≡ Pages

Hot off the press…


Johannesburg – The AutoTrader SA South Africa Bike Festival, powered by Discovery Channel, returns to the legendary Kyalami Raceway with the already fan-favourite #RocoMamas Custom Bike Championship in tow. It’s year three for the wildly successful event, and it will take place from May 25 – 27, 2018.  

The RocoMamas Custom, Vintage, Classic and Retro Championship

‘Custom bikes, custom burgers’ is the RocoMamas two-wheel philosophy, and it delivers even bigger in 2018. The Championship expands with the addition of more classic and retro categories whilst maintaining its fan-favourite base of a nationwide search for the very best restored, maintained, hand-built, and customised motorcycles. 

Following a two-tier format, the Championship invites 60 top motorcycles chosen from around the country to warm their engines over two laps on the legendary track, before hitting the display stands for the duration of the weekend. 

On judging duties, the AutoTrader South Africa Bike Festival team welcome iconic international judge and builder Frank Sander back from Germany, while legendary trio Robert Coutts, Phillip Solomon and Cor Leijenaar from the 2 Stoke Club represent home-grown expertise.

Adding icing to an already monster cake, the visitor-judged People’s Choice Trophy remains in play for 2018. Here single builders; a group of engineers; or even a club are invited to show their engines – the only restrictions being a private rather than professional team, and customisation costs limited to R60 000. 

Image: AutoTrader SA

With the full list of 2018 categories finalised, builders and bike owners are invited to register ASAP – a successful application will secure their spot on the viewing deck inside the Kyalami Pit Building. 

RocoMamas brings all participants FREE ENTRY to the competition, plus the top sixty bike-owners chosen will receive all-weekend passes to attend the festival at their leisure. 

“Custom bikes and custom burgers – what more could you ask for from a day out?” said AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. “We are looking forward to seeing South African bike creativity at its best”. 

The RocoMamas Custom, Vintage, Classic and Retro Championship prize giving will take place on the festival main stage at 3pm, Sunday 27 May. 

For more information and to enter your motorcycle, click here

For further information, contact the team via southafricabikefestival.com or call / WhatsApp the dedicated marketing number on 061 505 5727. 


It is both interesting and important to learn one’s attitude to safety, which flows from character, and how this attitude can infect your riding manner. Riders represent a spectrum, from leisure to practical motorcycle operators, and have different reasons for riding. Seven segments can be identified, based on a spectrum of attitudes to risk, passion for riding and reasons for riding. Do you see yourself in one or more segment?




BMW Motorrad has launched its latest cruiser in SA – the K 1600 B ‘Bagger’.


Mpamalanga – BMW Motorrad chose the scenic and sinuous roads of the Mpamalanga Escarpment to launch their latest entry into the cruiser market, the K 1600 B ‘Bagger’. 

Based on the mechanicals of the K 1600 GTL tourer which we had previously reviewed, styling-wise the Bagger’s is a slightly commecialised version of the “Concept 101” concept study shown at the 2015 Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy. 

The Bagger features a drop-shaped silhouette, which terminates in deep-set side cases with integrated US-style rear lights.

Gallery:  2017 BMW K 1600 B Bagger

One look at the bike is enough to make it obvious that the United States is the primary target market, a fact which the general manager of BMW Motorrad SA, Edgar Kleinbergen, confirmed during the launch. 

The fairing features a low but effective wind screen, and deflectors to protect the rider’s hands from the elements. The rear-view mirrors also match the design concept, but offer they a good view of the traffic behind thanks to the large mirror surfaces which include an aspherical element.

Image: Rob Till/BMW Motorrad

The electronically controlled Dynamic ESA chassis offers “Road” and “Cruise” modes. In the standard “Road” setting, damping adaptation is fully automated, while “Cruise” mode offer much more damping for comfortable riding at low speeds. 

The net result is that riding the Bagger feels a bit like driving a luxury car, not unlike the sensation we noticed on the K 1600 GTL. 

Of particular interest to me was the reverse assist feature. This is activated by pressing a button on the left-hand handlebar panel to select reverse mode, and then pressing the starter button which causes the bike to reverse under the power of an electric motor. 

I had my doubts about this arrangement, but in practice it actually works extremely well – the bike backs up slowly with no effort from the rider, a handy feature on such a heavy machine.

The launch bike was equipped with the optional Shift Assistant Pro. While I have made no secret in the past of my dislike of quick shifters, I have to admit that I may now have met one that I could live with. The bagger’s shifter works particularly well at low revs and seems to prefer small throttle openings. Under relaxed riding conditions, shifting (both up and down) is smooth and effortless, adding to the Bagger’s luxurious feel.

Image: Rob Till/BMW Motorrad

Here’s an overview of some of the other features of the K 1600 B:

 • 6-cylinder in-line engine compliant with EU4 regulations, and featuring a power output of 118kW at 7 750 rpm and maximum torque of 175Nm at 5 250 rpm.
 • Low rear frame for reduced vehicle height, dropped passenger seat height ( -7 cm) and typical bagger look.
 • Fixed side cases with a new compartment design
 • Chrome-plated parallel silencers with ribbed end caps.
 • Folding rear mudguard for easy wheel removal.
 • Standard equipment includes ABS Pro, dynamic brake light, Dynamic Traction Control DTC, xenon headlamp, heated grips and seat heating, multi-controller, three ride modes, and cruise control.
 • Optional equipment includes Adaptive Headlight, daytime running light, Keyless Ride, Hill Start Control, and central locking.
 • Wide range of original BMW Motorrad Accessories

BMW Motorrad confirmed during the launch that the South African price for the K 1600 B is R 325 000.



Cheste, Spain – Spanish ace Marc Marquez clinched a fourth MotoGP world title on Sunday to join an elite club of riders after finishing third at a tense season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.

Honda’s Marquez held a commanding 21-point lead in the championship from Ducati rival Andrea Dovizioso, and was guaranteed the title with a top-11 finish or if Dovizioso failed to win the race.

Pedrosa claimed home win ahead of Zarco

Dovizioso’s fate was sealed when the early season pace-setter crashed out five laps from the end as Marquez ultimately won the championship by 37 points.

Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa won the race from France’s Johann Zarco in second.

At just 24, a highly mature Marquez is the youngest ever rider to win four premier class world titles after just five seasons in MotoGP — adding to two other world championships at lower levels.

He drew level with British trio Mike Hailwood, Geoff Duke and John Surtees, and American Eddie Lawson as one of just five riders to triumph four times at the top level.

Only three men — Giacomo Agostini (eight), Valentino Rossi (seven) and Mick Doohan (five) — have won the premier category championship more often than Marquez.

Starting from pole, Marquez waved Zarco through on the fourth lap to rule out any chance of an untimely early crash.

However, he couldn’t resist an attack on the Frenchman to try and win the championship in style with eight laps to go and ran wide as his team held their breath, surviving but dropping down to fifth.

“During the race I was trying to be calm and control the situation, but then I thought now it is time to push because I felt really good,” said a buoyant Marquez, who defied 27 crashes during the course of the season to win the title.

“In turn one I lost concentration on the break point, I broke too late and you know (it was) Marquez-style until the end.”

Dovizioso exceeds limits 

Yet, Ducati’s hopes of usurping Marquez were quickly undone as Jorge Lorenzo and then Dovizioso both crashed out as they paid the price for pushing at the limit for the whole race.

“We were over the limit the whole race so we both made mistakes,” said Dovizioso.

“I want to say thank you to the whole team, all the sponsors because we had a great season.”

However, he admitted seeing Marquez fly off the track precipitated his own mistake as he pushed even harder.

“It’s a standard thing for Marc. I didn’t have the speed to attack the rider in front of me so when I saw that I thought ‘ok, this is good’ but I tried even harder and I was already pushing 100 percent until that time.”

Up front Pedrosa and Zarco were left to battle it out for the race win in a pulsating final few laps.

Ultimately, though, the Spaniard came out on top on home soil to deny Zarco his first MotoGP win and round off a perfect day for the Honda pair.

“At the end I could see the race was there and I had to go (for it),” said Pedrosa.

“Johann was very strong all the race and it was very difficult because he was going into the corner very fast.

“At the end I tried a few different times, but I made mistakes and finally into turn one I could make it stick.”