Number of this bike in our garage: 20 x
It used to be the motorcycling crowd could be divided cleanly between superbikers and off-roaders. The superbikers hang around at Hard Rock Café and go riding to Genting on the weekends. The off-roaders on the other hand spend most of their time jumping in the jungle and are rarely seen. But now, a strange hybdrid of the two is forming on the fringes of the local biking scene. Supermotos, or also known as supermotards are fast gaining popularity. For those who don’t know much about bikes, a supermotard is basically a scrambler with superbike tyres. You would think that a tall scrambler would be horrible to ride around twisty roads. But as I rode the Kawasaki D-Tracker around some sharp bends in the neighbourhood – this myth was quickly proven to be untrue. The D-Tracker is basically a Kawasaki KLX-250 ‘scrambler’ with 17-inch street rims.
It is powered by a single-cylinder 250cc thumper that lacks any sense of urgency – and can power the 119 kg bike to a mere 145 kph. However, despite the lack of straight line speed – this bike can be quite a load of fun in the twisties.
You will also learn a totally different away of doing essentially the same thing – that is going around corners quickly. To do this, sportsbikers lower their center of gravity by dropping their body toward the inside of a turn and putting their knees down. Supermoto riders on the other hand adopt a totally different approach.
Unknown to many, the fastest way around a turn is actually by sliding through it. The supermoto rider sit high up on his bike and uses a skillful combination of brakes and clutch to ‘slide’ the rear tyre and change the direction of the bike. It is a neat trick – this. Think of it as drifting – but on just two wheels …