“I want to be like Brad Binder……” could be one of the most frightening words a parent could ever imagine hearing these days. With our local hero flying the South African flag this season in the Moto 3, interest has really started to grow around local motorsport. It’ll not be long until our children’s walls are covered with Brad Binder posters with our youngsters all looking to follow in his footsteps. Inevitably this means that your bank account will take an absolute hiding as your little Superman learns the ropes and climbs his way up the grid. If you are on the other side of the spectrum and have always had aspirations of becoming a “fully-fledged weekend racer” on the bucket list then you are going to need quite a “Bucket” to finance the dream cause let’s face it, motorsport isn’t cheap.
I have spent quite a few seasons chasing the racing dream in our local racing series and know firsthand how committing to a full season of racing can really put the credit card in the red faster than you can hit the limiter. To start off in the racing fraternity you would need to find yourself a 2 wheeled stallion and you would want to be on something as competitive as possible, which at the new pricing is scary. Once you take delivery of your new beast the real financial journey begins. Race kits, tyre warmers, paddock stands, sprockets, rear sets, exhausts, power commanders or ECU flashing and many performance modifications all take their place on the shopping list, as you look to cover yourself in motorsport glory. Let’s not forget the bike trailer to ferry the bike around from circuit to circuit. This all seems very daunting and if the family December holiday has just gone out the window, don’t despair. There is another way to find your way to the grid…..
KTM have really shaken up the Racing scene worldwide with the introduction of the KTM390 Cup. Over the last few years I have found the jump for the juniors progressing from a 250cc straight onto a 600cc to be a bit of a suicide mission. The good old 400cc’s from the 90’s, unfortunately, stayed in the 90’s, making the old VFRs and CBRs more of a collector’s item than a race machine. The KTM RC390 slots beautifully into the gap and gives the youngsters a few seasons to learn their craft in possibly the most affordable racing series before climbing onto the slightly more brutal 600cc.
I had the opportunity to ride a RC390 at round 3 of the Super GP championship held at the Zwartkops Raceway. The 390 Cup forms part of the Super GP’s powerful line up and is split into 2 series within the Super GP. The 390 Junior Cup and the 390 Seniors which puts the old timers over 30 like myself into our own class. During the Friday Free Practice the Juniors and Senior KTM Pilots practice together. You quickly learn how fearless these youngsters are, carrying serious corner speed and almost never back off the throttle. But come race time, the Juniors and Seniors are split into separate races, the main reason being the Junior Cup is a National Series and the Seniors follow the Northern Region Circuit and don’t do the long trips down to Cape Town and all the other coastal tracks, which leaves the old timers to do battle at Red Star, Phakisa, Zwartkops and hopefully Kyalami, next season.
Juniors and seniors are all on KTM RC 390’s and the series rules and regulations limit any performance modifications, keeping the bikes as standard as possible with very little performance modifications on offer. This does away with the whole cheque book racing travesty and leaves it down to the rider who twists the throttle the hardest to be the first to take the chequered flag. Make no mistake, the KTM is a well- equipped machine and is capable off the showroom floor and will definitely keep a smile on your face the entire race weekend. Our very own Grant Scott reviewed the RC 390 not long ago and enjoyed his time aboard the little KTM. If you are sold on the concept of fair, fun racing you have a number of great options!
Option 1: If you are the type of racer who prefers to own your bike you can cruise into your RAD Moto KTM dealer and buy one off the showroom floor for the amazing price of *R69000.00. For under R70k you will be able to swing your leg over a race ready machine, fitted with a Race Kit, Shark Fin, Fuel cap, Triple Clamps, Rear Sets and Handle Bar clip-ons.
Option 2: You can always do a little bit of build as you go. The RC390 is now at the reduced price of *R55000.00, slap on a race kit then prioritise the modifications to suit your budget.
Option 3: Which is my personal favourite…….. you can rent the bike for the race weekend. For a very cool *R2500 you can rent a KTM and the bike magically arrives at the track, fully gassed, tyred and ready to race. All the rider has to do is organise their Race entry, Race License (for the day or season), your kit and you are on the grid. The Nationals does work out a little differently in terms of tyres but I honestly don’t see this breaking the bank especially with the KTM not being particularly hard on the race rubber.
*Pricing subject to change.
Included in the rental price is a KTM bike technician to help you get your setup up right during the Friday sessions and to assist with any other issues the rider might be experiencing during the course of the weekend. This proves to be a huge help especially, for series newbie’s learning the ropes.
The racing itself is an absolute blast. The first 5 laps I was aboard the KTM made me giggle like a school girl, as the little plucky KTM roared around the circuit. There are a lot of really important things to be learnt aboard the orange monster, though. The bike teaches you about corner speed, thinking ahead and using the entire track (including the paint) which is something a lot of racers take for granted riding the bigger bike. Most importantly it teaches us and reminds us, that racing is fun and that is why we do it in the first place. I really enjoyed my weekend experience and will definitely be renting my KTM and joining my Orange competitors on track for another round before the season ends.
Give RAD Moto KTM a call and get in touch with the guys to organise your Race machine. Before you know it you will be firing up your little KTM and pulling out of the very factory looking KTM branded pit onto the circuit to rub shoulders and bump handlebars with the likes of Riaan Neveling, Dave Griffin and the rest of Team Orange, living the life of a factory KTM racer, for a very minimal fee!