MARCH 2019 RSA R35.00
9 771815 337001
A CATCH UP WITH KENNY GILBERT & HIS
NEW RACE READY
HONDA AFRICA TWIN SPORTS
READERS RIDE: LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE
INTERVIEW: ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FAVOURITE SONS: GREG ALBERTYN
FEATURE: KING OF THE WHIP 2019
TESTED: LINHAI TRAIL BOSS 410
KYMCO BACK IN SA
2018 KTM 1090
ADVENTURE R WITH
Purchase a 2018 KTM 1090 Adventure R and receive an Akrapovic slip-on to the value of
R 16,281.10 free of charge. Limited stock available, promotion valid whilst stocks last.
Contact your nearest dealer or phone 011 462 7796 for more info. T‘s & C‘s apply.
EDITOR: ROLEY FOLEY
Here’s a true story!
A bike shop moved premises to a
bigger, better more modern store
- and one of the owner’s friends
wanted to send him fl owers for the
They arrived at the new business site
and the owner read the card, “Rest in
The owner was angry and called the
fl orist to complain.
After he had told the fl orist of the
obvious mistake and how angry he was, the
fl orist replied,
“Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather
than getting angry you should imagine this.
Somewhere there is a funeral taking place
today, and they have fl owers with a note
“Congratulations on your new location!’”
Have a great riding month and go and tell all
your friends to buy motorcycles!
CONTENTS: MARCH 2019
Office no (011) 979-5035
24: COVER STORY: KENNY GILBERT & HUSKY 450 30: FEATURE: KING OF THE WHIP 2019
38: TESTED: LINHAI TRAIL BOSS 410 42: READERS RIDE: 4 DAYS IN LESOTHO
CALL 011 979 5035 OR EMAIL
Digital or hard copy.
50: INTERVIEW: GREG ALBERTYN 58: TESTED: HONDA AFRICA TWIN SPORTS
2 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
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
DESIGNED TO TACKLE THE MOST GNARLY OFFROAD CONDITIONS
Little compares to the pure escape of riding off-road. Just you and your crew,
the sound of your bike idling and miles of single-track before you. This is freedom.
The all new Legion gear is designed for these epic off-road days. Start your journey
with gear that keeps you dry without sweating out, agile in tight single-track and
protected from the most rugged conditions. With a line of off-road outerwear,
jerseys, pants, gloves, and boots specifically designed to conquer the trails,
the only thing holding you back now is how far you’re willing to go.
Jacky, Steph. Terence, Pauline, Stuart and Mercia at the post Dakar event hosted by Motul, taken by Carli Smith ZCMC
Motul hosts post Dakar Rally evening
The innovative bunch from Motul SA hosted a behind
the scenes Dakar Q and A evening at their Offices in
Kyalami with Red-Lined Motoring Adventure Team,
represented by Dakar veteran Terence Marsh and
motorcyclist Stuart Gregory, who both competed in
Dakar 2019 with Motul as a sponsor.
Marsh’s Red-Lined team hosted 3 cars at this year’s
Dakar for drivers from all over the world while Gregory
competed in the toughest motorcycle category in the
race, the Original by Motul class. The purpose of the
evening was to allow customers, partners and media
to get behind the scenes details and find out more
about what it takes to compete in the Dakar Rally.
After a brief introduction by Motul’s Area Manager for
Eastern and Southern Africa, Mercia Jansen, the floor
was opened to all who got a fascinating insight into
the strength of mind, body and character it takes to
compete in the world’s most iconic rally event.
From the way ASO (who also organize the Tour De
France) run the Dakar to the costs involved for both
car and bike participation, everyone was captivated
by the tales of hardship and endurance these
Guys it was really interesting. What we see on TV
and in the media is fluff really. Both Marsh and
Gregory gave a lot of info that is not really for general
consumption. The fact that the event was run in only
one country made the logistics simpler, but it made
the race tougher because competitors had to race
the same tracks that had already been churned up on
the way out.
Why one country this year?
Each participating country has to pay ASO a
significant amount for the privilege of hosting the
event – and some could/would not foot the bill.
Interesting is the comment that there are two distinct
races – one for the pro teams – and the other is for
privateers. The top guys come through on 6th gear
pinned – and then, a few hours later the privateers
wobble through in second and third gear, just trying
to stay upright.
Joey Evans catches up with fans and friends at the Motul Dakar
event taken by Carli Smith ZCMC
The toilets are “dodgy” to say the least and require a
gas mask in the morning. Sleep is an absolute luxury
if you are a privateer – the pro’s have air-conditioned
It’s cheaper to rent a bike to go racing than to build
a special and ship it there to do the race. Renting
a genuine rallye machine gives you a bike that is
capable of winning – homebuilds tend to break a lot
and they are worth not much when they get home…
After Gregory’s disappointing withdrawal from the
event due to engine failure (sand and Fesh-Fesh
worked its way into his KTM’s cylinder head), he
was quoted as not being interested in competing
in the Dakar again. However, Stuart concluded his
presentation at this event by confirming that he
is keen to head back to the Dakar Rally with the
intention of getting that finishers medal he so nearly
came home with.
His fundraising drive started immediately as he sold
the shirt off his back and offered his wife and kids up
for some Lobola.
Will the event come back to Africa?
The experienced hands are very doubtful.
And reasons include things like protecting the
environment and political instability. We do live in
A great evening was had by all and guests left
feeling inspired and having even more admiration for
the competitors of one of the toughest rally events
in the world.
To find out more about Stuart’s journey go to: https://
6 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
A whole lotta racing going on…
Geeezz ….. this year has gotten off to a busy start as far as race team launches go and it bodes well for the sport
and the industry as a whole. There is obviously a growing interest in dirtbikes and more people are getting into all
classes of racing and in most instances.
RADMoto Powered Riders
RADMoto announced the RADMoto powered
Riders for 2019. Sonsors include Powasol and TRP
Distributors, We wish each and every one of our riders
good luck for the year!
Luca Di Siena is the little pocket rocket on his 85SX.
Only 12 years old but already with 8 years of riding
experience he plans to take on the Impi Bronze next
year and has his eye on The Roof of Africa in 3 years
time. An absolute bundle of energy with an infectious
smile you can find him at his favourite riding spot De
Wildt with his Dad and brother.
Alessio Di Siena is RADMoto’s ninja on his KTM
85SX. He loves riding to spend time with his dad but
is an avid fan of all things bikes. An energetic kid with
the passion for two wheels he’ll be riding for us in the
Mountain Madalas 2019. Watch out Ertzburg though,
he has his sight set on the toughest 1 day Enduro
when he grows up.
Tristan Vermeulen on his 150 XCW 6 days is raw
power and talent. This 15 year old who’s already taller
than his Dad will race for the first time in 2019, looking
at the EWXC and Lowveld series to get ready for The
Roof of Africa. Perfectly placed with us and the more
experienced riders, Tristan loves motorcycling and his
dad James and RADmoto are excited to see this youth
reach his dream.
Rob Gibbon is an all round nice guy, and a man with
so much talent on a motorcycle. Rob will be riding as
a RAD Ambassodor for 2019. His goal is to race the
Dakar 2020 having completed the Kalahari Rally this
year. His motto is Saddle time and will be competing
in a number of races and events in 2019 to have
him ready for the toughest bike Rally in the world.
If you would like to support him he is on facebook,
Warren Barwell has raced 12 Roof of Africa’s, 3
Romaniacs and to many others to mention within his
34 years of riding. Warren will be racing under the
RADMoto umbrella as well as promoting BB cars
Autobody shop. Having just taken a 2nd place in Silver
at The Roof 2018, we are excited to have Warren
in our paddock. A talent on the bike with skills over
the hardest of Enduro, Warren is aiming for EWXC,
Lowveld and his 13th year of Roof of Africa.
RADMoto, Powasol and TRP have extended their
assistance to the Just Kids Racing team. This
team is an amazing initiative and can be found at
most dirt bike races. They are the first to assist
another rider on and off the track and exemplify the
spirit of motorcycling. Damien Johnson and Steve
Pretorius, who’s sons race on the team, head up
this multi branded team that promotes the youth of
today for the racers of tomorrow. @JustKidsRacing
Luca Warren Tristan
Corner Rivonia and Witkoppen Road, Witkoppen Rd, Sandton
Phone: 011 234 5007 Email: email@example.com
8 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
The 21 strong rider line up and their Personal Trainer, who just loves her little daffodils.
Team MCA Holeshot
First off the mark was MCA Holeshot Husqvarna
team, quite possibly one of the biggest teams around
at 21 riders and bikes, ranging from the little 65cc
juniors riders through to the Pro’s on the big 450’s and
etc. All the riders are very well accomplished with a
multitude of podiums and championships to each of
their names, way too many to mention but you better
believe they are going to be a force to be reckoned
with this year on all fronts of racing particularly with the
support they have from the sponsors.
You know a team is special when a list of sponsors
willingly put their hands in their pockets in these
interesting times to get behind them, and you had
better believe that running a race team is not a cheap
affair. Grant Smith, head honcho at MCA, is the main
sponsor along with the De Rapper family who run
Holeshot Motorcycles in Boksburg and Husqvarna
Motorcycles. Other heavy hitters from the motorcycle
industry include Motul with AMP, Promotion Products/
Bridgestone and Henderson Racing Products. We
wish them a great 2019 racing season.
Fred Fensham, boss man
at Husqvarna SA, who is
a big supporter of off road
racing in SA
Gareth de Rapper from
Grant Smith, boss man
at MCA one of the main
sponsors of the 21 rider
Kenny Gilbert, Husqvarva
& Pepson Plastics team
member and Dakar racer
The team and their sponsors
10 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
DON’T PAY AN ARM AND A LEG FOR VEHICLE BRANDING!
GIVE US A CALL!
Bike Tyre Warehouse Team launch
We bombed across town to Fourways for the Bike
Tyre Warehouse team launch at the Petrol Heads
Village just off Witkoppen rd. Once again Husqvarna
is in the mix, with a good showing of KTM’s and
Yamaha’s. This is a tyre sponsor with Metzler & Pirelli
really getting behind the BTW team who have big
names like Travis Teasdale on Metzler tyres riding
under their banner. The team as a whole also have
way too many accolades to their names to mention
and are all extremely well respected within the racing
community, making this a very exciting race season
to follow. Bruce De Kok, (Bike Tyre Warehouse), and
the rest of the guys behind the Petrol Heads Village
put together an awesome evening with no expense
spared on the fantastic catering, promo girls, Photo
ops with the team, Shred Betty’s gals, live bands like
Black Water and so much more.
It was really a festive affair and very much in line with
Bruce’s philosophy the biking must be fun. Metzler &
Pirelli sponsored tyres for the lucky draw, which were
won by Bianca Milligan and Wayne Boyes respectively.
Have fun boys n girls.
Bruce deKok (BTW) & Wyatt Ubsdell boss of
Bikewise (Pirelli) with Wayne Boyes, winner of the
Pirelli tyre combo lucky draw
Fred of Husqvarna in serious discussion with
Steve & Wayne of Metzler
Paulo from Arai really enjoyed the evening...
Ryan Shapiro (Race Shop) tuning Bruce the odds
Steve and Bianca with Travis Teasdale
Steve Theron (TI AutoMetzler) & Bianca Milligan
winner of the Metzler tyre combo lucky draw
The Metzeler crew...
12 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
One happy family...
Husqvarna’s 2019 race team unleashed
In typical Husqvarna style, we were invited to a
really cool presentation where we were introduced
to the national race teams. It was awesome to see
that some of their athletes have recovered – and
both Taki and Brett will be on the start line for the
first races of the season.
The Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing off-road
team has some huge experience in the form of
Kenny Gilbert, Taki Bogages and Iain Pepper of
The Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing Enduro team
is represented by Brett Swanepoel, William Oosthuisen
and young Matthew Green.
MX is going to be so exciting this year with the Q4
Fuels Husqvarna racing team. Maddy Malan is joined
by Nick Adams who has just returned from a few
seasons abroad. Also in the team in the 85cc class is
the dynamite Neil van Der Vyfer who was not allowed
to bunk school in order to come to the launch…
Watch these guys in action through the 2019 season –
it’s going to be great!
Husqvarna’s Fred Fensham with MX legent and avid
motorcycle industry supporter Jim Tarrantino.
Fred with Iain Pepper.
Fred and Liqui Molys Melicia.
Fred with Metzelers Steve Theron. Fred with Wayne Doran. Husqvarna’s Franziska Brandl.
14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
BUI LT T O GO
A S FA R A S Y
DAR E T O TA
A SMART APPROACH
Delivering unrivalled versatility, the TE 300i harnesses
the perfect balance of power and lightweight agility. With
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 lig
weight – letting you easily TE explore 300i 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.
FREESTATE - Husqvarna Central, Bloemfontein – (051) 430 1237
Holeshot Motorcycles, Boksburg – (011) 823-5830 Coming Soon – Husqvarna West
Belville (021) 945 8019
EASTERN CAPE - Auto Motorcycles, Port Elizabeth – (041) 581 1699
MPUMALANGA - Vans Husqvarna, Middleburg – (013) 282 0766
Honda Wing West Rand Signs
Wesley Du Plooy - a rider to watch.
24 year old Wesley Du Plooy has been riding since he
was 9 years old. He and his big brother Francois, owner
of The Graveyard Motocross Track, have been racing
together from day one and competition between the two
has never ceased.
In 2013, Wes had his best result, a 3rd in the National
MX2 class. Some injuries kept him sidelined and in 2015
he had the opportunity to do a few months of training at
Club MX in the USA. 2016 was his best racing season.
Unfortunately a broken femur, after a great 2017 PE
National, kept him from reaching his goals, but he was
determined to make it in this sport he loves so much.
In November 2018, he picked up a new bike just in
time to train with Ryan Hughes at The Graveyard in
preparation for the next racing season.
With his determination and great attitude, Weso has set
his sights on the 2019 MX1 Motocross Championship
and knows that consistency will be the key to achieve
In January, Honda Wing West Rand contacted him
to ride for them as a sponsored rider. He received his
Honda CRF450 just a few days before the King of The
Whip competition and he wowwed the crowd with his
Wes works full time as a graphic designer, but his
weekends are dedicated to his love for motocross. We
look forward to seeing him get back into that smooth
style of racing and having fun on the Honda.
Look out for the #226 at the Nationals.
It’s awesome to See Honda at the races again.
look out for the west Rand branding at the races. Go
and say “Huzzit” to Alec and the team from Honda Wing
West Rand. (011) 675-3222
Dream Adventure Motorcycles
- for all your Adv bike needs
Out in Montana, Pretoria North, just off Sefako
Makghato Drive, (old Zambezi drive), quite close
to the toll gates off the N1 is a serious Adventure
bike specialist workshop run by the extremely
experienced duo of Jono Musgrave and Mark
Dickinson, (Highly qualified and extremely
experienced BMW Motorrad Master Technician
- and also on the winning team of last years GS
They have a super tidy and incredibly well kitted
out professional workshop and handle a most
of the work themselves. they do anything and
everything from a puncture repair or basic service
all the way through to a complete engine rebuilds
on any motorcycle as well as accident repairs,
insurance jobs, restorations and everything in
They also buy broken and dead used BMW bikes
and break them down into good used spares and
to re-sell. So if you have one that you want to sell,
give them a call and if you need good used parts
give them a call again.
Chill out in their customer lounge, play a bit of
pool while waiting for your tyres to be fitted, ( they
have a wide range of tyres), or bike to be serviced
or have a bit of a wander their accessories
department. The vibe in the shop is welcoming,
friendly, relaxed and professional.
084 440 9110 or 081 436 9777 info@
16 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
A.S.A.P. Racing now Sherco
This well-known and busy shop in Pineslopes Centre,
just behind Monte Casino off Witkoppen rd and below
the Pineslopes Spar has just recently become an official
Sherco dealer, stocking new bikes, accessories and
parts for the entire Sherco range.
They also have a fully kitted out professional workshop
that tackle anything from a quick bike wash to a
complete engine rebuild and everything in between.
Bruce and his enthusiastic staff are always quick with a
smile, excellent advice and really good service.
The launch of the Sherco brand in their dealership was
a chilled out casual affair on a wet highveld summers
afternoon but nevertheless was reasonably well
attended by a bunch of real off road enthusiasts who
were all incredibly excited about this French brand.
Give them a call on (011) 465 7129, drop them a mail on
firstname.lastname@example.org or pop in at 2 Pineslopes,
Phase 2, cnr Forest rd & Sunset Blvd, Fourways.
18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
360° TURBINE TECHNOLOGY:
REDUCES UP TO 30% OF HEAD IMPACT AT
REDUCES UP TO 40% OF ROTATIONAL
ACCELERATION TO HEAD AND BRAIN
COMPOUND SHELL IN
GPX 3.5 HELMET
THE SCIENCE OF SAFETY IN A NUTSHELL!
360° Turbine brain rotation and concussion reduction
technology. Lightweight. Crammed with decades of
knowledge, safety, science and finished off with a great
price tag. The Thrill within reach of all!
Funnel web air filters back in SA:
Imported by Bike Worx in Pinetown
Bike Worx is a motorcycle service centre and showroom
in Pinetown, Kwazulu-Natal. They sell new and used
motorcycles, motorcycle gear and motorcycle parts. We
do full services on all types of dirt bikes, including bike
wash, filter wash and oil, chain lube and general checkups.
They are also authorised dealers for Sherco.
They have also recently become the official importers
for the Australian range of funnel web air filters.
We’ve featured these pyramid Foam filters before: They
claim that the profile cut foam effectively doubles the
filters external surface area, without increasing the filters
original size, enabling it to trap and hold far more dust
on the outer surface. This means more protection to the
engine while maintaining optimal air flow and extending
filter service intervals.
Most Funnel Web Filter seals are constructed from
injection moulded urethane for a lasting, precise fit on
the filter support frame and the inside of the air box.
A cool innovation and they
do last a long time.
Trade enquiries are
Rodney: 073 075
2363 Kevin: 062
Oxfords new Continental
Advanced Jacket and Pants
This new 3-layer jacket is highly versatile and
can be an all day, every day 4-season jacket.
Comprising of a highly ventilated outer jacket,
a detachable waterproof liner and a removable
thermal liner, it can be used in hot, cold and wet
The Continental Jacket is built using the Modular
Layering Construction, meaning it is perfect for
wearing in all weather conditions.
The jacket incorporates Oxford’s new tech,
WarmDry Thermal tech which keep the rider
warm in the coldest of weather. The waterproof
liner is created with Oxfords Dry2Dry technology
which is used in Oxford’s more famous Rain Seal
wet weather gear.
Designed to match the jacket perfectly, the
Continental pants use all the same technology
as the jacket. Tough and reliable, the pants have
huge box pockets and detachable braces for that
Highly versatile all day, every day 4-season pants.
Comprised of a highly ventilated outer pant, with
detachable waterproof and thermal liners, so it can
be used in hot, cold and wet weather conditions.
Available at dealers www.dmd.co.za for your
Desert Fox Fuel Cell: Extra 6
litres of fuel on demand
Reading about the boys on their Lesotho adventure
in this here magazine, we figured that every
adventurer should own a Fuel cell. It is a 6L flexible
Fuel Cell that easily folds away when not required.
Developed specifically for long distance bike
touring, it eliminates the need for heavy and bulky
jerry fuel cans. We gots a couple, leak free smell
free too handy! Local is lekker.
Only 700 bucks. Beats pushing!
20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
PURCHASE A BRAND NEW
2018 YAMAHA YZ250F
AND RECEIVE A HOOVER
YOU SAVE R14,200!
Including bLU cRU pack!
T-shirt • Yamalube Care Pack • bLU cRU Sticker Pack
www.yamaha.co.za · Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa · Instagram: @yamahasouthafrica · YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA
Email: email@example.com • Valid while stocks last! E&OE.
Great magazine our family cannot
wait to get it every month - nothing
beats the smell and feel of a fresh
We all ride older bikes but we can
drool every month. By the time your
mag has been through the family it
looks a bit worse for wear - but we
have almost the full collection and
we refer back to them all the time.
We love the international stuff - like
the news piece you did on Yamaha’s
new WR450. In that story you guys
said full local test soon. Are the
bikes here? When will we see a
local report? same with the new 790
KTM... It’s always great to get a local
take on the bikes on the market.
And what’s with the 700 Tenere? You
have teased us with that for a few
Regards and thanks for such a -
as you guys say “Lekker!”, local
The De Beer family, Polokwane
We never get letters - but here are three for the month of March. Thanks you lot!
Ed. Hi guys,
Thanks for the “Lekker” letter.
The New WR is in South Africa - on
dealer floors and as soon as a demo
model becomes available, we’ll grab
it and take it for a spin.
We are off to the 790 launch in
Morocco soon, so it won’t be a local
feature but it will be a local riding it in
another spot on the globe - so that
should be pretty cool.
After the initial launch, we also
promised a real adventure feature
on BMW’s new GS lineup - we
are waiting for them to revert with
Yamaha has teased everyone with
that bike - it has taken them a long
time to develop a bike that should
sell like hotcakes. It’s probably going
to be quite something when it hits
the showrooms. The latest news is
that we might see it towards the end
of 2020. Here is the latest that we
Yamaha has officially confirmed
production of the long-awaited 700
Ténéré adventure motorcycle. But
before you grab that box of cash
squirreled away under your box
spring and sprint in the direction of
your local Yamaha dealership—it
will not arrive in US dealerships until
the second half of 2020. Production
for the US models will take place in
Japan, while the European models
(that means the models for South
Africa), will be manufactured in
France. Yamaha cites differing
government regulatory standards
for the split production and 2020
release. So the wait continues,
These things take time... but watch
this space... we will keep you posted!
Great Dealer service:
Glenn we often moan and groan when things
go wrong, but sometimes thanks are due.
Please would you publish this:
Thank you Big Boy Scooters and Polaris Agent
I took my used Polaris RZR 800 to them for a
check-up and service before going on a 500 km
trip when many things went wrong with the motor,
I could not complete the trip…did about 200km
On my return I took it back to them, they told
me that they would sort it out at their cost. Once
the Motor was open they found that there was a
blockage in one of the oil feeds to the big end so
a new crank was needed with various other parts.
They very kindly said they would pay the labour
and I would pay for parts.
Thank you again for sorting my problem… Grant
in Workshop and owner Conrad.
It is running 100% and I am very happy
CTi Knee braces Impress:
Hey guys – I have seen the ad for CTi knee Braces
in your mag and I want to share my experience.
In December on one of the outrides, I miss
-stepped and twisted my leg – as you do
sometimes. I have never used knee braces and it
was pretty painful. You wait for things to recover but
even climbing in and out of the car was quite sore…
I went to the doc and he referred me to a specialist.
There are four major ligaments in your knees – and
it turned out that I had stretched the one on the
outside of the knee. He explained that your knee
stays uncomfortable because you automatically try
to compensate which puts strain on the rest of your
knee. The doc recommended a knee brace and
made an appointment for a fitting.
The lady who came to check my legs out was very
professional – she measured everything up and
laughed at my bandy legs. The doc sent a note to
Discovery and they authorised the manufacture. I
could even choose the colour and design.
Two weeks later, the braces arrived and I fitted
them. Initially they were – not uncomfortable, but
annoying – like wearing a neck brace until you get
used to it. I wore them constantly for two weeks –
and my knee started to feel better.
The brace takes up the slack of the injured ligament
and allows it to heal.
Now I use them for Gym, or when I run or ride. I
don’t feel them any longer and – I kind of wish I’d
started wearing them sooner as a preventative
The braces come with multiple adjustments
and a variety of pads – you fit bigger, more
bulky, protective pads for riding than you would
doing gym for example – and your normal knee
movement is not impaired – they merely stop your
knee from twisting and impacts.
Very professional, great turnaround time – and the
results are pretty impressive. What amazed me was
that medical aid covered the cost – it comes out of
your savings, but the fact that I could claim it was
pretty cool – because to buy a set is not a cheap
exercise. But money worth spending for sure.
CTi braces provide a combination of stabilization
and protection of the knee joint. These custommade
brace uses Accutrac® hinges with extension
stops to glide with the knee and breathable liners
coated with bio-inert Össur Sensil Silicone to
reduce migration and skin irritation. Reversible fieldserviceable
buckles and trimmable straps facilitate
fast adjustments and customized fit. CTi custom
braces are available in 3 models — Vapor, Standard
and Pro Sport — and can be further customized
with a variety of options, colors, designs and/or
• For knee conditions that may benefit from
increased AP and ML stability around the knee,
such as: ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL, rotary and
• Vapor model for low to medium impact levels.
• Standard model for medium to high impact levels.
• Pro Sport model for highest impact levels.
More info: www.cti-brace.co.za
22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
R2 950 RRP
• CE Approved shoulder and
•Combination of 600D Polyester,
500D Nylon and ventilating 330D
•Twin inner layer in high abrasion
risk areas at shoulder and elbow
•Large number of storage pockets
•Extensive use of 3D ventilated
•PALM: Nubuck cow-hide
•OUTER: Waxed cow-hide
•PU Knuckle Protector
•Wrist cuff adjuster
•Ventilated mesh fabric
R1 875 RRP
•Combination of 600D Polyester,
500D Nylon and ventilating 330D
•Twin inner layer in high abrasion
risk areas at knees and seat
•Jeans style front pockets
•Zip to connect matching jacket
•Extensive use of 3D ventilated
www.dmd.co.za ∙ 011 792 7691 ∙ firstname.lastname@example.org
24 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
A QUICK CATCH UP WITH KENNY GILBERT.
33 year old Kenny Gilbert is one of the fastest men in South Africa. At the time we did this
feature, he was fresh back from Dakar and recovered from his broken ribs. Yup! He came in
in the Dakar top 20 with broken ribs – tough guy for sure.
We had a little chat with him about his Dakar experience – you can see the interview on our
facebook page: www.facebook.com/dirtandtrail – and he freely admits that, despite thinking
that he was really well prepared – he wasn’t. “Another level of toughness!” – his words – and
this from a man who raced the toughest Roof Of Africa to date just a few years ago.
We’ve often wondered about Dakar – I
mean how difficult is it really? Lots of
sand sure – but the rest of it looks pretty
cool – Ok you can keep the Fesh-Fesh
thanks. It’s not just the toughness of the
ride – that is nowhere near the technicality
of something like Roof – it’s totally different.
The unrelenting distance, speed, navigation
and mental “Vasbyt” is what makes Dakar
This year Kenny will be competing in
the national off-road series on his 450
Husqvarna. We met him for a little ride –
and had a look at what he does to his bike
that helps him to be so fast…
The bike is a Husqvarna 2019 FX450.
The FX450 is one of a crop of new dirt bikes
that are labeled for off-road but designed
for motocross. Luckily, it’s one of very few
that can do both.
The 2019 model has gone under the knife
just a bit with a new, lighter cylinder head,
greater swingarm travel, new traction
and launch control settings, new slimmer
bodywork…. And lots more but you can go
and look all of that up.
Kenny has left the engine and gearing
alone – reliability is key – and quite frankly,
the bike is plenty fast. He has opted to fit
an FMF pipe – sound great without being
obnoxious – and it allows the bike to rev a
bit more than the stock pipe.
Off the bat, we were interested to see
what Kenny had done to personalize the
bike – and that starts with some very trick
suspension. WP Cone Valve forks and
Trax shock absorber probably need no
introduction to many readers. These are the
forks and shock combination fitted to many
factory KTM and Husqvarna riders around
From Erzberg to AMA EnduroCross to
AORC to EnduroGP you will spot the top
riders with this suspension.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 25
BRAVE HEART: KENNY GILBERT
What makes it good?
The MXMA 4800 Cone Valve fork
permits almost limitless damping
performance thanks to a unique valving
system. The set-up of conventional
damping systems is a compromise
between comfort and bottoming
resistance. The Cone Valve technology
allows both factors to be controlled with
outstanding damping behavior in various
Made from highest quality materials and
coatings, the Cone Valve forks come
with harder and softer springs in the box
and can be customised for every rider
weight, riding style and conditions.
The BAVP 4618 Trax PDS Shock
Absorber are very innovative shock
absorbers. The compact Trax unit
improves rear wheel grip and has been
successfully implemented by factory
race teams to win titles.
The Trax system reduces the timeframe
after a bump when acceleration is
difficult due to slow rear wheel rebound.
The Trax system registers the wheel
is not in contact with the ground and
immediately opens an oil bypass to
allow faster rebound than a conventional
system. The Trax shock absorber
is available for PDS and link-type
suspension linkage systems.
Kenny reckons that with this setup for
hard enduro and rocks, the bike feels a
bit stiff, but this suspension really makes
a big difference when dealing with huge
hits on the MX track or when you land at
speed racing off-road.
Looking further – we noticed some very
trick looking factory triple clamps by X
– Trig – and the shock absorbing PHDS
and fix system.
The PHDS (Progressive Handlebar
Dampening System) is a system
supported by elastomers designed to
absorb engine and chassis vibrations.
The system also dampens the forces
acting on the handlebar in a horizontal
and vertical direction, maintaining
steering precision. The handlebar can be
adjusted in 12 different positions when
the PHDS is mounted. So it’s a bit like
riding with Flexx bars – just a whole lot
more compact. We are going to get us
some for all the rocks we ride.
Front brakes are by Moto Master –
available in the Husqvarna aftermarket
parts catalogue. Top of the line stuff for
26 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
D860 MAX- R75,999.00 (Hydraulic Tipper)
D860 STANDARD- R69,999.00
ALL LEVELS, 24-7
Introducing Big Boy’s low-maintenance, affordably priced commercial utility vehicles, ideal
for almost any utility application including farmwork, security patrols, golf course maintenance,
construction sites, forestry, game farms, rubbish collection, mines, airports, harbours, large
factories, rural deliveries - the possibilities are endless.
Visit www.samotorcycles.co.za for more info and specifications on the range.
VELOCITY 150 R13,699.00
VELOCITY 200 R16,999.00
(EXCLUDES DELIVERY BOX)
Contact Dirk for your Commercial Solutions: Tel: 011 794 6399 / e-mail: email@example.com
For the full scooter, motorcycle, ATV and commercial range visit: www.samotorcycles.co.za
IMPORTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY
UTILITY ATV 250
(WITH TIPPING LOAD BIN)
LOADER 200 R33,999.00
(ROAD LEGAL MODEL)
BOX LOADER 200
(ROAD LEGAL MODEL , EXCLUDES BRANDING)
2, 1000cc R179,999.00*
(2 & 4WD, HIGH & LOW RANGE, DIFF LOCK, TIPPING LOAD BIN)
Join Big Boy on
Prices include VAT and pre-delivery inspection only. Prices exclude licence, registration and any service costs unless specified. Prices are correct at the time of going to print and may
change without notice due to currency fluctuations or at dealers who are located in outer-lying areas. All advertised models are available at the time of going to print unless specified.
BBS D&T March_2019.indd 1
2019/02/07 12:35 PM
BRAVE HEART: KENNY GILBERT
At the time of this shoot - Kenny was
trying out the step seat – we’ve never
really paid much attention to them
before – but the theory is that the step
in the seat prevents your ass from
sliding back under hard acceleration.
To be fair when we rode the bike – we
expected it to be in the way – but you
don’t even notice the difference. Maybe
accelerating at Kennys pace will make a
difference. Looks pretty cool though.
The fact that he is not racing enduro
means that protective stuff is minimal
on the bike. No fancy brake guards,
or bash plates – minimal, lightweight,
functional. Acerbis frame protectors.
Kenny is running with standard Husky
brushguards - we asked why he has not
run wrap arounds – and his comment is
that they make the bars feel heavier.
Even the skid plate is standard.
Quick Ride impression:
The seat height on this 450 is lower than
on our 250. This is a big bonus for the
short legged peeps out there. We like
the spacy roomy feel of the bike, Kennys
setup suits our riding style properly.
Power is – as expected – well 450 – it
will go as fast as you want it to – zero to
28 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
BRAVE HEART: KENNY GILBERT
millions of MPH in half a second. How fast
would you like to go? Controlling all this
power is one of the main reasons that you
need to spend time on suspension and bike
Let’s be honest. Few riders can ride a
modern 450 at pace. They are so fast and
responsive – and quite frankly they can be
quite brutal. After watching Kenny hurling
the bike around at eye watering pace – we
set off at a somewhat more sedate pace.
Man this thing is strong – a perfect bike
for races with long fast sweeping turns or
desert racing. It feels surprisingly small and
compact and it turns beautifully.
The standard Husky suspension is very
good – but this trick stuff really is top of
the line. The bike tracks so true, turns on a
penny and absorbs the big hits beautifully. If
you are at the top of the race echelon, then
this is some of the stuff you should look
at – and find someone who can set it up
We’ll be borrowing this bike soon for a trip
into the Mkuze valley – that’s what this is
made for… fast, light, powerful.
It was great to catch up with Kenny.
Awesome to chat to him about his Dakar
adventure and listen to his plans for 2019.
He’s a very determined individual for sure,
with years of race experience under his
belt. Not only in South Africa – but with four
years in the USA racing the GNCC series.
A multiple SA champion in just about
every class, he is one of our sports great
ambassadors and a real example to the
younger up and coming riders out there.
Will he be hitting Dakar again?
He grins wryly – “Who knows what the
future holds – we have a few plans lined
up - but if I get my way – I’ll be back for
2020…” Watch this space!
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 29
Images by: ZC Marketing Consulting & Rich Sutherland
The King Of The Whip spectacle
seems to have evolved somewhat as
hordes of spectators ascended on
the track at Malibongwe… and were
treated to an afternoon of incredible
talent… If you’ve never seen it – make
sure that you get to next years event!
Yup – this year, along with most of our
MX heroes, almost the entire Jungle Rush
freestyle outfi t was there – along with
SA’s Godfather of freestyle “Sick Nick” de
Wit. The crowd was treated to a freestyle
extravaganza – along with some of the
biggest whips seen on SA soil.
22 of the country’s top riders battled it
out head-to-head for the three titles up for
grabs. Added to this year’s event saw the
FMX Best Trick categories in both right-sideup
and upside-down thrown into the mix.
The Judges, Brendan
Potter (FMX), Richie van der
Westhuizen (MX) and Brent Le Riche (Trails),
took style, amplitude and variation into
consideration and had the hard task of
eliminating riders into a 13 man semi-fi nal,
while the event host, Canada’s Matt Macduff
(professional Freestyle Mountain Bike rider)
kept the masses hyped up and informed
throughout the evening.
He talked a bit funny but was very
As the sun started to set, the lights came
on and it was time for the FMX Best Trick
Each rider had three jumps in which to
perform their best tricks, with the highest
scoring trick counting as the fi nal result.
Fans were one the edge of their seats as the
riders took to the air displaying an array of
Nobody could understand him
but Canada’s Matt Macduff
(professional Freestyle Mountain
Bike rider) kept the vibe going...
Some amazing talent.
Some famous Oakes were in the crowd...
Westsides Alec - now sponsoring Wes Du Plooy
The Motul team was there in force...
Sick Nick shows
why he is the
The Kokstar - back in action for the evening!
In the right-side-up division, it was Jacques
Human who took 3rd (TP Bar), Michael
Oystonin 2nd (Dead Body Shaolin) and Dallan
Goldman in 1st (One Handed Flat-Liner).
In the upside-down division, Dallan
narrowly edged out Nick de Wit’s Indy-Flip for
the win with his dialled Super-Flip.
Dallan also claimed the newly added FMX
Best Trick categories, while Scott Billet laid
claim to the crown and won the premier King
of the Whip Best Whip contest.
The King of the Whip semi-finals then took
to the night air.
It was the last chance for the riders to
impress the judges by throwing their biggest
whips in the hope of qualifying into the seven
rider final. An insane display of whip styles and
variations were witnessed throughout the jam
session, which could best be described as 15
minutes of adrenaline-fuelled mayhem!
Riders who impressed the judges the most
and secured their spots in the final were Camz
Odendaal(MX), Maddy Malan(MX), Scott
Billett(FMX), Dylan Mostert (MX), the two event
new-comers – Joshua Mlimi(MX) and David
Canning(MX), and none other than last year’s
King of the Whip, Dallan Goldman(FMX).
Malan - always
Each rider was given five last jumps to throw out their biggest
possible whips to claim the title. The display of style and variation
made for the most exciting and closely contested final yet.
Scott Billett put in all on the line and had one of the craziest
Turn-Down Whips we’ve ever seen to lay claim to the crown
and the title of ‘King of the Whip’ 2019 by dethroning Dallan
Goldman, who finished in a close 2nd place.
Joshua Mlimi was on form all night long and rounded off the
podium in 3rd place.
Each rider took home their share of the R40 000 cash prize.
King of the Whip organiser, LW Mags Ryan van der Spuy
said, “I’m almost at a loss for words – what an insane show!
This event just keeps growing bigger and better, and is worth
every second of time and effort that goes into making King of
the Whip happen. This event is for the riders and to see how
much they stepped up their game this year was a privilege to
witness. Thank you to our event partners and everyone involved
behind-the-scenes in making this all possible, and of course, last
but not least, thank you to the thousands of fans that came out
to support and enjoy the organised chaos”.
What a show! See you there next year Feb…
Scott Billet on point...
This is Linhai’s replacement for the venerable
Rebel of which hundreds have been sold
into the South African market. Experience
has taught that Linhai is a pretty decent, well
established brand with strong presence in SA
and excellent parts and service backup.
We took one for a trundle.
“Guys, this unit is sold – please take it easy!”
That was the directive from Smith mining, the importers of this brand. So we
did and we used it for its intended purpose with a li’l ride from our offices into
the surrounding farmlands.
It is clear to us that Linhai has developed this as an entry level workhorse. Their
experience shows in the way that they have built this side by side. We’ll bullet
form all the features – it makes for easier reading.
• Roomy interior. Even for big oafs like our Sean – 7 and-a - bit feet tall. Comfy
and easy to climb in and out of.
• Bench seat. 3 occupants – so mom, dad and lightie can take off to visit the
• Seatbelts and nets – safety for just in case.
• Cubby for your cell phone and wallet.
• Easy operation: Forward, reverse, low range, high range, diff lock – all switch
actuated and automatic.
• Roomy load bed rated to carry 150KG’s of load.
• Big wheels with beefy tyres for traversing rough farm roads or dongas.
• 352cc fuel injected engine geared more towards torque than speed. Your
farmhand won’t be doing wheelies and donuts.
• Independent suspension all round.
• Disc brakes all round.
• The roof is standard so you won’t get sunburnt on your pip.
38 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 3 9
L I N H A I 4 0 0 W O R K H O R S E
Our shortish ride took us through the mealie fields out to visit
our neighbour’s cows. We played around at the river crossing
– and then spent a bit of time at the big donga near our spot.
This is a versatile little machine with decent torque, good
ground clearance and a smooth ride. We tested the torque
climbing up the steep hill near our spot when you actuate
the 4wd system – the engine is willing and delivers sufficient
torque for day to day use.
As a leisure vehicle – take your time and enjoy the scenery
– we saw a maximum speed of 50KPH with one passenger
and a bit of a downhill but 40KPH was a more comfy cruising
speed, so the nature of this one is a comfortable little
R109995. Guys in todays language that is exceptionally
affordable. Less than the price of most modern dirtbikes – and
on a par with a very well used farm bakkie. The advantage is
that it is smaller than a Toyota Hilux and with its big wheels it
makes mincemeat of shortcuts through the veld.
Available at linhai dealers:
011 284 2037 firstname.lastname@example.org
40 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
READERS RIDE: LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
Lesotho is one of the coolest places on the planet for anyone who rides a motorcycle. This
mad lot from Bloemfontein remind us why we love it so much… the pics do tell the story…
42 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
We do these rides on a regular basis and
the basic idea is to ride unknown and untested
new “twee-spoor” and goat paths as
far as possible. After spending many, many
hours on Google earth a basic idea of the
trip was formulated along these lines:
Day 1: Ladybrand to Katse dam (new
unknown “twee spoor” and riverbed
sections close to Pitseng)
Day 2: Katse to Matatielle (Village Chief’s
new northern road, new technical section
close to Thaba Theka and Matebeng pass)
Day 3: Matatielle to Malealea (Ongeluksnek
pass and new “twee-spoor” sections close
Day 4: Malealea to Ladybrand (unknown
goat path and “twee-spoor” section just
north of Ramabanta)
Nico de Jager (Bitblade) Husky 701
Steve Lubbe (171Steve) KTM990
Pieter Lourens (Twister) red Africa Twin
Pieter Laubscher (Losper) white Africa Twin
Cruising out of Bloemfontien in the early
morning it wasn’t too long before we
crossed into Lesotho at Peka bridge just
outside Ficksburg and got onto the gravel
just after the border. We found two lekker
river crossings but the third one was way
too deep and we had to back track to find
an alternative route over the river to get
back onto the track.
At Hlotse we found a cool little local spaza
shop that sold possibly the best ‘slap tjips’
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 43
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
we had eaten all day. From there we discovered an
unknown “twee spoor” path and followed some new
adventures for about 30kays, we then found a semi
dry river bed and this is where the real fun started. We
criss-crossed the river about 15 times over the next
5km. It was fairly tricky at some places, the river was up
to 500mm deep with extremely slippery rocks and that
made the progress extremely interesting but quite slow.
We had to get out of the river bed at some stage and we
started looking for new challenges. We noticed a path
going up very steep uphill.
Ha! …… it was more like a 2 metre wide “super tube”
with lots of loose rocks about 50 meters long. This was
the most hectic section of the day and we had to wrestle
the bikes up one by one, having to use tow ropes to
drag the bike up with brute force and ignorance in some
places. That made us flippin’ tired and thirsty, so we
stumbled in to our overnights digs at Katse Lodge where
we had the best chicken schnitzel ever.
We refilled the bikes at the shop in Katse village, (No
Engen 1 Stop’s or Shell Ultra City’s here), and headed
for a gravel road called “Village chief north new”. This
road is a great “twee spoor” with the usual stunning
Lesotho scenery, (an exceptionally beautiful country by
any measure), and a few shallow river crossings. We had
a lot of rain the previous night and at some places the
mud became great fun.
44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 45
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
Closer to Thaba Theka the road was
completely washed away in a couple
of sections and we had to get through
lekker technical rocky sections. Just
when we thought the technical sections
were behind us the “road” started going
down towards the orange river and this
is where the shit hit the fan.
The road turned into a clay battlefield
and our front wheels completely jammed
up with mud, we had to remove the front
fenders on the Africa Twins and the 990
and it took up approx 2 hours to cover
the 1km distance.
We eventually got to Thaba Theka
and collapsed into our beds at the
Motherland guesthouse after a welldeserved
The next morning we dragged our tired
bodies out of bed and after a quick
breakfast hit the road from Thaba Theka
to Bob Phillips camping ground. The
road is a stunning gravel highway with
some of the most gorgeous scenery we
had ever seen. We made a quick stop
to get something to eat at the camping
ground, where one of our group, Nico
(Bitblade) forgot his brand new Bum bag
with rain coat and other “expensive”
tools and stuff. The 10km section north
of Matebeng leading up to the summit
was seriously washed away and it
kept us very busy for a while. When
we reached the summit we checked
46 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 47
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
the weather forecast and saw that the next day
would have rain for most of the time. We decided
to take the A3 gravel road and discovered
a great unknown “twee spoor” shortcut to
Qachas-nek where we managed to refuel.
Fortunately the last bit of the day was tar to
Ramabanta because we hit a helluva rainstorm.
Freezing our nuts off which eventually rolled into
Ramabanta around seven that evening.
The next morning we asked around and found
out that we might be able to get fuel at the local
police station, (like I said, fuel stations are few
and far between around here, which is all part
of the adventure) but it took us a while to find to
find the Cop shop only to find out that no fuel
was available. The plan was to do the unknown
gravel section between Ramabanta and the
airport but since we could not refuel we decided
to take the tar road back to Maseru via Roma.
We crossed back into South Africa at the Maseru
bridge at 2 pm Sunday afternoon.
Tired but elated and already discussing the next
What a beautiful place we live in…
48 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
LESOTHO FOUR DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE…
Pieter Laubscher (Losper), Steve Lubbe
(171Steve), Pieter Lourens(Twister),
Nico de Jager(Bitblade)
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 4 9
The original Dr Big. We
rode one of em long ago.
ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FAVOURITE SONS
There is only a short list of riders throughout motocross history that
have won both World Motocross Championships and U.S. AMA
National Championships, but even fewer have had to overcome the
adversity that Greg Albertyn did to get it done. Greg left South Africa
with a head full of dreams at seventeen years old, and before he was
done chasing those dreams, he had won the ultimate prize on every
continent he set foot on.
Greg shared his whole story—the triumphs, the struggles, the culture
shock, the missteps—from the early days in South Africa through retirement
in what may be one of the most extensive interviews with the legend known
as “Albee “to date.
This is not a short story, though. It is a three hour long trip down memory
lane with three time Motocross World Champion and one time AMA
Motocross Champion Greg Albertyn. We thought we’d share this with you lot!
Thanks for doing this, Greg. I wanted to talk about your career as a
whole, starting back in South Africa where you really paved the way for
South Africans like Tyla Rattray and Grant Langston. What was it like in the
beginning racing in South Africa?
Well, you know, growing up in South Africa, motocross was definitely
small compared to the international scene, but it was a pretty decent-sized
sport in South Africa, and we got into it purely because we just loved riding
motor bikes. Within a few weeks, we were racing, and it actually grew
considerably in the ‘80s. It was rather big, and we had quite a few Americans
come over and race over there like Rex Staten and Jim Tarantino—who is
actually still down there—and Larry Wasick and Brian Myerscough. Each of
the manufacturers had to have one representative, so it got very competitive
and definitely raised the level of the sport in South Africa.
What was the racing like? Was it a national level?
Well, we didn’t really have - it wasn’t segregated into amateurs and pros.
There were probably a handful of guys that were actually making money as
a pro, but we would do the whole national series, the 80ccs that I was racing
at the time and the 100s. There was a 12-race series all throughout South
Africa, and everybody would go. Everybody would compete from whatever
age they were all the way through the quote “pros.” It was definitely the four
All the racing action brought to you by
GREG ALBERTYN INTERVIEW
Americans that were making money and maybe
there were one or two South Africans that were
making money and getting paid to race.
Who were the South African guys that you looked
up to that you raced with back then?
I’m not sure of many of them that you’ve heard of,
but there was Brett Redman; I know he came and
did quite a few races over here, maybe even tried
to race Anaheim once or twice. Then there were
guys like Karl Prestwood who went to Europe, Colin
Dugmore who is still in Europe and, then, Robbie
Herring who’s probably one of the fastest guys. He
ended up in England.
At what point did you think that you could get out
of South Africa and actually make a living racing
You know, it was probably when I was - I’d have to
say—13 or 14. That’s when it really started to hit me
that if I carried on the path that I was going on that
I may have the speed and the ability to compete
and to compete internationally. You know, Mark
Johnson, who was the Team Green guy, he came
over in ’85 with a bunch of riders. That’s when
Jeff Matiasevich came over, Tyson Vohland, who
else? There were a few of them, and he actually
watched me ride and was like, “Yeah, you definitely
have some talent.” So it was at that period where I
realized that potentially something could happen,
but you know, it’s a big jump between potentially
and making it happen.
So what was it that finally got you to make the
Well, at that point, I turned pro, so my folks had a
tough decision. Do they let me finish my very last
year of high school and wait till I’m 18 to go over, or
do we go pro at 17?
We went to just test the waters out. I went over
at the end of 1989 and did a few supercross races in
Europe: Maastricht in Holland, Paris, Bercy, Geneva
Supercross—things like that. And I did pretty well.
You know, nobody knew who the heck I was, and
everybody was asking who this South Africa kid
was. We’d come to realize that - wow, we may be
on to something here. Then there was the local bike
dealership in Belgium that supported me for those
four races. They said they would like to help me out
with some of the GPs and stuff like that. So that’s
when I went back for my first full season in Europe. I
was 17, and I moved there in 1990.
That had to have been a huge deal. Did your folks
go with you or any family, or did you just grab gear
bag and go?
My folks weren’t with me for a while and, to be
honest, that was probably the toughest two
years of my life that I’ve ever experienced. It was
very, very hard. You know, getting on a plane in
Johannesburg and saying goodbye to family,
friends, not knowing what lay out there, not
knowing when I’m going to see them again, and
then all of the sudden you get to Europe and there’s
this massive culture shock, weather shock—I
mean, just everything. It was very, very tough to get
the cream to rise to the top.
So when did you start doing really well in Europe?
I mean, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I can
Well, I got over there in 1990 which was a rude
awakening being the best in South Africa. You
know, I’m winning consistently every week and
then all of the sudden now I’m one of 25 guys that
can go just as fast. And the first GP I ever entered,
I think I finished like 20th or something overall. The
second one was in Holland, and Bobby Moore and
I were actually battling and I think I got 4th or 5th
overall in my second GP. Then in the third Grand
Prix, I broke my navicular and missed the whole
rest of the season. So at the end of 1990, I actually
went back to South Africa humiliated, tail between
my legs, coming back with nothing. I mean, I had
nothing. And man, we just came back. It was
December in South Africa, and I was just going,
“Lord, what the heck do you have for me? I don’t
know what the plan is.” And the next minute, this
fax comes through. It was from Jan De Groot, the
owner of the JHK team in Holland, and he liked
what he saw in Holland because it was a sand
track and, you know, I was this young kid that he’d
never seen before and I ended up getting 5th at the
GP. He needed somebody to come and compete
in the Dutch National Championship. Being a
Dutch-based team, he wanted somebody to win
the Dutch Championship and give all the Dutch
sponsors what they were looking for.
That had to be huge for you.
Yeah, so from having nothing, nothing, nothing to
all of the sudden having a mechanic, a truck paid
for, actually a ten-thousand Dutch guilder salary. I
mean, I just thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.
From having nothing and all of your dreams
shattered to, wow, you’ve been given a breath of
fresh air and a fresh opportunity.
So did you win the Dutch national title on that first
You know, I’d have to—maybe you can do this—go
back and look at the storybooks. I don’t remember.
I may have, but typical Dutch, we had some
conflict, and because I was not a Dutch citizen the
first year I won it, the Dutch challenged it maybe
two or three times. I can’t remember. But the first
year that I won it, they didn’t actually award me
with the title because I wasn’t Dutch, which is kind
of weird, but then after the next couple of years,
they did. I think I may have won it in ’91, but I can’t
How many national titles did you win in South Africa
before you left?
5 National titles there - you know, all sort of amateur
type stuff all the way from 80ccs.
Yeah. Is there a lot of sand in South Africa?
You know, we definitely had some sand tracks.
There weren’t a ton, but there were some sand
tracks. I enjoyed sand, and we had some sand
quarries I used to go play riding in and stuff like
that. But yeah, once you get to Belgium and
Holland, that’s all there is. You get a baptism by fire
where that’s all there is to ride; it’s just sand.
So you go on and you win the 125 World
Championship in ’92. Was that a surprise for you, or
at that point, were you just rolling in confidence and
thought you could do it?
No, not at all. I mean, I got my first GP podium
ever in ’91, and I think I podiumed like three or four
times. And then, it was actually the last race of the
year in Japan at Suzuka circuit, I was leading and
actually pulling away. I ended up crashing, but for
the first time ever, I realized, “Wow, I actually have
All the racing action brought to you by
what it takes.” So for the very first GP of ’92, I was
racing with John Vanderburg and Dave Strijbos—
and these guys were both World Champions - and
I ended up going and winning the overall at the first
GP of ’92. And at that point, I knew, “Okay, now I
know I can do it.”
Yeah, I mean you beat some huge competition
in Dave Strijbos and Pedro Tragter. They were
no slouches, so you had to kind of take them by
Yeah, I mean, absolutely. Both Strijbos and
Vanderburg were world champions, and obviously,
Tragter was very solid. So yeah, there was some
serious competition. The only guy that wasn’t there
was [Stefan] Everts; he had moved up to 250s at
What was the decision-maker to move up to 250s so
quickly after winning your first world title? Was that
No, not at all. Ironically for me, I’ve always - once
I’ve accomplished one thing - I want to move on
to the next. I admire and respect these guys that
can go year after year after year wanting to win the
same title over and over again. For me personally,
that’s just not my character. Once I’ve achieved
something, I’m looking for the next thing. I don’t
know why. That’s just me. So once I was World
Champion on the 125s - the 250s for that following
year became the premier class. Before that it was
always the 500s and the FIM took a change of
direction because, I think, they had stopped or were
slowing down on making 500cc bikes, so they then
made the 250s the premier class, and I wanted that
challenge. A lot of the 500 guys were coming down,
a lot of the 125 guys were going up.
How were you received in the 250 class? This
South African kid coming in and taking it to Donnie
Schmidt and Stefan Everts and the boys?
Well, I don’t think anybody thought I was a threat
at all. Nobody thought I would jump straight from
the 125s and dominate the 250s. I mean, they just
didn’t. In the ’92/’93 era, there were three motos,
25 minutes plus two laps giving us three races over
thirty minutes. You had to be extremely fit. The very
first moto of the year, I ended up finishing third or
fourth. I came in to contact with Ian [Harrison] - at
this point, Ian was working for me. I had no front
brake the whole race; the mounting was wrong
so it kept hitting the bolt. I told Ian, “If you fix this
thing, I know I can win it.” And the rest is history. ’93
was by far my most dominant, best season of my
career. I mean, I just killed it.
What was that feeling like—I mean, if you can give it
to me—winning the premier World Championship in
your rookie year? If you could bottle that feeling, I’m
sure I would buy a case.
I mean, there are very few words that can describe
it, but you are on top of the world; there’s no better
feeling. I could look left and look right down the
starting line and just know that I was going to kick
everybody’s ass, and it was more a mental thing
than a physical thing. I mean, it’s funny, I’m not a
head games player, but I had those guys so wound
up that I just dominated them after the first two
races. Mentally, they were worked.
Yeah, I could imagine how they felt. I couldn’t
imagine being an outsider in a level like the World
Championships and having that kind of feeling of
knowing that I’m the best in the world today. It had
to be intense.
Yeah, you know, it’s a feeling that I’ve never
experienced in anything else in life. I mean, I’ve
made real estate deals where I’ve taken a cheque
to the bank for a million and a half dollars in one
cheque, and let me tell you, it does not compare to
standing on top of the podium and knowing that
you’ve kicked everybody’s butt. You’re on top of the
world. There are very few feelings in the world that
also match that.
You were the very first South African champion,
Yeah, I was the first from the African continent ever
to win a World Championship, totally. And you
know, I think that’s part of why I was so hated in
Europe. I mean, Everts came from this motocross
pedigree. His dad raced, five-time world champion.
He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, full
factory ride by the time he was seventeen. I mean,
he was just expected to dominate. And then this
young punk from another country with a massive,
cocky little attitude comes and smokes him. I
mean, they hated me. They absolutely hated me.
(Laughs) I can imagine. Going back a little bit, how
did you and Ian Harrison, your mechanic, hook up in
Well, Ian used to race. Ian and his brother raced
in South Africa, and we actually became friends in
’87. You know, he used to ask my dad for some
jetting advice and stuff like that, and we became
friends and started hanging out. He had graduated
high school and was actually working for one of the
local municipalities becoming a diesel mechanic.
And just being as lonely as I was in Europe and as
hard as it was, I longed for some friendship. At that
point, I was like “Hey”—I mean, he always worked
on his own bikes so I was like, “Hey, do you want
to come over with me?” After two years in Europe,
he came over with me in ’92, and I think within ten
days of being there, he was ready to pack his bags
and head back. I mean, his eyes were just wide
open, and he couldn’t believe how miserable and
tough it was.
All the racing action brought to you by
GREG ALBERTYN INTERVIEW
Do you think having the comfort of a good friend
from back home was a big catalyst to what you
accomplished in ’92 and ’93?
It certainly helped, but I was so focused on the
mission and the goal that, Lord willing, I think I
would have accomplished it anyway because there
was no turning back for me. I was on a mission,
but I mean, it certainly helped. And, you know,
to this day, he’s still my best friend. We’ve forged
such a huge bond and relationship. He’s been a big
blessing in my life.
He’s got to owe you a debt of gratitude big time. He
has earned it all, obviously, from when he got here,
but his individual accomplishments since leaving
South Africa—to work with you and then continuing
on with Roger DeCoster and Team Suzuki and now
with Red Bull/KTM—is an incredible story in itself.
Yeah, I’m very, very proud of him. You know, he’s
always behind the scenes and never really gets
the credit that he deserves, but yeah, starting out
as a diesel mechanic in a local little municipality to
becoming almost the right-hand man to one of the
top teams in the world. Trust me, he deserves every
bit of credit he gets and then some because he’s so
diligent and works so hard.
Yeah. And that Honda you rode in ’93—you weren’t a
full factory-backed team at that time, correct?
Not at all. We were just a little Dutch-based team,
and the owner of the team was a great engine
tuner. I mean, he was very, very good at that, but I
think we got one crank or maybe two cranks and a
little bit of suspension, but that was it. That was all
we got from Honda.
(Laughs) Here’s a crank and some forks. Now go win
a World Championship, kid.
So you were about twenty at that point, correct?
Correct. Yeah, exactly.
What brought you to Suzuki in ’94? Was that a
precursor to your trip to America, go to Suzuki and
then they’ll bring you here?
No, I actually ended up on Suzuki by default. I
had just won the ’93 World Championship. I had
been in negotiations with Dave Arnold from Honda
to come over to the race in the States for the ’94
season, and he had actually sent me a preliminary
contract at the time for about—I actually still have
it—$350,000 for the ’94 season for Supercross and
motocross. It was very good money. We actually
agreed to meet at Suzuka circuit, the last GP of the
year, to go sign the agreement, make it all formal
and everything else. So I started telling my team
manager, “Listen, I’m heading to the States. It’s a
done deal. I’ve got an offer,” and everything else. In
Europe, the protocol used to be different than the
way it is now. You always waited for the top rider
sign his agreement, and then the next guys—the
second guy—would sign and then the third guy,
and it kind of went on down the list. There wasn’t
as much chopping and changing. Anyway, before I
even knew what happened, we go to Suzuka circuit
and Dave Arnold comes up to me white-faced, and
he says, “I’ve just been told by the Honda execs
that I’m not allowed to sign you. You guys are
racing in Europe. They’re not putting any money
into the program, and you guys are winning World
Championships. Why would they now pay you
to come and race with [Jeremy] McGrath who’s
already winning in the States when you guys are
winning World Championships for them there? So I
cannot do it.” And obviously at that point, I was just
like, “Holy smokes.” I went back to Jan [De Groot]
and I said, “Well, it looks like I’m going to be staying
in Europe another year. Let’s get this thing figured
out.” And he said, “Oh well, I’m sorry. I’ve just
signed Everts. It’s a done deal.” So at that point, I
was left without a ride. Now, of course, I’ve got to
figure something out.
We had two absolute gentlemen of the
sport—Michele Rinaldi and Sylvan Geboers—
both presented me with offers. They obviously
collaborated beforehand and both came in with the
exact same offer: whole gear, whole bike, whole
package deal. Unfortunately, it was with that crappy
Bieffe gear, but I had no choice; that was the deal.
So for ’94, I was stuck and ended up racing, really
in essence, on Everts’ bike in ’94. It certainly took
me a while to get it adjusted to my style.
Yeah, I was on Suzukis in ’94, so I definitely know
what you were dealing with, and I didn’t have the
factory-backing to make the thing work right.
Well, you probably were better off because they
were going in such the wrong direction that it was
frightening. I mean, it was really bad. (Laughs)
So you win the World title in ’94. When Sylvan signed
you to the Suzuki deal, was part of the deal that you
would head to the States in ’95?
That was not necessarily part of the deal. He
knew where I wanted to go, obviously, and we
would then try to start negotiating, but at that time,
Suzuki’s program in the States was a total disaster.
All the racing action brought to you by
I mean, they really didn’t have any sort of anything
solid. So part of my stipulation was that Roger
DeCoster had to become team manager. In July of
’94, Roger came to my apartment in Belgium. He
was doing some freelance stuff for some European
teams. I said, “Listen, I want to go to Suzuki, but
their program’s junk. Part of the thing is you need
to be there, and we need to have Ian as well.” At
that point, Roger’s deal got accepted, my deal got
accepted, and Ian came along. We made it happen.
And the rest is history. I had no idea that you had a
big part in Roger coming to Suzuki. What was your
main reason—I know Roger has done it all—but
what was your draw to him as a team manager?
Was it his R&D work, just his guidance?
Well, I’d known his reputation from Honda and
what he had done there. A man of his stature and
caliber—he sure knew what he was doing. Again,
we sort of collaborated, and at that point, I was like,
“I need you guys. I need you there because from
what I hear and what I see, they really don’t have a
That was probably true—and why they hadn’t won a
250cc national title since Kent Howerton in 1981.
I know it’s a little off track, but I always wanted to ask
you about hitting the deer at Des Nations. Wasn’t
that at the 1994 Motocross des Nation?
Yeah, so I have three incredible years. Before I’m
21, I win three World Championships back to back,
and then, it was like the pendulum swung the other
way right after I won the World Championship.
Leading Des Nations in ’94, I hit the deer. About
a week later, riding in South Africa, I break my
navicular, and literally from hitting that deer for
almost about a year and a half solid, I was injured.
It was just unbelievable. The pendulum just swung
exactly the other way.
At any point in ’94 were you like, “Man, maybe I
could just stay in Europe and been the man,” or was
it always, “I’m going to America and going to test
myself against the best?”
No, it was always that I was going. Again, it comes
back to never being content with repeating the
same victory over and over. For me, that just wasn’t
an option. In hindsight, looking back at my career,
would it have been a smarter option? Possibly.
(Laughs) I know for a fact that at that point I had
Everts totally, totally demoralized and dominated.
To trade teams with him and then still beat him—I
mean, he was just ruined, ruined. So in hindsight,
who knows what it would have done or anything,
but do I have any regrets? Absolutely not. My
goal was always to come over and be a national
supercross champion. Unfortunately, the only
thing that’s ever eluded me in my whole life is the
I’m surprised to hear that the supercross
championship was your ultimate goal. Was it just the
prestige of it all?
Well, all of it. You know, the prestige and everything
that surrounds it. Unfortunately for me, it just never
came naturally; it just was never easy, whereas
outdoors just suited me better.
So the navicular you broke in ’94, was that the same
navicular you had broken a couple of years earlier?
No, it was actually the other one. So then, I actually
got back on the bike about two weeks before the
Orlando Supercross and had some weird little crash
and dislocated my shoulder—but in the opposite
direction: downwards. Then, I separated the other
shoulder about six weeks later.
Then, a hard ankle sprain here and there.
(Laughs) At Troy, Ohio I didn’t even crash and broke
my other navicular. That one was broken and didn’t
heal, so I had to have a bone graph. I was in a
cast for six months. Now, it’s El Niño, and Suzuki
didn’t have a supercross track at that point, so I’m
riding in the hills trying to practice for supercross,
the muddy sloppy hills. And I dislocate the same
shoulder exactly a year to the day later in the same
unique way, upwards instead of downwards. Then
I pulled all the ligaments in my ankle about three
weeks later in the San Diego Supercross. It was just
a never ending string of injuries. It was incredible.
Yeah, I agree. It was hard to watch at times. Some
thought that maybe your drive to succeed hurt you
because you would return too fast from some of the
injuries. Do you think there may have been some
truth to that?
I think definitely. My personality is “lay it all on the
line.” If you’re in fifth place and you want to get to
first, just do it. But yeah, it was unwise and over
eagerness in a lot of ways. I always made sure I
was healthy before I came back, but I would simply
ride over my head, simple as that.
Well, other than the injuries when you first got into
AMA Supercross, you definitely showed you had the
speed to compete at the front in motocross. In your
first AMA Motocross at Gatorback, you went right to
the front, won a moto and, if not for a mechanical,
would have probably had the overall.
Yeah, I would have won the O/A, but my wheel
That was probably one of 10,000 wheels that have
collapsed at that track. That place was brutal on
wheels back then, but right off the bat, you showed
you would be a contender outdoors. How were you
received by the riders when you first got here?
Well, everyone was looking at me in my day-glo
Bieffe gear, and they were laughing, and then they
got pissed when they saw me in front of them.
(Laughs) I think nobody really thought I was a
serious threat. Unfortunately, nobody in the States
ever saw me at my best. I only really had one good
year out of five or six. So yeah, nobody here saw
me at my best.
You don’t give yourself enough credit. (Laughs) 1998
was a good year too, if only you could have gotten in
front of Henry off the line.
Yeah, in ‘98 I won the 250cc Championship, and
Doug Henry won Championship for the 400’s.
(Laughs) He must have holeshotted twelve, maybe
fifteen motos on that beast in ‘98.
96% of the motos. You’re right. (Laughs) Nah, but
he deserved it. He rode very well, but that was
definitely a good bike.
Let’s go back a little bit to 1996 and your first-ever
AMA National win at Unadilla. How was that? Was
that a top of the mountain feeling or a just a big step
on the way to the top?
No, that was just one of those little spurts of hope
where you’re like, “I think I can still do it. Maybe
I can still do it.” I mean, after a year and a half of
injuries—people don’t realize that as a professional
athlete, when you’re injured it is way more mentally
demoralizing than physically. You can come back
from any physical injury, but mentally it’s tough.
Your competition is charging forward confidencewise,
ability-wise and everything, and you’ve
All the racing action brought to you by
GREG ALBERTYN INTERVIEW
Dan Lamb did the
gone backwards. And your mind plays games on
you. For me to come back and pull myself out of
that downward spiral was probably the greatest
challenge I’ve ever faced.
And that came on what was arguably the worst
bike on the track: the 1996 RM 250. I’m not sure I
can say arguably; there is probably at least one guy
somewhere that loved it. (Laughs)
The ‘96 bike was probably the worst bike I ever
rode. I’m not kidding you. Ian and those guys laugh
about that bike. That thing was pushing out 41 to
43 horsepower. Now, the 250Fs are pushing out
way more than that. We were racing against [Jeff]
Emig and them on their Kawis, and they were
pushing out 50 plus horsepower. It was so far off, it
So in the end—in comparison to most of your early
years in the U.S. at least—you were relatively injuryfree
for 1996, right?
Well, in supercross I was injured and then relatively
well, I think, compared to other years, but I came
into the outdoor season hurt. I definitely had some
issues. The only season in my whole U.S. career
that I was actually healthy going into the Nationals
In 1997, you ended up with Jeremy McGrath on your
team when he went to Suzuki. I know MC was a
fierce competitor, but what was it like to be on the
It was great, excellent! He definitely elevated my
supercross riding skills. I think that was the best
supercross season I ever had. I won once, had five
podiums and ended up finishing fifth in the series.
That was fifth in a very stacked class, as well.
Yeah, there was a lot of talent. I think even [Damon]
Bradshaw was back then. Then you had [Mike]
Kiedrowski, [Mike] Larocco, Jimmy Button, Michel
Pichon; it was stacked alright. That’s for sure. It
was good, though. He brought so much press and
notoriety to the team. I definitely benefited from it,
Yeah, you mentioned that you won a supercross
in 1998. What was it like to win the Los Angeles
Supercross after all you had gone through to get
Incredible, especially with coming through the
period I just had. It was just mind blowing. (Laughs)
I think if people had to put odds on that race,
I probably would have been a hundred to one
against winning it. But no, it was absolutely mind
blowing. To have that monkey off my back, as they
say, was just huge, huge, huge.
Yeah, it was fun to watch, and looking back, if any
supercross—other than Daytona—suited you, it was
Los Angeles that year.
Yeah, I look back at videos now, and I think, “My
gosh, how slow are we going?” It’s just crazy, but it
was absolutely epic. No question about it.
Let’s move on to your year: 1999. We talked earlier
about how bad 1996 was, but in contrast, the 1999
RM 250 was their best bike, to me at least. I really
liked the ‘99.
I wouldn’t go that far, but I think it was a steady
progress. From Roger and Ian getting there in ‘95,
it was a big step backwards in ‘96 and, then, slowly
built forward and forward. I would say the ‘99 bike
was just good enough to win the Championship.
When you look back at how many times [Kevin]
Windham holeshotted, he should have won that
Championship without question.
I would say the best bike Suzuki ever made was
2002–03. That bike was just incredible.
So you win the 1999 250cc AMA National
Championship with pure consistency. You only won
three overalls, correct?
Yeah, I think it was three overalls, but I missed
the overall like three or four times by one point.
I’d go 3-1 and somebody else would go 2-1, or
something like that. I missed it so many times, but
yeah, it was definitely consistency that paid off.
How were you able to overcome the four stroke
advantage that year?
I think, thankfully, that Henry was sort of in retirement
mode at that point. He wasn’t as hot and focused as
he was previously. If you remember, his results were
definitely not as solid as they were the year before.
Windham, Lusk and Tortelli, I mean, we battled in I
don’t know how many races. It was tough.
After only winning two overalls throughout the year,
you went out at and smoked everyone for the overall
at the final round at Steel City. Was it a big deal to
win the last one and show you were the Champ?
No, not at all. No, I’ve never been like that where
you have to win the race to show your dominance.
You win the Championship, and that’s what goes
down in the history books. I’ve always done the
best that I can on any given day and moto. When
things click, they click, and that was one of those
days that things clicked.
It’s all about the Championship, baby! (Laughs)
That’s what matters. (Laughs)
So you got it done. How did the 1999 AMA 250cc
National Championship compare to all your World
Championships and other accomplishments?
It was! Oh, man! It was a much, much deeper
satisfaction. 1992 was probably the highest of
the high. To be a total unknown entity and to go
over and actually win the World Championship…
unbelievable, the first person out of South Africa
in I don’t know how many that had tried. That
was probably the highest of the high that I could
ever experience. To know that I could go back to
Johannesburg airport and see all my friends and
bring the title back was the most exhilarating,
euphoric feeling you can imagine. 1999 was much
more of a deep satisfaction like, “Man, I knew I
could do it. I knew I could.” Everybody had written
me off at that point. They thought, “He’s never
going to do it.” So to do it with all the work at
reversing that downward spiral, it was tough. Don’t
get me wrong; to win a championship anywhere is
difficult, but Americans mostly win championships
in America. It’s their home country and what they’ve
grown up with. You try to go from one continent
to another and win a championship. Then go to
another continent and win a national championship
on a continent that is not your home. You have no
family supporting you, no country support; you’re
always an outsider. To try and overcome that is
much harder than most people can imagine.
All the racing action brought to you by
GREG ALBERTYN INTERVIEW
I cannot even imagine. You have won it all and
won it all over the world. Was winning the AMA
Championship the top of the mountain and time to
start looking towards retirement, or were you ready
for more championships when the femur break
started pushing you that way?
No, I was 110% ready to defend my title. I
absolutely wanted to do that. I came into the
1999 U.S. open and almost won that, but Emig
won it. I went over to Japan, and I won the Tokyo
Supercross. Things started coming together. I
was like, “Alright, 2000 is my year for supercross.”
I was going to do my absolute best to win the
Championship in supercross and then defend the
title outdoors. Then, I broke my femur, but I was
still ready to defend my outdoor title. I was back on
the bike after seven weeks. Then at Glen Helen, in
eleven weeks, I finished fourth. Then at Hangtown,
I tore my ACL without crashing, hyper extended
my knee. Then I get to Mount Morris and it’s a
mud bath. I get a bad start and crash about four
times. With such slop, it was a total disaster out
there. But then I pull off the track. My mechanic
is like, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Why are
you pulling off?” For the first time in my entire life,
I couldn’t say what was wrong and why I’d pulled
off. I just kind of looked at him and said, “I’m over
it.” There was nothing wrong with my bike, I mean,
other than grips full of mud and everything else,
but I’d never pulled off the track ever unless there
was either something physically wrong with me or
with my bike. And that was the starting point. I just
realized that I’d put in such a huge effort - I mean,
everything I ever had - to come back from that
downward spiral to actually win the Championship
and now that I’d won it, you know, now still to break
my femur, tear my ACL - it’s like, “I’m over it. I don’t
think I can give it 100% anymore. I’m tired,” you
know. I was still willing to give it 80%, but for me,
why give anything 80%? If you’re going to do it, do
Yeah. I still can’t believe that you tore your ACL
and decided to go race a mud race, but with your
mentality, I can see how pulling off was a huge blow.
Yeah, I’d never done that in, you know, twenty
something years of racing. I’d never done that. So
for me it was like, wow. That just got the ball rolling,
and it was a very difficult, but quick downward
spiral from then. I just realized I was over it.
How pumped was Suzuki on winning a national
championship after, wasn’t it, twenty years?
Yeah, it was 18 years since Barnett had won it. I
mean, they were super, super pumped. And you
know one of the things that I’m proud of is as soon
as I’d made my decision, I let Suzuki know. You
know, I’d just signed a two year deal with them for
the 2000-01 season. I was making more money
than I’d ever made in my whole career. I mean, all in
it was probably about a million-five per year. And I
just wanted to make sure they weren’t left without a
solid rider. In a way, if you can’t give it 100%, you’re
robbing your sponsors. And I’d never be willing to
race for 80%. So I let them know early on, “I need
you to release me out of my contract because I just
think it’s not fair on you guys.” So they were then
able to get Windham for 2001.
That’s incredible. Your million-five was guaranteed, I
assume too. In hindsight, you could have just ridden
around in 2001 and made your money.
Yeah, I mean some of it was maybe performancebased,
but certainly a million-two of it was
Yeah, that’s integrity that you don’t see much
I appreciate it.
You retired in 2001. How was that? Was the
Also probably one of the toughest things in my
life. You see it over and over and over again when
athletes retire. They have such a hard time, you
know, figuring out what they’re going to do. I
mean, you lose your identity. Since you were a
kid, that’s all you’ve ever done, and now all of the
sudden, that’s not you anymore. You’re only as
good as your last race, and now your last race
was two weeks ago, a month ago, six weeks ago.
People quickly forget you. So no, it was a very, very
difficult transition, and thankfully, you know, God
has been my rock and that’s where my foundation
is as opposed to fame and fortune and stardom.
That’s definitely helped me get through. There’s no
question about it.
Yeah, it’s got to be rough. You did make a couple of
appearances after that. I think it was ’03; didn’t you
do a Glen Helen national, or did you do anything
Yeah, you’re right. It was just total one-off stuff, but
nothing in a large scale way like “I’m back!” Nothing
like that. It was purely one-off stuff.
When did you have your first kid? Was that while you
were still racing or after retirement?
No, it was long after retirement. I had my first kid
In ’04, you went back to South Africa and were
awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award? That
had to be a big deal.
It was awesome, I mean, definitely very gratifying. It
certainly felt really good.
Did you ever think of going back to South Africa, or
was your plan always to remain in the States?
You know, I always thought before I got married that
I’d definitely go back to South Africa. I have a very
close family, and everybody’s back there. I thought,
yeah for sure. But you know, you get involved, and
my wife’s American. And then next minute you’re in
business and you’ve got all these things going on.
So no, I’ve never actually gone back.
This was recorded back in 2012. Thank you to
Greg for giving us the whole story.
Dirt & Tr
All the racing action brought to you by
SECRET WEAPON #1
IN RIDING FITNESS
EFFECTIVE CORE CONDITIONING
YOUR CORE is the center of your body including your abdominal area, your sides,
lower and middle back, your buttocks and your hips. YOUR CORE rotates the body,
gives it momentum to move in any direction and maintains balance.
WHEN THE CORE IS STRONG, THE BODY IS STRONG!
THE AUTHORITY IN
FOR DIRT BIKES
Contact us NOW at: email@example.com | 082-461-1443
il ad 2 A6.indd 1 2019/02/14 15:11
58 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS
The bikes are here and on showroom floors
– but to date we have not been able to get
our mitts onto one for a local test.
Honda has an amazing new model lineup –
and just about no bikes for the press to ride.
Luckily we have friends abroad and Nathan
Millward, who we met on the world launch of
the AT, sent us his impressions.
The moment we can get one from Honda,
we’ll take it for a local ride.
The Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin has been a runaway success
since its launch at the start of 2016. It arrived at the right
price, with the right name on the tank and with the necessary
differentiation from the king of adventure bikes (whether you like
it or not), the BMW R1200 GS.
A few grumbled about the small tank range, and with room for
improvements in other areas – and as a result, the Africa Twin
Adventure Sports has been born. Honda effectively ‘supersized’
everything about the standard bike from fuel tank, screen
size, chunkier aluminium bash plate, heated grips as standard
and a lift in suspension of 20mm all round. The result is a bike
that is taller, more visually striking and arguably more suited to
long distance travel and adventure.
The special edition white/red/blue color scheme is a throwback
to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Africa Twin.
A white frame, gold wheels, magnesium engine cases—
the styling of this bike pulls on the heartstrings of Honda
enthusiasts like myself. Remember trying to keep your old XRs
or VFRs frames and wheels clean? It was tedious, but so worth
it! There are lots of little details to appreciate and the bike looks
just as stunning as it rides.
But has it become too big for its boots?
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 5 9
HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS
At R196 500 for the manual and R208 990 for the DCT, the
Adventure Sports costs a bit more than the regular Africa
Twin and feels like a good value upgrade. The bike supplied
for this test was the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Many will see value in the increased fuel range, tank size
increasing from 18.8 to 24.2-litres, with Honda also going
taller in the suspension with a 20mm increase front and rear
and speccing it nicely with heated grips as standard. Our
test bike was fitted with optional side-opening panniers
with the only other thing to really consider being the centre
stand, necessary for when fixing punctures on wheels that
are (sadly to some), still tubed.
It’s a lot less than a well specced BMW R1200 GSA, and
cheaper than KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure R, although for
that you do get an extra 65bhp…
The bike comes with a 2 yr warranty in SA and a 1 year
Honda roadside assistance. After the first 1000 KM service,
service intervals for the Africa Twin are every 12000 km.
Power and torque
An adventure bike with ‘only’ 94bhp seems a bit
underwhelming in this age of 150bhp competitors, but to be
honest the 998cc parallel twin of the Africa Twin feels much
stronger than its figures suggest. There’s a strong mid-range
torque right where you need it, with it only the rush to the top
end where it loses out to more powerful machines.
I liked that you don’t have to work the engine hard and
from memory the Africa Twin offers the kind of effortless
speed delivery that made the R1200 GS so popular. It
certainly didn’t feel noticeably slower than my old 2014
The soundtrack from the Africa Twin is muscular, although
arguably a little too much, especially at freeway cruising
speed, where the engine makes more noise than I would
have liked. It never really softens to a relaxed beat and
could get a bit tiring over long freeway distances. On the
flip side, you could say that it gives the bike more character
and certainly compliments the big brawny trail bike nature
of the bike.
60 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS
Engine, gearbox and exhaust
Honda supplied a DCT equipped model for
this feature. For anyone uninitiated, DCT
stands for Dual Clutch Transmission and
is similar to the dual clutch system you get
in some modern cars, in that it operates
both as a full automatic, switching gears
for you in either Drive or Sport mode, but
also giving you the option to manually
control the gears through the use of thumb
and forefinger toggles on the left hand
The benefit is that it offers lightening quick
- and smooth - gear changes and in the
case of the Africa Twin is claimed to make
life easier for the off-road novice, allowing
you to focus on the trail ahead rather than
having to worry about gear changes. For
the Adventure Sports the system adds 10
kilos to the kerb weight, bringing it to a total
It’s claimed that almost half of Africa Twins
sold now come with DCT, so the system
has certainly proven popular with many, (we
have met a few riders here in SA that have
traded in their bigger bikes for the DCT
Africa Twin because it is so much easier to
ride in Jo’burg traffic).
The concern for the Adventure Sports was
that with such a tall and relatively top-heavy
bike, the loss of that fine level of control you
need for slow speed manoeuvring stability
is lost, requiring a lot more finesse in the
throttle to meter in the power.
Things have improved massively over the
last few years however, with this latest
iteration of DCT much smoother and less
snatchy than when I rode a DCT equipped
standard Africa Twin on the launch in South
Africa a few years back.
Pick up is clean and linear, aided by the
new ride by wire throttle which is probably
the most natural and precise set up I’ve
tried on a bike in recent years. Sometimes
ride by wire can seem artificial (which it
is) and jerky. Honda has done a brilliant
job with this one and combined with the
latest generation DCT take off is smooth
and once rolling you can really feel the
connection between throttle and engine.
This is particularly useful off-road, where
pulling out of tight corners with the traction
control off you can work that throttle to
bring in a nice controllable rear end slide.
It’s the same when moderating the throttle
mid-corner on tight road turns, with a real
sense of precision through the throttle.
You also learn to work around the slow
speed manoeuvre issue, dragging the front
brake with your middle finger to harness the
bike, almost acting as reverse clutch slip.
This is the best technique I found for tight
u-turns and for negotiating slow speed offroad
obstacles. I also liked that there’s now
a lot less delay between starting the bike
and being able to engage Drive than there
used to be. It was only a second or so, but
it seemed like an age when you were in a
rush to get going and the bike needed a
moment to ready itself.
Given the choice I would still prefer the
manual. My brain doesn’t always want to
be in the same gear as the DCT puts me in,
and there’s something about not being in
charge of the gears with a clutch and lever
that seems to rob you (me at least) of some
connection with the bike, which I miss.
I’d also prefer the bike without the extra
10 kilos, or the extra cost, but DCT really
works for some, and in the instance of the
Adventure Sports, is the best it’s ever been.
If you’re thinking of DCT then try and get
an extended test ride. It can take a few
thousand kilometres to really dial into it, so
an hour or so just isn’t enough to conclude
whether it’s for you or not.
During the course of the three-day test,
covering a mixture of freeway, country &
town roads and trails, the Adventure Sports
averaged just over 21 kilometres per litre,
which I’d say was fairly respectable for this
type of bikes. A manual gearbox would
probably have upped that by a few digits,
while the 24.2 litre tank of the Adventure
Sports means that a 450 kilometre range is
just about achievable, although topping up
at 400 odd would give a nice safe margin.
62 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS
Handling, suspension, chassis and weight
Longer travel suspension is one of the selling points of
the Adventure Sports, although I’m not sure how many
customers asked for it. Standard seat height of 920mm is
far too lofty for the average person, with the standard seat
lowered to 900mm by way of the fiddly and imprecise
seat adjustment hooks. There’s also a lower seat and
mid height seat option, offering a reduction of 60mm and
30mm respectively at an additional cost of course!
At 5’10” I never felt comfortable on the Africa Twin at
stationary speeds, even on the 900mm seat height setting
and would certainly spec it with the mid seat option to
give it a more manageable 870mm seat height. It doesn’t
help that the new 24.2-litre fuel tank sits high on the bike,
especially in comparison to a bike like the 1090 Adventure
R which manages to carry its fuel much lower, lowering
the centre of gravity and making the bike feel more
manageable despite similar weights.
Once moving, the Africa Twin sheds its weight and becomes
instantly more manageable - well balanced even - the fully
adjustable longer travel suspension set on the soft side as
standard and meaning there’s a fair amount of pitch and dive
under acceleration and braking. The sensation of pitch is
accentuated by the thick soft foam seat, which compresses
under hard acceleration but only after compression of the
rear shock, meaning you get a double dose of pitch. It’s an
odd sensation to begin with.
This is a large trail bike suspension set up and the
compromise comes on the road. You can still make swift
progress and it’s quite nice to be on a bike not running
rock hard suspension, but you do lose a bit of feel and
accuracy through the Showa equipped front end. There’s
a touch of vagueness to get used to and even a little
pattering from the 21-inch front wheel when you start to
push on along bumpier Tarmac terrain. You could adjust
this out, but adjustment for preload, compression and
rebound damping takes some fathoming to get just right.
The easy adjustment of the BMW’s ESA unit would work
well on the Africa Twin.
The wide bars make the bike very easy to steer, tipping
into corners with no effort. They also suit off-road terrain
well. The setup of the bike really came into its own on the
dirt trails we rode on the test. You can’t deny the bike is
big, tall and heavy, and compared to the aforementioned
KTM 1090 it’s not half as sharp or responsive, but less
intimidating perhaps and well balanced. That throttle
response is perfect for small inputs and the long travel
suspension gobbles up rough terrain. The Adventure
Sports is definitely capable of covering ground quickly.
The brakes are a strong point on the Africa Twin, with twin
310mm discs and 4-piston calipers at the front offering
good feel and stopping force. Given the soft suspension
the bike does dive under braking, something you get
used to, and overall the brakes do a good job of stopping
the bike’s 253 kilo wet weight. The bike comes with ABS
as standard, with option to disable it on the rear wheel
only. For a bike of this nature – intended for dirt use – it
would be handy to be able to disengage the front as
well, as sometimes on loose surfaces ABS can struggle
to cope with heavier braking and leave you exposed to
overshooting the corner, or hitting the obstacle.
64 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS
On this DCT equipped bike, in place of
the clutch lever you get a parking brake
lever, positioned just out of reach of your
hand when on the grip. It’s a bit of a faff to
engage but thankfully easier to disengage.
With DCT in Sport mode, of which there
are three levels of Sport mode, you do get
a good chunk of engine braking, with the
downshifts metered by a slipper clutch to
give a loud gunshot-like boom as the bike
works down the gears on the approach to a
junction or tight corner.
You’ll either like that or you won’t. Most
Given the tall seat height there’s certainly
a lot of room in the leg, meaning less
pressure in the hip joint. The bars are nicely
placed and the bench seat comfortable for
half day rides. A full day in the saddle did
start to become uncomfortable. For sure
there’s plenty of foam in the bench seat,
but with no contouring you just start to get
that compression ache in your buttocks,
possibly remedied by a sheepskin seat
cover or Air Hawk.
The screen is 80mm taller than that on
the standard bike but seems to give a lot
of bluster around the shoulders. As for
carrying a pillion, there’s a big old pad on
the back, along with decent grab rails to
hang on to and newly designed passenger
pegs. Getting on and off given the height of
the bike might be the only thing to consider,
as unlike the rider’s seat, the pillion seat
isn’t height adjustable.
The Adventure Sports come well equipped.
On top of the standard bike you get a much
more protective aluminium sump guard,
engine bars as standard, heated grips, a
taller screen, the 30th anniversary colour
screen and a sturdy aluminium rear rack. It’s
a shame they couldn’t have added chunkier
foot pegs as that was one of the biggest
gripes of the original bike, with just not a big
enough platform for off-road riding. You also
must question the decision not to feature
cruise control, something that Honda
aficionado’s have been crying out for ever
since the original bike launched. Now with
ride by wire throttle you’d think it possible,
but possibly the reason for its omission is
that on the DCT equipped bike especially
there’s just no room left on the handlebar
Tubeless rims would also have been a good
upgrade – or at least an option - simply for
the convenience of fixing punctures.
The information screen has been
redesigned for this year, there’s a lot
going on there now, with most of the
data displayed at the same time making
it cluttered and hard to distinguish. You
also get quite a bit of glare from the sun
and from rain droplets that pool on the
screen. The control buttons on the left-hand
switchgear are a bit fiddly, with it hard to
see what you’re adjusting.
It makes me wish for the simplicity of
switches and dials and some of the new
touches such as being able to adjust engine
braking and power output seem a little
unnecessary. There are now three riding
modes (Tour, Urban and Gravel), 7 stages
of traction control, 4 levels of DCT, Gravel
mode, 3 power modes and 3 engine braking
On the DCT model especially it feels like
technology overload, reaching an off-road
section and not being sure whether to
change the riding mode, or traction control,
or engage G mode, or put DSG in manual
or turn ABS on or off.
For me at least it’s too much. It needs
simplifying somehow (or just more than
a three-day test to get used to), but at
least now the system retains its settings
when you kill the bike with the kill switch.
Previously you’d have to go through it all
again every time you stopped the engine.
Those issues aside, it feels like you’re
getting a lot of bike for the money, with
the sense of it being one of the best
value packages with the highest level of
equipment as standard.
2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure
In many ways the Adventure Sports
improves on the standard bike, and in a
few ways it doesn’t. The added fuel range
greatly improves its usability and visually the
Anniversary colours means the bike now
packs a lot more showroom appeal. The
addition of a proper aluminium sump guard
and sturdy rear rack are good additions for
adventure riders and make the bike more
practical for getting out and using on the
back and beyond.
Less positively the screen is bigger but not
necessarily better, and whilst the longer
travel suspension means it will hop even
bigger rocks, I can’t help but feel that it’s
gone a bit too far - too tall - and that most
owners of the stock bike would simply have
preferred the extra fuel tank but maintained
the standard ride and seat height.
I’m not sure it does much for the on-road
handling either. The new instrument panel
is hard to read and on DCT equipped
bikes you just get the sense that there’s
too much going on. It still then feels then
that the Africa Twin has potential for more
development to come.
That said, you can’t deny that this is a very
accomplished bike. It has a strong, grunty
engine, brilliant brakes and whilst there’s a
lot of roll in the corners and under braking,
you can make good swift progress on
this bike. It’s a bike that I would genuinely
consider taking on a long-extended trip. It
feels strong, it feels sturdy. It has a genuine
breadth of talent and for the last two years
the Africa Twin has proven to be reliable and
The bike isn’t perfectthough and it faces
some stiff competition.
Who’s it for? Surprisingly enough, it’s for
people like me. A dual-sport enthusiast
looking for an easy transition into adventure
bikes. A Honda fan who still keeps and
shows-off pictures of their trusty old XRs
they sold years ago.
Someone who appreciates balance,
reliability, and refinement over horsepower.
Three things I loved about the Africa
Twin Adventure Sports…
• Strong, muscular engine
• Great value. You get a lot of bike
for your money.
• Genuine off-road capability
Three things that I didn’t…
• Cluttered and hard to read
• Tall seat height
• Absence of cruise control and
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 65
D E A L E R V I S I T
OFF ROAD CYCLES.
1993, Sunnyside, Pretoria a straight
talking Conrad Koen with an
unquenchable passion for honesty,
excellent service and dirt bikes
made a life changing decision to
open a motorcycle workshop &
thus Off Road Cycles was born.
In 2008 he finally decided it was time to expand in to bigger, better
premises in Koedoespoort to offer the riding fraternity even more
service in his workshop, as well as a fully stocked accessory and
gear department. Along the way he has gathered some of the
most experienced and well respected staff the industry has to offer.
Mechanic Patrick Kasa has been with Conrad the longest at 15
years’ service and is a great asset to the workshop. Dave Human
has been Conrad’s right hand man and runs the shop in his absence.
Calvin Croft has been swinging spanners for 6 years and Sirk Young
is the pretty face that will sell you anything you want.
In 2016 Conrad developed bigger premises in Koedoespoort and
went about developing a purpose built, specialised shop. He now
has a dedicated suspension rebuild workshop, which looks like a
laboratory with all its special tools, oils and etc - and he has such a
good reputation that a lot of the dealers in Gauteng simply outsource
their suspension work to Conrad. He also has a professional engine
rebuild centre and complete electrical workshop that is up to any
task you can imagine.
The specialised workshops are completely separate from the general
workshop and Conrad himself does most of the work. Front of house
is a supremely well stocked parts, accessories and gear shop, if you
can’t find what you are looking for here …… then you don’t know
what you’re looking for or it doesn’t exist.
Recently Off Road Cycles has started converting the bigger capacity
(450/500cc) enduro bikes into lightweight extreme adventure
bikes, with long range tanks, full roadworthy kits, luggage racks,
more suitable tyres, changing gearing on the sprockets, sorting
the suspension to your needs, adding extra lighting if requested,
generally just making the bikes more suited for longer overland trips
without being the overweight ‘adventure’ bikes currently on offer on
This makes a whole lot of sense if you are keen on more extreme
adventure riding into the great unknown or just want to shoot out for
a quick overnight trip way off any beaten track.
If you have any form of dirt bike, MX bike, Scrambler, adventure
bike and are looking to get anything done, swing past 22 Blesbok
ave, Koedoespoort Industrial, Pretoria, or drop them a mail on info@
Phone (012) 333 6443.
Engine rebuild centre & electrical room
General workshop - very neat.
Pretoria’s top suspension centre.
Well stocked tyre fitment centre.
From a garage shop to an ultra modern motorcycle dealership.
66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
for QUALiTY team apparel
e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • 031 566-5628
• RACE SHIRTS • PIT SHIRTS • CYCLING KIT • CORPORATE CLOTHING • PRINT ADVERTISING
• BROCHURES AND FLYERS • LOGOS • CORPORATE STATIONERY • DECAL KIT DESIGN
• VEHICLE BRANDING • POINT-OF-SALE DESIGN • PACKAGING • SHOP SIGNAGE • RACE TEAM CONCEPTS
K Y M C O B A C K I N S A
KYMCO BACK IN SA!
Kymco is back in South Africa – imported
by Bidvest, the same guys who look after
the Yamaha brand. Cool huh! Their range of
scooters and ATV’s will soon be making their
way onto showroom floors all over the place.
This is great news! We know the Kymco brand
– we even visited their factory a few years ago.
A very professional setup in Taiwan This is
big news – a powerful, quality brand, properly
represented in South Africa… we were invited
along to have a quick preview of their quads
and Side By Sides.
Sean went along for the ride…
In a day and age where anything desirable comes with a pricetag, it
is refreshing to come across a quality product that is very desirable
but still affordable.
As the only truly dedicated Adventure & Off-Road bike magazine
in Southern Africa we got a very exclusive invitation from Yamaha
South Africa invite to the pre-launch ride of their new Kymco product
range. A product well known, well liked and well respected in the SA
market and, (finally), now imported, distributed and supported by a
strong, stable company that will only do the brand justice growing it
from strength to strength in southern Africa.
Ask anybody that has ever owned any of the Kymco products
and they will sing the brands praises as far as quality of build and
reliability is concerned.
Needless to say we were only too happy to accept the invitation.
On a sweltering Highveld summer afternoon with dark purple clouds
gathering on the distant horizon we headed up into the Magaliesberg
mountains onto quite a serious 4x4 route just outside Krugersdorp
with two brand new Kymco side x sides and two new Kymco quads.
UXT 700i 4x4 - Not dying, part 1
68 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
K Y M C O B A C K I N S A
At first glance they are all really very pretty,
even a bit familiar, sort of like seeing a
beautiful girl that you dated a while ago. I am
told the reason they seem vaguely familiar
is because they are built in the old Artic Cat
facility, a really good American brand that was
imported by Pro-Action back in the day.
The 4 model variants we had access to on
the day were the 2 side x sides, namely the
UXT 700i 4x4 and the UXV 450i 4x4, and the
two quads being the UXV 450 4x4 and MXU
Banging around the mountains, much of
which we had to walk out first and decide
how best not to die, each the machines did
themselves very proud, easily conquering
everything we threw at them. Unfortunately
the darkening clouds were no longer on the
distant horizon but suddenly pelting us with
big cool drops while we were scampering
back to the shelter of the clubhouse.
Like I mentioned, this was a quick pre-launch
ride cut short by a lekker Highveld summer
afternoon thunder shower, so we don’t have
much in the line of spec’s and so on. We’ll
bring you these after the official launch, but
here is what we do know:
Kymco UXT700i 4x4 Side x Side, quite
possibly the most surprising thing about this
vehicle is the price. Where all its competitors
are easily around the R300 to R400k mark
this is R169,950.00, (and a more agricultural
oriented unit for R149,950.00), which is
refreshingly good value for money considering
all the features:
· Big 12” mag wheels with chunky 26” tyres
· Push button 4wd/2wd with diff lock
· 700cc fuel injected motor with CVT
transmission, that has a fair amount bit of kick
· Fully independent suspension on all four
corners with decent ground clearance
· Storage for cell phones, camera’s and the
· Comfy bucket seats & a spacious cab
· Aggressively attractive grill/headlights/
bonnet scoops, paint and decals
· Rear view mirrors ( handier than you might
think), indicators & brake lights
UVX 450i 4x4 Side x Side, also very well
priced at R149,950.00 especially considering
most other options on the market are close
to or just over R200k. Not quite as feature
packed as the more sporty 700 but not
Spartan by any measure:
· 12” steel rims with nice meaty 25” tyres
· Push button 2wd/4wd
· Diff lock
· 450cc fuel injected motor with CVT
transmission, that is no slouch
· Fully independent suspension on all four
corners with decent ground clearance
· Storage for cell phones, camera’s and the like
· Comfy bench seat easily taking 3 adults & a
· Sturdy good looks
· Rear view mirrors ( handier than you might
think), indicators & brake lights
This, the smaller sibling of the 700 has a
narrower wheel base which we found to
be advantageous between the trees, in the
donga’s and negotiating the rocks. The tiny
turning circle also helped hugely getting
around tricky obstacles and quite cramped
spaces. We can’t really comment on top
speed on either vehicle as the terrain didn’t
allow for speed tests, but they certainly were
not slow and had oodles of torque climbing
up crazy gradients, rocks and the like.
We will bring you a more in depth and detailed
test once we have been on the official launch
Vat hom .... Fluffy
Hou my dop, check hierdie move
UVX 450i 4x4 - Not dying, part 2
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 69
K Y M C O B A C K I N S A
and spent a bit more time with both units, we’re hoping for a bit of a
long term demo so that we can truthfully comment on the longevity,
usability, service and parts back up, all of which we are expecting
to be impeccable considering the new importer/distributors current
reputation in the market.
MXU 450i 4x4 quad, priced at R104,950.00 which very good value
for money and feature packed, we didn’t have time to ride this quad
before rain interrupted play, but the guys that did ride it were well
impressed and even a bit surprised at its agility and capability. Here is
some of what it is kitted with that makes it so rideable and useable:
· 4 Wheel Independent Suspension
· Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
· Front and Rear Cargo Racks
· Multi-Function Digital Instrument Display
· Under Seat Storage
· Winch Mounting Plate
· 2″ Receiver Hitch
· Towing Capacity: 1050lbs
· CVT Automatic Transmission H-L-N-R-P W/ Engine Braking
· On-Demand 2WD/4WD With Differential Lock
· Linked Hydraulic Front and Rear Disc Brakes
MXU 250 2x4 quad, also very reasonably priced at R64,950.00
considering it is packed with features you would normally only
find on more expensive machines. The underdog on the ride and
handed off to the most junior, (age wise), rider on the day who was
moderately terrified to tackle some of the obstacles because he
mistakenly underestimated this little quad. Thus the most senior, ( the
bloke with the most life experience), got to show the young whipper
snappers up and cruised up and down some gnarly gradients strewn
with rocks, ( a picture says a thousand words).
Without a doubt a very good little quad.
That’s all for now folks! More news soon. In the interim www.kymco.
co.za for more info.
MXU 450i 4x4
70 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2019
IN STORES EVERY MONTH
TRAX TIPS & TRIX
KTM FORK SEAL MAINTENANCE
Periodic maintenance on your fork seals is important. (especially after a muddy ride)
1: Never point a pressure washer up onto
your fork dust seals when washing your
bike. This can force dirt up into the fork
seal and just ruin your day.
2: The forks needs to be lifted off the
ground by means of a paddock stand
or alternative, (in other words, get your
bike onto a bikelift). Then… very forking
carefully wedge a thin flat screwdriver in
between the dust seal and the outer fork
tube to loosen the dust cover, try not to
fork it up.
3: Slide the dust seal down on the fork tube
KOM MAAK N DRAAI,ONS PRAAT OOK ENGELS
Proudly Brought to you by:
4: Never point a pressure washer up onto
your fork dust seals when washing your
bike. This can force dirt up into the fork
seal and just ruin your day.
5: Clean the fork with water or a light
soapy solvent and a clean soft rag so you
don’t scratch the fork
6: Clean the fork tube the same way 7: You will now need your fork seal doctor
to clean the fork seal.
(Available at your local KTM dealer. Fits
most full size forks 45-55 mm)
8: Snap the fork doctor over the fork tube
with the “oil seal” mark pointing upwards.
9: Gently slide the fork doctor up into the fork seal while simultaneously turning it to the
right. Be careful not to force it up - as you might damage the fork seal
10: You might see dirt and a bit of oil
running down the fork doctor, nothing to
be too concerned about.
11: Make sure you clean the fork and dust cover properly.
12: Push the dust cover up, back in place. Make sure it is seated properly. Some
technicians prefer to apply a very thin layer of waterproof grease on the inside of the
13: Clean the fork tube 14: You are “ready to race” again.
Buy a JUST1 J32 helmet at R 2 750.00 and get a EKS
brand goggle worth R450.00 for free!
t’s & c’s apply. While stocks last. 012 111 0190
Dunlop Mousse Special
While stocks last!
Willow Rock Shopping Centre, Solomon Mahlangu Drive, Equestria,
Pretoria East LANDLINE: 012 111 0190 / 012 809 1670