jnr’s 650 Bros. This model must be for kids. It feels like I’m on a 12 speed built for a child. To make matters worse the engine idle feels rough but maybe that’s just what a twin is supposed to feel like. I head over a speedbump & the suspension feels harsh but maybe that’s what a 12 speed is supposed to feel like. The brakes feel spongy & weak but maybe that’s so kids don’t htow themselves over the bars. Kruger points out that the brake lever broke & was hastily replaced 2 minutes before departing from his home. Sounds safe to me.
I immediately take Kruger Snr’s Bros for a “test” ride. Nothing like a back-to-back comparison to get a real feel. Firstly, his seating position is higher which is great for my longer than average legs. Secondly, it revs smoother. Thirdly, the brakes are crisp & sharp. This little gem of a café racer feels great & puts Kruger Jnr’s spanner skills to shame.
Eventually RvR emerges with his very clean & very blue GS ready to hit the long 70 km trip & forget all about his babalas. Fortunately his bike has every accessory in the BMW catalogue which is great news for Backerman who can now put his tyre pump in the GS topbox. Tthe new valves on his GTs are losing pressure faster than a new bike depreciates.
Off we go & as to be expected we had to stop & wait for the Krugers, This is a family that is completely directionless & can get lost in a bedroom. This time however they were not lost but had to stop due to a mechanical issue. This is yet another Kruger curse. Anyhow, nothing serious & a few kms later we roll into Cullinan. Down the road we go & soon we’re greeted by the sound of people & music. The liveliest place on the dorp seems to be The Cockpit & brewhouse so in we go in search of food & drink & possibly a semi-clothed female. Any place with the word “cock” in the name suggests so.
Sadly no strippers or commercial beer, only craft beer that smells like fruit juice & looks like monkey piss. It seemed to do wonders for RvR’s babalas & even the practising weekend alcoholic Kruger Jnr approves. The menu consisted of burgers, mostly burgers & more burgers so we ordered burgers. They were large & good, just what was needed after the long ride of 70 something kms.
The sun was hanging low so we get up, gear up, start up & shut down. Mayday, the Harley has an issue. Nothing serious, probably rattled something crucial out of its sockets. Nice thing about Harleys is you can fix it with wire, pliers, grass, spit & in 2 mins we’re on our way.
Halfway back & the Bros is acting up so we stop. It gets going & a few kms later it stops again. It gets going & keeps going. At a red light I’m in front ready for a drag race. Watch the lights, watch the lights, build the revs, feel the clutch, green light & I’m gone! 2 lights down the road & I glance back to see how far I’m in the lead. How fast was that launch? There is nobody behind me. This must be a new record for a 600. I’m so happy with my unofficial record that I keep going all the way home to celebrate with a rum & coke.
How far did I win the drag race? By about 40kms. The Bros broke down & is probably still on the side of the road.