I tested Shezzas’ bike, something I have done many times before in my life and after only a few seconds on the bike I could feel it was a Shez/Ricky special. Shez has always liked his bike setup firm and very ridged, setup to get into corners, scrub off and blast out – very much Marc Marquez style. The front suspension is solid and you really have to hammer the brakes on to get the bike stopped. A bit of “Shez Shuffle” is needed when heading into the turns as the rear end does like to step out. This is perfect for me as I like to ride a bike that lets me do the steering, too many machines these days are controlled by the electronics, so backing in at will is not always in the hands of the rider but rather the electronic aids. For the 2020 season Bridgestone has come on as the main title sponsor and tyre supplier to the National series so all riders will be using the new Bridgestone R11 cut-slicks. I tested these tyres for the first time at the end of 2019 and was impressed with the huge leap they made over the previous R10 tyre. A lot more grip and stability especially from the front. The rear still does not fully get along with full lean angle and does move around quite a bit when on the edge of the tyre for a few seconds. The sidewall is harder than most, which means one will get this movement but will also get a lot more longevity compared to some of its faster rivals. Getting “Shez has always liked his bike setup firm and very ridged, setup to get into corners, scrub off and blast out – very much Marc Marquez style.” tyre pressures right is key with these R11’s and makes a huge difference, something Shez and the team have found crucial in testing so far. Although the bikes overall setup was a bit too stiff and ridged for me, it still felt dialed in and ideal for fast lap times and good tyre wear more importantly. Over the 2-days of testing Shez managed to post his fastest time on day two with close on 75-laps on the tyres – now that’s impressive! The front end felt solid heading into corners, but I did get a bit of a folding feeling mid turn whilst trying to get the bike to the apex. Shez had the same feeling but has bigger balls than me so this did not phase him too much, plus the front suspension is still the stock Sachs so once the full cartridge kit has been installed they should be able to get this sorted. To say this bike is still pretty much “stock standard” is amazing and a testament to how good Ricky and Shez are at setting up bikes. The stock motors are ridiculously fast and with the addition of the race harness and ECU these bikes are now on steroids. The punch out of the turns and the way it just keeps making power through every gear at every RPM is impressive. It screams in anger - a sound that does get every part of the body excited. Locally made Panther rearsets have been fitted and work seamlessly with the bikes gearbox. Quick-shift and auto-blip assist is silky smooth, another big improvement from Kawasaki over previous gen models. Traction control has been setup perfectly to get the job done quietly in the background while the rest like wheelie control have been turned off, something I found out for myself coming out of turn 3 for the first time when the front wheel was quickly thrown into the air. Overall a very impressive package and one that will no doubt be winning races and potentially even a title this year. I wish the team the best of luck and thank them for letting me sample their amazing creation. We as RideFast are pleased to be the official media partner for the team in 2020 and will bring as much coverage as possible both in the mag and on our Facebook page so keep a look out. Make sure you also like and share the teams Facebook page - HI- TECH Racing – which is run by BronCo who also looks after all graphic design work for the pits and team apparel. One last big shout out to HBC Radiomatic for sponsoring the team and putting money back into the sport. We need more companies like them! 24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2020 25
ROAD TRACK DIRT GET A GRIP ON 2020!