2015 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix entry list released

2015 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix entry list released

THIS YEAR’S Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix entry list has been released which include 31 riders from 11 different countries.

An impressive entry for the 49th Edition includes previous winners Stuart Easton, Ian Hutchinson, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness, but the most impressive statistic is the number of riders entered.

Alongside 30 other riders, Easton, who took last year’s win with PBM Kawasaki, has four victories to his name at the Macau Grand Prix whilst team-mate Hutchinson is another rider who will be returning after winning in 2013 on his return to racing after enduring 30 operations to his left leg in the space of three years.

Equally another hard to beat eight-time winner is Michael Rutter who will be returning with the Penzkofer BMW team rather than the Yamaha he rode last year. BMW is still waiting for its debut win at Macau, but with Rutter’s track record it may be time this year. 

Rutter is joined at Penzkofer by Gary Johnson, a seven-time Macau veteran who has finished in the top five on his last six visits, and Canadian Dan Kruger who made his Macau debut last year and is looking to make substantial improvements this year. Also in the Penzkofer team is Swiss rider Hervé Gantner, who switched from circuit racing to road racing after six years, and has mixed the two since 2009.

Paul Shoesmith is another experienced road racer particularly at Macau and has Australia’s David Johnson alongside him on the second Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW – both will be aiming for a top five finish.  

Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston will be pushing for the win at this year’s Macau Grand Prix on a Superstock version of the East Coast Construction BMW. Last year he turned a front-row start into a serious challenge for the lead.

Riders Motorcycles BMW’s Martin Jessopp is another rider you can’t rule out after finishing third last year. Jimmy Storrar is also set to race alongside Jessopp on the BMW S1000RR. The final BMW rider is Peter Hickman who is becoming very well acquainted with the road racing scene and is ready to race at Macau once again.

The last of previous Macau winners riding this year is TT legend John McGuinness. McPint, as he’s commonly referred to, will be riding a Honda once again alongside seven others including Manxman Conor c**mins, Daniel Cooper, Davy Morgan and Tom McHale. Allann-Jon Venter is another one to watch. 

Newcomers include Russ Mountford (VRS Racing Honda) – an experienced road racer although he’s never ridden at Macau before. Americans Mark Miller (Splitlath EBR) and Brandon Cretu (Bimota Factory Racing) both know the Guia Circuit well, Miller especially so.

Cretu renews an old a**ociation with Ben Wylie as they team up to represent Italian manufacturer Bimota who have launches a season-long campaign on the major road racing events.

Ireland is always well represented in road racing and Steve Heneghan (ReactiveParts.com Yamaha), Brian McCormack (TAG Racing Honda) and Michael Sweeney (MS Kawasaki) continue the tradition. 

Austrian Horst Saiger continues his own Macau tradition with another Kawasaki entry; he’ll be riding under Saiger-Heidger Macau Race Team and after ending last year’s race in sixth place, he will be looking to equal that or better it this year.

Entry list:

1. Stuart Easton – Paul Bird Motorsport Ltd Kawasaki
3. Horst Saiger – Saiger-Heidger Macau Race Team Kawasaki
4. John McGuiness – Honda Racing Honda
5. Gary Johnson – Penz13.com BMW Motorrad by Monex BMW Motorrad
7. Michael Rutter – Penz13.com by Special Olympics & MGM Macau BMW Motorrad
9. Ian Hutchinson – Paul Bird Motorsport Ltd Kawasaki
10. Mark Miller – Splitlath EBR EBR
11. Paul Shoesmith – Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW
13. Lee Johnston – East Coast Construction BMW
14. Andre Pirespor – Team SBK/IncortCar # Yamaha Yamaha
15. Jimmy Storrar – BMW
16. David Johnson Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW
18. Nuno Caetano Porfmp –  Team Portugal Kawasaki
20. Dan Cooper – Space Centre Racing Honda
22. Conor c**mins – Honda Racing Honda
24. James McBride – JV Racing UK Kawasaki
26. Didier Grams – Saiger-Heidger Macau Race Team W&G BMW
31. Dan Kurger – Penz13.com by Special Olympics & MGM Macau BMW Motorrad
34. Ben Wylie – Bimota Factory Racing Bimota
39. Allann-Jon Venter – CF Racing Team 32 Honda
40. Martin Jessopp – Riders Motorcycles BMW BMW
48. Hervé Ganter – BMW Motorrad BMW Motorrad
54. Steve Heneghan ReactiveParts.com Yamaha
60. Peter Hickman Briggs Equipment BMW BMW
62. Sam West – PR Racing LLOYD & JONES Kawasaki Kawasaki
65. Michael Sweeney – Kawasaki
71. Davy Morgan – Magic Bullet Racing Honda
72. Russell Mountford – VRS Racing VRS Honda
88. Brandon Cretu – Bimota Factory Racing Bimota
90. Tom McHale – CF Racing Team 32 Honda
111 Brian McCormack – TAG Racing TAG Honda 

Honda confirms Haydens 2016 WSBK switch

Honda confirms Haydens 2016 WSBK switch

HONDA have confirmed today that current MotoGP rider Nicky Hayden will switch to World Superbikes in 2016 to join the Ten Kate Honda Team alongside current WSBK rider Michael van der Mark.

Hayden, a former MotoGP World Champion, will be spearheading Honda’s campaign for the 2016 World Superbike season on-board the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP with new team-mate van der Mark. 

Hayden joined the MotoGP class in 2003 with Repsol Honda after winning the AMA Superbike Championship in 2002. Since then the 34-year-old has started more than 200 Grand Prixs, scored 28 podiums, taken three race victories and won the MotoGP t**le with Honda in 2006. 

The American is said to be ‘relishing a return to his superbike roots in 2016’ and to be continuing with Honda.

“Well, my next stop is Superbike with Honda!,” explained Hayden. “I’m very excited, obviously, to stick with Honda; it’s where I’ve had the most success in my career. World Superbikes is a championship that I followed closely as a kid when a lot of American riders were fighting at the front.

“It just seems like the right time and the right team to go with. I know I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s going to be a big challenge, but also I’m very motivated to start and learn what I can. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me through my MotoGP career. We had a good run but now it’s time to move on and try something different.

The Kentucky Kid will be teaming up with 22-year-old van der Mark for 2016 – a rider who has followed Honda’s rider development programme. The Dutch rider has won both the 2012 European Superstock 600 series and last year’s World Supersport Championship on Honda’s CBR600RR.

Team Manager Ronald ten Kate is delighted to have Hayden on-board and is more than happy with his team’s line-up for 2016.

“It’s well known that, at Ten Kate, we always have been and always will be Honda,” said ten Kate. “There is only be one person in the world who could possibly be more Honda than us, and that’s Nicky Hayden! That’s why I’m absolutely delighted that he’ll be joining us for next season.

The first test for the Ten Kate Team will be in Spain during the month of November which will allow Hayden to familiarise himself with the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP for the first time.

Updated CBR500R

Updated CBR500R

Honda CBR500R 2016

Honda CBR500R 2016

HONDA has just announced a round of updates to the CBR500R for 2016. 

Revisions to the A2-compliant middleweight include a new look, upgraded forks with adjustable pre-load, a larger tank, an adjustable brake lever and a new exhaust.

It’s not due to be properly unveiled until October 15 at the American International Motorcycle Expo in Florida.

the CBR500R is based on the same platform as the naked CB500F and adventure-style CB500X, so it seems likely they will get the same technical updates. 

Honda said in a press release: ‘Honda Motor Europe is pleased to announce a comprehensive range of upgrades for the CBR500R, its sports middleweight first launched for the 2013 sales season. The CBR500R’s combination of lively performance and sports styling has earned it widespread popularity both among riders stepping up from smaller machines and experienced riders looking for all-round sporty capability. 

Upgrades for 2016 include:

  • A complete new look based on a design theme of “Aggressive Speed Shape”. Sharp and edgy character lines flow from its new front face – featuring steeply-angled dual LED lights – through to the upswept tail – also equipped with LED lighting – to give an appearance of speed and purpose.
  • Several rider-focussed upgrades including front suspension with adjustable pre-load,  larger fuel tank with new hinged fuel cap, adjustable brake levers and “wave” style ignition key.
  • A new shorter exhaust muffler for enhanced mass centralisation, with internal structure tuned for a satisfying low, crisp exhaust note.
  • A range of dynamic new colour schemes. 

With this series of upgrades, the 16YM CBR500R is designed to offer the maximum sporty performance, style and presence from a genuine A2 licence-compliant motorcycle.

The 16YM CBR500R will be unveiled to the public for the first time at the  which starts in Orlando, Florida on 15th October.’

Related Content

Source: Updated CBR500R

Video review Yamaha R1M

Video review Yamaha R1M

YAMAHA recently announced another batch of R1Ms coming to the UK for 2016, so we thought it was probably a good time to test one on the road and track.

Read the full review here.

Read our Yamaha R1 and R1M launch report here.

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Source: Video review Yamaha R1M

Honda Yamaha and BMW working together on rider safety technology

Honda Yamaha and BMW working together on rider safety technology

Yamaha, Honda, BMW partnership
L to R: Karl Viktor Schaller, Executive Vice President of Development at BMW Motorrad, Tetsuo Suzuki – Operating Officer at Honda and Takaaki Kimura, Chief General Manager of Technology Center and Executive Vice President and Representative Director of Yamaha

HONDA, Yamaha and BMW yesterday announced they’re working on technology to warn motorcyclists of hazards on the road.

The three manufacturers are collaborating to evaluate and develop systems that will allow bikes to communicate with other vehicles so riders have advanced warning of changing road conditions, accidents, and traffic behaviour.

The technology is called Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and Honda, Yamaha and BMW’s collective endeavour is taking place under the name ‘Connected Motorcycle Consortium’. They want other manufacturers to join them in developing the technology for motorcycles.

Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems is an umbrella term for technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and give road users early warning of hazards or conditions. Examples include vehicle-to-vehicle warning systems that can alert drivers of an impending collision. It raises the possibility of a system for warning drivers before they pull out on a motorcyclist at a junction.  

Examples of ‘Intelligent Transport Systems’ include ‘Intelligent Speed Adaptation’. ISA refers to speed limiters that use GPS technology to restrict vehicles to the prevailing limit, including automatically slowing them down if necessary. In 2006 the Department for Transport developed an ISA-equipped Suzuki Bandit 650 but the project was shelved.

It’s not clear exactly how C-ITS will be applied to motorcycles but a press release on the joint venture said it would differ to systems in cars. It said: ‘ITS systems designed for cars cannot simply be transferred to motorcycles. Due to the limited space available, electronic systems have to be smaller and be resilient to water, dust and vibration.

‘Since motorcycles exhibit different driving dynamics, software development and algorithms need to consider special requirements.’

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Source: Honda Yamaha and BMW working together on rider safety technology

More anniversary Yamahas

More anniversary Yamahas

Speedblock Yamaha R6
The speedblock R6

Speedblock Yamaha Ténéré
And the Super Ténéré in the same colours.

THE classic yellow, white and black ‘speedblock’ colour scheme is one of the best ever seen on a motorcycle – and on the occasion of its 60th anniversary Yamaha is wheeling it out on a range of bikes.

We’ve already seen that the 2016 R1 will be coming to the UK in classic speedblock colours. Now Yamaha has revealed the R6 and the Super Ténéré in the same scheme (although, weirdly, not the electronic-suspension version of the Super Ténéré). They’ve been unveiled in the US. Whether we’ll get them in the same colours here is as-yet unclear.

Given the strength of the colour scheme in terms of being instantly-recognisable (not to mention an uncanny ability to make otherwise-bland bikes suddenly look enticing), you’d have thought Yamaha’s marketing gurus would ensure it was always available. Instead it’s only offered once in a blue moon, and on just one or two models.

Let’s hope they see sense and add these two to the UK line-up. 

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Source: More anniversary Yamahas

Used Crumpler Light Delight Backpack review

Used Crumpler Light Delight Backpack review

Crumpler Light Delight Backpack

Crumpler Light Delight Backpack

Crumpler Light Delight Backpack
With a laptop inside.

Crumpler Light Delight Backpack
Hidden external pocket. Yes, I do always carry a toothbrush.

Crumpler Light Delight Backpack failed stitching
But oh dear. A few months’ use and this handmade bag is coming apart.

THIS seemed like the ideal rucksack when I got it. It’s big enough to take a 17-inch laptop and lots besides but only weighs a claimed 460g, so I don’t have to carry any more load than strictly necessary.

When I’m not carrying a laptop, it will easily squash into a smaller bag. I can carry it inside a tank bag if I’m riding a bike that has one or on my back if I’m not.

Inside there’s a zip pocket for documents, two smaller pockets for a phone or compact camera, a pen holder and a large compartment for the laptop. There’s also quite a large and handy pocket on the outside, with the zip hidden.

It’s made of claimed waterproof fabric, although some rain finds its way through the zip in persistent downpours.

Best of all, Crumpler bags are guaranteed for 30 years.

The website says: ‘CRUMPLER GUARANTEE – we give you 30 years. 30 years Guarantee? Serious? Yes, serious!’

‘All bags are handmade and are subject to rigorous tests throughout the whole production process. We love our bags (would we name them otherwise?) and we want you to feel that love, too. Every day, as long as possible but at least 30 years. Guaranteed.’

The irony of a long guarantee is that it inspires such confidence that you don’t think about things like keeping the receipt. But I should have because, after about eight months’ use, the stitching of this handmade bag started to come apart at a seam. I hadn’t been hauling bricks around in it, or stuffing it till the stitches stretched. I’d been carrying my laptop, some cameras, waterproofs and occasionally some spare underwear and a toothbrush on brief overseas trips. Normal use. And I’d been using it every day, as Crumpler suggested.

Within a few weeks the faulty stitching became a hole. Then I remembered that guarantee, and emailed Crumpler a photo, asking what I should do.

‘Thank you very much for your email,’ came the reply.  ‘We are sorry to hear that you are having problems with your bag. Could you please attach the receipt for us? We then can direct you to the person that will be able to help you.’

I had no idea where it was. I replied suggesting a bank statement as proof of purchase (assuming I’d be able to find one) and asking what difference a receipt made since the bag obviously wasn’t more than 30 years old.

Crumpler replied: ‘Unfortunately we cannot help you without a receipt. All warranty claims can only be made with the receipt of purchase. You can find this information here under § 9 http://www.crumpler.eu/terms-conditions/. Maybe you can have a look again for the receipt? We will be more than happy to help you once it is presented. We regret we have not a more positive answer for you.’

Who keeps a bag receipt for 30 years?

Growing irritated, I replied: ‘Why won’t a bank statement suffice as proof of purchase? Why do you need the receipt anyway? “Maybe you could have a look again?” Maybe you could look again at your garbage policy.’

Then I remembered an important detail I’d completely forgotten: the bag had been bought for me as a birthday present. So the buyer might still have the receipt.

They did, a receipt from Amazon where it had cost £41.79, compared to £59.90 from Crumpler’s own site. I sent the receipt to Crumpler and again got a reply with a polite beginning and end but rejection in the middle. A sort of rejection sandwich.

It said: ‘Thank you for your email, we are sorry to hear that there is a problem with your bag. Please contact the dealer you have bought the bag from as they are responsible for all warranty and complain issues in the first two years after purchase. Here at the online shop we can only help you with problems related to products bought directly from our website. After the 2 years please contact our colleagues at [email protected] and they will be able to help you if a receipt is presented.

‘Best regards and have a nice start into your weekend.’

So I could go to Amazon or wait until the bag was two years old and go back to Crumpler.

I found the Amazon returns page and entered a reference number for the purchase, to be told it was no longer eligible for return.

It’s not easy to find a customer service email address for Amazon – you’re supposed to fill out a ‘contact us’ form – but a bit of forum Googling revealed one that looked promising: [email protected].

Now I sent an email to both Crumpler and Amazon asking which of them was responsible for the faulty bag. Crumpler didn’t reply but Amazon did – with another dish of rejection sandwich. I was getting a taste for them.

It said: ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience you’ve faced in this regard. For security reasons, we can only take action on an account when the request comes from the e-mail address related to that account. This is the only way to be certain that the request is coming from the account holder and that all personal information is protected. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes. To protect your privacy, we can only send account information to the e-mail address on file for your Amazon.co.uk account.’  

‘Don’t you understand?’ I replied. ‘This item was a gift to me. Therefore this complaint is not from the account holder who ordered the item. I’m not asking for any information about the account holder who ordered the item. I’m asking you to repair or replace the faulty item.’

I CCd my response to the person who did buy them item. They forwarded it to Amazon again with the simple message ‘See below.’ Amazon replied to them offering a refund, as the bag was no longer in stock. I heard nothing more from the online retailer.

I’m told the bag must be returned within 30 days or Amazon will take back the money that has been refunded. So I’m down on postage for someone else’s refund for a faulty bag I’ve got to give back. 

Based on the bag’s performance and my experience in attempting to return it, I can’t recommend it. 

I sent this review to [email protected] and [email protected] and asked for a comment before publishing. Crumpler hadn’t replied after 24 hours. Amazon sent a response identically worded to previous emails, including: ‘For security reasons, we can only take action on an account when the request comes from the e-mail address related to that account.’ 

I also sent it to Amazon UK’s press office but I’m still waiting for a comment.  

Tested: Crumpler Light Delight Backpack

Price: £59.90


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Source: Used Crumpler Light Delight Backpack review

Yamaha unveils the R1S

Yamaha unveils the R1S

Yamaha YZF-R1S

YAMAHA has just revealed this new budget-edition of the R1, called the R1S, on its US website.

WAY back in April last year – long before we’d even seen Yamaha’s 2015 R1 or R1M – we revealed that the firm had also trademarked the name YZF-R1S in the US.

We wondered again what the bike might be when its siblings showed up a few months later, and it reared its head yet again recently, when emissions documents from California revealed there would be an R1S model in the 2016 range.

Well, finally it’s appeared, in the US, and it turns out to be a cheaper, lower-spec version of the R1.

What’s been cut back? Well, the S model gets steel conrods and exhaust headers instead of t**anium ones, uses aluminium for the wheels, engine covers and sump instead of magnesium, and as a result weighs 4kg more than the normal R1. It also does without a quick-shifter but retains the high-spec traction control with its inertial measurement unit (IMU). You don’t even get an ‘S’ sticker to show that you’ve gone for the cheaper option.

Oh yes, cheaper. That’s the key bit here. In the US, the R1S will be $14,990, which is $2000 less than the normal R1. That’s a fair chunk for a bike that’s surely going to be 99% as good for 99% of the time.

The engine changes are said to limit the bike’s revs a fraction, and although peak power isn’t supposed to be seriously altered there’s no official word on what that figure will be just yet.

Will we get the R1S in the UK? We’ll have to wait a while to find out, but surely there’s reason to be hopeful.

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Source: Yamaha unveils the R1S