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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 332 > ASIAN ASSASSINS

ASIAN ASSASSINS

While Pretty Boy got to have all the fun on the GSX-R125’s launch in Blighty, Dangerous was banished to Indonesia to put Suzuki’s 150cc variant through its paces in the talent-rife Suzuki Asian Challenge.

SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE

The calm before the carnage.

Never send a man to do a boy’s job. That’s the moral of this Asian adventure that saw me jet to the other side of the world and strip to my shreddies for a boxing-style weigh-in, in preparation for the fourth round of the Suzuki Asian Challenge (SAC). It wasn’t one of my life’s highlights, standing in a swelteringly hot pitlane with an audience of onlookers, with the verdict being my 75kg of mass meant I was some 25kg heavier on average than the 14 adversaries I’d be swapping paint with around the battered looking Sentul race circuit.

“Ha ha, you too fat,” came a chorus of adolescent voices, reminding me of a time in secondary school when I was told point blank I couldn’t be a fighter pilot because I wouldn’t fit in the cockpit. But as was the case then, time was sure to help me heal my wounded ego. That and the fact I had the last laugh, as this particular lard-arse was to get first pick of the 20 immaculately prepared GSX-R150s waiting in the impeccably laid out SAC garage. There to help me with my choosing process, and general luggage carrying in Indonesia, was Suzuki’s British Superbike sensation Taylor Mackenzie.

He devised a strategy to find a winner among these otherwise uniform motorcycles:

“Go for one with the best feeling brake pressure, and make sure it’s not battered.” Which is exactly what we did, settling on a bike that appeared immaculate to our jet-lagged minds. We knew absolutely nothing about it; how fast it went; how well it handled; whether the rear wheel was slotted in the right way round. It was a real finger in the air scenario, but at least the front anchors felt half decent. Job done, we stood back with a smug look on our faces as the next fattest riders were sent through one at a time to make their selections, with the process eventually rounding off when 47kg Japanese rider Tetsuya Fujita arrived on the scene as the lightest of these featherweight jockeys. It was a humbling moment, and also one that made me realise sending Fagan, with his manly physique, would have been a catastrophic move.

Having arrived at Sentul the night before, Taylor and I had already gone for a wander around the 4km track, which resembled the surface of a road that had been nuked…

YUKIO KAGAYAMA: THE WORD FROM THE TOP

“I started the series back in 2013, with a Underbone 150cc series. I did this to help young Asian riders learn the skills they needed to make it on the world scene, both in the paddock and out on the track. My goal has always been to help these racers reach the MotoGP paddock, or other big world championships.

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About Fast Bikes

Welcome to this October issue , inside ... - Top 50 Used bike our best picks of the 21st century - Next gen street V4 - £100K factory superbike - Race vc Road Yamaha's R1M Takes on R1 BSB Missile - Used buyer's guide Triumph Daytona 675R - £40K Ducati Special - £19K Street bike sensation, etc
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