Ride More Stress Less
FUEL INJECTED 2 STROKE
JANUARY 2018 RSA R29.50
9 771815 337001
IN THIS ISSUE
• BMW GS800 ADVENTURE
• POWASOL SUPER ENDURO
• HONDA’S CRF250L & RALLY
• SA RIDERS TO DAKAR
• SUNFIELD RIDE
• BAJA DESERT RACE
• LOTS LOTS MORE.....
Photo : ZC Marketing Consulting zcmc.co.za
Race Winning Products Brought To You By Hrp
GEOMAX MX11 GEOMAX AT81 GEOMAX MX3S GEOMAX MX52
To find your nearest Dunlop dealer contact:
· Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905
Piston and Gasket Sets
Cranks, Conrods and Camshafts
Cylinder Kits, Rebores, Main Bearings and Clutch Plates
VALVES,STEM SEALS AND SPRINGS
no 4 Fifth avenue
011 425 1081/4
EDITOR: ROLEY FOLEY
An Irish motorcyclist was terribly overweight,
huffi ng and puffi ng all over the place -
especially when he had to pick up his big
450 on the mountains.
He he went of to visit his doc.
The doctor put him on a diet.I want you to
eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a full day,
and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks.
The next time I see you, you should have lost
at least 5 pounds.
‘When the Irishman returned, he shocked the
doctor by having lost nearly 60 POUNDS!
Why that’s amazing!’ the doctor said, ‘Did
you follow my Instructions?’
The Irishman nodded...’I’ll tell you though,
fl ip, I t’aut I were going to drop dead on dat
‘From hunger, you mean?’
‘ No from the’ skippin’, the Irishman said.
Have a great 2018!
CONTENTS: JANUARY 2018
Office no (011) 979-5035
Dries vd Walt
26: COVER STORY: 2018 KTM TPi 42: TESTED: SUZUKI’S V-STROMS
50: TESTED: HONDA’S 250’S 54: TESTED: BMW GS IN LESOTHO
CALL 011 979 5035 OR EMAIL
Digital or hard copy.
60: SA RACING: POWASOL ENDURO X 66: FEATURE: RIDING BOTSWANA
2 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
HJC RALLYE PILOT
PBA DEALER LISTING
• Polycarbonate Composite Shell: Lightweight, superior fit and comfort using advanced CAD
• Large Eye Port: For maximum visibility and superior goggle fit.
• “ACS” Advanced Channeling Ventilation System: Full front to back airflow flushes heat and
humidity up and out.
• Plush, Nylex® Interior: Comfortable, removable and washable.
ZEEMANS MOTORCYCLES 011 435 7177
BIKING ACCESSORIES 012 342 7474
FACTORY RACING 011 867 0092
GAME MOTOR SERVICES 011 849 7000
MOTO-MATE RIVONIA 011 234 5275
MOTO-MATE STONERIDGE 011 609 0944
JUST BIKING 016 421 1153
KCR MOTORCYCLE FANATIX 011 975 5405
OFF-ROAD CYCLES 012 333 6443
PRIMROSE MOTORCYCLES 011 828 9091
RANDBURG MOTORCYCLES 011 792 6829
WAYNE HEASMAN RACING 011 955 5960
BIKE CITY 013 244 2143
NELSPRUIT ATV 013 752 2023
BIKERS PARADISE 018 297 4700
INSANE BIKERS 014 594 2111
MOTORS @ KLERKSDORP 018 468 1800
WATER RITE MOTORCYCLES 018 771 5050
K.R.MOTORCYCLES 015 297 3291
SALLEYS YAMAHA 051 430 3326
ROCKET RACING PINETOWN 031 702 2606
ROCKET RACING MARITZBURG 033 264 3240
RBS YAMAHA 031 701 1311
RIDE HIGH WITH YAMAHA 035 789 1851
PERRY’S M/CYCLES UMHLANGA 031 566 7411
PERRY’S M/CYCLES HILLCREST 031 765 2560
CRAIGS M/CYCLE FITMENT 021 939 8944
TRAC-MAC BELVILLE 021 945 3724
TRAC-MAC PAARDEN-EILAND 021 510 2258
TRAC-MAC WYNBURG 021 761 4220
MIKE HOPKINS MOTORCYCLES 021 461 5167
NEVES MOTORCYCLE WORLD CC 021 930 5917
IMOLA MOTORSPORT 043 722 1157
ought to you by
3 generations of de Rappers...
family business moves,
grows and revamps
Established in 1983, this busy lot on the East Rand
(see the Golden mile Feature) really are growing.
A few months back, we brought you the news about
their Husqvarna dealership. They are doing good
things with the brand – and the new fuel injected
2-strokes have landed and are on the floor.
They are one of South Africa’s most successful
Kawasaki dealerships and the Sym and Triumph
brands are all a part of the family.
They have just moved to a stunning, modern store
– right next to where they used to be. Twice the
size, ultra modern – a very cool place to visit with a
massive accessory store, new and used motorcycles,
scooters and ATV’s.
Phone (011) 823-583
Accessory specialist, Elvis
4 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Brandon, Morne and Doreen in parts dept
SBS distributed by
Photo: R. Schedl
KTM 300 EXC TPI
The new KTM 300 EXC TPI sets the benchmark all over again,
as the world’s first 2-stroke enduro bike with TPI (Transfer Port Injection).
Eliminating the need to change jets and thanks to the oil pump,
no more premixing oil either! Improved fuel-combustion means crisper
throttle response at all times and better fuel consumption, for longer days
of hardcore enduro domination.
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing, and observe
the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details
from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
ought to you by
Rings New Range Of
A few issues ago, we brought you all the skinny on
that compact tyre pump from Ring.
They have just landed a brand new range of smart
Did you know that you get several kinds of automotive
• Lead acid, the most common that most of us know
about. Used in most motorcycles.
• AGM: Glass matt type battery. Used for starter
batteries and can be used for leisure application
(Deep cycle). Perfect for Solar. And in imported
modern cars that switch off at the traffic lights.
• Gel Batteries. Used for leisure applications perfect
• Calcium. Similar to lead Acid fairly common sealed
• Lithium Ion. New technology, small compact, light
and high power.
• Lead Crystal. Also a derivative of a lead acid battery
perfect for deep cycle tech.
There are 3 types of battery Charger:
Standard: Only charges the battery. No auto switch
will continue to supply power even when a battery
is full. Generally low amp. Old technology. They can
overcharge batteries causing damage over time.
Automatic Chargers: Charges until full, picks up
resistance and lowers charge into battery eventually
switching off. It will not turn on again. You need to do
Standard and auto chargers are generally cheap.
These two types generally only cater for lead acid
Smart Charger: Slightly more costly, but: plug in and
Smart chargers read the batteries requirements and
charge the battery on a predetermined algorithym for
different battery types. They determine how much
charge is required. Once the battery is charged, they
then go into standby and will automatically supply
power again when needed to keep your battery
Perfect for all kinds of battery technologies. Ring
currently has 3 types on the market:
The 1 amp is their basic unit. Perfect for 6 and 12 volt
batteries. This thing is tiny – only 23mm thick and
roughly the size of a smart phone. Perfect for smaller
scooter batteries or for a compact charger for travel
and general maintenance of your battery.
The 4 amp is perfect for 12v batteries. Ideal for
maintenance (Leave the battery plugged in to
the wall socket while your bike is not in use). All
touch operated with indicators telling you what is
happening. Red light means there is a fault. Flashing
green means charging. Solid green – the battery
6 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
is fully charged. Works on all automotive batteries
except Lithium Ion.
The 6 Amp also perfect for 12 Volt, ALL battery types
including lithium Ion and start stop AGM batteries. It
is pricier but they reckon that it is just about the only
charger that you’ll ever buy again.
Also touch operated, very classy finish. The charger
determines your battery type – except lithium – that
you select yourself – and the charger does the rest
Also available from Ring is a battery monitoring
system – a traffic light system that you leave plugged
onto your vehicles battery in the garage – and it
displays the state of charge of the battery.
Technology is amazing!
There is a stronger 10 amp 2-in-1 charger on the way
– more info on that soon.
Available at dealers – distributed by Autocycle Centre.
Trade Enquiries: (011) 879-6470
Louis now at Redstar Race Shop
Louis Kraukamp is a very well known name in the
motorcycle accessories market. He had been with
Full Throttle for over 20 years and has now moved
to the race shop situated at Redstar Raceway out
in Delmas. Louis will be running the shop, which is
packed with all your motorcycle accessory needs.
Call him on 082 722 2111.
SBS distributed by
ULTIMA-T RANGE - UT801
Waterproof dry-roll bag, 30 ltr. Aimed at both
road Enduro and Touring motorcycles.
ULTIMA-T RANGE - UT803
Waterproof Cargo bag, 40 ltr. Aimed at both road
Enduro and Touring motorcycles.
ULTIMA-T RANGE - UT806
Water resistant top bag, 65 ltr. Aimed at both
road Enduro and Touring motorcycles.
ULTIMA-T RANGE - UT807
Expandable cargo bag water resistant, 20 ltr.
ULTIMA-T RANGE - UT808
Water resistant side bags (25 ltr on each side).
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT701
Waterproof compact backpack, 25 ltr.
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT703
Cylindrical, waterproof cargo bag, 40 ltr.
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT704
Waterproof waist bag, 3 ltr.
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT705
Waterproof tank bag, 20 ltr.
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT706
Waterproof tank bag, 6 ltr capacity with universal
belt / strap attachment system which can be
fitted to any make / model of motorcycle.
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT707
Universal tool bag, aimed at offroad Enduro
GRAVEL-T RANGE - GRT708
Pair of side bags waterproof (15 ltr on each
side), aimed at off-road Enduro motorcycles.
For your nearest dealer visit www.dmd.co.za or call 011 792 7691. E&OE
ought to you by
Rings Brighter ideas
A brand new XENON headlamp globe is on the
150 percent more light on the road. Longer lasting.
Tougher filaments. Perfect for dirt, Adventure and
road bikes. Designed and manufactured in Europe.
• Up to 150% more light on the road ahead allows
the driver to see more at a distance of 75m
• See and be seen with a beam pattern up to 80m
longer than a standard globe
• Better visibility of road markings and signs.
• A whiter look in the headlamp compared to a
• No changes to vehicle wiring required. Standard
Makes sense to us.
Available in singles or sets.
Available at dealers – distributed by Autocycle Centre.
Trade Enquiries: (011) 879-6470
8 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Acerbis has just
landed their new
When the going gets hot or you just
need a thirst quench you will be glad
you have one of these on your back!
It has been proven that maintaining
fluid intake whilst riding helps keep
you alert and more responsive.
• 100% Polyester.
• Back pack capacity: 3 litres.
• Hydro bag capacity: 2 litres.
Polisports See-Thru Plastics
Polisport Exclusive Clear replica parts are available
for some brands and models in Polisport’s complete
kit. This unique plastic, an exclusive from Polisport,
will give your bike a completely different look that will
make it stand out from the crowd.
You can replace a full set, or just make the
combination with other part colours.
Available at dealers…
Acerbis Vision Handguards
The Acerbis Vision Handguard is an innovative
handguard, fitted with adjustable LED lights (LED for
low power consumption running off 4 watts p/side),
giving you effective, additional light for extreme
conditions. In addition to a headlight, the Vision
Handguards provide additional visibility both at
night and during the day with a combined luminous
efficiency off 300 lumens. The handguards mount to
both ends of the bar and have an on/off switch, which
can also be mounted on the handlebars. The Vision
is built around an aluminum bar for added durability
and deflection from debris and the elements. It is a
great addition to any off-road bike, ATV, or dual road.
A universal mount kit, which fits most applications, is
Now that’s cool! Chat to your dealer!
• Easy to clean thanks to the large
• Drinking pipe with adjustable
opening and closing valve.
• Ideal for those who need a supply of
water and want to replace the carrier
with a back pack.
• Removable pocket and trousse for
• Braces at X with quick release
center and adjustments with 4 velcro
• Breathable fabric in the area in
contact with the back.
Full review soon – available at dealers.
SBS distributed by
CIRCUIT TEST RIDES
LEARN TO RIDE
SOUTHAFRICABIKEFESTIVAL.COM I WHATSAPP US ON 061 505 5727
TICKET SALES ONLINE 25 JANUARY 2018
KYALAMI GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
25 - 27 MAY 2018
ought to you by
Just1 2018 lids
The 2018 lids are landing as you read this and will be
in dealerships shortly. This is a very innovative helmet
Just 1 J12 Carbon Stamp Helmet (L):
The Just 1 J12 carbon helmet was developed with
the primary goal of safety and comfort for the rider.
Utilizing a full Carbon fiber shell for high rigidity/
reduced weight and a forward thinking design that
incorporates Just 1’s exclusive N.B.F.F. (Neck Brace
Front Fit) that fits an entire neck brace in to the lower
profile of the shell, Just 1 is on the leading edge of the
next generation of motocross helmets. A protective
internal polystyrene foam shell protects riders head
from impacts. Aggressive styling with multiple air
vents throughout the helmet pulls in and extracts air
to keep riders cool. Safety features such as removable
emergency cheek pads – J.1.E.R (JUST 1 Emergency
Remove) and ECE 22/05 rating ensures the Just 1 J12
carbon is your helmet of choice.
Just1 J32 helmet was developed with the primary
goal of safety and comfort for the rider. During the
design phase, the helmet was designed from the
inside out in order to have the best possible and a
radical ventilation system.
The Metzeler Midsoft
MC360 ridden hard
At the end of last year, we fitted the Metzeler MidSoft
MC 360 to our Yamaha 250 FX. That bike has been
used for everything from part of the JHB to Durban
event, rocky trails in Lesotho, slippery mud, river
crossings – basically all the stuff we love – probably
about 800kms so far and it’s still in really good nick.
It’s a great tyre, offering excellent traction and –
importantly, it has lasted really well. You get softer
more groppy compounds – but in our business we
need tyres with a decent lifespan too. The Metzeler
MC360 tyre is that all-rounder that covers all of the
bases. The MC360 tyre was designed to be versatile
and durable, yet suitable for performance use in all
applications – it seems like an ideal ‘all-rounder’
Available at your dealer.
10 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
SBS distributed by
ought to you by
FOX RACING MX18
“BUILT FOR SUMMER”
AIRLINE 180 MASTAR GEAR
When riding in hot conditions, ventilation is critical to
maximize comfort and riding performance. Staying
cool is critical to help you make smart decisions.
The 180 Mastar Airline Jersey and Pant use a large
hole polyester mesh for unrivaled breathability. The
light stretch mesh cuffs on the jersey offer a sleek and
airy fit. And the asymmetrical mesh collar improves
the fit as well as aids in airflow. Strategic stretch
paneling in the knee, rear yoke and crotch of the
pants give you flexibility where you need it most.
Leather burn guards offer protection from heat and
abrasion. And the Rider Attack Position Construction
provides a precise fit while on the bike. This is the
perfect jersey and pants combo for riding when the
For more information, and to view the full range of
new Fox products, visit a local Fox Dealer or www.
foxracing.com (Global Site) and www.foxracing.co.za
(South African Site).
2018 X-Brand Goggles here soon
EKS BRAND introduced the GOX FLAT OUT series
a few years ago and it has become one of thier best
selling goggles to date. The Flat Out series has all
the benefits of the GOX frame, complete with a three
layer face foam, Poly-Flex frame and anti fog coated,
FRAME - A lightweight, “urethane blend” frame
has a firm yet pliable feel for the ultimate in comfort
and protection. The material known as “Poly-Flex”
allows the frame to form much easier to different face
LENS - The “GOX” frame is equipped with the highest
quality, Polycarbonate, shatter-resistant,
anti-scratch & anti-fog coated lens available. It has
100% UVA protection and it is the leader in lens
attributes and function.
Tear off posts are integrated into the lens for ease of
use and function.
FOAM - 100-PPI “reticulated” vent foam allows the
12 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Spirit’s new MX helmets
Local helmet brand, Spirit Motorcycle Accessories
has set their sights on the off road industry. Spirit’s
brand new range of MX helmets are leaps and
bounds above their previous models. Some of the
new features of the new range includes Acrylonitrile
Butadiene Styrene shell construction, ultra plush
removable moisture wicking comfort liner, race ready
DD ring chin strap closure system and more.
These helmets have Dual Density expanded
polystyrene offering heightened impact absorption,
the large peripheral viewing port provides more open
space around the rider’s face, facilitating better air
flow, a necessity under the more strenuous nature of
These helmets are ECE 22.05 and DOT FMVSS 218
safety certified as well as SABS compliant ensuring
that the rider’s protection is top priority.
www.spiritmotorcycles.co.za. Tel: 021-551-7767 or
ultimate in airflow while keeping the dust and debris
out. This special vent foam is designed to allow
moisture and condensation to escape freely.
17mm thick, 4-layer face-foam is backed with a
moisture wicking fleece lining providing the best anti
drip, sweat protection available.
FEATURES - An adjustable, double buckle woven
strap is silicone backed for the ultimate in strap
placement and hold.
“Anti static” smudge resistant goggle bag comes
standard in every box.
Available at dealers.
SBS distributed by
BUI LT T O GO
A S FA R A S
DAR E T O TA
Delivering unrivalled versatility, the TE 300i harnesses the
perfect balance of power and lightweight agility. With the
addition of electronic fuel injection, the trusted 2-stroke is
exceedingly simple to manage. By ensuring the perfect fuel
delivery for each changing condition, the system delivers
a smooth and precise power delivery every time while also
eliminating the need for jetting changes. By using a seperate
oil tank and pump, 2-stroke oil is delivered independently at
regulated ratios eliminating the need to premix oil and fuel.
THE 2016 2-STROKE ENDURO MODEL RANGE.
The joy of the ride is often in nding routes that nobody else has used – rea
destinations that few others would dare to aim for. The 2016 Husqvarna Mo
2-stroke enduro bikes rely on exceptional agility, a broad powerband and li
weight – letting you easily explore wherever you choose to go.
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!
The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
Photo: H. Mitterbauer
FREESTATE - Husqvarna Central, Bloemfontein – (051) 430 1237
Holeshot Motorcycles, Boksburg – (011) 823-5830
Belville (021) 945 8019
MPUMALANGA - Vans Husqvarna, Middleburg – (013) 282 0766
ought to you by
DAKAR : “A CHALLENGE FOR THOSE WHO TAKE PART, A DREAM FOR
THOSE WHO STAY” THIERRY SABINE, FOUNDER OF THE DAKAR.
On 6 January 2018 South Africa will have no less
than 4 participants in the motorcycle category in the
iconic Dakar 2018 , its 40th year , the 10th year in
South America. One of the most grueling sporting
events in the world , the second largest motorsport
event in the world , a survival of the fittest where up
to half of riders fall out due to injury or exhaustion
often caused by the snowball effect of 14 days
high speed racing concentrating on complicated
navigation , dodging obstacles all whilst experiencing
mechanical problems , crashes, lack of sleep ,
extreme heat but also blistering cold , sand storms ,
fesh fesh , miles of soft, churned-up sand dunes and
also mountainous rocky terrain at heights over 3000
meters which causing altitude sickness.
As you read this, chances are great that they are
already battling it out.
We take a peek into the minds of David Thomas ,
Willem du Toit , Donovan van de Langeberg and
Gerry van der Byl to find out what makes them able
to rise to the challenge. What makes them volunteer
to step in the gladiator’s rink to beat the odds.
By Renette Rauch
Nr 45 David Thomas:
David Thomas is on the come-back as Dakar 2017
saw a high speed crash in a corner put an end to
his then Dakar dream. No roadbook can predict that
hard packed surface could change to slippery red
clay in an instant after a blind rise. David spent 20
agonizing minutes with a knee shattered in 7 places
till help arrived and then the helicopter did not have
enough power to take off in the 4000 meters altitude,
the medic first had to get off .
5 riders needed helicopters on that same day 5, the
route was shortened .
Resilience stayed with him when others would have
felt defeated and he booked for Dakar 2018 from his
Bolivian hospital bed, lying next to Tobie Price. At the
time of his crash David was the 5th quickest rider of
the day and 19th overall which is a huge achievement
as he was competing against approximately 50
professional “factory” riders on superior motorcycles.
Working for himself he had to raise his own capital
outlay of well over a million rand whilst still not being
able to actually ride a motorcycle till a few short
months ago. For Dakar 2018 his leg is still only 80%
healed, but he is determined that as long as he does
not have to push the bike, he will finish .
The hardships of the last year have made him
stronger and he is ready to tackle the pinnacle
of his career at age 41. Being prepared, highly
motivated, good project management skills and
ability to manage himself is his strengths as well
as good navigation and sand riding abilities . He
14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
comes with an excellent racing pedigree , his father ,
Paul Thomas finished 19 Roof of Africa’s and David
himself finished 5. He is also 9 times Western Cape
Enduro champion and has completed the Abu -Dhabi
Challenge in 10th overall place and the Merzouga
Rally in 18th overall place which sees him move up to
45th place this year’s Dakar ranking.
David eats healthily and also cross trains with
swimming and cycling. Fesh fesh and dunes of over
400 meters high will be a challenge, but he is not
planning to do the chicken run around them .
Crowds go mad seeing the riders, they camp
overnight and are seen in huge numbers in even the
most desolate of spots, especially the Bolivians. This
helps motivate the riders . The atmosphere at Dakar
is unbelievable and the camaraderie and assistance
between riders is part of what makes the Dakar so
exhilarating as well as the spectacular natural beauty
that they ride in. He has the utmost faith in his
Husqvarna 450 and Eddy to Race’s support and his
Dakar team is the HT Husqvarna team from Holland
which also has 8 other international riders.
David counts Alfie Cox and his late brother Justin
as inspiration. Justin, who was tragically killed in a
motorcar accident loved surprising David at the Roof
all the way from Australia and David is riding the
Dakar in his memory . We wish him all the best .
Support David Thomas on his website :
SBS distributed by
//SECTOR450 //SECTOR750 //SECTOR1000CREW
R67 500 R195 000
R119 900 R147 500
Andre 082 771 3040 / Sales: Avril 083 284 4201
Technical: Fernando 071 895 9567
ought to you by
Willem du Toit , Nr 59
Since childhood Willem, age 38, had an interest in
all things with an engine, but had very little exposure
to racing. Some of the first racing he watched on
TV was of the Dakar each January during school
holidays. Apart from the racing, the adventure and
physical and mental challenge also appeal to him
Willem started racing surprisingly late in his career
and entered his first off road bike race in 2012 and
progressed from there to regional races and entered
his first navigational rally, the Amageza Rally, in 2013
where he managed to finish second. During 2014
and 2015 he continued racing regional events as
well as the Amageza Rally, but had horrible luck with
In 2015 he raced the Botswana 1000, which he didn’t
finish due to crashing and braking his rear brake
caliper completely. He then started racing off road
cars and even secured a win before more bad luck
struck. Undeterred he raced the 2016 Amageza for
which the now deceased organizer Alexander Nel
had organized a Dakar challenge, which Willem won,
securing his entry for Dakar 2018.
Willem has done a few endurance events like
Iron Man and the Absa Cape Epic so training and
suffering is normal for him although during 2017 his
injuries, like fractured ribs 10 days before the 2017
Badlands rally did hamper him. There he learned the
value of pain meds!
His main emotional challenge has been to make sure
his wife and two very young sons are not neglected
as the Dakar has taken up a lot of time as well as
The mental challenge is to keep focused and
motivated to keep training, and to stay out of trouble.
It’s a fine balance you have to maintain, you have to
keep riding, but cannot afford injuries and he finds
it frustrating to hold back and not ride at 100%.
That may come in handy at Dakar, as you have to
be disciplined enough to ride at a pace that you can
maintain for two weeks , as well as navigate , plan the
refueling and make all the right decisions. Having said
that he feels that being overly conservative is not a
good strategy , the quickest safest way to finish each
day is the best. That way you have less traffic, more
time for recovery and less dust.
He believes that a positive attitude is crucial ,
especially when things are not going your way and
he is of the opinion that all Dakar competitors have
above average levels of courage and determination,
you need that just to get to the start.
Willem likes the fact that at Dakar it is not just high
speed racing that that counts , but that luck, tactics,
mental strength, determination, ability to manage
oneself and good navigation play a crucial role and
this helped him secure his Dakar entry against faster
Willem is confident that he has prepared himself
16 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
physically and mentally to finish the hardest , most
dangerous motor sport event in the world . The one
thing he is not looking forward to is the cold or if it
were to rain like in 2017. He is from the Kalahari, and
doesn’t do well in cold and wet! On the positive
side the Dakar 2018 will have a lots of sand in very
hot conditions especially in Peru and to an Upington
local this will feel like home. Willem said if you ask his
wife she will tell you that he is very competitive. He is
always up for a challenge, and like to be challenged.
Having said that winning doesn’t consume him.
He chose Team BAS trucking for support. A few of
the other South African riders have used them in the
past and the feedback is very positive. He met the
team manager, Bart van de Velde, and found him
to be a brilliant guy and he feels very comfortable
with him. He chose a KTM 450 as it is the brand
that he has raced with most of his life . The main
consideration was that of support, more than 60% of
the bikes on the Dakar are KTM and KTM themselves
have a truck full of spares available to competitors. It
just makes the logistics a whole lot easier .
Willem is very excited to fulfil his life-long dream and
cannot wait to arrive in Lima and get all the admin
sorted out and to start racing so that his butterflies
He admires Alfie Cox, Stephane Peterhansel and
Marc Coma and thanks his sponsors as well as
Sean du Toit for his efforts with fund raising, much
You can follow him on Facebook @willemdakar and
Instagram on Willemmdakar2018 as well as join his
Whatsapp group. The Dakar website also have live
tracking where you can follow him, race number 59.
SBS distributed by
40 SLIMMER INNER
HINGE FOR SUPERIOR
METAL GEARED OUTER
HINGE FOR PRECISE
MOVEMENT AND DURABILITY
X-FRAME KNEE BRACE
The rider’s knee is constantly at the battlefront. Intensive biomedical design at the Leatt Lab ® has
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Donovan van de Langeberg, nr 125
As if Donovan believes entering the Dakar is not hard
enough, he is only South African to take on this year’s
rally Malle Moto (Original by Motul is the new class
name, the original way the Dakar started in the 70’s)
In the Malle Moto class. A Dakar rider faces all the
same trials and tribulations, highs and lows, losses
and triumphs– but he faces them completely on his
own. There is no help. From anyone. No assistance,
no professional support crew, no backup team, and
no extras. It’s just you, your bike, your smarts, and
one metal box with your essential spare gear. He
does love being part of a group of crazy people
all experiencing the same trials and tribulations,
standing together and fighting to the end.
He says he needs to ride at a pace safe enough not
to crash and then fast enough not fall behind putting
him on the back foot when it comes to preparations
for the next day.
Sleep is critical and if he can manage to be organised
in the bivouac he will be ok. It will be tough but he
says: ”I am Ready”.
For Donovan it’s the next big adventure, a daring one
that he have dreamed about since he was a kid. The
racing environment with the navigational challenges,
pushing his own limits over several days in the
world’s toughest conditions. Let’s do this.
Donovan grew up with a bike but has never raced
competitively. Adventure biking and the start of the
Amageza rally ignited a dream that the Dakar could
one day be a reality. Partaking in his first navigational
rally, The Amageza, in 2013 lead to wanting more of
this multi day multi stage madness called rallying.
Each year he was better prepared and fitter he
18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
moved up the Amageza field each year to coming
first in the Male Moto class and 2nd in the open
class. He has did Western Cape Regional Off road
races since 2013 to increase his skills and to keep
that competitive racing edge.
Previous Dakar competitors warned him that the
most difficult part of the Dakar is getting to the Dakar
and he has experienced this fully. As an average Joe
with a family life and working for a boss full time,
2017 was a long, tough year and raising funds is
not easy. He knows just how hard , putting the time
aside to raise the funds is a massive challenge that
he could only do at night in time stolen from sleeping.
The challenge was to keep the eye on the dream
and deal with the little sleep . Mentally he had to stay
strong as he had specific deadlines with regards to
entry payment dates and emotionally it was draining
as he never had cash in his account for longer than a
couple of days, but managed to scrape it all together
always just in time.
Donovan believes that a positive attitude,
determination and riding experience coupled with
luck is crucial as well as the courage to make the
decision to take on the Dakar. He found it an easy
decision to enter as he likes to make things difficult
for himself . He says he has a positive attitude
to keep his head up so that he will be ready for
whatever the Dakar throws at him and then you need
“Balls” to make it to the finish line. He says we will
see coming January if he has the “Balls” but he is
sure ready to do just that, to FINISH. He has a kannidood
attitude and that is his best asset .
He feels comfortable with his Navigation, the balance
between reading the road book and doing it at
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pace is tricky but once you get into a rhythm it’s
exhilarating. Lucky for him he loves sand riding and
he says it’s his strong point. Growing up in the Cape
Town area he says we are blessed with the amount
of sand we have in our area . Peru , with its endless
dunes will be his favourite country in the 9000 km
race . He says he is very competitive but always
cautious when racing others, racing another rider has
its rewards but accidents happen fast and he likes to
be there at the end.
His strategy is to race to race the next day. He and
his family have sacrificed 2017 for this once in a
lifetime opportunity and financially he will not be able
to do the Dakar again. He wants to enjoy the Dakar
spirit and come back to his family in one piece. This
is #mydaringadventure to Dakar 2018.
A work colleague, Gabriel Kriel, introduced him to
an all-natural diet, so he and his wife eats mostly
vegetable as raw as possible as well as fruits and
nuts, to digest faster and using a lot less energy
doing so. He found it quite challenging but it gave
him the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen with
his wife who loves this crazy diet.
He feels that because he is doing the Dakar Malle
Moto style he has to give himself the best chance
of getting to the finish line and the KTM 450 Rally
Factory Replica is purposefully build for the Dakar . If
looked after, it will get you there with a smile.
He thanks his lovely wife, Janice, for keeping him
strong when he was down and for giving him time
to chase his dream, he says he is so glad to have
her in his life . He was lucky to know people that
bought into his Dakar dream like Ian Sanderson,
Kalahari Bruwer, LJ le Roux, Tiaan Swarts, Werner
Tenten, Charles and Charlene from African Unity,
Kobus Potgieter, Mario van Dyk, Eddy Vermeulen,
Eben Carstens and Jaco van Tonder just to name a
few and then all his friends that kept me focus and
motivated all year long. He also thanks his good
sponsors, too many to mention
People can follow Donovan at :
Facebook page, Mydaringadventure – DonnyDakar
He will post a link to his whats app group on his
facebook page closer to the start.
Gerry van der Byl , nr 129 , age 50
Happily married to wife Gina for 24 years, Gerry from
Knysna, Cape also loves kite surfing and mountain
biking. Gerry believes that the Dakar is the pinnacle
of offload racing. Doing the Dakar is like cycling the
Tour de France, riding MotoGP, driving Formula 1,
playing Wimbledon. It’s the adventure, challenge and
experience that he has dreamed about for 20 years,
while glued to the television every January.
Gerry says he doesn’t have a racing pedigree.
He has never won or featured in a National
Championship. But he has been riding bikes since
he was 14. When he was 18 he stole his father’s GPZ
750, and crashed it into a 7 ton truck that ignored
a stop sign. That resulted in no walking for three
months, while his body repaired itself.
Life took over, and he couldn’t afford to ride bikes
until 1998 when he started racing quad bikes on the
regional and national off-road circuit for a few years.
In 2000, he decided to learn to balance, and started
riding dirt-bikes, then raced the off-road circuit in
South Africa until 2006 when he stopped racing, but
he kept riding bikes. In 2015 Dave Griffin invited him
to ride Jozi2Kozi with him, and he absolutely fell in
love with riding dirt-bikes all over again. This resulted
in entering for the 2015 Amageza with the RAD
20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
team. It was the first time he rode with a roadbook
and he was shocked at how difficult it was , but
he rose to the challenge and loved the experience.
Unfortunately on day 6 he had a terrible crash. It took
a long time to heal, but eventually he did. He wasn’t
able to let the Amageza beat him, so he went back
and raced in again in 2016, but this time he finished.
He then entered and finish the Merzouga in Morocco
in 2017, so that he could experience an international
rally, learn from the best, and qualify for Dakar.
He says at age 50 , his body doesn’t heal as fast as it
once did and he has to train harder than ever before,
but still to remain healthy and not get injured. Another
challenge is making time available for training and
preparation , because family life, work, and all other
aspects of life compete for attention. Reaching the
start-line is incredibly difficult, as there are so many
things to take care of. The mental preparation is very
tough. How do you prepare your mind to face the
toughest challenge of your life? His particular mental
challenges are that he feels that he is too old, not fast
enough, not good enough, not strong enough, not fit
enough. Overcoming all these mental obstacles are
not easy. Financial challenge are quite significant,
because he is not a professionally sponsored rider
and must bear most of the costs himself . Fortunately
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he is launching a new app at Dakar for people to
Gerry believes that a positive attitude, ability to stay
motivated when things go wrong, and ability to
find a way to keep going when you are completely
exhausted is very important. It takes courage to do
an entry, but he doesn’t believe it takes any courage
to participate, just a bit of crazy! Riding experience
is necessary, but a positive, can- do attitude is much
He is confident that his navigation is his strongest
point. You can only ride as fast as you can navigate
in the Dakar – he is not the fastest, or most capable
rider, but he believes his navigation is good. Learning
to navigate in the dunes in Morocco was a vertical
learning curve, particularly using the ERTF system for
waypoints. Navigating using a roadbook requires a
different level of focus, but he really does enjoy it now.
In Dakar 2018 there will be so many challenges ,
but he suspects that the biggest challenges for him
will be the sleep deprivation, eating when nervous,
staying motivated and finding a way to keep going
when everything tells you to stop. Altitude sickness
in Bolivia is an issue and he worries about the terrain
and the route, because this is the 40th edition of the
22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Dakar, so he expect it’s going to be really tough.
He says his sand riding is ok, but it’s not great. He
has tried to train as much as possible, but riding
sand in Knysna and Johannesburg is not easy. He
has done some training at Atlantis dunes in Cape
Town, and in the Northern Cape and Botswana and
ridden in Morocco but he does not have enough
experience on them. Unfortunately there is not much
that he can do about it, so he has tried to prepare
himself physically and mentally for the challenges of
He says that he is competitive or he wouldn’t have
entered the biggest and toughest motorsport event
in the world. But he has learnt to switch off the red
mist and let other riders go, because his big picture of
finishing is more important. It is always difficult to hear
someone behind you, and to let them go past without
chasing, or fighting for position, but in Rally it’s more
important to ride with your head. He has learnt this
the hard way - missing a waypoint because you’re so
busy chasing will cost a lot more time.
He chased the Dakar as a spectator on a motorbike in
2016, through all of Argentina and Bolivia. Argentina
is amazing, and he really love it there. In Bolivia the
altitude is a killer, so he is not excited about riding
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there again, but the scenery is absolutely beautiful.
He has never been to Peru, so he is excited about
riding there. He admires podium racers as it shows
a different level of skill and commitment , but he also
respects the riders at the back of the field. These guys
find a way to get through every single day, they suffer
a lot more, struggle with lack of sleep. They ride for
many more hours than the leaders every day.
Gerry is riding in the BAS Trucks Van der Velden
Motoren team. Doing the Dakar is a once in a lifetime
opportunity, and he feels that being part of the BAS
team certainly increases his chances of making it to
the finish. He raced the Merzouga Rally in Morocco
with them, and really enjoyed the team and the
camaraderie. Almost the entire Merzouga team will
be at Dakar together, so it’s going to be quite an
Gerry is riding the KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica,
“RFR” because of its reliability and safety. He
believes it has the best suspension and longest travel
and is the most stable bike he has ever ridden. This
is all of critical importance when riding a dirt bike for
this many hours a day - there will always be those
moments when your focus is off, or you’re checking
the road-book, and you get caught by surprise by a
ditch, a rock, a hole, or something. The suspension
needs to absorb these surprises, so that you don’t
end up in hospital. But being as safe as it is, it makes
the seat height really high. Not being the tallest guy in
24 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
a room, his feet cannot touch the ground on the RFR
but it is worth the price to avoid bottoming out. The
RFR is also super strong and yet as light as can be
with a durable engine and clutch. Clearly Gerry is a
man who loves and believes in his bike of choice.
Gerry believes that Dakar 2018 is his opportunity to
do something great. However much he want to sleep,
how much pain he is in, how tired he is, how much he
is suffering, will all be gone tomorrow, but he will have
to live with the memory of either doing something
great, or not. He chooses to do something great!
His personal motto will be to ride one kilometer at a
time and one roadbook instruction at a time. The rest
will take care of itself.
People can follow him on Facebook - Gerry’s Dakar
But most importantly, he is launching a new app that
he hopes with change the way people follow events,
activities, adventures, challenges, etc. it is called
Journey – this will collect data across all platforms
and put it in a timeline to show a seamless journey to
Gerry’s Dakar dream is being sponsored by
RADMoto, F61, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets, Leatt, EVS,
EKS, Junto Journey, FuelltechSystems, VW Strijdom
Park, Adtive Education, and SuperSport Let’s Play.
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KTM’s 2018 300 TPI
26 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
In 2004, KTM decided that it was time to address the issue of making 2-strokes more efficient and less
smokey. Last year at The Roof Of Africa we saw a couple of prototypes in the hands of Lars Enokl and
Letti – all kind of hush-hush in your face. This year the six days arrived and sold steadily. We finally
got our mitts onto one of them after this years Roof when we were invited for a little trail ride at the
SA launch with Letti and Co. Our Kyle went along.
All about two strokes:
Two-stroke engines fire on every
crankshaft cycle rather than every other
cycle, meaning they can make almost 50
percent more power than four-strokes
for a given displacement. In other words,
two-strokes offer more power with less
weight. Part of that extra power comes
from a two-stroke engine’s capacity to
more easily rev up to higher rpm than
a four-stroke, which needs to contend
with additional moving parts (valves and
camshafts) to control the flow of air and
fuel into the cylinders.
However, the two-stroke comes with
an Achilles heel. Small amounts of fuel
passing through the open ports of the
cylinder are not burned, resulting in
high fuel consumption and elevated
emissions. Furthermore, two-strokes burn
an oil and gas mixture that also lubricates
the engine, and the resulting clouds of
blue exhaust aren’t exactly clean. In
California, emissions testing even for offroad
bikes has rendered two-strokes all
but illegal. Two-strokes are nimble, fast,
and fun—but also dirty and inefficient.
What if you could keep the good and
nix the bad? The holy grail of offroad
motorcycling is a reliable, highperformance,
engine with optimized combustion so
unburned fuel doesn’t foul exhaust fumes
so horribly. KTM is going for just that with
its new bikes.
WHICH MODELS GET TPI?
At this stage, only the 250 and 300EXC
enduro models (and the up-specced Six
Day machines based off them) get the
new TPI fuel-injection system. We only
got to ride the 300.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 2 7
KTM’s 2018 300 TPI
Some Techy stuff:
HOW DOES THE TPI SYSTEM WORK?
Fuel is now injected into the barrel’s
transfer ports via two injectors. By injecting
the fuel against the airflow direction in
those ports (rather than injecting directly
into the combustion chamber), KTM found
it created a much better mixing of fuel
and air, and a more efficient combustion.
The oil still finds its way into the engine’s
crankcases, but that’s now via a 39mm
throttle body, not a carb. The oil is fed
at low pressure from a 700ml tank that’s
mounted under the seat, and atomised
by the reed block. By separating the way
fuel and oil are ingested by the engine,
there no longer needs to be a compromise
in the fuel-to-oil ratio to ensure engine
parts are adequately lubricated. Instead
of the 50 or 60:1 ratio recommended for
KTM’s carb-fed two-strokes, the 2018
bikes run at anywhere between 70 and
100:1, depending on a number of engine
parameters (RPM, throttle position, load,
etc). No special oil is required for the TPI
machines. KTM recommends you use the
same Motorex oil (Cross Power 2T) as you
did to premix your fuel with the carburetted
bikes’ performance – in terms of outright
power, feel and sound (yep, KTM was
adamant that that certain something that
makes a two-stroke a two-stroke – much
of which has got to do with their trademark
exhaust note – was not compromised).
“We wanted to keep the rideability and
engine characteristics as close as possible
to our well-established carburetted engine,
while eliminating the disadvantages of
the carburetted engines – the need for rejetting
for different elevations, humidity, etc,
WHAT ABOUT KTM’s MX MODELS?
KTM has only fitted the TPI fuel injection
system to its enduro bikes. Their SX
models will remain carb-fed (for the time
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TPI?
The obvious benefits of the TPI system
are: lower emissions (by up to 50%), less
smoke, lower fuel consumption (20-40%),
and the system’s automatic adjustment for
altitude changes means no need to ever
re-jet the machines. On top of that, you
WHAT HAPPENED TO KTM’S DIRECT-
At the launch, KTM confirmed that they
had developed two main direct-injection
systems for their two-strokes, but none of
them managed to match the carburetted
28 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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KTM’s 2018 300 TPI
have some practical advantages – such
as no fuel spillage or flooding when the
bike is upside-down on a mountainside (or
in the back of your van), no need to carry
premix oil in your backpack (the 700ml oil
tank lasts for four to six tanks of fuel). From
a performance point of view, it facilitates
easier starting and idling, and a smoother
and more rideable power delivery.
HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
No more pre mix. The bike has a 700ml
reservoir that KTM tells us is good for 7
tanks of fuel. Kyles 2014 300 runs 3 tanks
The low oil light comes on when you have
one tank of fuel left. If you do happen to run
out of oil, the bike comes with a wake up
connector function that primes the oil lines
rather than you getting air into the system.
Local testing has shown that the bikes get
between 80 and 100 kilometres to a tank.
Naturally if you race along flat roads, you’ll
use more fuel than if you are riding tight
twisty trails. A longer range tank will be
available next year.
MIXTURES, RATIOS AND STUFF:
This is really cunning tech. The bike has
two injectors. On idle the bike runs with
a single injector. Open the throttle and
the second one kicks in. Depending
on how aggressively you ride, the bike
automatically adjusts the oil ratio’s between
60 and 100:1.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
Getting rid of the carb saves some weight,
but by the time the TPI bikes are fitted with
the new oil tank, fuel pump and associated
sensors and electrical system mods, there’s
a net increase in weight of 2.5-3kg.
WHAT ABOUT RE-MAPPING OR
There is an alternative (softer, traction) map
already programmed into the bike, which
can be activated by disconnecting the map
cable behind the headlight (a map select
switch only comes as standard on the Six
Days models, or can be purchased from
KTM’s PowerParts range for standard
models). As with KTM’s four-strokes, it is
not possible to create custom maps for
the 2018 two-strokes. And despite many
people thinking that the more sophisticated
EMS required for these injected twostrokes
would also pave the way for
traction control, KTM’s design team says
traction control for their two-stroke models
is at least three years off.
SPRINGS AND STUFF:
The carb models have 3 springs in the
power valve – Green for tame, yellow for
midling and red for a more MX’y Feel.
These are gone on the injected model. The
fuel management system takes this all over.
WILL WORKING ON THE BIKES BE ANY
Not much has changed on the cylinder
design. Now, to remove the barrel,
the only additional step required is the
disconnecting of two electrical connectors
and the fuel line that runs to the injectors.
This is a simple dry-break connector, as
used on the fuel-injected four-strokes.
The addition of the oil tank makes it a
30 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
KTM’s 2018 300 TPI
little more cluttered around the top shock
mount, but as far as we can tell, access
to key components for maintenance or
adjustment has not been affected. KTM
tells us that recommended service intervals
for the TPI and carburetted models are the
same or very similar.
WHAT ABOUT RELIABILITY?
KTM acknowledges that the system is
more complex and involves more parts
(there’s a fuel pump, oil pump, injectors
and sensors that are not required on
carburetted models). But they also make
the point they’ve tested the system
extensively and found no issues, and that
many of the new hardware parts are the
same or similar to those that have proven
their reliability in their four-stroke models.
DO THE 2018 MODELS GET ANY
Yep, but only a few. Aside from the new
graphics, the hand guards are now white,
the fork protectors are now black and the
radiator louvres are redesigned to prevent
them from clogging up with mud as easily.
Plus the front of the two-strokes’ fuel tanks
have been modified slightly to create more
room for the oil filler cap (which now sits
on the frame’s backbone, just behind the
steering head). But the biggest change is
to the settings in the WP Xplor fork that
was introduced across KTM’s entire enduro
range last year. By better marrying the flex
characteristics of the Xplor fork’s inner and
outer tubes, KTM found that they could
get a more compliant action from the fork
over small bumps, and this has allowed
them to firm up the fork’s compression
damping. Spring rates remain unchanged
on all models, but the bolstered damping
across the range helps hold the fork up in
its stroke better, improves progression and
assists bottoming resistance.
KTM took a motley bunch of off-road
scribes and pointed them in the direction
of the Roof Of Africa’s time trial. Riding
heaven and exactly what these bikes are
designed for. Make no mistake – more than
tough enough for your average hobby rider
and great terrain where we could get a feel
for the bikes.
Our Kyle Lawrenson owns a 2014 300, so
it was a perfect opportunity to compare
how the new tech shapes. Kyle came up
32 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
with an interesting comment. “They have
not changed the bike very much. It is still
definitely a 300, it’s just smoother and easier
to ride.” And that’s exactly what you want.
We made that comment about another
brand that we tested a few issues back.
Although the bike had had a multitude of
changes – at the core it still felt so similar to
the previous model.
No doubt this comment will raise a few
eyebrows – but why radically change a bike
that is so successful? And guess what – we
“[TPI bikes] make more or less the exactly
the same power numbers as the carbureted
bikes,” says Michael Viertlmayr, KTM’s
lead engineer for off-road and motocross
engines. “The power delivery at wide-open
throttle is very similar, and the tractability is
much better in the lower load areas.”
“Throttle response is excellent – there is no
traditional 2-stroke lag – it pulls all the way
from the bottom and she still revs to the
moon. When the power band hits she gives
you a firm kick in the ass.”
“Although the bike reportedly weighs more
than the carbureted model, you don’t feel it.
It’s quite easy to understand why the KTM
300 is so successful.”
They rode every type of terrain imaginable
under the patient guidance of the Letti duo
who are generally not accustomed to riding
with hobby riders. They were super-cool,
riding bikes up the more gnarly sections for
the less experienced guys.
So they raced The Roof – and then assisted
this bunch without any moans or groans.
KTM has taken an already great bike – and
packed it with more efficient technology,
without impacting the bikes overall feel. Not
having to pre-mix oil is a marvelous thing –
and the fact that the bike runs so efficiently
brings the cost of ownership right down.
Smooth and easy to ride, it seems to be a
simpler bike from an owners point of view.
No need to change springs or hassle with
Jetting, the fuel injection system takes care
of all of this, adapting itself to your riding
style. Ultimately, this bike should make you
a better rider.
Best of all. It runs clean. Great for the
At your KTM dealer.
2018 KTM 300 EXC TPI Specs
Engine: 1-cylinder, 2-stroke
Displacement: 293.2 cm³
Bore/Stroke: 72 mm
Frame: Chrome-moly steel, Cast aluminum swingarm
Front suspension: WP Xplor 48 upside-down fork
(300 mm travel)
Rear suspension: KTM Progressive Damping System
(PDS) (310 mm travel)
Ground Clearance: 370mm
Seat height: 960 mm
Fuel tank capacity: Approx: 9 l
Dry weight: Approx: 103 kg
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 33
34 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Neil Van Der Vyver
From a PW 50 to a two time 50cc South-African and African MX champion at the age
of 9. This is surely the start of a great racing career. Pics & Words by: Zigz Brodalka (Brodalka.com)
Neil van der Vyver started riding at the very
tender age of 3½ on his PW 50 in front of
He and his dad always had a great love for
building jumps for his BMX.
His dad took him to Zone 7 and this is
where Neil’s love for MX started.
After a few training sessions with former
MX2 champion, Enzo Grande. Neil’s
dad, Werner saw how much he liked the
competitive nature and adrenaline of the
sport. He also saw that he was blessed
with a real talent and natural feel for the
Soon they teamed up with multiple SA
champ, Anthony Raynard, who taught Neil
most of what he knows about MX today
and Anthony instilled the belief in Neil to
want to become a champion one day.
2015 saw Neil participating in his first full
year of nationals at the age of 7. At the
end of the year Neil finished with an overall
10th spot and was the only junior in the
top 10. With the top 7 guys moving to the
65 cc class in 2016, Werner knew that Neil
had a realistic chance of winning the 50cc
Pro class in 2016. The planning started
and it was decided to get additional help
from Dean Hoffman, one of the best MX
coaches in the country. Dean focused on
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 3 5
off-the-track training and technical and
After a lot of on-and-off the track practice,
careful planning and working on mental
and physical fitness, Neil was ready for
Everything went according to plan and Neil
won the first 5 nationals, winning 9 of the
10 first heats and taking 8/10 hole shots,
he came 2nd at the 6th national and only
had to finish the first national to become
the 2016 MX 50cc Pro champion, which
he did! Neil was also chosen to represent
South-Africa at the African champs in
Kenya and managed to win all 3 heats. He
was awarded national colours for MX at the
end of 2016.
With Neil’s confidence on a natural high
and his commitment, dedication and
competitive spirit in tune, Neil set himself
a goal to win all the heats and races in the
The 2017 season saw Neil all fired up and
dominating 50 cc racing. Neil won 7 of
7 nationals with 13 of 14 race holeshots
and he also won the African champs in
Botswana to end off a perfect 2017 season.
The planning for 2018 has already started
and for all Neil’s hard work he has attracted
some serious sponsors for the 2018
Neil will be joining the factory Husqvarna
SA MX team in the 65cc class and will be
rubbing shoulders with the likes of Maddy
Malan, Caleb Tennant and Jason Visser, all
of whom are former SA champs in different
Neil looks forward to work with his
sponsors who looked so well after him
this year who include Eddy2Race, Leatt
Protectives, Bykleyn Graphics, Automagic
Parow and Barloworld leading logistics.
36 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
2018 RACE DATES
New 2018 World Enduro Super Series brings
together some of the most iconic events on the
The World Enduro Super Series has been launched
for the 2018 season and will bring together some of
the most iconic events on the calendar.
It will lead to a first world enduro champion being
crowned at the end of the campaign, which begins
in Portugal next May.
The WESS will include Hard Enduro, Classic
Enduro, Cross-Country and Beach Racing-style
events, with riders permitted to ride on their
preferred make and style of motorcycle.
Such events will keep their same format but with a
new, uniformed points-scoring system across the
In all, the series will include eight events from the
Extreme XL Lagares on May 11-13 to the season
finale, Red Bull Knock Out in the Netherlands, on
WESS managing director Philipp Stossier said:
“To us, enduro means many things but, most
importantly, it represents inclusion of competitors,
diversity of events and terrain and a considered mix
of authenticity and modernity – all elements that sit
at the heart of WESS.”
“We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re bringing
together well-established enduro competitions
run the way they’ve always been run onto a larger
communications platform to ensure endure sports
receives the focused, global exposure it deserves.”
World Enduro Super Series schedule for 2018
Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble
(Austria) May 31 – June 3
Rnd 3. Trefle Lozerien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland)
September (Date TBC)
Rnd 6. TBA
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden)
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands)
With a bit of luck, Dirt And Trail Magazine will
cover them all... Courtesy of Metzeler tyres
38 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Ride More Stress Less
SUZUKI’S DL 1000 AND DL650 V-STROMS
A few issues back we brought you the world
launch of Suzuki’s DL1000 XT. It’s been in SA
for a while and the guys from Suzuki SA sent it
on a road show to all of their dealers to invite
customers to ride the newcomer. We finally got
our mitts onto it for a day and made the most
of it – clocking up about 250 kilometres. To
sweeten the pot, we also grabbed the 650XT to
come along for the ride…
Pics by: Tristan Foley Words: K&G expertise.
42 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
One of our most favouritist (Howzaat?)
bikes of all time has to be the old TL1000.
Not the R – the S. Ok – it’s a road bike,
but that bike was a V-Twin 1000 and
Suzuki dominated the charts with a very
unapologetic machine that was just so
much fun to ride.
Twenty (gulp) or so years on, Suzuki has
done the same thing. Forget about refined.
The new 1000 is a strong brute – happiest
being nailed through the corners at Mach
4 or so…
Urban adventure. That’s what this ride was.
Nothing too hectic – we kind of did what
90 percent of adventure bike riders do with
their bikes. If you do your research, Suzuki
actually does not market this bike for the
dirt. But she is very capable at that too.
Our route took us from The Bikers
Warehouse dealership – in the pouring
rain (Again – sorry to our Cape Friends),
down the Hectic freeway with all the solar
powered car drivers, to our offices in the
Far East. On that little 60 kay ride we got
a good feel for the bike, big, comfortable,
powerful and nimble. Nothing we could do
about the thunderstorm though – the wet
boots and gear were spread through the
house as we searched for a hot shower.
The next morning – bright and breezy –
(and sunny most importantly), we climbed
aboard – onto some winding country
back roads via Delmas and the republic
of Bapsfontein, via the famous Que Sera
Venue for a Bikers Breakfast – and out
to visit the famous Fort Klapperkop just
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 43
efore our capital. After a few pics and a bit of hooliganism,
we routed through the streets of Pretoria, Said Huzzit to
Oom Paul, and gawked at the union buildings. A quick blip
through town – out on Zambezi drive and we opted to take
the Cullinan road. The great news about this road is that it is
absolutely buggered – they have ripped the tar – so there is
quite a scenic Bad gravel section all the way in to Rayton. It’s
actually quite a horrible, rough road lots of stones and loose
stuff and corrugated, perfect for checking out suspension.
But you do get to check out the diamond mine, which is
pretty interesting. Eventually we hit the tar which brought us
back Past the Rhino Park track, back through Bappies and
All in all a lekker little jaunt and a great way to kill a few hours.
The DL’s are designed for trips like these. They look identical
and share features like the digital clocks, tubeless wheels
and general look and feel. Both of these engines are
liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twins, with four valves and two
camshafts per cylinder, and electronic fuel injection. The
1000 puts out a little over 99 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, and
over 60 lb-ft of torque all the way from 4,000 to 8,000 rpm—
that is pulling power. The 650 has almost 65 horses at 9,000
rpm, and more than 40 lb-ft of torque from 5,000 to 8,000
rpm, really useful stuff. Six speeds in the transmissions.
What has made V-Stroms so popular over the years is their
versatility. They may not be the most powerful or the lightest
or the most sophisticated bikes in the adventure touring
segment, but V-Stroms are jacks-of-all-trades that deliver
serious bang for the buck.
The 1000 V-Strom:
Easy to ride and manageable, the 1000 delivers loads of
low and midrange grunt. It is, perhaps a bit less refined that
the smaller 650 – definitely more attitude and heaps more
bruteishness. The hydraulic clutch is light, the gearbox
typically smooth for Suzuki and with minimum throttle it’s
44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!
46 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
easy to pull away to negotiate city streets. It feels instantly like
a true V-Strom and very quickly you realize there is no point
in revving it too hard – but you will, because that is so much
fun. It will go to just over 9000rpm, but it’s really happy at
around 8000rpm. Most of the grunt is delivered from 4000 to
6000rpm, which makes the ride effortless.
You can throw it around with confidence and it’s backed up by
excellent traction control and ABS. The big news is the threeaxis
Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that ties in with a
new braking system. There’s ABS, of course, but now it has
access to the V-Strom’s yaw (left and right), roll (left and right),
and pitch (down only). You don’t even know that it’s there. To
add functionality, there’s a new combined braking system that
works differently than you expect.
The riding position is roomy and natural, the bars high and
wide enough without forcing the rider to over-stretch - and the
brilliantly simple screen easy to adjust on the move. It offers
decent protection from the elements. The bike it flows nicely in
and out of corners, helped by a 150- tyre that makes it easier
to turn. The suspension control is surprisingly sophisticated,
too. The front neither dives dramatically on the brakes nor
wallows. The brakes are quite simply ridiculously good.
The 1000 is comfortable, natural, frugal and simple – yet
still has neat touches like an adjustable ratchet screen and
panniers incorporated into the design. It looks good, there’s
a comprehensive list of accessories and… it’s great value
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If you read our launch story on this bike, you’ll know
that we absolutely raved about it. This one is just sheer
value for money. This ride reinforced that opinion. The
bike feels smaller, lighter and a bit less serious than its
The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom’s seat’s wide and
comfortable with ample room for a pillion and luggage
for touring. The mirrors are excellent and the Suzuki
DL650 V-Strom’s screen works perfectly!
If you think that a 650 engine is too small – think
again – this bike easily runs with bikes in the 800 to
1000cc class. That engine is sublime, with mountains
of really useable power where you want it, it’s a real
performer. The retuned SV650 engine is the Suzuki
DL650 V-Strom’s strongest feature. Tweaked for more
midrange, boy it delivers. Peak torque kicks in at
7600rpm but anywhere between 4-9000rpm will have
you grinning like a maniac. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom
offers smooth, fuel-injected power delivery and a top
speed of around 180KPH… Fantastic.
Handling’s great for fast, twisty roads; protection’s
ample for freeways; and the riding position’s perfect
for urban commutes. Brakes, suspension and gearing
are all top-notch. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom’s sturdy
chassis makes it stable and it turns quickly.
The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is a tourer, a sportsbike
and a commuter all handily wrapped together in one.
Against other, trail-style middleweights, the Suzuki
DL650 V-Strom has a ridiculously competitive price
tag and you’re really getting a top all-rounder for your
Suzuki has improved on the original by including brush
guards and wire wheels – but they have still not fitted
a 21 inch front. Suspension on both bikes is quite soft,
ample for good dirt and the easy power makes the
bikes effortless to ride. The Bridgestone Battlax tyres
are more road oriented. We’d stick with good gravel on
these ones. We did take the big ‘Strom up and down a
fairly gnarly hill, but it was no fun.
She needs a bit more suspension if you fancy this kind
Great performers. Powerful, comfortable, both bikes
represent unbelievable value for money looking at the
current trend and costings. Go and ride one – and then
head out for the ver verlaate vlagtes… you’ll love it!
And its Suzuki so you know it’s going to last.
www.suzuki.co.za for your closest dealer.
SPECS: Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT
Engine: Liquid-cooled, transverse 90-degree
V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Seat Height: 85.09cm
Claimed Wet Weight: 231.2KG’s
Fuel Capacity: 20.06 litres
Price: R165 900
Suzuki V-Strom 650XT
Liquid-cooled, transverse 90-degree V-twin,
DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Seat Height: 83.5cm
Wet Weight: 211.82 KG’s
Fuel Capacity: 20.06 litres
48 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
200cc’s of pure power
ready for any terrain
all terrain vehicles
32 Hulbert Street
011 493 6001
011 493 6101
ON THE HONDA 250’S
You’ll remember that a few issues ago, we featured the launch of Honda’s 250 L and Rally. Next month we
are going to feature a proper adventure with the rally on the Roosters CRF Rally Raid. This month we took
the little bikes for a jaunt with the boys from Honda Wing Zambezi…
50 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
When we were a bit less grey – one of our
favourite pass times was to pick a random
path in suburbia – and follow it. At the
time we were on small air cooled bikes
like the Z200 and I think there was a DT
125. One of my mates even had an old
Honda CB550 four. It was uncomplicated
fun, just nip off the road and follow along
until you run out of trail or until some ol
plod came along to tell you that bikes
were not allowed there. We used to call
it “Bogwheeling”, not sure why, maybe
we got stuck a few times, but that was
the name for it and every opportunity that
came along, that’s how we did it.
At one stage we found a route all the
way from Benoni to close to End Street in
Joburg, little footpaths and by ways – man
how things have changed. We explored
mine dumps, vast tracts of the Jukskei.
The only thing – and this is sad – there
was an awful lot less crap being dumped
all over the place…
On our way to Honda Wing Zambezi,
we saw a little pathway that appeared to
meander off along the river and up the
mountain. We were on the perfect bikes
for this, so we entered a very tight, twisty
riverine trail – and off we went. It was just
like the old days and these little bikes with
their user friendly power and slender lines
were just right. Tight paths found their way
through an acacia forest (Much to my boy
Tristans disgust…) he squealed as the
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 51
thorns worked their way into his jeans… the life of a
Lots of stops and starts and performing for the
cam – and it was just like the old days, we had an
absolute hoot on the bikes – this is what they are
designed for – not hectic dirt – but gravel explorers
– top notch. Nice dirt inspired Showa suspension,
good ground clearance (21 inch front wheel).
Definitely more versatile in the tight twisties then
say – an Africa Twin. If we were farmers – there
would be a 250L or two parked in the shed. The fact
that these two were fitted with dirtbike tyres made
even more sense…
On the roads through suburbia the bikes are
such a hoot, nimble and just quick enough. Perfect
for commuting, zipping out to the shops – and, of
course in the rally’s case – looking cool. Of the two,
that bike specifically is a little head turner. Absolutely
gorgeously put together and designed with top
quality components. The knobbies will wear quite
quickly coz these bikes inspire wheelies and lots of
Freeways can be frustrating, great between JHB
and Pretoria, but if you are planning a trip down to
Durbs, rather stick to side roads and we guarantee
that you’ll have a blast! Or trailer them and use them
at your favourite holiday spot.
That’s it – two lekker entry level adventurers.
Next month we’ll tell you all about a proper
adventure trip that took place on these bikes late last
year. Epic stuff in our Feb issue.
These two are from Honda Wing Zambezi, the
Honda guys in Pretoria
52 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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There are few things in life as lekker as spectating the Roof Of Africa from the saddle of an adventure bike.
If you have never done it – then you are missing out on a huge chunk of motorcycle culture. It’s the only
way to do it. No Maseru traffic jams – and you can get from DSP to DSP in good time to see your favourite
top rider go through. Except this year. This year they were simply too fast…
By Kyle Lawrenson. Pics by Tazz Bayley
Our choice for 2017 was the BMW 800
Adventure. It has been ages since we last
rode or reviewed on of these famous bikes
– so we figured that it would be a great
choice. Kyle up front, Tazz on the back –
and the ride was on… in absolute comfort.
The 800 Adventure has been around for a
while now – more-or-less unchanged since
its inception – and it is a firm SA favourite.
All about the bike:
For 2017 BMW was forced to make some
fairly big changes to their entire range of
bikes in the F800 and F700 families in order
to meet Euro4 emissions regulations.
Changes include a new exhaust, full rideby-wire
throttle, different riding modes,
a revised dashboard and new paint
finishes. The GS Adventure also gets new
galvanized radiator trim and a revised
ignition lock casing.
Overall, this is a mild refresh in terms of
cosmetics but the mechanical updates to
introduce ride-by-wire have given the bike
a noticeably different feel compared to the
Ride-by-wire control is a key part of
meeting Euro4 as it more directly meters
54 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 55
56 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
out the throttle input, with sensors replacing
the cables. Twistgrip movements are
translated into an electrical signal that controls
the opening of the throttle valve for much more
precise fuel delivery.
This is the single biggest improvement to the
feel at the bars, giving much smoother delivery
from the parallel-twin, and eradicating the old
bike’s tendency for a slightly jerky action at
light throttle openings. Ride-by-wire has also
now enabled the provision of multiple rider
modes, as found on other BMW models. Rain
and Road modes are standard to all models,
while the F800GS and GS Adventure models
are also available with Enduro and Enduro
Pro modes as optional extras to provide even
more electronic rider assistance when riding
Rain and Road modes are aimed squarely at
riding on the tarmac, with rain mode softening
the throttle response and upping ABS and
traction control intervention. Road, meanwhile,
makes the throttle sharper, and reduces the
ABS and traction control intervention.
Enduro is aimed at light off-road use with road
tyres; it backs off the TC and ABS intervention
to suit loose surfaces, and put more control
back into the rider’s hands. Enduro Pro is
designed to work with off-road tyres and
changes the throttle response and turns
off the rear ABS. ABS and TC can also be
deactivated regardless of mode.
The R1200GS and its even larger Adventure
siblings are great bikes with exceptionally
devoted followings, and have become the
benchmark for the class – but riding one
can be a daunting prospect because of their
considerable size and weight. The 800 in
our opinion is very often a far more sensible
alternative. Why – well coz it’s smaller, lighter
and a lot less intimidating.
This one was fitted with Conti TKC 80 trail
tyres – great for the Lesotho gravel roads.
Day 1 was a bit of a writeoff – you all heard
about the inclement weather, so we loaded
the bike and bakkied it through to Maseru.
Thursday was just plain mizz, so the bike kept
the hotel a bit of company for the day.
Bright and early on Friday, we took the roads
out to Bushmans pass – we had to be at
the start at 5am. It was flippen chilly – the
temp gauge on the Beemer read four (that’s
“The 800 in our opinion is very often
a far more sensible alternative. Why
– well coz it’s smaller, lighter and a
lot less intimidating.”
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 57
4) degrees. By the time we reached the
pass – it was minus three. It’s the first time
I’ve ever used heated grips – combined
with the brush guards the hands were a lot
toastier than the rest of us.
We need to comment on the overall feel.
The screen deflects the cold really nicely –
even wearing an MX helmet our necks were
not wobbling about. Looking through the
screen, the road is clear without any of that
The dash is very simple to use and easy to
manage – the fuel gauge, however needs a
bit of work. It does not display exactly how
much fuel you have – it starts on half with
an arrow facing up. When you get below
half the arrow disappears – and you start
stressing a bit. But there was no issue – we
got 306 km’s until the warning light came
on. The headlights on this bike are amongst
the best that we’ve ever used, they cut a
swathe of light through Lesotho and on
those tight roads in the early morning, you
really do need them.
The seat is perfectly shaped – and you
sit in the bike rather than on it. Position of
bars, to seat to pegs is all pretty sensible
for long hours in the saddle. The passenger
snuggles in behind the rider – Tazz is quite
tall, but she complimented the ergonomics
– and there was no moaning after long
hours in the saddle.
Switching between the modes is very
simple, push the button, release the throttle
and off you go. In the wet – rain makes
the bike a lot tamer and easier to ride in
“Simply put, it does everything well and It
is quite easy to understand why Beemer
has kept this bike in their range for so long.
A good choice as an entrance to the big
adventure bike game…”
the slip. In the dirt we turned the traction
control off and had a lot of fun. In street
mode – full power, she sings along all day.
Because of the tyres mounted, BMW had
a recommendation of 160kph top speed
– but we took her up to around the 180
mark on the straight roads. Generally, we
were in the lower speeds all day, enjoying
the twisties and views that only a place like
Lesotho can offer.
The handling is very predictable – with
the TKC’s you do tend to be a bit more
cautious around the corners on the tar,
it’s great rubber – but for road use we’d
probably run the Conti Escape – one of our
favourite DP treads.
We were, however very grateful for the
TKC’s on the gravel shortcuts that we took,
they are fantastic.
Most of the adventure machines seem
to be moving to WP suspension – and
on this bike it works a treat. The rear
suspension is PDS – ie- no linkage. We
found going slowly in the rough stuff that
the suspension was just fine, the faster you
go, the better it tends to work.
The tried and tested BMW Parallel twin
makes decent power for all kinds of terrain.
63 kW (85 hp) and 83 Nm at 5,750 rpm
provides for lots of riding pleasure. We had
no complaints. There are bigger, faster
bikes out there, but the Beemer sings along
happily all day long.
Day two was much of the same – dicing
the racers from point to point – and arriving
just in time to see Sherco’s Wade Young
take the gold.
A great choice for this kind of ride.
The last day was the great trek back to
JHB – we cruised along at 160 the whole
way – this bike eats up the distance. Four
and a bit hours from hotel to office with a
quick coffee stop and kuier at our favourite
Fouriesburg Country inn.
The BMW F800Adventure is a solid,
unassuming motorcycle with long legs and
decent comfort for the roads less travelled.
Simply put, it does everything well and It
is quite easy to understand why Beemer
has kept this bike in their range for so long.
A good choice as an entrance to the big
adventure bike game…
At your closest BMW dealer.
58 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Powasol EnduroX Series
"Tough, tight man made obstacles. Not for the faint of heart!"
With the run up to the final round of
the Powasol EnduroX Series event we
soon realized that events like this in the
Gauteng are more difficult than one can
imagine. We are Durbanites, our contacts
are Durban and South Coast based, for
a minute we felt rather nervous about
getting this event off the ground. We
had nothing, no sand, no rocks, no logs
simply no obstacles what so ever. The
next problem was we didn’t have an
actual signed agreement with Carnival
City until about a week before the event.
We were stressing to say the least.
After a successful week building the track
within the amazing grounds of Carnival
City in Brakpan we were ready in the
dying minutes on Friday. Riders started
setting up their Gazebos and doing
final race prep on their machines. Track
walks started nice and early amidst the
final touches needed to make the track
perfect for race hour.
We were ready our MSA representatives
Karen Vorster and Graham Odendaal
and Powasol Team Brenda Mills, Andrew
Smale, Jayden Humphries, Rachael
Chatterton and Caitlin Mills were set and
ready to get the show on the road. Then
a massive rain shower damping the start
time by 30mins but not the spirit of all
To get the proceedings under way we
lined the Pro Class of 7 riders up under
the Motul Arch to help break the lines in
for the 5 min practice, followed by the 22
strong Expert Class, 19 strong Bronze
Class, 7 strong 85cc Class, 10 strong
Heat one was a sigh of relief, we had
manage to pull off the impossible.
An EnduroX event away from “home” in a
town where we thought putting obstacles
together would be almost impossible.
The tension was high the final event of
Powasol EnduroX Series
2017 was about to kick off. Pro Class off
first and Blake Gutzeit (Proudly Bidvest
Yamaha) took the win followed by Luke
Walker (Team Leadertread KTM), David
Goosen (Out of Africa Tinstwalo Yamaha),
Brian Capper (BCR Motul Arrow RedBull
Yamaha), Chris Barnes (Perry Bikes
Husqvarna), Bradley Cox (ACR RedBull
KTM) and Justin Flemmer (TRAX KTM).
Next up the Expert Class the biggest
class on the weekend, Top 3 of Batch A
Heat 1 Matthew Barnes (Rocket Racing),
Robert Garvie (TRAX KTM) and Paul
Top 3 of Batch B Kayde Mate (RBS
Yamaha), Steve Katlego (Team Ikegeng)
and Pierre Botha (The Roost KTM).
The Hobby Class was super exciting to
watch right up to the dying moments Top3
Batch A Heat 1 Luke Davis, James Du Toit
(The Roost KTM) and Chris De Bruyn.
Batch B Reinhardt Basson (The Roost
KTM), Piwe Zulu (Herbalife Blu Cru
Yamaha) and Daryl Coull.
85cc Class Top 3 Josh Henderson, Matt
Henderson and Joshua Johnson. 65cc
Class Top 3 Cobus Bester, Luke Walker
and Justin Swanepoel (Concept Cyclery
Friday night racing under flood lights
takes a lot of skill and concentration.
Riders found themselves relying on
momentum and speed through the
technical rock garden and making sure
the wet tar sections were ridden with car
as the track became very slippery. Wet
and muddy but still a great spectator
Saturday morning riders started rolling in
from as early as 6am, excited to get the
main race day under way. The weather
was perfect and the track held up well
from the evenings racing. The racing was
electric, all classes putting on an amazing
show for our spectators.
Battles between Pro riders like Gutzeit,
Capper and Barnes throughout the day
as well as Cox and Goosen the two
MX specialists looking super confident
throughout the weekend. The Expert
Riders came our swinging every time with
Powasol EnduroX Series
Rob Garvie & Matt Barnes tussling non
stop for the first slot.
Mante a young up and coming Expert
Champion in the making was aggressive
and great to watch, Team Ikageng rider
Katlego coming on in leaps and bounds
also added some flair to the top end of
the Expert Class mix. Hobby riders where
the depth of the sport is right now saw
many great upsets through the weekend
with Davis, Sequeira, Basson and
Schoeman adding excitement to the mix.
The dice for 1 & 2 always came down to
the final seconds of each race.
The Junior Pro Mini Class on 85cc
Machines was a great class to watch
with Josh Henderson (Extreme Enduro &
Off-road Champion for 2017) came to win
the final round and close off his year with
a win overall in the EnduroX Series as well.
But Henderson had his work cut out for
him, never seen at a Powasol Event before
with some background in Motocross the
young Davin Cocker came to cause a
upset but just couldn’t keep it together
when it counted. The only 85cc riders to
jump the double throughout the day and a
talent to watch in the future for sure!
Our “Pocket Rockets” the 65cc Juniors
came down to the wire, Luke Walker the
Extreme Enduro and EnduroX Champion
overall for 2017 came to sweep the
field clean but came up unstuck in the
main event where we saw the furiously
competitive Justin Swanepoel take the
lead and not give-up until he came over the
finish line to take the win of the weekend.
To add some fun in the main break
and just before the Dash 4 Cash we
introduced a Micro Mini Class, the future
of the sport the 50cc “Babies” here we
saw Alexandria Leigh taking the win in
both heats over Gerhard Vosloo and Codi
Greger (whom stole the show with his
brake checks around the corners, only 4
All in all a fantastic weekend at Carnival
City and we would like to thank all the
sponsors, riders, spectators, Medics,
Carnival City Team and the Powasol Team.
A quick call to our friends on the
East Rand and the problems started
to become a distant memory. Dolf
Oosterhuizen (Brookfield Heavy
Transport), James du Toit (Alpha
Corrosion Protection) and then the
“Mayor” of Springs Mr Ron Bailey of The
These three men were unbelievable, I
could not believe how quickly they were
able to round up a crew of supporters on
the event, from heavy duty machinery,
to sponsors, to race entries and even
rounding up spectators.
With the help to get our JOC application
in place Mike from Mibern Media-Call
came to the party in a big way, the guys
from Alpha Corrosion & Protection,
Brookfield Heavy Transport, RMN Plant
Hire, Afrisand & Stone, Reclam and most
of all NCA Plant Hire came together with
all the machinery and obstacles needed
to make this event a possibility. Under
the guidance from Grant Leibbrandt our
Safety Officer from Extreme Safety, Grant
was the foundation of the event.
The Southern African EnduroX Challenge
starts in January 2018 at the SuperDigger
EnduroX Track in Peacevale KZN near
Online entries can be found at www.
powasolevents.co.za, limited to 20 riders
per class. R 12 000 Cash Prize money up
for grabs plus Dash 4 Cash. First 30 paid
entries get a FREE Powasol Bike Wash.
Spectators pay at the gate.
Dash4Cash winner Brian
Capper walked away with
A bit of wanderlust for Christmas time. Adventure Biking in the Tuli Block. Words: Patrick Moore
The opportunity to ride our bikes close to
wild animals, in their natural environment is
one of the things that makes our adventure
When Heine Engelbrecht of African
Dream Adventures (ADA) called to invite
me on a trip to Botswana’s Tuli Block, I
The Tuli Block is almost entirely given
over to game reserves and bush lodges,
in which kilometres of dirt roads and trails
wind between magnificent rock formations
and across broad, sandy river beds. The
plentiful game there is all protected by
Botswana’s strict conservation laws, so
visitors will probably encounter any of the
big five, plus lots of antelopes, giraffes,
eagles, hawks, owls and many smaller
creatures such as tortoises, hares and
Heine was using the ride to explore
potential synergies with Tuli Adventures,
a company established by John Gilbert
and Mark Hartley, who have exclusive
rights to bring adventure bikers to stay at
the Molema bush camp and Serolo luxury
tented camp on the banks of the Limpopo
river, some forty kilometres from the Pont
Drift border post. John and Mark’s tour
experiences have shown a need for rider
training, while ADA is always looking for
new, quality rides for its clients, so there
was an obvious opportunity for beneficial
cooperation. I was invited along to produce
this account of our journey and contribute
what I could to the overall experience.
The opportunity to meet and interview
Barbara Muszynski, the lone lady who had
just successfully completed Honda’s True
Adventure Quest event in Namibia, was
also too good to miss.
Most of the trip’s participants rode to
Botswana from Gauteng under Mark’s
guidance, while Heine and I enjoyed the
comfort of John’s Land Cruiser, which is
Tuli Adventure’s backup vehicle, complete
with trailer and tools. We had been
provided with comprehensive information
about what to bring and expect, so the
border crossing formalities were hassle
free. Overnight rain had created some
muddy, slippery dirt road surfaces, so our
only pillion passenger Hannelie Oelofsen
soon joined us in the Cruiser. Fortunately,
we all made it safely to Molema bush
camp, where a tasty curry supper and a
few beers put everyone at ease around the
Saturday morning saw us off to an
early start to visit Kgakala (“far away”)
camp, about twenty kilometres further into
Botswana. As with all rides organised by
Our fleet of reliable Honda’s
66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Tuli Adventures, we were escorted by an
armed ranger driving a game viewing Land
Rover, so the appearance of elephant,
giraffes and some extraordinarily large
Eland bulls did not bother us, but looming
black clouds and flickering lightning did.
Then the rainy season’s first thunder
storm broke, sending a barrage of driving
rain onto the parched soil. Within minutes
dry water courses were full of seething
water, across which we had to aim our
bikes to reach muddy banks on the other
side. I was glad to be riding a light Honda
CRF250 Rally, which was ideal for these
conditions, while everyone else muscled
their Africa Twins and GS1200s through the
mud. Luckily the lightning left us alone, so
everyone made it safely to Kgakala camp,
where we could dry off and then enjoy a
Shortly afterwards, the sun came out
and we witnessed something usually only
seen on National Geographic television
documentaries. Kgakala camp was
bordered by a bone dry, sandy stream
bed, into which life restoring storm water
began to run, spreading nutrients and
much needed moisture, on its way to
the Limpopo river. Almost immediately I
noticed a change in our collective mood,
as the unexpected appearance of water,
with its promise of new life, was reflected
in a happier, more relaxed atmosphere.
I suspect that some deep, genetic
programming from our remote hunter
gatherer ancestors had kicked in with this
sign of returning good times, thus it was
a happy bunch of bikers that boarded the
Land Rover for a trip to Eagle Rock.
Twenty minutes later we debussed and
were given a short talk about game related
safety procedures, before starting our walk
up a stony path to a rocky ridge. Our route
took us over the remains of a Late Iron Age
settlement dating to Mapungbwe times,
before we emerged onto an elevated area
with natural rock pools and a magnificent
view over the massive Macloutsie river bed.
Black eagles drifted overhead as we looked
down into their nest, while Fish eagles
scoured the river banks below for prey.
Apparently, the site’s previous inhabitants
had made offerings to the powerful spirits
that they believed lived in the world
beneath the rock pools limpid waters.
Their beliefs were easy to understand in
this inspiringly beautiful place, as mankind
has always associated deities with
extraordinary natural beauty, so we all felt
priviledged to share in the awe that Eagle
Rock inspired in us.
Back at Kgakala camp I surrendered the
CRF250 Rally to Barbara, who was keen
to discover if its performance matched the
glowing reviews written about it in Dirt And
Trail a few months back. The previously
flooded water courses were now muddy
trenches which required total concentration
to navigate successfully, so I was pleased
to be riding an Africa Twin, with its spot-on
handling, excellent suspension and dirt
effective ABS brakes. Barbara and I agreed
that the CRF250Rally’s only drawback is
its relatively modest power output, so we
are hoping that rumours of a forthcoming
450cc version are true. Add on and off
road power modes and a DCT gearbox
option and I reckon that Honda would sell
thousands of them, especially to shorter
riders, who could then keep up with bigger
bikes in all conditions.
Dinner that night was an excellent braai,
after which a few of us walked down to
nearby river pools, to check out submerged
crocodiles, their eyes glinting eerily in
our torchlight. The discovery of fresh
elephant dung a few metres from my tent
the following morning, brought home to
me that we truly were guests in Tuli’s wild
kingdom, where its animal inhabitants and
not humans rule the roost!
A fairly close elephant encounter
Armed ranger keeping watch at Eagle Rock
At Kgakala bush camp
Barbara at Mane Dame
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 67
Barbara, Kat and Hannerley counterbalancing Johan’s trailer
Bush coffee with Ronen
First rains arrive
Giraffe en route to Eagle Rock
Sunday morning saw us setting off
for Mane dam along sandy roads with
occasional muddy stretches.
Mark set a brisk pace upfront and after
a few kilometres I could appreciate why
he and John felt that ADA’s rider training
would benefit their generally inexperienced
clients. Whipping the little 250 Honda
along narrow, corrugated and rutted dirt
roads was great fun, but it took all my
intermediate level skills to keep out of
trouble, where a less proficient rider would
have been forced to slow right down.
There is nothing wrong with that of course,
but being able to ride challenging roads
quickly is satisfying, with rider training and
constant practice being the price of such
Brunch at the dam was as good as the
previous day’s, after which we tackled a
gnarly loop, before heading back to base.
The CRF250’s low seat and effective
suspension allowed me to ride the loop
sitting down, as if on my old Ducati 250cc
scrambler, so the old muscle memory
kicked in and we were able to pip some
much bigger bikes to the finish. Not exactly
what we were supposed to be doing
perhaps, but a truly satisfying proof that it
is not how much power you have, but how
much you can use that matters.
All that excitement meant that we took it
easy on the way back to base, after which
John drove Heine, myself, Bruce and Rudi
across to Serolo luxury camp to check
out its facilities. We were very impressed
by them, even a little envious perhaps
but we were compensated when, on our
way back to Molema camp, we saw fresh
lion spoor and stopped at an exquisite
riverside viewpoint. Bikes are not permitted
at Serolo itself, so John ferries his biking
guests there in his LandCruiser. Once
back at camp I spent an hour interviewing
Barbara Muszynski, who is a seriously
good rider and a courageous, capable lady.
No gender concessions were made to her
during the Quest event, but she overcame
all the challenges, to emerge as brand
ambassador for the Honda Africa Twin.
Barbara has been riding since she was
fifteen and currently owns 5 bikes, soon to
be 6 when she adds the DCT, which she
enjoyed riding during the Quest, to her
Barbara is definitely one committed lady
That evening the treats continued, as
we were taken on a night game drive,
as a prelude to a superb, open-air, starlit
supper. A visit to a Spotted Hyaena den
was the highlight of the game drive, as we
were scrutinised by the curious hyaena
pups standing just a few metres from us.
Our ranger kept us informed with a wealth
of information about their habits, before
we headed off in search of more animals
and then on to our atmospheric supper.
Just after we finished eating John made
a speech thanking us for coming on his
Tuli Adventures trip, but of course we all
felt that we should be thanking him, Mark
and Mark’s girlfriend Cat, for their excellent
efforts on our behalf. Heine, Barbara, her
partner Johan Botha and I all rated this
trip as one of our most enjoyable ever
adventure biking experiences, but we are
all old hands at the game, so let me rather
give you some of the feedback I gathered
from three of the ride’s other participants.
Ronen Gold is a 48 year old Israeli
medical equipment importer, who sent
his new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
up from Cape Town, then flew up to join
the trip. He rides like a demon and makes
Turkish coffee to die for, but his extensive
business experience gave him insight into
John and Mark’s efforts. He remarked …
“they did an awesome job of looking after
us, so they’ll definitely be successful”. He
continued heaping praise on the riding
opportunities, facilities, his bike and the
ride’s other participants, from whom he
68 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
said that he had learnt a lot. His riding
experiences had been tarmac based up to
now, but after this trip he felt that a whole
new chapter of riding possibilities had been
opened up for him. He was delighted to
have bought a Multistrada and itching to
get it onto some dirt roads back home.
Johan and Hannerlie Oelofsen are
a 50 something year old couple from
Pretoria, where Johan works as a steel
manufacturing supervisor. As a relative
dirt road newbie, Johan found Botswana’s
slippery roads a real challenge, but he
perservered and, with help from Mark
and John, mastered most of them. He
will be signing up for ADA rider training
soon, because the whole Tuli Adventures
experience was so enjoyable, “awesome”
in fact, that he and Hannelie want to
be able to do lots more tours like it.
“Affordable excellence” was their verdict
about our trip, which far exceeded their
expectations. Johan is delighted with his
GS1200’s performance and like Ronen, is
determined to use it more on the dirt, as he
wishes he had done a lot earlier on in life.
Rudi Pieters is a 48 year old ex-teacher
and IT security specialist, who is rated
as one of South Africa’s top 10 GS1200
BMW Eco Challenge riders. He joined
the trip to discover if he could enjoy a
non-competitive biking experience where
he wasn’t in charge, for a change. Our
thunderstorm riding was a bonus for him,
but overall Rudi enjoyed being able to
relax and go with the flow on his bike, so
he was definitely glad that he came along.
Rudi also rated the tour’s organisation and
facilities as excellent, whilst suggesting that
John and Mark could use the nearby river
bed as a sand riding training area.
This would help them to evaluate guests’
riding abilities, so they could then manage/
coach them accordingly out on the trails.
John is already working on this and will
also incorporate easier escape sections
into his routes. Rudi is also interested in
helping with ADA’s training courses, where
his teaching background would be useful.
So there you have it – three very satisfied
customers’ favourable feedback, which
represents the entire tour group’s feelings
about their Tuli Adventures experience.
If you are interested in knowing more the
website address is www.tuli-adventures.
co.za where you can also learn more about
their photographic, bird watching and
mountain biking offerings, find out about
costs and do your bookings. John, Mark
and I will soon be exploring other, cooler
riding areas for the hot summer months,
about which I will be reporting on in future.
Contact Heine on 083 2261494 about
ADA’s excellent rider training courses, or if
you know of any quality rides that African
Dream Adventures might be interested in.
ADA’s website is www.adasa.co.za , where
you will also find lots of useful information.
Ride Safely and Enjoy Yourself.
Cubs at the hyena cave
Heine prepares for a dip
Heine surveying the landscape
Heine, Barbara and Johan Botha at Mane Dam
Johan & Hannerley crossing Limpopo river
Mark helping out Johan
Tricky stream crossing
Our starlit supper
Tuli block sunset
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 69
So what is the Baja 1000? It’s the longest point-to-point race in the world. The course takes place on
the Baja Peninsula of Mexico and serpentines from Ensenada to La Paz over approximately 1000 miles.
A variety of vehicles can enter the race. You’ll see everything from Trophy Trucks worth half a million
dollars down to Class 11, unmodified pre-1982 VW Beetles – and of course, lots of dirt bikes. Like The
Roof, this year was this events 50th anniversary edition...
“Are you ready for the most rewarding and exciting
experience you will ever be a part of? The Score
International Baja Race Series is underway and you
can be part of it. It’s all about the competition, the
rewards, the dust, the fans, fifth gear pinned, topping
the whoops, the commitment, the perfectly prepared
Honda race bike, teamwork, being able to say “I raced
Baja!”, the support, and of course FINISHING.”
That’s what hooked two of our multiple champ
winning racers, Graham Maclachlan and Brian
Bontekoning into signing up to take part in this historic
race. Not too shabby – they pulled off a 3rd place in the
Pro Moto 50 class.
After the race, we sent them a Q and A about the
event – because, let’s face it – not too many of us know
what it’s all about.
Boys, how did this all come about?
Alan Jullien, ex SA MX and Off-road racer who now
lives in Los Angeles called me and asked if I would
like to sign up for the 50th Baja 1000 with the Hero,
Bikebandit.com, Honda racing team?
I accepted on one condition, I needed to
include another teammate from South Africa and so
it fell in place. We called Brain Bontekoning and he
accepted. We ended up being 12 riders on the team.
6 in the over 40 class (Team 410X) and 6 in the over 50
class (Team 510X). Brian and I were in the 510X team
The Baja was a great experience and a great
adventure. WHAT A RACE!!!
Mexico – cool place?
Mexico is a great place. We were on the peninsula
which is a very small part of Mexico. We spent a lot of
time at coastal towns which is a lot like our west coast.
Compare it to Langebaan.
The terrain we rode was a lot like our Karoo
Some of the cool things you saw in the pits?
Safety first but you can race through the pits, you can
refuel while sitting on the bike and you pit on your own
time. Very different compared to the pits here. Too many
rules with our pits in SA.
The pit is off the race line and that works very well.
70 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
WE BUY AND
Cnr. Breed & Taaifontein Road,
Tel. 012 548 0040/45
Grant Scott 082 706 0070
GPS - S25’ 40.724’
E 028’ 16.326’
Give us the timeline on a typical day at
The race is 1850km’s so each rider will
have a different day:
My day started at 07:00 when I drove in
a van for 320Km up to my section. Our bike
arrived at 15h15 after the previous rider had
started in Esenada @ 00:47 and already
done about 800km. We changed tyres,
replaced the Air-filter and checked the oil. I
then did a road section of about 25 km with
a speed restriction of 100km/h.
They have a “Stella GPS Tracker to track
your speed. If you go too fast, you get
penalties. I started my section proper at
16:05 and it gets dark @ 17:00. The racing
at night is actually quite easy. You have
huge lights and you just focus on what you
I handed the bike over to Brian at about
20:30. That stage was about 200km. I then
took a van to my next stage...about 125 km
away and waited for our race bike to arrive
out of the dark... It arrived at about 23:45,
I hopped on and did my stage of about
100km to hand over again to Brian again @
01:30. I had to wait for a lift.
By luck I ended up with the McMillan
Race team in their pits. Their truck was
leading..so we waited...and then the
message came in that it had an issue with
the back suspension. We ended up going
to another farmer and their team replaced
Anyway… I only got to La Paz where the
finish was @ 13:00 the next day....
This Baja was a team event – how many
hours a day did you guys spend in the saddle?
We spent 3 days pre running our section
and then we did the race...we spent many
hours in the saddle.
Did you treat it as a holiday ride – or as a
The pre-running was great fun and like a
fun ride/holiday. We treated the race proper
as we wanted to try and win our class
and finish in the top 10 overall. We did not
suceed in doing that so I will have to go
again and try again some year...
72 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
How would you rate the terrain. Similar
to our Desert 1000?
Some of the sections are very similar to the
TDR 1000. I would say a combination of
Karoo and Botswana. The section I did was
more rocky though.
Why is the Honda 450X the bike of
choice for this event?
I am not sure, we did speak about it and
many of the other brands are starting to
come in. I think Honda has claimed the win
here on many occasions and they put in
the top teams. This has paid off for them.
My highlight is the new friends I have
made. We are all the same, we all enjoy
having a good time and helping each other
out. We are racers and we look out for each
other even while we are competing 100%
Downers? Naaah, none of those...I had
to “down” a couple of tequilas...OK, I did
down a lot of tequilas....LOLOL
Great honour, great experience and I look
forward to doing it again. I would like to
take more of my friends so that I can share
this wonderful experience...it’s too good
not to share!
Obviously we hear plenty about Dakar –
are you guys looking at racing that some
Nope, that is way too expensive, Baja is
affordable, Dakar is just way over the top.
“If you were to ask me to sum up my
Baja 1000 experience I would most likely
squint my eyes in concentration, think
deeply about the 48 hours I was awake,
and shake my head because that intense
blur of actions and emotions are impossible
to put into so few words.”
No matter the obstacles that lie ahead, all
of the racers had one thing on their mind…
It is a team effort. Without the backup
trucks and team you will not get to the end...
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)
1. 549x Robert Gates, 75, Victorville, Calif./
Lou Franco, 54, Simi Valley, Calif./Jeff
Kaplan, Thousands, Calif./Mike Johnson/
Bob Johnson/David Potts/Chris Goolsby/
Steve Williams, 59/Doug Smith, Upland,
Calif., Honda CRF450X, 27:29:46 (41.26
2. 515x Robert Creemers, 53, New
Zealand/Sean Clark, 50, New Zealand/Pete
Heard, 53, New Zealand/Doug Herbert,
50, New Zealand/Kevin Archer, 50, New
Zealand, Honda CRF450X, 28:40:51.
3. 510x Giovanni Spinali, 51, El Cajon,
Calif./John Griffin, 51, Hillcrest, Calif./Earl
Roberts, 55, Mexicali, Mexico/Troy Pearce,
50, Ramona, Calif./ Brian Bontekoning,
51, South Africa/Graham Maclachlan, 50,
South Africa, Honda CRF450X, 30:50:57.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 73
A GUIDE AND CHECKLIST FOR BUYING A
In an ideal world we’d all have a selection of brand new bikes in our garage. From
the latest dirt missile to the most powerful adventure bike on the market, they’d be
lined up in the man-cave, box fresh and ready to ride.
But back in the real world, we can’t all
afford to fork out the considerable amounts
for new metal. Yes it would be nice, but the
reality is that a good proportion of us will
go for second hand motorcycle purchases,
allowing someone else to take a hit on the
initial depreciation on the brand spankers.
But if you are going to buy a used,
pre-owned, pre-loved or second-hand
motorcycle there are a lot of different ways
to buy and a multitude of ways to get
burned. So in an effort to make the buying
process a whole lot easier, we thought
we’d put together a list of the important
things you need to bear in mind before you
part with your hard earned rands.
BEFORE WE EVEN START:
SELLERS make sure that funds are cleared
and in your account before you release
your pride and joy to a buyer. Don’t take
bank deposit slips as proof of payment.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you start looking around for your
next purchase, you need to decide what
bike you actually want and what your
realistic budget is, and whether those two
things go together. If you are looking to get
a year-old Africa Twin and you’ve only got
50k, then you are wasting your time even
looking, but if it’s a 2013 EXC300 you’re
after and you can go up to 55k, then you
are far more likely to find the bike you want.
Do your research beforehand so that you
know the rough price that you should be
paying for the bike you want. Only go
above that if the bike is truly exceptional
or comes with a massive list of useful
aftermarket accessories or spares.
DEALER OR PRIVATE
So your next problem is whether to go
safe and head for the dealerships or take
your chances on the private market. Both
have their advantages and both have their
pitfalls, so it’s impossible to say one is
better than the other.
On the dealer side of things, one of the
main advantages is that if there are things
wrong with the bike, you will generally have
some help if you intend to buy, which is
unlikely for a private sale. Dealers can also
arrange finance and they have access to
parts and accessories for the bike.
The other major factor is that you have
theoretical legal protection if the bike you
have bought turns out to be a complete
lemon. In most countries, consumer law
will protect you from buying things that are
not fit for purchase, and most reputable
dealers will usually do their best to sort out
any realistic issues you have. That said, if
you buy a second-hand crosser and it goes
bang after a month of racing, don’t expect
your man to give you your money back –
realistic is the key word here!
But for this right to recourse after your
purchase, there’s a price to pay and buying
second-hand from a dealer will mean you
will pay a bit more than a private sale. If a
used bike is really cheap in a motorcycle
shop it’s that price for a reason!
As with private buyers, there are good and
bad dealers out there.
Keep away from the wrong ‘uns and
support the good ones, particularly if they
are small independent businesses. If you
don’t, they won’t survive and we’ll be stuck
with just the megastores…
ONLINE: firstname.lastname@example.org 082 461 1443
BUYING FROM DEALERS DOES
REDUCE YOUR RISKS.
For a private sale there are much higher
risks. Not only of buying a bad bike, but
also of buying a bike that does not and
never did belong to the person selling it.
You have to trust your instincts here, so
if things look wrong, they probably are
wrong. Ask for receipts. Road bikes HAVE
TO HAVE PAPERS. Many dirtbikes and
quads do not –many were bought for cash
and not financed.
74 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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Fourways l Centurion l North Riding l Lanseria l Westrand l Eagle Canyon l Hillcrest l Hilton l Online
components are functioning and you are
generally happy with what you are going to
shell out for.
Four-strokes should not smoke at all and in
reality, two-stokes should smoke too much.
Throttle response should be crisp and
immediate, clutch action should be smooth
and progressive and the transmission
should not be jerky or noisy.
If the owner claims to have carried out
recent rebuilds, find out why and ask for
receipts that show the work was done by a
If the owner will not let you ride the bike
– as is likely with an off-road bike – then
ask them to run the bike up and down and
go through the gears. If they say no – you
might need to ask yourself why!
If the seller looks dodgy – WALK AWAY.
You need to establish really quickly whether
you trust the seller enough to part with the
cash. Ask yourself :-
• Do they look like a motorcyclist?
• Can they answer all of your questions
about the bike?
• Is the bike stored in a clean garage
surrounded by quality tools?
If the answer to all three is no, you should
be walking away.
THINK GLOBAL, BUY LOCAL
The wonders of the internet can easily lull
us into thinking that the world has shrunk.
When a simple google search can bring
up bikes from all over the country, it’s easy
to forget that 600 kilometres is still 600
kilometres, and buying a massive distance
away from your home increases the risk of
you buying the wrong bike.
Why so? Because if you have driven that
distance to see a bike – whether from
a dealer or from a private buyer – the
chances of you buying it have naturally
increased, because otherwise you’ve
wasted a full day and all that fuel to come
away empty-handed. And the seller will
know this, which will in turn reduce both
your bargaining power and their willingness
to negotiate. If you walk away, they’ve lost
nothing but you have already spent which
reduces the amount of money you’ve got
to spend on the bike you do buy. This is not
Try to find a bike that is reasonably close to
your home – that way you may already be
aware of where the dodgy areas are without
driving halfway across the country to find
out. It also means that if the bikes all good
you can haggle and come away with the
prize and if it’s wrong, you’re no worse off.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
However you buy, there is no substitute
for thoroughly inspecting any bike before
parting with the greenbacks. Online dealer
listings and auction sites make it really easy
to purchase without doing this and the risks
are vast. A bike that looks like a minter in
the photos can turn out to be a dud when
you see it, and if you’ve already paid the
money, getting it back could be really
protracted and difficult.
If you are determined to buy online, don’t
part with your cash until you have done
all the necessary checks, seen the bike,
heard the engine running and checked that
everything the seller has said about the
bike is true. If it’s not, be prepared to walk
away and don’t become unduly worried
about receiving a negative rating – it’s
better than being saddled with a clunker.
The same goes for sellers: Make sure your
money has cleared in your bank before you
let it go!
THE SECOND HAND MOTORCYCLE
So whether you are buying a second hand
motorcycle private or from a dealer, you
should be thoroughly checking out the bike
you’ve come to buy. Don’t assume that all
bikes in a dealership are perfect – they are
not so you need to do the checks. It’s easy
to jetwash a bike and cover it in silicone
spray and fancy stickers, but bear in mind
that in the trade that same spray is often
known as ‘Bullshit Spray’…
So what should we be looking at?
As the most expensive component on
the motorcycle, the motor is key. If it’s not
right, the rest of the machine makes little
difference. You need to hear it starting,
running and ideally take it for a test ride
so that the engine gets up to full operating
temperature and you can make sure
all gears engage correctly, all electrical
Any second hand motorcycle you buy
should show absolutely no signs of frame
damage. Any indication of impacts, cracks
or repairs – do not buy. Have a look from
the back and the front and try to spot
whether anything is out of line. Is the
subframe twisted, are the forks straight
when the handlebars are, does the saddle
sit correctly on the frame rails? Check
around the headstock and major weld
points for any signs of stress. Look under
the bike and check if the frame has been
dragged over rocks and things…
OK so it’s going to be difficult to test this
without a test ride and for pure off-road
bikes don’t be surprised if the seller or
dealer won’t allow you to rip down the road
and risk never being seen again.
But what you can check on the suspension
is for smooth action, that there are no
leaks, squeaks or grinding noises, and
76 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
all the components look cared for. Forks
should be entirely free from oil and any
pitting on the stanchions and should move
freely. It’s not a big job to change fork seals,
but it’s a pain and even more so on a big
As for the rear shock, this could similarly
move freely and show no signs of leaks. A
new unit or rebuild will cost, so if you see
problems either don’t buy or use it as a
major bargaining point if you are entirely
confident what the problem is.
You need to be checking all the bearings on
any bike you’re looking to buy whether dirt
bike, adventure motorcycle or road bike.
Starting with the round bits, that means
grabbing hold of both wheels and trying
to rock them sideways on the spindle. If
they won’t budge, that’s good but if they
move it’s not. Changing wheel bearings is
not difficult, but it’s an indication whether
the seller has looked after the machine as
much as they say. It’s going to cost you
cash, so that’s another bargaining point.
Head bearings can also become worn and
notchy. On roads bikes they tend to stay in
the same position for miles on end so tend
to wear in the same central position which
causes a tight spot, whereas for off-road
bikes these bearings take a lot of pounding
so will wear quicker all round.
So with the bike upright, hold the front
brake on and rock the bike back and forth
to check there is no play in the headstock.
If the bike has a centre stand, put the bike
on it and with the front wheel off the ground
– get the owner to push down on the back
of the bike – check the bars move left to
right easily and without any sign of tight
spots or notches. Then move to the front
of the bike, and again with the front wheel
off the ground, hold the bottom of the forks
and see whether there is any movement in
the steering head when you try to rock the
forks back and forward.
For off-road bikes, do these tests with the
bike on a paddock or push up stand.
Like the wheel bearings, it’s not a major
job on a small off-roader, but if you have to
do it on a fully faired adventure bike, this
is major surgery that will take hours if you
do it yourself or cost a fortune if you get a
dealer to do the work.
OFF ROAD BIKES AND QUADS GET A
LOT OF ABUSE SO CHECK EVERYTHING.
The more a motorcycle gets used, the more
the chain and sprockets wear. Any second
hand motorcycle you buy should not need
these replacing straight away, but if you are
buying a motocross bike or pure off-road
machine, don’t get hung up on a bit of
wear – this is inevitable and easy to fix.If,
however the sprockets teeth are curved or
broken, you have a bit of bargaining power.
For road and adventure motorcycles, a
full replacement could be costly so ideally
this shouldn’t be something you have do
immediately after buying. As with the MX
bikes, don’t get too hung up on this as
long as what is on the bike is in reasonable
condition and consistent with the rest of the
bike. But if the sprockets are hooked and
the chain knackered and rusty, chances are
that’s what the rest of the bike is like under
those shiny plastics.
CABLES AND WIRING
All the cables and wires on your prospective
purchase should be in good condition and
do exactly what they should. Throttles should
snap back as the manufacturer intended,
clutches should be smooth and progressive
and any other associated cables should be
free running and functional. Replacements
are so cheap on most machines, there’s little
excuse for not replacing.
Electrical wires should all look original and
unmolested, not exposed or badly repaired
and all electrical components should be in
working order from the off.
As the bits that are going to bring your new
bike to a stop, the brakes are an important
part of the package. Check that all discs
are the correct thickness, unwarped and
free from scoring. Pads should have plenty
of braking material left on them and fluids
should look new and light in colour, not
brown and murky.
Check over the hydraulic hoses for signs of
wear and leakage, make sure all the bleed
nipples are in place and don’t look seized.
WHEELS AND TYRES
Let’s not overthink this. The wheels should
be in good condition, run straight and be
relativelly free from dings. The tyres are
maybe less important, unless on a road bike
they are thrashed to chicken-strips in which
case the owner has been caning that engine
to the rev-limiter. Check the life on dirtbike
and ATV tyres, replacement is costly.
In general, tyres can be quickly and easily
replaced, but factor the cost into your offer
if you will need to do this before the bike is
Bodywork is singularly the worst indication
of the motorcycles condition. New fairings
and plastics on bikes might make it look
pretty but that can hide a multitude of
sins underneath. With off-road plastic kits
costing less and less, a seller can easily
smarten up a tired motorcycle with a fresh
set and if he’s really trying to fool you, a
cool set of graphics might just seal the deal.
It’s important that the bike looks good, but
look under it all. Don’t be dazzled by pretty
colours and don’t necessarily be put off by
scratched panels – it’s what is underneath
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 77
THE SUNFIELDS RIDE is one of those real feel good rides where motorcyclists really give back.
this ride is hosted for the benefit of the Sunfields home for disabled peeps and they really need
Bakkie loads of goods were delivered, huge smiles all round and not a dry eye in the house as
the residents said thank you and Merry Christmas.
Come and do it next year. Thank you to all the farmers and land owners who open the farms to
the riders - a great mixup of terrain and a great day in the saddle.
These are the proposed dates for next year and we’ll do our darndest stick to the menu.
The plan is to also do a couple of Dual purpose rides for the big trailies, we will keep you
We are just awaiting confirmations here and there – but come and join the fun – some of
the best trail rides you’ll ever do.
Weekend Jan 26th – Waterberg Mountain Ride - Naboomspruit.
A firm favourite rivers, sandy trails, rocks, beautiful bushveld!
Sat 17th Feb – farm ride in Parys. Always lekker!
March 3rd – Cosmos Ride on the East Rand. A long ride, Beautiful, scenic, rocks, rivers -
and we’ll see lots of Cosmos.
Easter weekend: 30th March standby just confirming the venue.
April 27th – Tentative Swazi Mangala long weekend – a two day ride across Swaziland.
May 26th Day ride in or around JHB.
June 16th – Youth day ride – South of JHB.
June 29th – Tri Nations – SA, Swaziland Mozambique… an excellent adventure of some
August 25th – Day ride
Oct 5th Durban 2 JHB in the dirt – a whole new route, we are busy with the recce and
will keep you posted.
October 27th – We’ll host a day ride.
November 16th – Lesotho.
December 1st - Sunfields ride, Balfour.
So – lots to keep you busy! Come and join the fun!
(011) 979-5035 - 072-177-0621 - 082-870-6134 - 083-314-2203
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AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE WON ON DUNLOP TIRES
146 SX AND MX CHAMPIONSHIPS AND COUNTING
Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905
Available at selected dealers nationwide,