Thursday, April 17


IN WHAT looks almost like a 'steal to order' racket, Jason Fowler had his GSX-R1000 K7 stolen right out from under his nose in Te Atatu South on Monday, April 14.

The Suzuki was blue and white, is fitted with a Leo Vince single pipe with a carbon tip, Oggy knobs and tail tidy.  

Registration number is:  60YYH

Frame number is: JS1CL111100100069

Jason says a fellow turned up in a car, seemed very conversant with Suzuki GSX-R1000s, checked the bike over and asked to take it for a test ride.

Jason suggested the owner leave his car keys with him (Jason) while the test ride was conducted.  The prospective purchaser is described as a "white guy, 26 to 30-years-old, about 1.75 metres (69 inches, or five feet nine inches) in height, chubby/fattish with either broken/cracked or very small front teeth."

So it definitely wasn't the Easter Bunny.

Jason says the 'buyer' said he'd go out to his car and get the keys, then bring them into Jason.

For whatever reason, Jason's attention was distracted and when the fellow did not come back with the car keys, Jason went out to the street to see where he was. The car the 'buyer' had arrived in was gone.  When Jason got back to his house, his blue and white Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 was also no where to be seen.

If you have any information that would lead to this bike's recovery, contact Jason on 021 660 177 or email him:  or:

Wednesday, April 16


Mercurial Englishman Guy Martin discovered first-hand that trying to beat the Kiwis on the streets of Wanganui is no easy task.  Here he leads 2012 Suzuki Series Formula 1 class winner Dennis Charlett.
ALTHOUGH the first race is still eight months away and the series is organised by a man who goes by the name of 'Flea', Suzuki New Zealand has already committed to another 'Tri-Series' over the early summer.

Suzuki has been sponsoring the three-round series - with rounds at Hampton Downs, Manfeild and Wanganui - since the series grew to encompass a Waikato round in 2009 and it has grown to rival the New Zealand Road Race Championships in just five years.

This year's Suzuki Series will kick-off at Waikato's Hampton Downs on December 6 then a week later round two will be run at Feilding's Manfeild circuit on December 13-14.

Then there is a 12 day break before the third (and final) round is run around the streets of Wanganui on the Cemetery Circuit.

"We are thrilled to have Suzuki come on board again,” said series organiser Allan ‘Flea’ Willacy, of Wanganui.

“They are such a brilliant company to work with and do some fantastic things for the sport in general too.  It makes things easy for me to have such great support behind me.”

Suzuki has been a very strong supporter of motorcycle competition in New Zealand since the late 1960s when the Coleman family was the official importer and that has continued over the years following Suzuki Motor Corporation's takeover of New Zealand distribution in 1984.

Although it is a three round series, the organisers have dropped the 'Tri-Series' appellation in the expectation that it may expand to four (or more) rounds in the near future.  

The original Suzuki Series, run by Manawatu's Tim Gibbes, expanded to as many as five rounds and before he retired, he had attracted up to 250 competitors at some of the events he and his wife Joan ran, along with an enthusiastic band of dedicated supporters.

The later 'Tri-Series' included a round at Taupo run by the Pacific Motorcycle Club in 2008 but that was dropped in favour of the Hampton Downs date.  Still, it is possible that a round could also be hosted at Taupo again in the future.

Whether the Suzuki Series expands to the South Island remains to be seen, despite a healthy level of interest from South Island competitors who have been crossing Cook Strait in increasing numbers.

It was not so long ago that you could count the South Islanders at a North Island event on the fingers of one hand.

According to series organiser Willacy, "entries are already starting to flow in" for the coming early summer series, even though it is eight months away.

Last year's Suzuki Series attracted a good level of interest from the other side of the Tasman, with Chris Seaton, Craig Trinder, Linden Magee and father and daughter pair Phil and Sophie Lovett making the crossing.

The premier Formula 1 class was wrested from Suzuki's grasp last year by Hamilton Kawasaki rider Nick Cole, who will be looking to add the 2014 crown to his list of achievements.

Fellow Hamiltonian Andrew Stroud won the Superbike class the first four years, 2008-2011, before Christchurch's Dennis Charlett took the 2012 title.  That was five year's of GSX-R1000 domination and Suzuki will be going all-out to get a GSX-R1000 into the Series win this year.

The GSX-R1000 has a proud tradition to uphold in New Zealand:  this was the first country in the world to register a win to the across the frame 1000cc four when Shaun Harris scored its world debut win on the streets of Wanganui in 2000 in the Chris Daws Masters race.

Monday, April 14


One of the members of the newly formed KTMR2R Red Bull factory racing team demonstrates outside the CFMoto plant in Hangzhou, where KTM 200 and 390cc Dukes are being assembled for the Chinese market.

THERE was a major celebration when KTM and CFMoto revealed the first Chinese assembled 200 and 390cc Dukes to roll out of the CFMoto plant in Hangzhou, China.

Following a partnership announcement in late 2013,  (for details, click here) CFMoto President Lai Guogui was joined by KTM COO, Harald Ploedckinger and KTM CSO Hubert Trunkenpolz as the first Chinese assembled Dukes were rolled out at a product release ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

Lu Zhengjun, Production Director of two-wheelers for CFMoto China, said the company was committed to taking on board some of the KTM ethos around staff training, quality control and production management when producing the KTM R2R bikes.

Some of the thousands who tuned out for the unveiling of the first Chinese-assembled KTMs. 

“The bikes definitely have KTM genes,” said Mr Lu.

KTMR2R is the trademark the bikes will be sold under as Guangzhouu Tianma Motorcycle Co. Ltd. registered the brand name ‘KTM’ in China in 1997 as the abbreviation of Kwangchow Tianma Motorcycle (KTM).  The company also uses as its official website.

Thus, the CFMoto assembled KTMs will be branded KTMR2R (ready to race) in China.

The partnership between the Austrian and Chinese companies sees CFMoto assembling KTM 200 and 390 Dukes for the largest motorcycle market in the world, China.  The Dukes are assembled from completely knocked down (CKD) kits made in India with KTM’s joint venture partner Bajaj.

The roll-out of the first KTM R2R models from CFMoto is seen as a foundation move to allow for more collaboration between the two brands and more products to be marketed in China in the future.

Eventually, CFMoto will offer the entire KTM range in the People’s Republic, selling Austrian-built bikes alongside those assembled at CFMoto’s Hangzhou plant.

Hangzhou is the capital and largest city in Zhiejiang Province in Eastern China. It has a human history that can be traced back more than 7000 years.

“CFMoto has been concentrating on design and manufacturing of high end, differentiated products for a number of years now,” says Mr Lu Zhengjun. 

“The opportunity to work together with KTM on these first models was a great experience for us.  Our companies share many similarities such as culture, quality and product philosophy and the superb quality of these bikes is proof of that,” Mr Lu said.

The 200 Duke and 390 Duke were launched with the help of the new KTMR2R Red Bull factory racing team.

The Chinese KTM R2R race team (at left) pose with KTM CSO Hubert Trunkenpolz, CFMoto President Lai Gougui, KTM COO Harald Ploeckinger, Li Bin of CFMoto and KTM’s Raymond Gradt.