Dirt and Trail March 2019


MARCH 2019


MARCH 2019 RSA R35.00


9 771815 337001












2018 KTM 1090



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.


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!




Glenn Foley



Rob Portman



Sinead Foley


Sean Hendley







Office no (011) 979-5035

(011) 979-0053


Kurt Beine

Richard Sutherland

Zygmund Brodalka

Byron Rudman

Kyle Lawrenson

Tristan Foley

Mike Wessels




CALL 011 979 5035 OR EMAIL


Digital or hard copy.



Piston and Gasket Sets

Cranks, Conrods and Camshafts

Cylinder Kits, Rebores, Main Bearings and Clutch Plates



no 4 Fifth avenue



011 425 1081/4


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.



Ricky carmichael

heath pinter


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

competitors experienced.

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

camper vans.

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

hope though.

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://



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: info@radmoto.co.za


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

Holeshot Motorcycles

Grant Smith, boss man

at MCA one of the main

sponsors of the 21 rider

strong team

Kenny Gilbert, Husqvarva

& Pepson Plastics team

member and Dakar racer

The team and their sponsors




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...


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

Pepson plastics.

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!

MX boys

Offroad boys

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.








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 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

his goals.

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

unique style.

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@



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

bikesales@asapracing.co.za or pop in at 2 Pineslopes,

Phase 2, cnr Forest rd & Sunset Blvd, Fourways.



















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

also welcome.

Rodney: 073 075

2363 Kevin: 062

364 3604

Oxfords new Continental

Advanced Jacket and Pants

Jacket: R5650

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

weather conditions.

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.

Pants: R4850

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

perfect fit.

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

nearest stockist.

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!




2018 YAMAHA YZ250F






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: garethd@yamaha.co.za • Valid while stocks last! E&OE.


Hi Guys

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


Nick Heering

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.


Sean Levy

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

combined instabilities.

• 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




R2 950 RRP

• CE Approved shoulder and

elbow armour

•Combination of 600D Polyester,

500D Nylon and ventilating 330D

mesh Polyester

•Twin inner layer in high abrasion

risk areas at shoulder and elbow

•Large number of storage pockets

•Extensive use of 3D ventilated

mesh panels


R675 RRP

•PALM: Nubuck cow-hide

•OUTER: Waxed cow-hide

•PU Knuckle Protector

•Palm sliders

•Wrist cuff adjuster

•Ventilated mesh fabric


R1 875 RRP

•Combination of 600D Polyester,

500D Nylon and ventilating 330D

mesh Polyester

•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

mesh panels


est. 1994

www.dmd.co.za ∙ 011 792 7691 ∙ sales@dmd.co.za





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

so special.

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

the globe.

From Erzberg to AMA EnduroCross to

AORC to EnduroGP you will spot the top

riders with this suspension.



What makes it good?

They say:

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

riding conditions.

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



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BBS D&T March_2019.indd 1

2019/02/07 12:35 PM


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



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!


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

death-defying manoeuvres.

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).

Huskys Maddy

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...



KTM 790





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.



L I N H A I 4 0 0 W O R K H O R S E

Ride/drive impressions.

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 linhai@smithpower.co.za




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…


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

to Mohaleshoek)

Day 4: Malealea to Ladybrand (unknown

goat path and “twee-spoor” section just

north of Ramabanta)

The riders:

Nico de Jager (Bitblade) Husky 701

Steve Lubbe (171Steve) KTM990

Pieter Lourens (Twister) red Africa Twin

Pieter Laubscher (Losper) white Africa Twin

Day 1.

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’



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.

Path?!?! ….

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.

Day 2.

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.





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


Day 3

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





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.

Day 4

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…



Pieter Laubscher (Losper), Steve Lubbe

(171Steve), Pieter Lourens(Twister),

Nico de Jager(Bitblade)




The original Dr Big. We

rode one of em long ago.





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



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

motocross internationally?

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

big move?

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

do this?”

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

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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

that point.

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

South Africa?

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.

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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.

Yeah, seriously.

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.

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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

professional operation.”

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

supercross championship.

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

collapsed. Exactly.

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



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

was ridiculous.

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

was 1999.

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

same team?

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,

no negatives.

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.

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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

it properly.

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

anymore. Impressive.

I appreciate it.

You retired in 2001. How was that? Was the

transition tough?

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

before that?

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 2006.

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

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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.

Go figure?

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?




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

liquid-cooled GS.

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.



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

switchgear unit.

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

of 253-kilos.

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.



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.



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

probably will.


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

Sports verdict

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

largely unbreakable.

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

instrument panel

• Tall seat height

• Absence of cruise control and

tubeless rims.







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

the market.

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.

Need accessories?

Pretoria’s top suspension centre.

Well stocked tyre fitment centre.

From a garage shop to an ultra modern motorcycle dealership.


Since 1994

for QUALiTY team apparel

race Shirts







Cycling Kit





“Pit GOLFErs”











e-Mail: gary@graphicwerx.co.za • 031 566-5628














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



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

250 2x4.

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

to it

· 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

spacious cab

· 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



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 250

MXU 450i 4x4









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


National Motorcross

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

dust seal.

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

R1399.00 each

While stocks last!

Willow Rock Shopping Centre, Solomon Mahlangu Drive, Equestria,

Pretoria East LANDLINE: 012 111 0190 / 012 809 1670

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