CHAMPS PAST AND PRESENT: Shado Alston (Honda CBR 500R), left, hands over the mantle from his wins in 2012 and 2013 to 2014 winner Andre Schoeman (BMW F700GS) after the Motorcycle Economy Run in Mpumalanga, Image: Michelle Jordaan
Rookie of the Year
NELSPRUIT, Mpumalanga - Motorcycles are undoubtedly an economical way of getting around but do they really save that much fuel compared to a car? And if so, how much?
There’s only way to find out and that’s what I set out to discover when I took part in the 2014 SA motorcycle econorun, an annual motorcycle competition to measure/compete on the fuel economy of unmodified motorcycles under standard public road conditions and traffic rules.
With a total distance of 1050km over two days and almost 70 entries – among them 28 first-timers and 14 with pillion riders – it showed that motorcycling is becoming more and more a family affair.
My steed for the event was a Honda Integra, a hybrid crossover motorcycle/super scoot, albeit with normal 17” wheels and the underpinnings from the NC700 motorcycle. The liquid-cooled engine is rated at 670cc, peak power is 38kW (62Nm of torque) and it drives through a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Its brakes proved excellent, given the up-and-down terrain, and of the ‘linked’ variety, incorporating ABS. Simple twist and go technology at its finest – perfect for a serious event of this type.
Each competitor travels according to a pre-set route following the usual scroll map mounted on the tank or, in my case, secured to the handlebars with duct tape! Each competitor is sent off individually on the minute and required to arrive within a specified time at the next refuel/rest stop(following all the traffic rules, of course).
Riders enter under various classes, eg: 1000cc and up, dual-purpose, pillion, etc. The event demands a fair degree of skill and concentration requiring competitors to follow a route schedule whie constantly monitoring their stopwatches to ensure they reach predetermined checkpoints on time to avoid penalties for clocking in late.
It was Andre Schoeman aboard a BMW F700GS who took the 2014 title of South Africa’s most fuel-efficient motorcyclist. He completed the 34th running of the event over the challenging route from Pretoria to Hazyview with an average fuel consumption of 3.2975 litres/100km.
A winning margin of a scant 0.0037 litres saw Schoeman pip Keith Parry (Honda NC 750X) and 2012 and 2013 winner Shado Alston (Honda CBR 500R) to the post. Alston missed making it three in a row by a mere 0.0058 litres but still managed to win Class A.
Rounding out the top five were Grant Scott (Honda NC 750) and Willie Duvenage (BMW Sertao), fourth and fifth respectively.
The most economical lady was Glynese de Villiers aboard her Ducati ST4S who was 11th overall.
With entries divided into 12 classes based on motorcycle capacity and type there was plenty of silverware up for grabs with the added incentive of cash prizes.
*Dave Fall (though he didn’t mention it, modest guy that he is) won two awards (see below).
1 A Schoeman, BMW F700GS - 3.298
2 K Parry, Honda NC750 - 3.301
3 S Alston, Honda CBR500R - 3.303
4 G Scott, Honda NC750 - 3.551
5 W Duvenage, BMW Sertao - 3.570
6 D Biggs, BMW G650GS - 3.58
7 J Seager, BMWF800S - 3.64
8 M Rossouw, BMWG650GS - 3.84
9 D Fall, Honda Integra - 3.93
10 A Hamer, BMWF800ST - 4.01.
Class A (Motorcycles up to 501cc) Shado Alston (Honda CBR 500 R), 3.3033
Class B (Single cylinder motorcycles above 501cc) Denver Biggs (BMW G650GS) 3.5850
Class C (Two cylinder road motorcycles 501-800cc) Keith Parry (Honda NC 750 X) 3.3012
Class D (Two-cylinder road motorcycles 801-1000cc and three and more cylinder motorcycles 501-1000cc) Glynese de Villiers (Ducati ST4S) 4.0247
Class E (Road motorcycles overr 1001cc) Mike Peel (BMW R1200R) 4.3395
Class F (All dual-purpose motorcycles up to 1000cc) Andre Schoeman (BMW F700GS) 3.2975
Class G (All dual-purpose motorcycles above 1001cc) Reg Gurnell (BMW GS 1200 LC) 4.4796
Class I (Cruisers above 1000cc) Mark du Plessis (Honda VTX) 5.8610
Class J (Motorcycles with panniers 1000cc and larger) Alan Dougherty (BMW R 1200 RT) 4.3684
Class K (Pillion) Jerry Paice / Bonita Blankenberg (BMW R1200 RT) 4.5323
Class L (Open Class) Willie Duvenage (BMW Sertao) 3.5772
2014 Rookie of the Year for 2014 Dave Fall, Honda Integra 700cc
SA BIKE OF THE YEAR
In August 2014, Wheels24 reported that KTM’s 1290 Super Duke took the honours in the 2014 Pirelli SA Bike of the Year awards, with BMW's S1000R and R1200 GS Adventure the runners-up.
The winners were announced on August 8 during the opening of the 2014 AMID Motorcycle Show held at Nasrec in Johannesburg.