Author: Matt Coopz

Double Win Puts Jonathan Rea On Top Of WorldSBK Standings

Double Win Puts Jonathan Rea On Top Of WorldSBK Standings

Defending WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea has finished at the top of the standings after the first round of this year’s championship at Phillip Island. Rea took two wins from two races to claim the first double at the circuit since Carlos Checa in 2011. Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes took the lead in Race 2 from pole position, with Ducati’s Davide Giugliano holding second until Rea passed before the first run through the Southern Loop. After setting the pace in much of the pre-season testing and taking pole position, Sykes was looking for a good result this weekend. However, just like in Race 1, it didn’t go to plan for the Yorkshireman. With 12 laps to go, Sykes ran wide into turn 4 and opened a gap for not only his teammate but also for Michael Van Der Mark (Honda CBR1000RR SP) and Chaz Davies (Ducati 1199 Panigale R) to slip though. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano caused more grief a few laps later, touching the rear wheel of Sykes’ Kawasaki while attempting to pass and forcing both riders wide. That allowed Nicky Hayden (Honda CBR1000RR SP) and Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli through. Sykes eventually finished 6th, just over 3 seconds behind Rea. Seven riders were in the lead pack as the race entered the final laps, but it came down to a battle between Michael Van Der Mark, Chaz Davies and Jonny Rea for the win. Each rider took the lead at some stage, but it was Rea and Davies who eventually made the break. Davies was stronger coming into turn 4, and passed Rea to take the lead. Rea took the lead back into turn 1 and blocked the line preventing any chance of a repass on the way into the Southern Loop. Davies had one more crack at the lead at turn 4 on the last lap, but lost grip on the front end and crashed into the gravel trap. He eventually finished 10th. Chaz Davies crash moved Nicky Hayden up to third, and the former MotoGP racer looked like claiming his first podium on his first race weekend in WorldSBK. Davide Giugliano had a different idea and pulled off a desperate move in the closing stages to bump him back down to 4th. Rea’s double win puts him 14 points clear of Honda’s Michael Van Der Mark in the championship standings. A 4th and a 3rd for Giugliano puts the Ducati rider in 3rd place overall. Chaz Davies, runner up in Race 1 and the rider seen as the greatest threat to Rea in the championship, now sits 4th in the championship on 26 points. And after a 5th place in Race 1 and 6th in Race 2, Tom Sykes sits 6th in the championship with 21 points. The next round of the championship is at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand from the 11th to 13th March.

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Honda Recalls NSS300 FORZA Scooter

Honda Recalls NSS300 FORZA Scooter

Honda Australia has issued a recall notice through the ACCC for the Thai made Honda NSS300 FORZA Scooter.
Owners of the 300cc scooter are being asked to contact their nearest Honda Dealer and arrange to have their scooter inspected for a possible brake…

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Available In New Colour Scheme

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Available In New Colour Scheme

The Suzuki GSX-S1000F will be available in a new Candy Red/Sparkle Black colour scheme from later this month. The colour scheme is in addition to the existing Metallic Triton Blue and Metallic Matte Grey variants. The GSX-S1000F has become popular since its launch in Australia last August because of its combination of supersport performance and street riding comfort. The bike is based around the Suzuki GSX-R1000 “K5” model from 2005 which was well regarded as having one of the best engines in its class at the time. The engine of the K5 utilized a long-stroke design that provided quick-revving midrange torque, which made it a good choice as the starting point for the GSX-S1000 range. Suzuki revised the engine with lighter pistons, a drop in the compression ratio, a new cylinder head with revised intake and exhaust ports, and milder cams to give the engine better mid range power. It also dropped the expensive titanium valves from the GSX-R in favour of steel valves to reduce costs. The end result is an engine that still gives the excitement that comes with a performance sport bike but is far better suited to real world riding. Suzuki wrapped the engine in a compact and lightweight frame, and designed the suspension to be direct but plush. The GSX-S1000F has a three-mode traction control system and uses the same Brembo brake calipers with ABS as the GSX-R1000. The Suzuki GSX-S1000F is a good choice for someone looking for a bike that is comfortable and practical yet still has plenty of performance and sports bike good looks. Limited quantities of the new GSX-S1000F will be available, and Suzuki Australia is advising interested customers to pre-order via their local Suzuki dealer. Recommended retail price remains unchanged at just $17,290 ride away.

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World Superbikes Philip Island

World Superbikes Philip Island

With action about to begin at Phillip Island, I thought I would whet your appetite with a brief view of some of the machinery that will be on display. With most teams either swapping machinery, changing riders or changing livery it sometimes helps to get a heads up before the racing begins as to who is who in the paddock.    

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Changes To Vehicle Import Laws To Impact Motorcycle Industry

Changes To Vehicle Import Laws To Impact Motorcycle Industry

Changes to the vehicle import laws from 2018 will also have an impact on the motorcycle industry. The industry has now had some time to assess the consequences of the shock announcement made a couple of weeks ago. Initial reaction to the changes has been harsh, with many organisations including the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries slamming the decision as potentially dangerous for individuals and damaging for the industry. Under the new laws, an individual will be able to import one vehicle every 24 months from right-hand-drive countries with “comparable vehicle standards to Australia”. The vehicle must have less than 500km on the odometer and be less than 12 months old. Any imported vehicle is to be inspected by an independent third-party, and recorded on an online Register of Approved Vehicles. For cars that will allow the import of vehicles from Japan and the United Kingdom only, but it may open the door to many more countries for motorcycles. There has been plenty of discussion since the changes were announced, and the major concerns are centred around safety and service. Because the Australian motorcycle market is fairly small on a global scale, many of the new models sold through dealerships here are identical or at least very close to overseas models. The government has relaxed laws in recent years to remove certain requirements specific to the Australian market to bring the models sold in Australia even more in line with overseas models. That has included removing the restriction on rear mudguards that required manufacturers to fit extensions to the mudguard to meet Australian laws. All this means the safety concerns may not be an issue as long as the regulations are enforced. But buyers must remember that a lot can happen to a motorcycle in 500km, and checking its history is essential. While the changes will allow individuals to import models not currently brought into the country by the major importers, private importers are likely to have issues with service and support. Australian motorcycle importers and their dealership networks are rightfully protective of their businesses, and bikes not sold through their network may not receive the same level of service. Warranty claims, vehicle recalls and parts availability are just some of the potential issues. And there is the question of whether all the effort required to import a bike is worth it.

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