For three years now, the Superbike Magazine Short Circuit Series has been offering an opportunity for relaxed, informal, affordable and, most importantly, fun racing at various venues around Gauteng. As the name suggests, the venues are generally karting tracks, such as those at Vereeniging and Zwartkops, which make for intense, limited lap and duration races, allowing for three races per class each meeting.
Talking of classes, there are 10 at each race; Clubmans, Mini Moto Novice and Stock, Super Moto Junior, Super Moto Masters, NSF100, Super Moto 2, Super Moto 1, Pocket Bikes, 150cc Cup and the class I was particularly interested in, the Zontes Cup.
The observant among you will have noticed the Zontes adverts in BikeSA and, this month, you’ll be able to read a review of one of their 310cc-engined ZT310X machines elsewhere in these pages. What the importers have also done is set aside about 30 of these bikes and, suitably race-prepped, made them available to anyone who wants to have a bash at racing for a very modest fee, either for the whole season or just for one race, if you want to test the water.
The important thing to stress is that, despite each class having its own championship at stake and containing riders who are vying for that championship, there is a refreshing absence of ‘big money’ spoiling the relaxed atmosphere; most competitors are there for the fun of it all and grids were made up of the seriously fast and the woefully slow alike, everyone simply getting on with enjoying their racing, no matter where they came in the results.
Of course, some competitors take it very seriously when on track which makes for spectacular racing, whether watching from the stands or from behind the handlebars of a bike in the race. My technique was to be so slow so that other riders would lap me and I could watch their technique from close quarters. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it….
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WHAT NEXT FOR NORTON AND BSA?
Following on from the success of the Triumph revival, a lot of noise was made about the arrival of Norton back on the motorcycling scene in 2008. The new owner of the brand, Stuart Garner, got everyone excited when he announced that he would be making not only a new Norton Commando motorcycle but would be returning to the Isle of Man TT with a new superbike, powered by an Aprilia V4 motor.
SO, WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE BRITISH MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY?
It’s a story that no-one is unfamiliar with; how the British motorcycle industry withered and died through the 1960s and into the ‘70s. What was once a thriving industry that sold state-of-the-art motorcycles from world-famous manufacturers, by the hundreds of thousands, was reduced to first a handful and then just one manufacturer, producing an outdated design in the face of modern and reliable machines from Japan.
In the world of motorcycling, it is rare, if not unique, for a manufacturer to have two bites of the cake - both with a cherry on top - with two iterations of one particular model, especially when separated by a couple of decades.
TALES FROM THE HOOD
SA & MOTORCYCLE COMMUTING
NORIYUKI HAGA SULTAN OF Slide
Rare in-depth interview with Nori-chan himself explains how the Sultan of Slide rode the bike - and the crucial differences between Superbike and 500 GP
THE GXCC’S PUSH THE SEASON TO THE LIMIT IN 2020
THE GREATEST Comeback?
The greatest British bike racer? Surtees? Sheene? Both have good claims to the title but, in reality, there can be only one king. This is the story of the race that only served to enhance an already glittering reputation.
Great Bikes? The Ariel Square Four
Elsewhere you will have read about the Ariel motorcycle company and here I intend to talk more about their most famous design, the incredible Square Four.
GONE BUT Part 5 ARIEL NOT FORGOTTEN
Turner’s Square Four remained in production from 1931 to 1959
Engineering DEAD-ENDS Part 2: Hub-Centre Steering
Motorcycle development never stands still, although maybe recently, it would be more accurate to say that motorcycle electronics development doesn’t stand still; it is very little in the physical architecture of a motorcycle that is likely to change. But it wasn’t always so and one innovation that was tried not only on road bikes but also 500cc Grand Prix bikes was hub-center steering.
Ex-Google Self-Driving Car Project Picks Up New Investors
Google’s former autonomous vehicle project is becoming a more autonomous business by bringing it in its first investors besides its corporate parent.
Time-Tested, Fresh Look
Inside the angry farmer products super stock ford
Part 2 - Back To The Start
More tales of the colourful lives of the first lyons-built cars to carry the ‘jaguar’ title - the S.S. Jaguar 100
A look at investing in the cars you once dreamed about and hung on your bedroom walls
Old-School Meets Modern Bling
A show-ready, five-speed ’97 f-250 on ’05 Axles
OEM Quality, High RPM Insurance
Merchant automotive’s tig-welded water pump
Virus Impact: Automakers Look At Restarting China Operations
Automakers are considering whether to resume operations in China amid efforts to contain a virus outbreak, but the impact is spreading for many other companies.
Tesla Passes $100 Billion, Teeing Up Big Payout For Musk
The meteoric rise of Tesla shares that recently pushed the company’s value over $100 billion could turn into a supercharged payday for CEO Elon Musk.
Part four: Horsepower. Finally.
Weekend On The Edge 2019
As the long hot summer comes to an end, one place you’ll always find the diesel community along the northern Wasatch front of Utah and surrounding areas of Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada is the annual Weekend on the Edge event held every September in their hometown of Ogden, UT.