Italian manufacturer, Beta Motorcycles have unveiled their new RR Racing bikes for 2020, a comletely new generation of Enduro bikes, to be brought to New Zealand by Euromoto Co. – a division of Triumph New Zealand Ltd.

First spotted back in July, the new Beta RR Racing range consists of 7 models – 125, 250, and 300cc 2T (2-stroke), and 350, 390, 430, and 480cc 4T (4-stroke). Compared to the respective standard versions, the RR Racing MY 2020 range stands out with upgraded suspension, reduced weight, and a host of special components for racing efficiency.

The RR Racing models will feature Kayaba AOS forks. The new KYB spring forks feature a 48mm closed-cartridge design, and are world-renowned worldwide as being top-of-the-range. A close collaboration between Beta and Kayaba has created a bespoke product which features a new fork shoe design, and a unique calibration that is reserved specifically for the RR models. The use of anodised internal components allows for minimal sliding friction, while the customary compression and rebound adjusters allow for easy use and calibration, to get the optimum settings in any terrain. Offering excellent operation in all conditions, the KYB forks are ultra-reliable, easy to tune, and considerably lighter than before – up to half a kilogram lighter than the 2019 model.

The new ZF 46mm shock absorber has new calibration settings, allowing the rider to get the absolute best performance from the new chassis. The RR Racing models also feature a distinct black anodised triple clamp.

Other racing inspired upgrades to the RR Racing models include: a quick-release front wheel pin, to allow for faster front tyre repairs, Vertigo hand guards, Metzeler Six Days tyres, Ergal footrests, a new battery charging system for the 4T models, and a the 125cc 2T receives a new expansion chamber to improve performance across the entire power curve. New racing graphics and a host of coloured anodised parts complete the look of the new RR Racing models.

On Saturday night, Freestyle MX riders from around the world flew through the Barclaycard Arena after a 2-year hiatus in the Hanseatic port city, for the world’s longest-running Freestyle Motocross sporting series. Taking the competition to the next level since the previous visit, the Hamburg audience were treated to a special event for the first time in the North of Germany with Freestyle of Nations.

Three teams competed against each other in the fourth Freestyle of Nations competition in a bid to collect points for their team in various disciplines of Freestyle MX. The 2017 Freestyle of Nations winner was Team Overseas and in 2019, the team was made up with the most experience of all teams including Pat Bowden from Australia, Adam Jones from the USA and Jamie Squibb from England with the goal to recapture their title.  The 2018 reigning champions, Team Germany put together their best riders available with the brothers Luc and Hannes Ackermann and Kai Haase. The third team to compete was the Czech Republic, with Petr Pilat, Matej Cesak and Filip Podmol.

One of the first contests of the evening was Best Whip where Kai Haase narrowly took full points for Team Germany over Jamie Squibb from Team Overseas who really took the fight to the German and also Matej Cesak in third position.

Each of the nine riders put together their best Freestyle MX run with seven tricks plus the Double Up where the riders could score up to 100 points. In the first heat, it was the same riders from Best Whip going against each other, and again Kai Haase just pipped the Englishman for the win and relegated Matej Cesak to third position. The second heat was a turn-around for Team Overseas when they won with Adam Jones‘ clinical display of perfection as he landed his Cliffhanger and Deadbody Flip in front of Petr Pilat for Team Czech and Hannes Ackermann in Team Germany. In the third heat, Filip Podmol made a valiant effort to thwart the charging of Pat Bowden and Luc Ackermann. After Ackermann’s crash on the Hart Attack Flip, he managed to finish his run with a Front Flip but it wasn’t enough to win over Pat Bowden with 95 points, and back to 90 points for Ackermann.

Team Germany took the full points on offer for the Synchro Contest when Hannes Ackermann and Kai Haase wowed the local German crowd with their tricks performed in sync. Pat Bowden and Adam Jones demonstrated the biggest tricks in the Synchro contest with side by side Cliffhanger and Tsunami Flips but it wasn’t enough to capture the full 100 points.

The competition was close coming into the final discipline of the night, Best Trick.  To throw a spanner in the mix, each nation‘s captain was able to choose their favourite of the Mountain Bike riders, to join their nation to compete for the Best Trick points. Team Czech Republics leader, Petr Pilat displayed technicality in his attempt with a Side-saddle take-off Flip all the way through to Side-saddle landing. Filip Podmol stomped a huge Tsunami Flip landing to set the final points of the night’s competition. Continuing on with the Backflip Combo’s, Team Overseas‘ Pat Bowden landed one of the longest-held Cliffhanger Backflips ever witnessed, while Adam Jones showed one of the cleanest Deadbody Backflips. Even those tricks weren’t enough to win, as only the Best Trick is to be counted.

Hannes Ackermann put it all on the line for Team Germany when he attempted a No Handed Front Flip, but unfortunately, come up half a metre short and was driven hard into the ground with a spectacular crash. It was all on Luc Ackermann’s shoulders to seal a win for Team Germany and after witnessing his brother suffer a huge crash, Luc overcame the pressure to land his Double Backflip on the last jump of the night to take the win in Best Trick and also to win the overall Freestyle of Nations competition.

NIGHT of the JUMPs World Tour in 2019 is inching its way towards crowning a new World Champion. The next event on the World Tour calendar will be in Wuhan, China at the end of November, before the Grand Final in Sofia, Bulgaria where NIGHT of the JUMPs will crown the new World Champion. Looking forward into the year 2020, the new World Championship season will start at NIGHT of the JUMPs in Berlin on 21st and 22nd of February in the Mercedes Benz Arena.

NIGHT of the JUMPs – Freestyle of Nations

Hamburg, 20. September 2019

Results Overall

  1. Team Germany, L. Ackermann, H. Ackermann, K. Haase – 549 Points
  2. Team Overseas, P. Bowden (AUS), A. Jones (USA), J. Squibb (GBR) – 507 Points
  3. Team Czech, P. Pilat, F. Podmol, M. Cesak – 434 Points

Results Freestyle Heat 1

  1. Kai Haase, Team GER – 83 Points
  2. Jamie Squibb, Team Overseas – 79 Points
  3. Matej Cesak, Team CZE – 78 Points

Results Freestyle Heat 2

  1. Adam Jones, Team Overseas – 91 Points
  2. Petr Pilat, Team CEZ – 86 Points
  3. Hannes Ackermann, Team GER – 77 Points

Results Freestyle Heat 3

  1. Pat Bowden, Team Overseas – 95 Points
  2. Luc Ackermann, Team GER – 90 Points
  3. Filip Podmol, Team CZE – 90 Points

Results Best Whip Contest

  1. Kai Haase, Team GER – 100 Points
  2. Jamie Squibb, Team Overseas – 75 Points
  3. Matej Cesak, Team CZE – 50 Points

Results Synchro Contest

  1. Team Germany H. Ackermann, K. Haase – 100 Points
  2. Team Overseas P. Bowden, A. Jones – 75 Points
  3. Team Czech P. Pilat, F. Podmol – 50 Points

Results FMX Best Trick Contest

  1. Luc Ackermann, Team GER, Double Backflip – 99 Points
  2. Pat Bowden, Team OS, Cliffhanger Flip – 92 Points
  3. Petr Pilat, Team CZE, Can Takeoff Flip – 80 Points

 

Words and Photos: NIGHT of the JUMPs

A talented three-man Kiwi motocross squad is revved up to race in The Netherlands this weekend, determined to again challenge, and hopefully beat, the best riders in the world.

Every year, the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) lives up to its billing as the biggest and best dirt bike spectacle on the planet and this weekend (September 28-29) the famous teams’ racing event will be held on the infield of the famous Assen TT circuit in The Netherlands. The MXoN, commonly referred to as “The Olympic Games of Motocross”, is a one-weekend affair that brings together the word’s elite like no other motocross. The racers put aside the past season’s bitter rivalries from domestic or world championship competitions and unite instead along different battle lines, with three-rider teams formed up to fly the flags of their respective homelands.

And it will be a completely fresh trio of Kiwis racing at this weekend’s event in the Netherlands to those individuals who represented New Zealand when the MXoN was staged in the United States last year. All three riders from last season were ruled out for 2019 either because of injury or for personal reasons. That means the young men who have stepped forward this year – Taupo’s Wyatt Chase (Honda), Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis (Yamaha) and Christchurch’s Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) – will each be making their respective MXoN debuts at this season’s 73rd annual edition of the MXoN.

New Plymouth’s former motocross world champion Shayne King shares managerial duties for Team New Zealand with experienced former national-level racer Darren Henderson. King was the 1996 500cc motocross world champion and a rider for New Zealand at the MXoN many times in the past. He said the race track at Assen would be “brutal” and Kiwi riders should be under no illusions about how tough it will be.

“Every year it’s the toughest motocross event in the world, but the circuit at Assen will be particularly challenging. It’s very deep sand, like nothing New Zealand riders will have encountered before,” said King, a rider who raced for New Zealand at the MXoN on 12 occasions and twice finished on the podium.

The Kiwis know it won’t be easy facing the world’s elite on such a massive stage, but each of them is determined to put on another good showing, hopefully to improve upon their 17th overall placing at the MXoN last September. From rookie first-timers in 1984 to top-10 regulars just over 10 years later, Kiwi motocross riders have boxed well above their weight and often rated among some of the best in the world. Team New Zealand has finished among the top 10 an incredible 14 times in 29 appearances at the event since they first attended in 1984. New Zealand has finished third on the podium three separate times – in England in 1998, in Belgium in 2001 and in England again in 2006.

With generous support for this year’s campaign coming from the sport’s governing body here, Motorcycling New Zealand, and from building companies Penny Homes and Best Build Construction, along with massive fundraising undertaken by the Taupo Motorcycle Club with their Battle of the Clubs motocross event in June, the Kiwi contingent will arrive in The Netherlands in a confident mood.

Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) motocross commissioner Ray Broad said this was a huge event and extremely important that New Zealand would again be taking part.

“We are pleased to have three of our talented young riders representing New Zealand this year,” he said. “Dylan, Wyatt and Max have a great opportunity and, under the guidance of Bevan and Shayne, I am sure they will give it their best and none of them underestimate the task ahead. I would like to thank all the MNZ members for their support of the team and the sponsors that have generously assisted the team.”

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

KTM has put a lot of effort and all of its electric know-how that’s evolved over the last 10 years into the development of the KTM SX-E 5. The result is a highly competitive electric minicycle with a comparable power output to the KTM 50 SX, yet with minimal maintenance and noise. The bike has six power modes allowing a complete beginner to step onto a READY TO RACE machine with ease, whilst the full power mode is exciting and challenging for the fastest junior. With a premium chassis developed by our KTM engineers, the KTM SX-E 5 is fully adjustable in terms of ride height, especially with the additional KTM PowerParts lowering kit, and is aimed at riders aged three to 10 years old. The bike grows with the rider both in ability, and in size – a special feature for this high-quality machine.

 

This innovative junior bike has an electric motor powered by an ultra-modern lithium-ion battery pack with a robust housing for maximum protection and safety was really at the core of the development of this new model. The power is smooth and controllable offering rideability benefits over other bikes in its class, whilst also providing fantastic agility on the motocross course. Like its combustion counterpart, the KTM SX-E 5 is fitted with WP XACT 35 air fork technology, as well as the WP XACT shock absorber, and it also features high-quality components such as premium disc brakes, cast footpegs, tapered aluminium handlebars and proper race ergonomics. In fact, the KTM SX-E 5 has undergone the same development process as the bigger SX models as raced by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. It’s truly an exciting, safe, innovative yet racy machine that will create new riding possibilities for riders and tracks in the future.

 

“The KTM SX-E 5 is a model we’re really excited to see arrive in dealers. It offers a premium chassis, like those on all of our SX models, but also a lot in terms of rideability thanks to the electric motor, as it’s easy to ride, but at the same time, it can be super-fast without making noise. We tested the bike with such a wide range of riders; the complete beginner can ride on a track almost straight away with this bike as it’s so easy to ride, yet a national level rider can have comparable lap times to that of the combustion bike, which is something special. The adjustability of the bike means that a rider can use it for years as they get faster – they can also be more independent in the operation of the bike, and apart from oiling the chain, there is really minimal maintenance required. In terms of safety, the electronics team worked hard to reach a really high level, and so with top-level performance combined with a huge adaptability for the rider, the KTM SX-E 5 is a fantastic new model in the KTM line-up,” said Joachim Sauer, KTM Senior Product Manager Offroad.

 

The e-mobility sector is becoming an important part of modern travel, and KTM has a dedicated R&D team working on this segment that are developing platforms for KTM’s future plans in e-powered motorcycles. This, combined with years of knowledge in creating premium sport motorcycles, ensures that KTM is at the forefront of e-technology. KTM has announced it is committed to 4kw-18kw (peak power), low voltage motors and is working to adhere to the most stringent safety standards. The launch of the KTM SX-E 5 an exciting next chapter in KTM’s e-mobility story.

The new KTM SX-E 5 will be available during the last quarter of 2019 at authorized KTM dealers.

Words and Photos: KTM Press Center

Former national champions and Kiwi internationals from the recent past will all flock together to race once again in Central Hawke’s Bay this coming weekend.

And while these individuals should certainly be favoured to dominate at the 2019 New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships in Otane this Saturday and Sunday, it’s highly likely that a few unexpected names may end up being engraved on the trophies this time around, such is the depth of talent that will be on show at the Bay Motorcycles-supported event.

The popular annual event will feature many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport’s elite, while the female side of the sport that shares the race programme will be no less intense.

Stand-outs among those entered for the annual event include 1996 500cc motocross world champion Shayne King, from New Plymouth; twice former motocross world No.2 Josh Coppins, from Motueka; former veterans’ world champion Tony Cooksley, from Pukekohe, and former multi-time national champion Damien King, from Cambridge, who also went on to race the Grand Prix scene in Europe.

Former national 500cc motocross champion Mitch Rowe, from New Plymouth; former GP racer Cameron Negus, from Rotorua; multi-time former national champion Mike Cotter, from Cambridge, and New Plymouth’s David Furze, will also be lining up this weekend, along with Te Awamutu’s Mark Penny, Te Kauwhata’s Matt Vining, Auckland’s Steven Croad and Taupiri’s Mark Fuller, all four of whom were formerly top cross-country racing exponents.

British former Grand Prix star Kurt Nicoll, four times a 500cc motocross world No.2, is also a late entry and sure to be a drawcard.

Riders who primarily made their name on the road-bike scene, Feilding’s former 125GP exponent Kris Shirriffs and Whanganui’s super motard ace Ant Rountree, will be there to show they’re just as quick on dirt.

In the women’s section of the programme, expect to see riders such as Cambridge’s Zara Gray, Hamilton’s Amie Roberts, New Plymouth’s Mikayla Rowe, Motueka sisters Tyla and Roma Edwards, Ohawea’s Taylar Rampton, Invercargill’s Charlotte Clark and Ngatea’s Brooke Dalley to feature near the front.

Late entries are still likely to arrive from several veterans’ and women’s grade frontrunners from the recent past, including perhaps Blenheim’s Moston Wadsworth, Nelson’s Bryan Heaphy, Hawera’s Daryl Hurley, Inglewood’s Larry Blair, Whakatane’s Darren Capill, Auckland-based former Swiss international Gaudenz Gisler, Winton’s Brent Scammell, Blenheim’s Steve Lange, Christchurch’s Dean Baird, former Otago rugby captain David Latta, Lincoln’s Kelly Garland and Rotorua pair Letitia Alabaster and Mel Patterson, to name a few.

Hosted on Twist’s property at 1080 Argyll Road, Otane, the two-day event certainly features an entry list that reads like a who’s who and who-used-to-be-who of the sport.

The event again presents real value for money for spectators, with racing over two days for both the elite females, in both the junior and senior grades, and intense racing also for the country’s top male riders aged over 30 years.

New Plymouth’s 1996 500cc motocross world champion Shayne King, one to watch out for in the 45-49 years’ class this weekend.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan