2017 in Review

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. The calendar year of 2017 has nearly met its end as we are enjoying the last few days before the new year. The riding season here in South Africa is starting to die down a bit as we approach the holidays. Therefore, I feel that this is the perfect time to have a little review of our year.

The bucket list

First things first. January 2017 I had posted a list of events that I wanted to attend in the year and a few solo rides that I wanted to do. Here’s how the list turned out:

I had been editing this post as the events took place in order to help everyone keep track of where we currently are on our shortlist. Therefore I find it useful to include a key to interpreting the list:

  • Events that have been stricken through = events that have been attended, including a post on the blog.

So here’s my shortlist:

  • Club voted day jols. 
  • The Impala Rally held at Hartebeespoort Holiday Resort from 10 to 12 March 2017.
  • South Africa Bike Festival. Held at Kayalami GP Circuit from 26 to 28 May 2017. 
  • Rhino Rally.
  • The Gauteng Annual Toy Run held in November at Benoni Northerns Sports Grounds
  • Poison Rally.
  • Along with all the above events I’ve planned a few solo/informal rides to a few interesting destinations. Some are quite new, others are old favourites waiting to be visited again. I’ve included maps to the list below, as some of these places aren’t that easy to find without a little help. Here’s the list:
    • The Upperdeck Restaurant.
    • Dukes Burgers.
    • Rim & Rubber Assembly, Greenside.

      Note: Rim and Rubber Assembly has relocated in the time since I wrote the original bucket list. I will add their new address in future

    • Historic Motorcycle Museum, Deneysville.

A sad, sad view, is it not? Out of 11 trips I was able to check off 5. This mostly being a result of my little yellow Honda spewing its guts all over my garage floor. It had reached the point where I was unable to ride for months on end. This problem has been sorted temporarily and I am back on the road for what remains of this season. If all goes to plan, next season will hold some exciting changes here at the Bike Addict.

Memorable moments

Now that we have mourned the death of the bucket list, let us celebrate the joy that the few checked off events have brought us.

Firstly, when you have a bad day and your bike decides to quit on you, you can always rely on family. This became evident to me around my birthday in March when the little yellow Honda died, and my personal responsibilities further soured my week and mood. As a birthday treat my family took me to Rim and Rubber. A bike themed restaurant I really wanted to visit. This was an awesome gesture that really lifted my mood.

Secondly, there was the South Africa Bike Festival. Probably the most memorable event for me this entire year. There we were able to enjoy everything motorcycle, and test drive the latest and greatest from all of the leading manufacturers. As part of the event, Mechanical MacGyver test drove the 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa and the 2017 BMW S1000R. I, on the other hand only had eyes for what I consider to Honda’s flagship litre bike. The 2017 Honda CBR1000SP, and what a ride it was. Anxiety on Wheels, was able to indulge his Harley fetish at their stand by gawking uncontrollably at these machines.

Thirdly, Anxiety on Wheels had a pretty interesting year. After the Dodgy Suzuki was stolen it took him quite a while to save up and buy his current set of wheels. The Honda NT 400 Bros, or Dusty Leafblower as we called it. Just after buying it, he had discovered an opportunity to buy a larger displacement Suzuki GSXR 750. This led him to frantically try to sell the Bros, but in the end sentiment prevailed, and he decided to keep it. We’ve had a lot of fun messing with it and trying to get a little more out of it. It seems that this tinkering will continue next year, as Anxiety does have a list of plans for this little machine.

Fourthly, the Toy Run. Always a mood lifting event. This year was exceptionally memorable as the little yellow Honda, Duiweltjie, and Dusty Leafblower, had to pull double duty as our riding trio turned to an octet. Sharing this event with close friends and family makes the ride a little more worth it. I’ve also received word that one of our passengers is also hankering to buy her own bike. I do hope this wish comes true, a good riding companion is hard to find.

Lastly, to all the trips that never got mentioned. Those two-in-the-afternoon-hankering-for-ice-tea trips, those quick-trips-for-good-burgers, those bike browsing trips and just the plain old commute. Basically, this last one is a dedication to all the friends and trips one comes across on a day-to-day basis. Those trips one does for the love of riding, or just to scare your passenger into doing chores. Those trips that feed the soul, little by little, every day.

We may not have accomplished all we set out for in 2017, but we had safe trips, and tons of enjoyable journeys. I wish the same for 2018 and to all of you.

 

 

Advertisements

The 35th Annual Gauteng Toy Run

wp-1512047235715.jpg

The 35th Anniversary badge for the Annual Motorcycle Toy Run.

Hello again from the vast reaches of cyberspace. I was hoping to have this post published less than 24 hours after the event, but unfortunately, the real world had other plans. So better late than never, as the saying goes. Even as I sit here, typing up this post it seems that distractions and obligations are ever-present.

The 26th of November 2017 9:00am marked the start of the 35th Annual Toy Run. It had us a little bit worried as the Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the event were marked by heavy downpours. Luckily, Sunday was slightly overcast, but dry. The perfect weather to travel some distance and not get sunburnt (so some of us thought). As the day went along, the sun graced us with its presence, turning our cool morning to a hot afternoon.

We got of to a very early start on Sunday morning, around 7:00am, as we had to meet up with a few riders joining us, and pick up a few passengers. This year our little riding trio of Anxiety, Mechanical MacGyver and myself grew to octet, with four riders each carrying a passenger.

FB_IMG_1512044535821.jpg

From Left. Myself, (the parrot’s name is Steve), Quick Fix (our speedy paramedic), Mechanical MacGyver, Harley_Lover_248, Harley’s Daughter, Anxiety on Wheels, and Teddy’s. The woman behind the lens is One-way Ticket (who never returns from a run on a bike).

As usual, we gathered at Silverstar Casino around 8:10ish am. Here we had our morning coffee and prepared for the long ride to Benoni Northerns Sports Grounds. Also inside the norm, each of us carrying a special parcel to be donated to the cause of making an underprivileged child smile this Christmas. The mass ride set off just after 9:00am, with the boys in blue on our side blocking traffic as we set of on the N14 later to circle Kempton Park, and finally arrive at Benoni Northerns Sports Club.

Once more we travelled around a 100km from the start location to end, averaging around 80km/h. This meant that the ride felt so much longer than the previous year where we averaged 95km/h. This would also mark the first year of the Toy Run where I had a passenger riding with me. The slower traveling speed took its toll on all of us with cramps and spasms popping up every now and then. Every year that I attend this event I am reminded that sports bikes were never meant for riding on for extended periods of time.

On a different note. This year it seems that we had picked up a bit of a snag with our companions sporting the “blues-and-two’s” as traffic, which should have been stopped, ended up swerving through the more than a kilometre long mass of bikes. To my knowledge there were no incidents as a result of this, luckily.

The end venue was overrun with motorcycles, parked everywhere around the venue. One of the larger turnouts I’ve seen in recent years. Mostly composed of bikes, but also including a few trikes, and what I would call the world’s most expensive quad bike. Which is a custom-built, V8 powered four wheeler. I’m not quite sure how I feel about four wheels joining the mass ride, which in my opinion is reserved for two wheels.

After gawking at the quad for a while, we set off to donate our toys and enjoy the entertainment, stalls, and scenery of the day.

Just before we set off on our journey homewards, we snapped an image of the toys gathered on this momentous day.

IMG-20171130-WA0004.jpg

The collection marquee tents filled with the take of the day. A little hard to see, but under the tent are rows and rows of bags containing donated toys.

Once again, one of my favourite events, gathering donations for a good cause. We’ll wait and see what this year’s bike and toy tally is, when the organisers make this info available.

I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

The 35th Annual Toy Run Approacheth.

Hello to all in the vast reaches of cyberspace. Today marks one month to go before the 35th Annual Toy Run. As long time followers will know, this is an event very near to my heart.

Since 1982, men on steel steeds have hauled little parcels of joy across the country’s roads in order to bring joy to those who are not as fortunate as we are. These parcels, mostly toys, are hauled to designated collection venues. From there, these toys are given to those who otherwise wouldn’t have had a very merry Christmas.

This year, on the 26th November, marks the 35th rendition of the symphony of wind and exhaust as the Annual Toy Run kicks into full gear at 9:00 am. Men and women from all over South Africa gear up and take on the road with little parcels of joy to be donated. Will I be there? It’s going to take a massive feat of nature to try to keep me away.

I wish everyone who is able to attend to join me in this most enjoyable journey.

What the heck is a ‘day jol’?

Hello once more from the vast reaches of cyberspace. In my last post I hinted that I would be attending a day jol the previous Saturday. Just after the post was published I received a question from one of our non-biker readers: ‘What is a day jol? Does it differ from rallies? How is a run different from both rallies and day jols?’ The first of these questions I do get quite often, as the term ‘day jol’ seems to be unique to the Southern Africa biking community. So now I’ll try my hand at answering these questions per category.

Day Jols

The term ‘day jol’ seems to be a colloquial term used throughout Southern Africa, by biking communities to describe a specific form of gathering. It is usually an event hosted at a single venue where riders and non-riders gather to share food, drinks and stories. Although the larger percentage of participants are usually bikers. These events usually have live entertainment and boast an assortment of trade stalls usually selling food, drinks, and biking paraphernalia. In essence a day jol is like bike nights, only taking place during day time, on either Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays.

Day jols are usually held to raise funds, celebrate a motorcycle club’s “birthday”, or celebrate members being patched in.

Runs

The main difference between a day jol and a run is the fact that during a run, a mass ride takes place. All riders who wish to participate in a run, will gather at a designated starting point. From there, all participants will travel as a massive riding group to an end destination, following a specific planned route. At the end venue of the run, the event takes a similar form to a day jol. Offering live entertainment, food, drink, and trade stalls.

Runs are in most instances events with the aim of drawing attention, raise awareness and/or gather donations. It’s very difficult to miss hundreds of bikes roaring down the road. The most prominent run here in South Africa would be the Annual Toy Run. It’s aim is to gather toys for the less fortunate and raise awareness of the circumstances that these children grow up in. It’s an event that I hold very near to my heart and do my utmost to attend every year.

img-20161127-wa0000

Myself, Anxiety on Wheels, and Mechanical MacGyver at the start venue of the 2016 Toy Run. Each of us carrying our fluffy passengers who will be donated to needy kid.

Rallies

Once more an event held at a single venue. These events also offer live music, stalls for food, drinks, and riding paraphernalia. However the key difference between rallies and day jols is the time span. Day jols only take place during the course of one day, whereas rallies often occur during the span of a weekend, if not longer.

Rallies here in South Africa are predominantly held at camping grounds as most riders will set up camp for the duration of the event. In essence, a rally is the biker equivalent of a quiet weekend away.

And there you have it. The key differences between day jols, runs, and rallies. Those readers in or near South Africa can keep an eye on the right hand side of our website for upcoming events here in South Africa.

Ride safe, and enjoy the journey.

A Battle Between Man, Machine and The Road. A Beautiful Symphony Of Roaring Beasts.

There is a constant conflict between man, the machine and the road they travel on.. Always fighting for control. Each one trying to affirm control over where to gallop.

This past weekend I was at the annual SA Bike Festival along with The Motorcycle Addict and Mechanical MacGyver/Backyard Yoda, admiring great works of art and machinery as graceful and elegant and powerful as the works of Da Vinci, Picasso, Raphael and as enticing as a winter sunrise… You cannot help but stare and get lost in your own endulgement.

Unfortunately as arrangements went along I was unable to ride my own new Dusty Leafblower along, as we had not attained enough parking tickets, but Mechanical MacGyver was kind enough to allow me to ride pillion on his Bike (I am of course referring to his Honda Fireblade)

The Motorcycle Addict and myself went to witness some truly spectacular and jaw dropping stunts by stunt rider Jimmy Hill and his colleague, Alastair Sayer, later the day, and I could not help but pay my respects after the show for which Jimmy showed much admiration as he stood there sweating profusely, still calm and cool as a cucumber. You can check out a short video of the FMX show below.

The Motorcycle Addict, of course, tried out the new Honda Fireblade SP1 which took a larger chunk out of his gravity than we both expected as he seemes to float away to a nearby satellite as he danced around from sheer amazement. His direct words were “That thing has a lot of hate….”

Mechanical MacGyver also test rode the new Hyabusa and BMW R1000R, but I will let The Motorcycle Addict say a few words on that matter.

All in all I wish I could go to Kyalami every weekend.. But I imagine most bikers and even non bike riders from the weekend’s activities would agree on that. The sound of beasts riding around you passing you every few seconds is like poetry on a very dangerous scale.

Ride safe and stay tuned. And if you are living in SA and even if you are not I urge you on to keep your eyes opem for the SA Bike Festival next year, truly a bone rattling, foundation shaking experience.

2017 Honda Fireblade CBR 1000 RR SP1: Insanity, Black Magic and a set of bronze wheels.

IMG_8866_1

2017 Honda Fireblade SP1 on display at the South Africa Bike Festival

General

The Fireblade has been one of Honda’s flagship litre-bikes since the first model was introduced around 25 years ago. Since then the Fireblade has undergone several revolutions in its design and performance. From the sharp and angular design of the early 2000’s models to the round-nosed version, colloquially known as the Bullnose Fireblade, in the more recent models (around 2009). For some time Honda riders thought that this was it… the Fireblade could not get any better, until 2017. In late 2016 Honda announced that South Africa will see new models of the Fireblade in 2017. As expected, the base model CBR 1000 RR and the meaner SP1. Our focus will now be on the SP1.

The Specs

Frame & Fairing

IMG_8865

A narrower, aggressive looking front end.

No big changes are visible on the frame, however Honda holds that the frame is more rigid, and lighter than its predecessor. Furthermore, the incorporation of titanium into the making of the fuel tank reduces weight even further.

In addition, Honda succeeded in making the fairing of this bike narrower than its predecessors by shaving around 18 mm in width. In totality creating a 14 kg leaner and 11 BHP meaner machine.

The styling has also been completely changed. The bike looks extremely narrow and highly aggressive.

Suspension, Wheels & Brakes

IMG_8863

A sneak peek at the Ohlins TTX36 rear mono shock and titanium exhaust system.

The SP1 sits on a Ohlins NIX30 front fork and a Ohlins TTX36 shock holds up the rear end. Both front and rear integrate into the S-EC semi-active suspension system, which is controlled by a Bosch MM5.10 IMU. Choosing from a variety of riding modes ensures that the rider can get the most out of the new suspension setup.

 

With the amount of power created by the

IMG_8861

Big Brembo brakes linked to a beautiful bronze-coloured wheel.

engine, it’s clear that the bike needs to be able to stop as fast as its able to go. For this the engineers/designers have incorporated Brembo monoblock calipers. In addition the Bosch MM5.10 IMU also replaces Honda’s clunky ABS system, and adds a few features. Such features include cornering ABS, which measures all sorts of parameters to allow for safer trail braking; and Rear Lift Control, which keeps the rear end on the ground under heavy braking, very helpful in those blind corners.

 

The SP1 contacts the ground on a set of beautiful Y-shaped 5-spoke rims, wrapped in a 120/70 R 17 front tyre and a 190/50 R 17 rear. Not much change in the overall wheel dimensions of the bike, apart from losing some unsprung weight in the rim.

Engine

The Fireblade SP1 still uses the 999.8cc displacement engine block, but this is where similarities to the old bike end. All the other engine components have been tweaked to the point where the engine delivers 189 BHP at the crank, with a rev limit of 13 000 rpm. The engineers at Honda have also reworked several of the main components and substituted magnesium alloy engine covers and a titanium exhaust system. All this has achieved striping around 2 kilograms of weight out of the engine. Honda has essentially squeezed every ounce out of what the base infrastructure can handle.

Combine this with the ride-by-wire system that Honda uses on the engine, and one has access to one of three power modes, nine levels of torque control and three levels of Selectable Engine Braking. This allows the user to “play” with different output settings and find one that suits your riding style.

The integrated quick-shift works beautifully with this setup, allowing for very quick, and smooth gear changes under heavy acceleration. Shifting down is also assisted by a redesigned slipper clutch and an auto-blip. The only oddity that I could find is that Honda has opted for a cable-operated clutch instead of a hydraulic clutch found on other models dating as far back as 2006.

User interface

As one can see from all the above, there are quite a few things that must be communicated to the rider, from engine revolutions to riding modes. Honda have devised a beautifully designed LCD display to assist with this. Neatly “packing” all the related information together, without drawing too much attention away from the important measurements.

The Ride

IMG-20170528-WA0003

Test riding a SP1.

This is where my path crosses that of the SP1. At the recent South Africa Bike Festival, several of these machines were available for test rides around the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. I seized my opportunity and booked myself a time slot.

As our returning readers may know, I’m a big bloke, with average riding skill and a daily ride of 400 cc. Not even a few rides on Mechanical MacGyver’s modified 2006 CBR 1000 RR Fireblade could have even remotely prepared me for what the SP1 offers.

The first thing one notices is the acceleration. As I’ve said before, I’m a big bloke, and because of that, it’s rare to find a bike that really accelerates aggressively with me on it. Nothing compares to the SP1. Gunning it as I exited pit lane, I was shocked at how this bike is trying to pull away from underneath me. The clever electronics kept both wheels firmly on the ground, but this didn’t stop this bike from trying to leave me in the dust. Wide eyed and holding on for dear life I powered up to the first corner.

With the braking markers mere meters in front if the bike it was time to bring the machine to a crawl, going into a tight hairpin corner. Once again, I’m almost flung from the bike, this time under heavy deceleration. Those Brembo brakes clamp on with enough force to pull your breakfast back into your throat. Once again, the clever electronics keeping traction on both wheels, as there’s room to spare before entering the corner.

Ohlins have prided themselves in creating suspension systems for some of the world’s best handling bikes. The Fireblade SP1 is no exception. As aggressive as it may accelerate and decelerate, it’s a real softy when it comes to handling. The cornering ABS and fantastic suspension makes it very easy to get this bike into a corner at some extreme lean angles. “Getting a knee down” is a breeze on this.

The rest of the lap is pretty much a repeat of the above, clinging on as the bike roars out of corners and trying not to go over the handlebars while braking. Yes, going around a bend on this bike was the easy bit. Coming out of the last corner leads one to a pretty decent front straight. It’s here that I found out that this bike really accelerates like a bat out of hell. Doubling the speed I exited the corner with in a just over a hundred meters.

Even when I misjudged a corner, the SP1’s electronic brain comes to the rescue. Entering a corner way to fast, I had to clamp on those brakes to keep me out of the kitty litter. The cornering ABS and Rear Lift Control meant that I could just clamp on and the bike came to a halt with enough force to pop eyes out of your skull.

By extrapolation, if the bike performs that well in stock form on a track, it should make a pretty awesome road going bike. Being very forgiving and having more power than one would ever need on city streets.

As an after thought, it has a pretty comfortable seat, should be okay to ride it for medium distances without stopping. The riding position isn’t that bad for a sports bike either. There’s more than enough room for a 6’3″ bloke such as myself to sit comfortably, without having to squish bits in order to find a reasonable riding position.

Final Thoughts

This is the point where I have to ask myself, would I buy one? To answer this we have to consider what an SP1 would put a potential buyer out-of-pocket. The SP1 retails for around R 320 000 (ZAR), £ 19 125 (GBP), or $ 24 600 (USD). This puts the SP1 at the expensive end of the motorcycle spectrum. Take into account that even Mechanical MacGyver’s ’06 Fireblade is too much bike for city streets , and you don’t need more than 2 gears. It’s reasonable to think that the SP1 would be similar in the city streets.

So back to the question, would I buy one? My answer is absolutely. I can see in my mind how many readers gasp. “What am I thinking?” “Didn’t I just say that it won’t be any good in the city?” And that’s exactly what I said. Why would I buy one then? The answer is simple. As soon as that bike hits the highway or a winding back road it will once again come into its own. On these types of roads it’ll be like being on the GP circuit again. Running beautiful back roads and speedy highways with a bike that handles and performs like nothing I’ve ever ridden before. That’s why I would buy one.

South Africa Bike Festival: Festive indeed.

Hello once more to all of our readers from the vast reaches of the worldwide web. For those of you who have been following the ramblings of this mad man, you would know that this weekend marked a very special occasion. Another item ticked of my 2017 biking bucket list. The 26 – 28 May marked the weekend of the South Africa Bike Festival, “South Africa’s Premier Motorcycle, Music and Lifestyle Festival.”

Again, one of the events that I’ve really been looking forward to since the start of this year. That includes the Dunlop Charity Ride in support if Ride for a Reason – Claws and Paws.

Sunday Charity Ride

IMG-20170528-WA0006

First few bikes at the starting venue.

We got off to a pretty early start on the Sunday morning. Gathering at the Fairlands Walk Shopping Centre. This was the official starting venue for the Dunlop Charity Ride. The parking lot filled fairly quickly with fellow riders joining in to support a worth cause.

Soon thereafter we set off to the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, where the rest of the event would unfold. Still very battered and bruised, the Little Yellow Honda kept up with the crowd and gave me the best ride in such a long time. Once we reached the GP Circuit, completed two parade laps around the circuit, which was quite an experience. The eagle-eyed among the readers may even be able to spot the Little Yellow Honda in the video below.

What an experience. Riding with 1261 other bikes around what is probably South Africa’s most iconic race track. Really looking forward to doing this again next year.

The Festival

Once the bikes were parked, it was time to head into the Kyalami Pit building to see what was in store. First of all, we had to collect our festival wristbands, lanyard and maps, just to get around without much hassle.

Test Rides

Thereafter, we had to make our way to pit lane, as we have booked a few test drives on the latest models of some of the larger bike brands. Mechanical MacGyver decided that he would try out a bike that he’s been eyeing for quite some time. The 2017 Suzuki GSXR 1300 Hayabusa.

IMG_8829

Mechanical MacGyver on his “out-lap” with the 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa.

Mechanical MacGyver, being a man if few words, didn’t give much information regarding his experience on this bike, but we do have a little feedback.

“Not bad” he said, exiting the waiting area. “Pretty good on the straights, difficult to get into the corners. Probably a good bike to clock some distance with if you don’t want to race. I still think I like my Honda more.” The Honda he is referring to is his personal “Duiweltjie” or little Devil, as seen in the first photo.

IMG-20170528-WA0003

Waiting to unleash the power of the SP1.

I had booked myself a test ride on the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP1. I will be posting a review of the bike in the near future, so I am going to try not to give away my true thoughts on it. As a bit of a teaser, this bike is quite fast.

Stay tuned to read what I think of this bike.

Exhibits

The two-stroke club of South Africa had a fantastic exhibit containing various two-stroke legends. This collection included, amongst others: a Honda NSR 250 cc, both a road-going and track version; An Aprilia RSV 250 cc, also  track and road-going versions; A Yamaha RZV 500 cc; and a Bimota that I couldn’t really identify.

The rest of the exhibition contained other classics, such as the Kawasaki Z1000, a few Cafe Racers, and a supercharged Boss Hoss trike.

And a few other quirky and custom builds.

Other attractions

For those who like to play with their two wheels in the dirt or in the air, there were a few FMX and trial bike shows as well. The Monster Energy FMX shows were one of the greater attractions with big names such as Jimmy Hill and Alastair Sayer. Entertaining the crowd with their high-flying, adrenaline fueled madness.

Considering all it was a fantastic day. Can’t wait for next year’s festival.

2017 Bucket list kicking the bucket.

Good day to all our followers from all around the world-wide web. Once more, I apologise for the long bouts of silence that has recently been occurring on the site. Things on my side of the screen have just gone to the dogs in recent days.

Let us start at the beginning. At the start of 2017 I had posted about South African Biking Events that I would like to attend in the year. This has become my biking bucket list for the year, and I would have loved to complete it. However, the mechanical gremlins just couldn’t resist being drawn to my Honda VFR400R, commonly known as the little yellow monster. Several issues decided to rear their ugly heads, prohibiting me from enjoying one of my favourite activities, riding. You can read all about my struggles in my opinion of the problem with sports bikes.

From the time that I have posted the above, I have been able to reassemble my bike and have done a few short trips in the neighbourhood. To my surprise the new final drive dampers have worked wonders in smoothing out power delivery. No more jerky pull-away or engine braking. On the other hand, the entire exercise of removing the engine to install one pesky oil seal has proven useless. On my return today, I noticed that oil came gushing from my power plant once again. This means that my machine may have to be parked once more, until this problem can be resolved permanently.

This brings me to the problem at hand. One of the events on my bucket list is the Impala Rally 2017. This gathering takes place from 10 to 12 March 2017, slightly more than one week away. Taken into account that my bike parts have totally obliterated my budget, and that the oil leak on my bike shows no signs of stopping, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to attend the rally.

On this note of despair, I wish all of you who are riding a safe ride, and enjoyable journey.

South African Biking Events 2017

As we’ve said in a previous post we will be displaying dates and venues of events that will be taking place in 2017. From this list I’ve compiled my own shortlist of events that I intend to attend if my schedule and budget allows. There will most likely be a review post about these events afterwards.

I will be editing this post as the events take place in order to help everyone keep track of where we currently are on our shortlist. Therefore I find it useful to include a key to interpreting the list:

  • Events that have been stricken through = events that have been attended, including a post on the blog.
  • Events described in yellow paragraphs = events that have passed and/or could not be attended.

So here’s my shortlist:

  • First of all, club voted day jols. Our club bylaws hold that every patched member is obliged to attend one day jol a month. The mandatory event for the month is determined by a vote at our club meetings at the start of every month, therefore I am unable to give specific detail on which jols I will be attending.
  • Secondly, an event in my sights that I haven’t attended since 2008. The Impala Rally held at Hartebeespoort Holiday Resort from 10 to 12 March 2017. Bike SA has the updated info for the 2017 event on their site. From memory, the Impala Rally is one of the more relaxed, civilised events in the calendar.
  • Chronologically, the next event I am going to attend (tickets already bought) is the South Africa Bike Festival. Held at Kayalami GP Circuit from 26 to 28 May 2017. Basically this event is a platform showcasing new machines, classics, and custom bikes built by some of the biggest names in South Africa. Paired with some insane stunt shows and test rides around the GP circuit, makes this one event not to be missed. More info and tickets are available on the site.
  • Sticking with the chronological order, I would like to attend the Rhino rally. This event usually takes place in August, which is also the busiest time in my calendar. More info on the event will be shared as we receive it.
  • The Gauteng Annual Toy Run held in November at Benoni Northerns Sports Grounds is a must for me. The event is aimed at gathering toys for those who are less fortunate. A well supported event in the biker community.
  • A definite must is the Poison Rally. Usually the first weekend of December. It is one of the biggest event in the biking calendar, and the last rally event of every year. Held at Kroon Caravan Park in Kroonstad, Freestate makes this quite a trip at around 200km from home. Unfortunately, this is not an event for the little ones and it is advised to arrange alternative care for them. More info to be relayed as we receive it.
  • Along with all the above events I’ve planned a few solo/informal rides to a few interesting destinations. Some are quite new, others are old favorites waiting to be visited again. I’ve included maps to the list below, as some of these places aren’t that easy to find without a little help. Here’s the list:
    • The Upperdeck Restaurant, Hartbeespoort has always been a breakfast run favorite. Situated on the R104, the trip offers beautiful scenery (when taking the twisty, scenic route), good food and many interesting trinkets to be perused in the surrounding crafters markets. The outdoor, open air restaurant offers live entertainment on various occasions. Definitely looking forward to my next visit. This round trip racks up about 180km on my machine. Well worth the trip.
    • Dukes Burgers, Greenside is another personal favorite. Dukes offers enormous burgers made to one’s personal taste. Beef, Chicken, Ostrich, the patty choices are near endless. Served with a truck load of fries or gigantic potato wedges.  The milkshake specialities will also tickle the taste buds of us adults. Dukes isn’t a long trip (about 10km using the long route), but the food definitely makes the short trip worth it.
    • Rim & Rubber Assembly, Greenside is a must for every bike fan. An interesting concept from what I’ve come to know. A restaurant, bike workshop and apparel shop rolled in to one. With amazing bikes, built by the in-house mechanical maestros, used as decor definitely makes it an interesting visit. I’ve been to the workshop and apparel shop, but I am yet to sample the food on offer. Another short trip, similar to that of Dukes Burger, but a unique experience guaranteed.

      Note: in the previews we’ve had some trouble with this map loading properly. Use this address if the map fails to load.
    • Historic Motorcycle Museum, Deneysville is another unique biking destination. The first dedicated museum of its kind in Africa, it promises to deliver a reputable collection unique and historic motorcycles. Definitely worth a visit according to some of my fellow riders. You can read up on the museum on their site. The scenic route will put 113km on the little yellow monster to get me there.

So there it is. My shortlist for 2017 events that I will most likely attend. Offering me some new sights and experiences and long journeys on the back of my little yellow monster.

Here’s wishing myself and you a safe ride and many enjoyable journeys in 2017.

New Year, New Addict

Hello all and happy new year. 2017 is here and that means that the Bike Addict Crew is back on the road, and the riding season is back in full swing. Like I had mentioned in our last post before we signed off for the holidays, I have made a few changes to the Bike Addict, WordPress hosted, site. Here are some of the changes that have been made:

  • First of all, we have added a past event page. Those of you who are feeling nostalgic can browse here to find links to articles about events that we have mentioned and attended in the past.
    Untitled-2.jpg
  •  Secondly, we ditched the old “Milestone” widget for events countdowns and have instead replaced it with a genuine, fully functional upcoming events calendar. Here you can find a list of up to ten events to take place in the near future. This will be visible in the right margin of our Home/About, BlogPast Events, and Contact pages.
    untitled-21
    For the time being, this will only display events in and around South Africa. However, if you are in another region and have an event you would like to share, please let us know by making use of our Contact page. We would like to add events from all over the globe.
  • Thirdly, we have made a few visual changes. Adding a new background image, removing margin and footer clutter, and cleaning up the appearance of most of our page. Hopefully, delivering cleaner, more visually appealing pages for you, our fans.
  • Lastly, we have started a YouTube channel, which you can find here. Now we can share videos of our trips, or future “how to D.I.Y.” with our fans. Some of these videos will also be embedded in our posts for you to enjoy. For now, the channel is still under development, so please bear with us.

So there you have it. The Bike Addict Crew would like to present the cleaner, better looking site to you, our fans. We hope that we can share many stories with you in the coming year, and that you would share stories with us.

Have a save ride, and enjoy the journey.