Clément Desalle renews his contract with KRT

The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team is pleased to confirm that Clément Desalle will enter his fifth consecutive season with the team in the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship. The Belgian GP is one of the ‘home GPs’ for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and last weekend both Clément Desalle and Julien Lieber […]

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The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team is pleased to confirm that Clément Desalle will enter his fifth consecutive season with the team in the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship.

The Belgian GP is one of the ‘home GPs’ for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and last weekend both Clément Desalle and Julien Lieber visited the team in Lommel. Both riders are currently recovering from their injuries, and had the opportunity to meet the team members and guests during two days alongside Tommy Searle; the British rider was forced to withdraw from racing after the first practice session as his right hand, injured one week earlier in the Czech Republic, was too painful.

This weekend was a good opportunity for Clément to meet with KRT team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni and Kawasaki Europe race manager Steve Guttridge to sign his contract for next season as all parties want to continue their successful partnership. “I never had any doubt about my future; I know where I want to go, I know what to expect and for me there was no reason to stop my career after my injury! I have a good feeling when I practice in different sports, and I still have a huge motivation. I know that even if the level of my rivals is very high I can battle for the win, and when I’m at the start gate my goal is always to win. And I have a great feeling with the team; you need a good team and a good bike to win, and I have all of this with KRT where they offer me great working conditions,” explained Clément, who already commenced a new stage in his recovery programme a few weeks ago. “I got the green light from my doctor to start riding my bicycle on asphalt, and in a few weeks I will be back on my mountain bike, then my enduro bike and finally my motocross bike. It’s great to be able to have some activities, and it’s a good mental stimulation; after my knee injury earlier this season the goal was to be back racing as soon as possible, but after this injury in Russia I knew that it would take a fairly long time as I couldn’t do any activities for several weeks. The goal has always been to take the necessary time to be back at 100%, so I have not set a specific date for my comeback,” added Clément, who was watching his first MXGP race for some time. “Of course it’s difficult to watch the races on television as you would like to be in action on your bikeWe’re used to a very intense life; at each race we produce a lot of adrenaline and I’m missing that so much!” he concluded at the end of a weekend in which he was happy to spend time with his second “family” – the Green one!

Thierry Chizat Suzzoni (KRT team owner): “It’s great news for us to sign with Clément for a fifth season in Green and we are really happy to continue working with him. He knows our staff and our bike perfectly and we appreciate both the man and the rider. This season was disrupted with injuries, including the last one in Russia, but his motivation remains the same and we’ll do our best to give him every chance to score many more wins together with KRT.”

Steve Guttridge (KME Race Manager): “Clement fits with the team, their work methods, goals and drive perfectly and so his evaluation and good comments on improving the performance of his race bike at MXGP level has contributed a lot to helping us to produce the excellent new KX450 models that our customers are enjoying so much! His performances this season when fit were World class again so we are very happy that he remains with Kawasaki continuously next season.”

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SYM ORBIT II – Set yourself on an Orbit, an Orbit to Freedom

Article by Bjorn Moriera / ZA BIkers For the past month, I have been riding the Orbit II as my daily commute and to some surprise, this little squirt has come to impress me. Gas and go is what these bikes are all about, they are very simple and easy to ride. Scooters are an […]

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Article by Bjorn Moriera / ZA BIkers

For the past month, I have been riding the Orbit II as my daily commute and to some surprise, this little squirt has come to impress me. Gas and go is what these bikes are all about, they are very simple and easy to ride.

Scooters are an easy way to get into motorcycling, there are no “Egotistical” stereotypes attached to riding a scooter, unlike some other categories of biking.

For newcomers, that are wanting to swing there leg over a bike for the first time, these factors can be intimidating or even off-putting when considering where to start with their two-wheeled journey. With more and more online product videos showcasing stunt riders popping wheelies and sliding bikes in and out of twisty corners, I believe that these videos are only attracting the more experienced rider and not people wanting to get into riding for the first time.

This is not the case with Scooters. Scooters portray their own image which is a much friendlier and a more approachable entry into motorcycling. From the conversations that I’ve had, I found that women riders especially seem head over heels in love with scooters, or as they explain it, they are prettier, cuter and cuddlier than road bikes.

Beginner riders that I have spoken to tell me that they feel much more confident starting to ride on a scooter as they are generally much lighter and lower to the ground versus a standard road bike.

A Scooter. It’s the motorcycle that you can bring home to your parents or partner without fear. I only started realising all of this once I began to ride and mix with the Scooteristi, and I now agree with them completely.

The SYM Orbit II has been around now for a few years and for a good reason too.

My daily commute to the office and back is approximately 40km and on this journey, the Orbit II is faced with main road speeds, tight back road bends, and a gnarly Solomon Mahlangu uphill. Although little, the single-cylinder, 125cc, Carburetored power plant, pulls me along with all my luggage just fine.

The Orbit II is in no way, shape, or form a highway missile, it’s happy at 60km/h and it will do 80km/h on a decent stretch of tarmac. If you ride like a Kamikaze pilot then you can max out at around the 90km/h mark. But I do not suggest that you try this.

SYM’s Orbit II is undoubtedly designed for daily use, especially for those seeking agility and ease when commuting in the city. Its 12-inch mags and light body give you the easiest rideability within the traffic. With 5.2L of fuel capacity at my disposal, the little Orbit managed to get 166km (31.9km/L) of range before having its last cough.

One thing to keep in mind, I only weigh 70kg’s and when I popped a friendly pillion on the back my fuel economy went from 166km (31.9km/L) to a still very impressive 118km (22.6km/L), with myself and pillion weighing in at a high 120kg’s.

The one event I enjoy attending, is the monthly “ICE CREAM, COFFEE & RIDES”, which takes place at the Corner Shop in Waterkloof Heights, Pretoria. This event attracts classic cars, motorcycles and an array of personalities that just want to eat good food and talk about their rides. I decided to hop on the Orbit with my sidekick Meredith and I headed out to the “Corner Shop”, for a fantastic social evening. Parking the Orbit alongside a vast array of classic Vespa’s and Lambretta’s, the crowd on that evening kindly nodded and embraced this newcomer into the local Pretoria scoot scene.

One thing that pleases me, is that although the Orbit II was designed for daily use, the designers at SYM did not compromise on the Orbit’s visually pleasing aesthetics.

Whilst chomping down my pizza, I couldn’t help but notice the crystal or rather diamond-shaped headlights on the Orbit II, which just brings forth such a sophisticated and classy look to this urban commute.

This may be a personal opinion, but when I am approached by random civilians and Scooteristi whilst on my Orbit around town, thumbs are always a-blazing, left, right and centre. So it seems that others do share the same opinions as me.

Like I said in the beginning; the Orbit II has impressed me a lot, and I didn’t expect it to, because I have heart-shaped eyes for the stylish SYM Jet14. I’m happy to tell you that the Orbit II is just as capable and at least to me aesthetically too. The Orbit II has plenty of luggage carrying capacity which for myself was great to store my personal things such as; groceries, work bag, gym-wear, etc…

The seat is ejected by a cleverly positioned switch on the left-hand side switchgear and right in front of you, you will see a retro-styled speedometer. Fuel calculations need a friendly calculator’s assistance. Smartphone to the rescue. Even better, use the grey matter between your ears for a change!

Practicality is key to us commuters, and SYM has gone the extra mile by adding an attractive tinted screen, luggage rack, and a centre stand. I do have a bit of negative feedback to give, the Orbit II doesn’t have a brake lock, so what that means is that you are forced to park it on its centre stand for most situations.

SYM’s Orbit II is the scooter that responds to the needs of those who are on the move. Agile, aesthetically captivating, and able to be a friendly companion during the most challenging days. I found that the Orbit is always ready to tackle city roads, and with that being said, the Orbit II can be your friendly companion for a mere R14 995.

But wait for a second, SYM understands that there are different strokes for different folks, so if you need more luggage space and you are afraid the suspension won’t cope, well that’s where the X-Pro 125 comes in. The X-Pro has the same looks as the Orbit II, it differs with two extra features. Firstly, it comes with a top box plate and secondly it comes fitted with twin shocker suspension, as opposed to the stylish single-sided swingarm you get on the Orbit II. There is however an extra R4 000 (RRP = R18 995) to pay for these extra features, which in the big scheme of things is really not too bad.

In closing, I can also report that the Orbit II has never let me down, as far as reliability goes, I personally think that for R14 995 it is really good value for money.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

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