MOTUL ROOF OF AFRICA
WETHERD DESIGNS CUSTOM
KAWASAKI KX250 BUILD
9 771815 337001
JUNE 2019 RSA R35.00
ALSO INSIDE: NATIONAL ENDURO
NEW BIKE SHOPS
READERS RIDES / TYRE TECH
& LOTS MORE!
SIDE X SIDE is a
it’s the ultimate
tool for setting
up and running
the GXCC event”
UXV 700i EPS LE 4x4
• Upgraded CVT-Drive System
• High-Clearance Curved Front A-arms
• Redesigned Sport Steering Wheel and NEW Graphics
• Re-Designed Sport Inspired Roll Cage for Increased Headroom
• NEW Ultra High-Back Bucket Seats with Driver Seat Adjustability
• Kaifa gas-reservoir shocks with adjustable pre-load, compression and rebound
• Upgraded seat belts with integrated elastic shock reduction shoulder harness and safety interlock switch
KYMCO KYMCO KYMCO KYMCO KYMCO
MXU 250 MXU 450i 4X4 MXU 700i 4X4 UXV 450i 4X4
R49 950 R64 950 R104 950 R149 950 R149 950
NOW AVAILABLE IN DEALERS NATIONWIDE
Western Cape Droomers 021 948 0871
KwaZulu Natal Ekerold 033 345 3503
Port Elizabeth Xtreme 041 581 0030
Randburg, GP Linex 011 251 4000
Pretoria, GP Linex 083 522 2966
Nelspruit Rudamans 013 753 3631
Windhoek Windoek +26461253692
Tel: +2711 259 7600
Colours displayed may vary to the actual models in stock. E&OE.
K&N Style Filters
Available sizes 28, 35, 39, 42, 48,
52, 54 and 60mm R125.00
Jump Starter & Power Bank R1299.00
18L / min
RAC610 Inflator R449.00 RTG5 Gauge R249.00
Bike and ATV Covers
Available sizes S - XL
H7 150% Power R330.00
H4 150% Power R290.00
EMGO Top Box
DESCRIPTION PART NO. SRP Inc. Vat
SMART CHARGER 1 AMP DFC150 R599.00
SMART CHARGER 3.5 AMP DFC530 R899.00
SMART CHARGER 4 AMP PSA004 R999.00
SMART CHARGER 8 AMP PSA008 R1349.00
SMART CHARGER 4 AMP PSD004 R1199.00
SMART CHARGER 8 AMP PSD008 R1499.00
Rim Locks Front and Rear
Tubeless Puncture Kits
License Disc Holders
Scooter V Belts
PBA DEALER LISTING
PBA DEALER LISTING
PART NO. DESCRIPTION PRICE
50081406/L CARB CLEANER 400ML 50.00
50201414/L TERMINAL PROTECT RED 50.00
50201415/L TERMINAL PROTECT BLUE 50.00
50320400/L BRK,CLTCH,CHAIN CLEANER 44.00
50500192/L CHAIN LUBE 150ML 34.00
50500193/L CHAIN LUBE 400ML 69.00
50510403/L CHAIN WAX 400ML 71.00
50510404/L CHAIN WAX 150ML 34.00
51528262/L PETROL INJECTOR CLEANER 10.00
53203200/L AIR FILTER SPRAY 55.00
53203500/L AIR FILTER OIL 500ML 55.00
53204005/L BIO FILTER CLEANER 5l 325.00
53204400/L BIO FILTER CLEANER 400ML 47.00
53780300/L SPARK 300ML 44.00
55000314/L TYRE FIX 200ML 45.00
56000001/L FORK OIL SYN 5W 125.00
56000002/L FORK OIL SYN 10W 125.00
56000003/L FORK OIL SYN 2.5W 135.00
56000400/L MOUSSE LUBRICANT 100.00
THE WORLD’S Various Colours available
LARGEST RANGE OF
ABS Plastic R470.00
MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER BRAKES.
British made Aramid Fibre brake pads for sport bikes are now accompanied by a new high tech range of
sintered metal HH rated sport bike pads that will set the trend of sport bike brakes into the next century.
Our new range of British made brake rotors come in flat solid types and fully floating designs complete
with alloy centre hubs at competitive prices.
ZEEMANS GAUTENG MOTORCYCLES 011 435 7177
BIKING ZEEMANS ACCESSORIES MOTORCYCLES 012 011 435 342 7177 7474
FAST BIKING KTM ACCESSORIES 011 012 867 342 0092 7474
GAME FAST KTM MOTOR SERVICES 011 849 867 7000 0092
MOTO-MATE GAME MOTOR RIVONIA SERVICES 011 234 849 5275 7000
MOTO-MATE EDENVALE RIVONIA 011 234 027 5275 0545
MOTO-MATE KCR MOTORCYCLE EDENVALE FANATIX 011 975 027 5405 0545
PRIMROSE JUST BIKING MOTORCYCLES 011 016 828 421 9091 1153
RANDBURG KCR MOTORCYCLE MOTORCYCLES FANATIX 011 792 975 6829 5405
OFF-ROAD CYCLES 012 333 6443
PRIMROSE MOTORCYCLES 011 828 9091
011 792 6829
013 244 2143
BIKE CITY 013 244 2143
BIKERS NORTHWEST PARADISE 018 297 4700
INSANE BIKERS PARADISE BIKERS 014 018 594 297 2111 4700
MOTOS INSANE @ BIKERS KLERKSDORP 018 014 468 594 1800 2111
WATER MOTOS RITE @ KLERKSDORP MOTORCYCLES 018 771 468 5050 1800
WATER RITE MOTORCYCLES 018 771 5050
015 297 3291
K.R.MOTORCYCLES 015 297 3291
ROCKET RACING PINETOWN 031 702 2606
PERRY’S M/CYCLES BALITO 031 110 0056
ROCKET RACING MARITZBURG 033 264 3240
ROCKET RACING PINETOWN 031 702 2606
RBS YAMAHA 031 701 1311
ROCKET RACING MARITZBURG 033 264 3240
UMPLEBY SUZUKI 031 303 8323
RBS YAMAHA 031 701 1311
UMPLEBY SUZUKI 031 303 8323
RIDE HIGH WITH YAMAHA 035 789 1851
RIDE PERRY HIGH M/CYCLES WITH YAMAHA GLEN ANIL 035 031 789 566 1851 7411
PERRY’S M/CYCLES UMHLANGA 031 566 7411
CAPE PERRY’S PROVINCE M/CYCLES HILLCREST
CRAIGS M/CYCLE FITMENT
031 765 2560
021 939 8944
TRAC-MAC CAPE PROVINCE BELVILLE 021 945 3724
TRAC-MAC CRAIGS M/CYCLE PAARDEN-EILAND FITMENT 021 510 939 2258 8944
BELVILLE 021 761 945 4220 3724
NEVES TRAC-MAC MOTORCYCLE PAARDEN-EILAND WORLD CC 021 930 510 5917 2258
WICKED TRAC-MAC CYCLES WYNBURG 021 510 761 2968 4220
MIKE HOPKINS MOTORCYCLES 021 461 5167
NEVES FREESTATE MOTORCYCLE WORLD CC
021 930 5917
051 430 3326
SALLEYS YAMAHA 051 430 3326
EDITOR: ROLEY FOLEY
Communication is everything.
The other night, I hopped on the bike and went
into my local Chinese takeaway.
I got talking to the owner of the shop.
‘What you do for a riving, then?’, he said.
‘What do I do for a living, you mean?’
‘I’m a comedian’, I replied.
‘Go on then, change colour’, he chuckled.
‘No! I’m not a chameleon, I’m a comedian’.
‘Oh right, tell me joke then. Make me raff’, he
Just then in the kitchen, I noticed his wok was on
fi re with my meal in it.
‘Wok! Wok!’, I shouted.
‘Who’s dare..’, he said.
Bugger this, I thought.
I’m off to the Indian take away...
Have a great riding month!
CONTENTS: JUNE 2019
Office no (011) 979-5035
24: ADVENTURE TEST: KTM’S IN LESOTHO 38: HARD ENDURO: ROOF BRONZE QUALI
44: SA RACING: NATIONAL ENDURO 52: FEATURE: WETHERED CUSTOM KAWA 250
CALL 011 979 5035 OR EMAIL
Digital or hard copy.
58: FEATURE: MEET TAYE PERRY 66: READERS RIDE: SOLO THROUGH BOTS
2 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Piston and Gasket Sets
Cranks, Conrods and Camshafts
Cylinder Kits, Rebores, Main Bearings and Clutch Plates
VALVES,STEM SEALS AND SPRINGS
no 4 Fifth avenue
011 425 1081/4
Typo’s in the magazine:
Sorry it happens. Not on purpose and you won’t believe how we proof and check and when the mag goes to
print… but we set up a spy cam and we think we found the culprit…
How to discipline the office mascot…
Aren’t you glad
that you live in SA?
In Britain, police have crushed bikes
after mob rides through towns…
The bikes of a gang who ran amok on the roads
during an illegal ‘ride out’ event have been crushed
by West Midlands Police. Last month the force
secured public nuisance convictions against 29 men
who used assorted off-road bikes, quads, mopeds
and scooters for an illegal run through the area
around Solihull and Birmingham in 2016.
The vast majority received suspended jail sentences,
however ringleader Andrew ‘Dru’ Tomlinson received
two years in prison, while fellow rider Matthew Sidwell
was handed a 12-month sentence.
The police seized more than 20 machines during
their investigation and 10 have been crushed at a
vehicle yard in Birmingham. The rest of the bikes
had either previously been destroyed or donated to
“These bikes were ridden recklessly, endangering
road users and pedestrians,” says Chief Inspector
Jack Hadley, who was involved in the arrest and
conviction of the gang. “Their owners have already
been punished in court but it’s important to show that
we will also look to secure destruction orders against
“Some of these bikes cost thousands of pounds,
so owners need to think long and hard before they
take them out as only some of them are legal on
“Certain types of motocross bikes, mini motos and
pit bikes cannot be registered with the DVLA, taxed
or licensed, so are illegal on public roads. Offenders
generally accept this, which is why we see them
riding around with their faces covered in a bid to
avoid being identified.”
West Midlands Police also said that the tactics
they used for catching bike louts have progressed
considerably over the three years since.
“We are now much more experienced in going after
these types of offenders,” says Hadley. “We will use
tyre-deflating stinger devices to contain groups of
illegal bikers that pose a danger to road users and to
disable their bikes.
“Some officers are also now equipped with a DNA
spray which they can use to ‘tag’ offenders and their
bikes. The public have told us they are fed up of
bikers who behave in this way and we are determined
to rid them from the streets of the West Midlands.”
4 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Round the world by
bike record broken?
Britains Henry Crew has become the
youngest person ever to circumnavigate
the globe by motorcycle riding
Arriving back in the UK on Friday, April 19, the
23-year-old is still awaiting final verification of
his age (Crew pips the current record by around
30 days) and his trip (he more than doubled the
required mileage) – but providing both are ratified
as they should be, he will bag himself an official
Guinness World Record.
A group of 50 fellow bikers, well-wishers and fans
met with Crew at Folkestone, riding with him to the
Bike Shed in London, where his journey started just
over one year ago. Kane Avellano, the person who
has held the record since 2017 was even there to
“I think it will take about a month before it hits me,”
said Crew. “I still feel like I’m about to get on my bike
tomorrow and carry on.”
Crew’s route has taken him all over the world on
his Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled with the route
going from London, through Europe on to Russia,
then across the ‘Stans’ towards Thailand and
onwards to Australia.
From there he flew to South America, ultimately riding
up the west coast of America before heading east
then flying back to Europe and on to London. Along
the way Crew has encountered almost every situation
imaginable from sleeping in a prison in Pakistan
to almost going blind while suffering from altitude
sickness in the Himalayas.
“The longest and toughest day was in northern India,
spending 16 hours in the saddle to cover just 130
miles. It was so stressful.”
Crew has made the trip in aid of the Movember
foundation, who work to raise funds and awareness
of men’s health issues, after his own struggles with
mental health. The question now is: what next?
“Sleep,” he says.
How does the record work?
The record required Crew to return home before May
and to have ridden at least 24,500 miles – but he had
more than doubled that goal by the time he arrived at
the Bike Shed on Friday, April 19.
6 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Triumph Scrambler finishes
5th at Mexican 1000
Last month we brought you the launch
story about this new scrambler from
British manufacturer Triumph. If
you were worried about its off-road
credentials, they raced it at the Mexican
1000 and it will be competing in the Baja
Stunt rider and racer Ernie Vigil is a veteran of the
Ernie managed an impressive 5th place in class,
and 17th overall at the NORRA Mexican 1000,
after starting the final day in 6th on his nearstandard
Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.
A positive third day saw the American rider move
up to 8th place in the Modern Open bike class
having finished day two in 12th after picking up a
Finishing the 1349-mile (that’s LOTS of kilometres),
race is impressive enough, but considering the
competition was riding a mixture of dedicated off road
racers including several Honda XR650Rs, 5th place
on a near-standard road bike is pretty impressive.
The experienced off-road racer and stunt pilot was
due to take the Scrambler to Mexico in November
2018 for the legendary Baja 1000 endurance race, but
a training injury meant that he was unable to compete.
This isn’t Vigil’s first Mexican 1000 riding a Triumph
as he has completed the race previously on a
Triumph Tiger 800, but it will be the first race for
the Scrambler 1200 XE, which has been modified
slightly with a new seat, lights, grips and paintjob.
“After 9 months of training, the injury and over
6,000 off-road miles in the saddle I’m excited to be
getting to the final stage of prep for one of the most
challenging off-road races you can do,” said Vigil.
“I literally can’t wait to get to that starting line and
fire the Scrambler up! The bike has been performing
amazingly well and I’m raring to go.”
Paul Stroud, Triumph’s Chief Commercial Officer
said: “Everyone at Triumph is rooting for Ernie, his
commitment to returning to race fitness following
his injury has been amazing and we just can’t wait
to see the Scrambler 1200 in action.
“Baja desert racing has played such a big part in
the history of scrambling and it was the spark that
kicked off of our whole iconic Scrambler line-up.”
8 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
AG 125 AG 200 YBR 125
2019 YAMAHA YZ250F
For 2019 season Yamaha introduce the all-new YZ250F, the most sophisticated model in its class. Featuring
a newly designed high-performance electric start engine and an agile new chassis, this state of the art 250cc
4-stroke opens up a new era in wireless connectivity and trackside tuneability with its Yamaha Power Tuner
New 2019 models now available at LINEX
10 hours of race prep plus a Linex riding jersey free with every new motocross and enduro bike
Terms and conditions apply.
2019 Yamaha YZ85
2019 Yamaha YZ250F
2019 Yamaha YZ450F
Come & see our amazing accessories division.
www.linex.co.za · +27 11 251 4000 · Facebook: Linex Yamaha · Instagram: @linex_yamaha
Address: Cnr Malibongwe Dr & Tungsten Rd, Strijdom Park, Randburg
A quick visit to Nampo:
Nampo in Bothaville, is the biggest agricultural
trade show in the Southern Hemisphere. We
have heard lots about it – and this year, we
decided to scrag a couple of bikes – a Goldwing
and a Kymco 400 scoot (full story in RideFast
Magazine), and took the great trek through to
the show to have a gander. If you have never
been – make sure that you do get there – it is
definitely well worth a walkabout. To be fair, you
actually need a couple of days. It is massive!
There is just about everything from bikes, to
ploughs, furniture to tractors, pumps, solar
displays…. You can meet Ryan the bull, sniff the
sunflowers, eat some lekker boerekos and ogle
all the delectable goods on display.
There were a bunch of importers and dealers at
the show, so we got to say hello. Go and pay
them a visit next year – it’s a great excuse to get
out of the office!
Big Boys new
John Deere used to
do stuff with us. They
had a huge display.
Maxxis Tyres put on a good disoplay
- more on these guys soon
KTM 1290 up
their full product
Team Kubota with thier new
machine - test soon...
The team from
Polaris and Linhai.
Suzuki had a great display.
10 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
29 JUNE 2019
8AM - 4PM
30 JUNE 2019
9AM - 1PM
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR
TWO DAYS ONLY!
HELMETS FROM R995
MX CLOTHING FROM R175
JACKETS FROM R200 RIDING PANTS FROM R345 WINTER WARMERS
GLOVES FROM R200
BOOTS FROM R495
Plot 316 Larsens Rd Tel: 011 792 7691 Stock is limited.
GPS Coordinates S26° 01’57” E27° 51’ 45” (Search DMD in Google Maps)
Please inspect items before payment, as the
items are sold as is. No returns or exchanges
are accepted. Availability can only be confirmed
on the day of sale.
MANY MORE PRODUCTS
AVAILABLE BELOW COST
Offroad Cycles Kitty
rescue centre: Hows this
for a cool initiative?
We, at Off Road Cycles, got ourselves a feral cat
program up and running.
The aim is trap many as possible of the feral cats
in our area, get them sterilized, and release them
again, so that they keep the pests away, but the
population numbers stay more or less the same.
We have our own trap, and we have a deal with
a local vet that helps us with the sterilization at a
welfare price, so all that is in place, but the problem
is the kittens. We catch them too, but re-homing
them seems to be a much bigger problem than all
the other issues we have with the project.
There are 3 businesses, including us, at this point
that feeds the cats a little only, to keep them fit
and motivated in order to to catch rats etc, and we
will hopefully reach a point where all the adults are
fixed, so the kitten problem will be reduced, but until
then we need people that will take them as pets.
What is happening at the moment is that we keep
the kittens in the shop and get them calm and tame,
so all the kittens are used to people when we give
them away. Trouble is that our kids also happen
to fall in love with them… so we are starting a
We ask for your help, and if you know of anyone
looking for a kitten, point them in our direction.
We have teamed up with the Friends of Ferals
Facebook group, and they help us with the
rehoming as well, but we need more help.
Here is a link to our thread on the Wilddog forum:
Our contact details regarding this program are the
WhattsApp 082 823 4714
Thanks for your help
Here are some photos of the cats we helped so far
12 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
2018 YAMAHA YZ250F Limited Edition
OFFER INCLUDES A FREE
bLU cRU STICKER KIT AND ACERBIS 711 MX STAND
ALL THIS FOR ONLY
Also includes a free bLU cRU pack!
T-shirt • Yamalube Care Pack • bLU cRU Sticker Pack
www.yamaha.co.za · Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa · Instagram: @yamahasouthafrica · YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA
Email: email@example.com • Valid while stocks last! E&OE.
Recommended Retail Price R1395.00 incl. VAT
Winter is upon us and all indications so far that
it might be a properly cold one, here is a great
product. As long time riders we have always noticed
that no matter how good your gloves are your
hands and fingers in particular get really cold. A lot
of the high end bikes are coming out with heated
grips which really make life a lot more comfortable,
however some of the older bikes and entry level
bikes do not. DMD has these really high quality
heated grips at a very reasonable price. These grips
have ergonomically engineered surface structures
to optimise riding performance. Thicker rubber in
areas of maximum wear, rhombus tread pattern for
vibration absorption. Special block grip patterns
with sipes for high levels of grip and diamond tread
pattern where maximum grip is required. The grips
features 5 heat settings, draws under 4A and has a
battery saving mode. They are a universal fitment
and work on most bikes with a stable charging
system. Fitment is quite simple and with the clear
instructions included can be fitted D.I.Y. if you have
a little bit of technical aptitude, or you can have
them fitted by the dealer you buy them from. Check
out www.dmd.co.za or call 011 792 7691 to find
your local stockist.
Tankwa Thermal Liner
Recommended Retail Price R795.00 incl. VAT
Another great product from the same guys, (www.
dmd.co.za). With summer having been so flipping
hot a couple of us here at the office who needed
new jackets opted for the Tankwa Air Flow Jackets
which kept us lekker cool in summer but are quite
challenging to ride with in cold weather. So we got
hold of DMD and they told us about the thermal
liner for the jacket. We procured one from them
and tested it on a recent trip through Lesotho and
can tell you that it works really well, we were riding
in single digit temperatures in the early mornings
and stayed warm with our thermal liners. What we
really like is the fact that it isn’t bulky or heavy and
folds up neatly and fits into the bum pocket of the
airflow jacket. It is a universal fit and also works well
with any other riding jacket as well, not just with the
Tankwa jackets. It has a couple of zip close pockets
on the outside and a normal pocket on the inside.
The thermal liner also has elasticised cuffs, with a
stretchy cuff under that, so no wind or cold sneaks
up the sleeves. Another really cool feature is that it
is quite a trendy looking jacket and can been worn
as a casual jacket on its own. We really like the
Tankwa Thermal Liner and wear them most days
around the office or to social events.
14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Sherco S.A. new
The well-known French brand dirt bike built for
riders by riders has moved its South African head
office from Centurion to Waterkloof Ridge in
Pretoria. Boss man Ben says the move has been
a good one because the new retail outlet has
attracted a lot more customers to the shop. The
shop now features a full new and used retail floor,
a big parts department as well as a well-stocked
accessory and clothing department.
They also have a really good workshop on site and
plenty of parking for their customers. The centre
also offers a variety of restaurants and shops that
you can wonder around while having your bike
serviced or the other half can do some shopping
while you spend a bit of time in the shop.
It’s a really nice destination shop, head down there
and see for yourself. They are at the Waterkloof
Lifestyle Centre, corner of Cliff avenue and
Muskejaat street, Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria. You
can also drop Ben a line on ben@shercosouthafrica.
co.za or call him on 083 274 7390 or for more info
you can surf onto www.shercosouthafrica.co.za .
In this month of June 2019 Primrose Motorcycles
celebrates its milestone 50th anniversary.
The renowned dealership started trading in 1969 by
Chicco Gasparini and Tony Liberatore.
PMCC have had the honour in dealing with many
brands over the years but in the last 30 odd year’s
have been loyal to:
Suzuki, Kawasaki, Aeon, SYM including the last few
years Puzey products.
They attribute their long history and success mainly
to after sales service, relationships with old and new
customers of which they greatly appreciate.
In the photo’s – PMCC in 1971, and current
premises revamped in 2018.
Some of the staff have being with them on average
They extend their gratitude to all their customer’s
from past and present and hope to continue for
more years to come.
Pay them a visit to reminisce the years and check
out any specials they have in store.
Contact them on (011) 828 9091
16 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
A Stunning store, the guys hosted a launch to
celebrate the opening of the store, complete with
the full range of Husqvarna motorcycles, parts and
Amazing- go and have a looksee...
Cnr Hendrik Potgieter Rd & Zandvliet Rd,
+27 10 443 3776
Captions: 1: Francois, Megan Jonker and
Len Du Toit.
2: They took the opportunity to unveil the
Swartpillen 701. Singer Garth Taylor will
be riding it...
3: Wests Francois and Lyndsay
18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
R10,000.00 TRADE-IN VALUE
What a time to trade up from your current
Enduro machine to leading edge technology at
your nearest Husqvarna dealer. They will add
R10,000.00 to trade-in value of your
current machine and or off your purchase of the
few remaining 2019 Husqvarna Enduro models!
Stocks are limited so get in touch with your
dealer and secure your next premium ride today!
BUI LT T O GO
A S FA R A S Y
DAR E T O TA
THE 2016 2-STROKE ENDURO MODEL RANGE.
The joy of the ride is often in nding routes that nobody else has used – rea
destinations AVAILABLE that ON few others FULL would 2019 dare ENDURO to aim for. The RANGE
2016 Husqvarna Mo
2-stroke enduro bikes rely on exceptional agility, a broad powerband and lig
weight – letting you easily explore wherever you choose to go.
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!
The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
FREESTATE - Husqvarna Central, Bloemfontein – (051) 430 1237
Holeshot Motorcycles, Boksburg – (011) 823-5830 Husqvarna West – (010) 443 3776
Belville (021) 945 8019
EASTERN CAPE - Auto Motorcycles, Port Elizabeth – (041) 581 1699
MPUMALANGA - Vans Husqvarna, Middleburg – (013) 282 0766
Huge new Yamaha
So wondering around Pretoria the other visiting
dealers we happen upon some huge new Yamaha
branding on the corner of Simon Vermooten Street
and Lynwood road in Pretoria East.
Our natural curiosity gets the better of us and we
stop in. Turns out Tuning Fork (Pty) Ltd is opening a
huge new store in the old Lexus premises. We got
there while they were still busy moving in and had
a chat to Andre and Paul who took us for a walk
around the new shop. It is BIG, very, very BIG and
beautiful with a state of the art workshop, huge
parts and accessories department and monstrous
showroom for the boats, jet ski’s and bikes. They
have … or will have everything in stock by the time
they open officially in June, with plenty of demo
bikes to ride. They are currently head hunting some
of the best people in the industry to staff the new
mega dealership to give you the customer the best
possible experience. As mentioned, we caught
them as they were busy moving in so we don’t have
all the contact details yet. For more information
give World of Yamaha a call on 011 259 7850, or
pop down to the corner of Simon Vermooten st and
Lynwood rd on Pretoria East for a walk around, you
can even order your new Yamaha so long… More
news coming soon.
new distributor for
Johannesburg. After a successful reorganisation
of the Ducati brand in South Africa under the
guidance of LSM Distributors, an agreement has
been reached with MFE Motors (Pty) Ltd led by Mr.
Jos Matthysen - to acquire the distribution rights for
Ducati in the region.
Jos is a successful businessman with a long time
passion for Ducati brand.
In a recent statement, Mr. Toby Venter, CEO of LSM
Distributors said: “We looked closely at possible
suitors to build on the solid foundation we have
established over the past 5 years. We are confident
that MFE Motors will build on this strong foundation,
continuing the service and distribution network
that Ducati customers deserve. Jos Matthysen has
demonstrated enthusiasm and business expertise,
a combination that is sure to succeed for Ducati”.
“We look forward to developing the iconic Ducati
and Ducati Scrambler brands in the South African
market, proudly taking care of current and future
owners’ community”, concluded Jos Matthysen,
Director of MFE Motors.
For Further information, please contact
MFE Motors (Pty) Ltd
Roy 084 729 9452
Bruce 074 261 6872.
20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
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22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Come and join the fun!
JHB 2 Richards Bay in the dirt.
Dirtbikes, quads and Side By Sides all welcome!
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24 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
So … What’s the hype all about??
Words: Sean Hendley Pics: KTM SA/ZC Marketing Consultants
Glenn’s always been tuning me so much about the
awesome adventure riding in Lesotho and how beautiful
the Mountain Kingdom is. For several reasons, I have
never had the opportunity nor the desire to ride Lesotho
and never really understood the hype around it. Then, in
our March issue this year we ran an article on a ride that
one of our readers and three of his mates did through
Lesotho which really piqued my interest. So when the
e-mail arrived from KTM SA inviting us to join them on a
four day trip through Lesotho on a variety of new KTM
adventure bikes I accepted instantly. One, because I
really wanted to find out for myself if riding Lesotho was
all is cracked up to be. And two, I also have never really
understood the hype around KTM’s and why every other
double-cab bakkie has a KTM sticker on it…
At this point I must say KTM SA is really good at
keeping journalists riding and writing about their bikes.
They have great demo fleet and are always encouraging us
to borrow them or taking us away on adventures. Clever
marketing on their behalf, we spent four days riding six
different KTM Adventure bikes and we all know everything
there is to know about these bikes and spent a lot of time
talking about them to anybody who would listen. Some
of the importers don’t have any demo’s at all and that is
why you very seldom hear us talking about them, it is not
because we don’t like them we just don’t know them.
Then others let us have them for the day or so and
restrict us to a few kilometres, also not allowing to properly
get to grips with their bikes.
So we are not KTM biased, we just get to ride them a lot.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 25
Preparing for the trip
The trip was scheduled for the first to the
fourth of May and there had already been
a bit of snow on The Berg and in Lesotho
and I really don’t like getting cold. My kit, at
best is inadequate for riding in the cold, so
it was off to the suppliers to get that sorted.
From DMD I purchased a thermal liner for
my Tankwa Air Flow jacket, as well as some
decent Forma riding boots and a couple of
pairs of Oxford winter socks.
I popped in at Bikewise and had them
service my Arai TX4 and I fitted my Pinlock
anti-fog mechanism to my visor for riding
in cold and /or wet conditions. Then it was
off to find some winter gloves, beanies
and a neck warmer which were eventually
all scratched out of the deep dark depths
of my wardrobe. Riding pants were next
on the agenda. My Tankwa Air Flow pants
just weren’t going to do it, nor were normal
jeans, (which offer very little protection
anyway). Fortunately I still have a pair of
Covec lined riding jeans and a bunch of
high end MX and Enduro riding pants, so all
sorted there. Next was the casual evening
wear, warm jackets and all the sundries that
go along with a few days away from home.
By the time I had finished packing
everything I was very grateful that there
would be a backup vehicle to carry our
luggage. I had managed to squeeze
everything into two very tightly stuffed
large back packs. I don’t really travel out
of S.A. much and thus the whereabouts of
my passport is usually a mystery. Then it
was up before the sun on a cool-ish public
holiday and meet everybody at the KTM SA
The ride to, in and through Lesotho
I think we had to be at KTM SA just after six
in the morning and I was pretty interested
to see who of the other journo’s would
be there on time, the biking fraternity as a
whole isn’t known for their time keeping
skills. Nevertheless, most of us were there
and were treated to a lekker brekkie in the
boardroom while we were briefed on our
itinerary and route as well as what bikes
we would be riding. Then it was a hustle to
see who could get their kit on the quickest
and grab a bike because nobody was keen
on riding the 690 Enduro R a couple of
hundred clicks on the tar to the border.
No wind protection and a granite hard
seat does not a comfortable highway
cruiser make. I was lucky enough to bag
the 790R. Our route took us out of Kyalami,
past the Mall of Africa and onto the N1,
then N3 to Villiers where we then hit the
old roads to Reitz where stopped for a cup
of coffee. Reitz is a cool little plaas dorpie
in the middle of the Free State. We then
swapped bikes, everybody still dodging
the 690-R for the time being and boomed
through the Free State down to Kestell and
the ‘world famous’ Kestell hotel for lunch.
Andy Haramis, (Hotel manager) and
Susan Swarts (his side kick) put on a
26 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Photo: R. Schedl
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fantastic traditional boere style lunch for
us in a hotel from way back when that
has been restored to its former beauty
at the foot hills of the Maluti mountains.
Being fairly close to the Lesotho border at
Phutaditjaba I opted for the 690-R now,
knowing the terrain was going to become
more suited to the 690-R’s skill set. The 60
odd kays of tar to the border in Qwaqwa
was actually quite a bit of fun on the 690.
Once we crossed the Monantsa border into
Lesotho and headed along the Monantsa
pass the road became decidedly more
suitable to that bike. We were now on
proper dirt with a mixture of average to poor
dirt roads and some twee spoor thrown into
the mix. The riding was absolutely fantastic,
great fun for the more experienced rider
but also not intimidating to the novice
The views and the vista’s from on top
of the mountain passes down the beautiful
green river valleys are beyond breathtaking.
I almost fell off the mountain a few times
nearly missing a switchback or six drinking
in the beauty of where I was. Eventually we
all regrouped just before the last 30 kay leg
of the off-road section where I swapped
onto one of the 1090 Adventure R’s.
A lot more power, plusher suspension
and quite a bit taller than the 690 but still an
incredibly capable off roader. About forty
or so minutes later we made it onto the A1,
one of the only proper tar roads in Lesotho I
think - and regrouped again. We discovered
that one of the journo’s had had a bit of
an off, but neither he nor the bike were too
badly damaged. Then it was a mad race
against the setting sun for about 100 kays
or so to Afriski and our lodgings for the next
two nights. Arriving at Afriski in the dark
made the mountain with all its hairpin bends
a bit challenging. Another journo missed
very sharp bend a relatively low speed and
stopped against an Armco barrier, well the
bike stopped at the Armco and ended up
on the other side.
No harm, no foul but we had now had
our warnings shots and had better be more
Afriski is amazing! You really need to put
it on your bucket list if you have never been
there. Wessel Bosman, the boss man, has
put together a really nice place with some
fantastic facilities and a bunch of mad cap
events all year round. He is also a hooligan
his KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and at
around 60 or so years old has several Dakar
Rallies’ under his belt. Go check out the
Afriski website to whet your appetite or
even better … get yourself there post haste!
Here I am not going to pretend I remember
the names of where we rode through or
the passes we rode, all I can tell you it was
a loop from Afriski out past Katse dam
and back to Afriski through some of the
most awe inspiring scenery I have ever
seen and some of the best riding I have
ever experienced. We were chased out
of bed early again and arose to a winter
wonderland all covered in white frost,
including the bike seats. After a rock solid
breakfast and rider briefing, where we were
forewarned about some of the really severe
switchbacks on the passes, we headed out
in the opposite direction from whence we
had come. So, with the warnings still ringing
in my ears I approached the most warned
about switchback with a lot of caution and
promptly fell on my arse. It turns out that
cold road plus cold tyres plus a small patch
28 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
of well-placed dirt seem to be the perfect
recipe for a front wheel washout and a low
side tar test of my riding gear.
So with little more than a possible
bruised rib, battered pride and a few scuff
and scrapes on my kit and the bike I was
soon on my way.
Day two saw us swapping through the
entire range of KTM adventure oriented
bikes. 690 Enduro R, 790 Adventure, 790
Adventure R, 1090 Adventure R, 1290
Adventure S and the 1290 Adventure R we
rode them all. What an incredible lineup – I
don’t think that there is another brand out
there to match this variety.
The route was moderately more
technical than the first day with about
ninety percent of it being dirt, some of it
a little bit more challenging than the day
before. I could fill pages with superlatives
about how beautiful and clean rural
Lesotho is and how friendly the Basuto
people are but nobody is going to read it
and I’m not that good a writer.
Suffice to say the people friendly but
tough and expect their livestock to be the
same, the scenery is gorgeous beyond
description but harsh and unforgiving. Tree
and bunny huggers like myself will have a
hard time dealing with the way they treat
their livestock, but that is just the reality of
eking out a life in this medieval environment.
Anyway, back to the ride. Every time
I go on a KTM ride, my riding skills are
challenged and each time I come back a
better, more confident rider. The bikes are
powerful and quick with brilliant suspension
and chassis’ but can get away from you
if you do not have your wits about you as
another journo found out coming over a
Fortunately journalists are quite tough
and KTM’s are even tougher and after
a quick once over by the medic and
mechanics, both were sent on their merry
way to ride another day. We all commented
on how well the bikes handled everything
we threw them at and how good they
made us look with the on-board technology
compensating for our lack of experience
and skill in a lot of instances. We were
having so much fun that we did not keep an
eye on the clock and ended up riding back
to Afriski in the dark.
By this time I had managed to scrag
the 1290 Adventure S and I was eternally
grateful for the ridiculously good lights on
the bike because I am night blind at the
best of times. After a hot shower it was off
to the restaurant for a properly good dinner
and a talk by the legendary boytjie from the
East Rand, Joey Evans with his inspirational
story about going from a paraplegic to
walking again and then racing the Dakar
purely on absolute iron determination and
God’s grace. The room was very quiet
when he has finished and we were all very
humbled to be gifted with a signed copy of
This was to be a bit more of a leisurely affair
or so the rider briefing at breakfast alluded
to. No rushed early morning breakfast, no
frantic getting into kit and bombing down
the road. Our plan was to be to follow the
A1 to the Sani Pass turn off, lunch at the
top of Sani then a gentle trundle down Sani
to the Premier hotel in Underberg for our
overnight stop. And thus it was …. until
the photographer bike passed all of us
and the sweeper had re-joined the medic
at the back of the pack, then it was the
Lesotho leg of The Isle of Mann TT. The tar
roads in Lesotho are that good heading
up to Sani that you can really have a bit of
knee scraping fun, or as much as the dual
purpose tyres will allow.
The top of Sani Chalets and restaurant
is a proper tourist attraction with all the
usual trappings, but it is the views and
the ride down Sani Pass in the gravel that
you go there for. They had had a lot of rain
and snow just a few weeks before we had
arrived and Sani - dirt side was not in the
best of conditions. A lot of loose tennis ball
sized loose gravel with quite deep rutting
from the water erosion combined with steep
drop offs and 180 degree plus switchbacks
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 29
made for quite the white knuckle ride down
on the 1290 Adventure S. Some of us tried
to go back up again on the smaller 790’s
but most opted out and waited for us at
the bottom of the hairy stuff. From then on
it was the chilled trundle down to the SA
border and onto the hotel in Underberg.
Amazingly, we got there with the sun still
quite high up in the sky and we were able
to strip down to our shorts and enjoy a cold
one overlooking the valley and The Berg
swapping tall tales about close calls and
We had a lot of mileage to cover from
Underberg, through Loteni with a quick stop
in for a cup of tea at White Mountain lodge.
Then up Oliviershoek pass with lunch at The
Phatt Chef & Roadside diner on Windmill
farm just next to Little Switzerland at the
top of the pass. Our route would then take
us past Sterkfontien dam into Harrismith
and then it was a burn straight down the
N3 back to Joey’s. So we were chased out
of bed at sparrow’s, had an extraordinary
brekka at the hotel, fuelled the bikes in
Himeville and pointed them north.
Riding this part of the Drakensberg is
fantastic, the dirt roads are in reasonably
good condition so you can get your hustle
on. Whipping through forestry lands, along
the top of mountains overlooking mist
filled valleys and between trout lodges is
something to behold. White Mountain lodge
is a cool little spot in the middle of The Berg
somewhere with a very medieval feel and
a bunch of friendly little cats wondering
around - and looks like a great place for
a family getaway. The Phatt Chef serves
the best pepper steak pies you will ever
eat and the maddest salted peanut butter
milkshakes you will ever lay your lips on.
All good things do come to an end…
It was time to stretch the throttle cables
down the tar back to KTM SA offices in
About the bikes …
2019 KTM 690 Enduro R
We featured this bike in last months issue
ridden by our resident hooligan and we really
loved it, but we didn’t take it on any seriously
long distance tours. So this is a slightly
different point of view to the last test.
The 690 Enduro R is by no means a soft
tar roader, long distance comfy kilometre
eater but it doesn’t mean it can’t do it. Over
the four days we covered about eighteen
hundred kilometres with about half of that
being reasonably high speed tar, at no point
did we have to wait for the 690 to catch up.
It easily kept a steady pace with the rest
of the bikes at way over the posted speed
limits. Whoever rode it did mention the seat
was a bit firm and some wind deflection
would have made it more fun to ride at
that kind of pace, but nobody mentioned
that they needed more speed or power or
even better road holding. The 690 Enduro
R is exceptionally stable at speed on tar,
there is the occasional wobble at higher
speeds, but that is more due to the dual
purpose tyres. Hanging your knee through a
corner is as much fun as on a proper super
The shift assist, or more colloquially
known as the power shifter, has the
690 racing up the speedo very quickly
and surprising a few of the riders on
bigger bikes. The shift assist makes for
an incredibly smooth and quick up shift
with the auto blip assisting in the down
changes. This bike is so much fun to ride
on the tar that you will upset the local traffic
Once you get the 690 into the dirt it
comes alive. I grabbed it at our lunch stop
in Kestell on day 1 and once we hit the
dirt in Lesotho I was suddenly riding like
Alfie Cox, (or so I imagined in my own little
fantasy World). At best I am a somewhat
competent off road rider, but on the 690R I
was easily running at the head of the pack
in the dirt. The suspension has a huge
amount of travel and is superb, soaking up
all the bumps and jumps with ease making
the 690 very rideable. The shift assist and
auto blip came into its own when tackling
the technical sections, no need to claw at
the clutch while trying to hang onto the bars
to change gears in a pinch. Just a simple
tap up or down got you into the correct
gear. The new motor is also just so smooth
and all the power so very useable. All in all
the new 690 Enduro R is a very confidence
inspiring bike to ride, not the wayward
hooligan machine the previous model was.
It is a dirt bike with lights on it so it is not
a highway cruiser, but if you only have
the budget for one bike that you need to
commute on and also want to enjoy the dirt
on weekends you won’t go wrong buying
the new 690 Enduro R.
2019 KTM 790 Adventure and 790
More bikes we featured about 2 months
ago when our editor came back from the
world launch in Morocco smiling like a
Cheshire Cat and bumbling on about what
a game changer this bike is.
Anyway, back to the 790’s ….. Yes! They
are that good. Initially I went in looking for
reasons not to like the 790 because of all
the hype around them. I don’t always just
30 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
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accept the opinion of the masses; I like
to find out my truth for myself. Swinging
my leg over the 790 R and dropping into
the saddle felt right, even for my extended
chassis. I was immediately comfortable, I
took a few minutes to acquaint myself with
the controls and the TFT screen with the
various traction control, ABS and power
modes. It must be said, moving from
one KTM to another is easy. Their family
heritage is very apparent in the layout of the
control, menu’s and etc. and all very easy to
understand and learn. The 790 Adventure
R stands a bit taller the 790 Adventure
because of its extended suspension travel,
a good 40mm more than the Adventure.
The 790 Adventure R also comes with ‘Rally
Mode’ as standard but is an optional feature
on the 790 Adventure, both bikes have lean
angle sensitive ABS and traction control
especially in off road modes.
The MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control)
is a lean-angle sensitive traction control
system that reacts immediately the instant
rear wheel rotation speed becomes
disproportionate to the riding situation. In
mere milliseconds, MTC reduces engine
output with an extremely smooth, barely
perceptible intervention at the throttle
valves until slippage is reduced to optimum
proportions for the selected ride mode
and current angle of lean. For particularly
ambitious riders, the traction control can
also be switched off. KTM’s cornering ABS
system allows riders to always use the full
power of their brakes while the system
adjusts brake pressure to match the lean
angle of the motorcycle, for safer and more
predictable braking across a wider range
of conditions and scenarios. It can be
turned off for off road conditions. Braking
demands are very different in sand, mud,
gravel or rocks from the predictable grip
of asphalt. By selecting ‘off road ABS’,
the ABS function is deactivated on the
rear wheel, while the front wheel ABS
intervention is reduced and lean-angle
sensor data is ignored to accommodate
the many potential cornering, steering and
control scenarios off road where the plane
of movement might vary (such as leaning
into a berm, rut or sand dune). This allows
riders to lock up the rear wheel, which
can be used to steer into corners, a useful
skill for experienced riders. ‘Off road ABS’
reduces the prevalence of the ABS on the
front wheel on looser surfaces, which better
balances decent stopping power with
secure braking in the dirt. These settings
were developed for maximum braking
power with minimal electronic intervention
in all scenarios. So, all it does is make the
790 so much easier to ride compensating
for human error in most road and off road
situations. I noticed a concrete culvert way
too late and going way too fast in the dirt to
brake, so I sent up a little prayer and kept
on the gas. The 790R’s suspension soaked
up the impact got us airborne and landed
us safely back on terra firma without so
much as a stutter which was more than I
could say for my poor nought.
Once you get the suspension dialled
in for your weight and riding style,
customise the various mode settings to
your preferences the 790 is just such a
good bike to ride. Shorter riders might want
to consider the 790 Adventure with the
optional Rally mode dongle ad on. Both
bikes can easily cruise down the Highways
and byways for hours at speeds that easily
match their price tag, but are even better
off-road. Nothing we chucked these bikes,
(sometimes quite literally), was too much for
them. They are better than extremely good
off road and even better in the hands of a
properly competent rider. Knee dragging on
the tar is a synch and you will possibly have
quite a bit of fun at a track day with the
correct tyres on. The KTM 790 Adventure
and 790 Adventure R are the next evolution
in adventure motorcycling. This is your day
to day commuter; long distance tourer and
week end off road weapon.
KTM 1090 Adventure R
Yes … another bike we featured last
month, like I said KTM SA keeps us riding.
Personally I love this bike. It is a big V-twin
and sounds so sexy with its Akrapovic
pipe. It is quite basic as far as gadgetry is
concerned but at just under 200K with an
Akrapovic thrown in you will have to go a
long way to find a better deal.
The 1090 Adventure R is extremely quick
off the line and will give most superbikes
32 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
a pretty good run for their money between
traffic lights. At speed the off road tyres
do make it a bit exciting in the bends, but
just relax your grip on the bars and it will
steady out quite substantially. The seat is
a bit hard for long periods in the saddle,
but something you can get used to. Wind
protection from the small screen is ample
and my preference is for a shorter sexy
little screen anyway, I’m not a fan of the big
delivery bike screens a lot of people seem
overly fond of. They create a huge low
pressure cell right in front of the rider that
messes with your riding comfort as well as
the aerodynamics of your helmet, much like
the “wooo wooo wooo” you get in your car
when driving at highway speeds with the
window all open.
For such a big bike the 1090R is very
good in the dirt, shorter riders might find the
weight and the height a bit of a challenge
in the dirt but a few small adjustments
should sort that out. You do have to be a
bit judicious on your use of the throttle,
the 1090 is incredibly powerful and the
suspension is quite plush so you tend to
forget how quick you are going until you
get to a blind rise into a tight turn. Then it
is “OHH!! My Ffaaaaa …..!” and “Please
God don’t let me die!” moment, but most
times the off road ABS and suspension
will get you out of it. There were a couple
of occasions on the trails around Lesotho
that the 1090R had my sphincter clamping
down on the seat, but that was just me
being lulled into a false sense of security by
the easy power and great suspension.
A couple of times I hit a lurker or two and
really expected to have the bars ripped out
of my grip and be catapulted into oblivion,
and each time the KTM I was on saved my
ass and the 1090R was no different. Sadly I
believe this is the last year KTM is going to
be producing the 1090 Adventure R, so it is
going to become a bit of a collector’s item.
Might be an idea to buy one and put into
storage as an investment for 20 years down
2019 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
and Super Adventure R
Firstly the Super Adventure S is big, very
big and a tad heavy for extreme off road
use but in the right hands very competent.
Not everybody is that competent though,
to me this is a very good and comfy long
distance tourer with really good off road
capabilities. It is packed to the max with
all the mod cons to make it beautiful to
ride long distance. I rode this bike back to
Afriski along the extremely twisty mountain
passes at night at a fair clip, now being
night blind and having no street lighting it
was quite terrifying for me. The 1290 has
sublimely good lights and a great extra
feature, the further you crank over into a
corner the more lights switch on along that
side illuminating the way ahead even better
for the rider then switch off again once
upright. I like that a lot. Power delivery is as
expected, it is strong and smooth off the
bottom and all the way up to the red line,
the shift assist gets you to max top speed
in no time at all and it dives in and out of
corners very well. It is a pleasure riding two
up with luggage.
I had opportunity to ride it along some
quite extreme trails in Lesotho including
down Sani pass which was in quite bad
condition when we went down. It is capable
in the dirt but does require some level
of off road riding skill to keep it upright.
Going down Sani Pass was a bit of a white
knuckle affair for me, but the lads from KTM
were playing with it in the dirt on Sani. So
horses for courses, buy the bike that best
The 1290 Super Adventure R is a
completely different animal. I have always
asked, “Why the heck would you want a
1300cc dirt bike?” and the simple answer is
……. Well ….. there is no simple answer.
You have to go and ride one of these
bikes to fully understand and appreciate
what it is capable of. It feels smaller and
lighter than the Super Adventure S and
once you have dialled in all the various
modes to your personal preferences
it is such a fun bike to ride. I liked the
suspension and the power delivery a
lot more than the S and I felt a lot more
confident riding the R. The R is so reactive
34 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
to rider input and gives you so much
feedback from the suspension and the
brakes that you know exactly what is
happening all the time. With the correct
setting on the traction control you can
power it through long dirt bends knowing
it will power slide without breaking traction
completely making you look like a pro
rider. The ergonomics are great as well, I
was completely comfortable and at home
on the 1290 R immediately and even tried
the odd little jump here and there. Off
Road the 1290 R amazing but on road at
high speed it does get a bit of a wobble on
from the knobbly tyres, but just relax your
grip on the bars and it stables itself again.
It is not as fast as the S in a straight line
due to an engine mapping block for the off
road tyres, because most people do not
have the self-discipline to ride this beast
within the confines of the tyres. I love this
bike, it just makes your stand a bit taller,
puff out your chest a bit more and get a
bit more swagger in your stride. This is a
manly mans bike.
So what is all the hype about??
Lesotho is unbelievably beautiful but
incredibly harsh. The riding is Adventure
Biker heaven. Lesotho is a bucket list
destination for everybody … and that is
not just hype … it’s a fact.
The new KTM 790 Adventure and
Adventure R is the next evolution in
adventure biking and that is also a fact.
The 1290 Super Adventure R is what all
other adventures wish they could be. KTM
has an adventure bike for everybody, go
ride them all and buy the right one for you
not what peer pressure wants you to buy.
Get to your dealer to check them out
– or, www.ktm.com for full specs on all of
ROOF OF AFRICA BRONZE QUALIFIER.
“A birds eye view of the Bronze Qualifier”
By Mishka Moller
We asked you for your
stories of the Bronze Roof
and we got quite a lot of
response. Here you go,
enjoy! And thanks Mishka,
ZCMC and everyone else
for most of the pics.
I am 100% in love with the The Maluti
mountains - how could you not? These
mountains call me back every year -
twice a year in fact - for 5 years now
and it’s always been to work at the Hard
Enduro! It’s a combination of energising
& exhausting, exhilarating & revitalising!
It’s demanding, but extremely rewarding
looking after 26 ‘factory racers’ and 23
riders were new to the this event! Every
year, SOHR has new riders participating
in this ‘bucket shop’ event and we want
to create a memorable experience for
the ‘newbies’ who have trained so hard
and have no idea what to anticipate in this
Hard Enduro which adapts and changes
like the wind annually!
2019 was an exciting start as Charan
Moore; the new organiser and his team
stepped up to the plate. From the first
communication we received, we knew this
‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ Bronze Qualifier
was going to be a proper one! Lot’s of
planning was evident - the route was really
well mapped - with approx 100 km of
superb riding added with some ‘pressure
cooker’ moments and a refuel stop en
route was the order of the day!
It was an early crisp morning start
with over 300 colourful entrants waiting
impatiently in the line but brimming with
nerves and excitement. Last year we
endured a very rainy BQ, so watching the
sunrise over the mountains was already
a good way to start the race! Lesotho
had recently had rain so there were some
hectic parts over mountains with little grip
and lots of assistance amongst the riders.
Riders started off to a well-timed
flowing start and we headed up to
Bushmans to set up for their ‘refuel of
body’ & fuel stop & a quick once over and
quick fix of bikes by Gavin Morton and
fellow family member Mark Garland from
Arrow Yamaha Racing.
Our 26 SOHR guys all qualified and
were delighted with their medals! We
breathed in the fresh mountain air and
counted our blessings with a Maluti beer
and a braai in the mountains!
Congratulations to all the guys that
participated this year - we look forward
to seeing you at the Roof of Africa 4 - 7
Four members of SOHR: Dino Zimmides,
Sean Tagney, Troy Nagel and James Luyt
(known as the ‘MP’s’) took a bet last year
on an enduro ride in Swaziland that they
would all complete the Bronze Qualifier this
year! Much excitement and lots of training!
Less drinking and partying for the guys as
they prepped for the event!
James Luyt’s clutch starting giving him
hassles 20km before the finish line - he
was able to ride very slowly in 1st and
2nd gear and a bit of free-wheeling down
the hill. Determined to finish he pushed it
where necessary! At the last checkpoint
about 12km before the finish-line, James
had absolutely NO power and his clutch
had packed up completely! Another rider
Moshate Letlela (No 66) stopped and
assisted him to the Finish line saying
“This is your first Bronze Qualifier - you
have to finish” James made it!!
A very big THANK YOU to Moshate
for being such a super supportive biker -
makes for a wonderful riding community!
Sean Tagney pulled him with a rope
back to the SOHR Pits.
Troy Nagel pushed hard for 98 km’s
and then had a fall literally before the finish
line popping out his shoulder. Marshalls
and paramedics said he must accompany
them and they will strap him up - not
sure if it was broken or dislocated! Troy
was determined to finish and he said he
doesn’t care what happens - he will have it
strapped once he finishes!
He got his medal - got strapped and
they operated on Thursday! He is back in
A riders Perspective:
By Mo Moosa
I have rallied cars in the South African
National Rally Championship for 7 years
and have won the National title in Class A6
in 2009. I was part of a professional setup
and was sponsored by Total and Toyota SA
and competed in the ultimate class S2000
against the best in SA.
Growing up on a farm, I have ridden
bikes all of my life and still own the 1983
Model Yamaha PW80 that I rode as a
child. When I stopped rallying I looked for
something to fill that gap and my friend;
Brian Capper; introduced me to Hard
Enduro in August 2015. It ticked all the
boxes for me, in that there were a new set
of skills to master, it was very physical and
it provided that much needed adrenaline
rush that I missed. I started off on a 2012
KTM 200XC-W and then to a 2014 KTM
250 6days. Now I ride a 2018 Husqvarna TE300. I also
ride a Honda Africa Twin and was chosen as one of the
top 28 for the 2018 Honda Quest.
I am blessed to live in the stunning Tzaneen area
where we have some amazing riding. We have a
cool group of riders here, and rides happen most
weekends. I’ve also done quite a few of the LEC races
and did the 2017 the Sea to Ski adventure - being one
of 14 riders to complete the entire route including the
virtually unridable WET Donkeys D!$# pass, finishing
the day riding at 9:30PM after being on the saddle for
I must admit that the learning curve has been
very steep and I was shocked at the levels of fitness
required to for Enduro. It was also frustrating at
times because of my late start in Enduro I’m not as
competitive as I’d like to be (YET).
A few of my riding buddies have successfully
completed the ROA in various classes and I set about
establishing what I need to do to prepare. My new
year’s resolution was easy..... My riding goal for 2019
was to do the Bronze Roof of Africa.
Since the start of Jan 2019 I’ve done around
1600km of hard riding and around 60 hours in the
gym. In addition to the training I finished the LEC
Casterbridge Eduro in March and then in April I did a
training camp in Ramabanta with Jason Livingstone
of Trail Boss Enduro. This was the one step that
improved my riding more than anything else I’ve done
in the past. We did the infamous Ntsupi pass as part
of the training – needless to say it was tough but also
highlighted many of my weaknesses that I needed
to work on. I had a month to iron out all the kinks
on myself and the bike. She got a new top end and
suspension upgrade... I’m really happy with the Dal
Soggio front end kit that Justin at Shock logic installed.
Arriving nice and early on Friday before the race
we were able to drive out to a few of the spectator
points and look at some of the terrain. I
have a height phobia and after driving
up Bushman’s Pass I was unsettled, and
then getting back to Avani for the riders
briefing to the sound of bikes being
revved, made the butterflies started
fluttering even more wildly.
The next morning was stunning – we
got to the pits as the sun was coming up
and I was actually calm and relaxed. My
target was to complete the route in 6 hours
or less and I managed to get off the line at
exactly 7:30. I was passing bikes from the
get go, and actually was a bit worried that
I may be pushing too hard and would burn
myself out, although the route was actually
easier than I expected.
There was one tough section which
was the climb just before the refuel zone,
there was a bottle neck of around 30 bikes
there. I decided to wait out the main line
and it took around 30min to get through.
While pushing hard to get back to refuel
I misjudged the line on a step-down and
went down hard over the handle bars,
my throttle hand hooked the hand guard
and I twisted my wrist. By the time I got
to refuel the wrist was painful and I had
to take some meds, I took my time and
spent around 15min in the pits as I knew
Bushman’s was coming and wanted to be
fresh and ready for it. It was actually easier
than I expected and I was down in no time.
I felt good although by now my wrist was
now quite painful – I was confident that I
was going to finish.
Around 12km from the end there was a
slippery wet adverse sandstone slab that
we needed to traverse. It was like ice and
my front wheel washed I went down and
was sliding towards the edge and a 30m
drop. There were some local kids and I
called them to help.....this is where my
Roof story gets interesting.
Being fluent in Sesotho I was able
to get everyone working together and
we managed to rescue the bike. Now
for the fun part – I needed to give them
a thank-you – I keep a little bag that
slides in behind my headlight. I keep
my phone, some cash and my snacks in
it. I took the bag out and gave them the
mandatory tip and obviously didn’t put the
bag back properly. I pulled off and about
2km further I came to this most beautiful
sandstone mountain that looked like an
amphitheatre. I had to stop and take a
pic.... my bag was GONE. I realised it
must have dropped in the last 2km.
I turned around and backtracked
carefully expecting to see my bag on the
trail - I got back all the way to the kids...
no bag. So I asked where my bag was
and they immediately said that one Maluki
picked it up and had left running up the
mountain. I told them to go find Maluki
and my bag and I would give them a
present. 3 of them took off at speed up
the mountain leaving me a 2 smallies of
around 4 years old. We started having a
chat and they kept telling me that Maluki
is a naughty guy and he should have
followed me to give me my bag back.
I was worried that that was the last I
would see of them and the bag and my
phone. The small guys said no “Malumi
(uncle) don’t go – they will come back
now now”. Around 25min later there is a
commotion and I see them coming down
the mountain all smiles. They (minus
Maluki) hand me back my bag with only
the money (R50) missing.
Now I had a dilemma – I didn’t have
any more money to give them. This is
when rider 199 (Elize Olivier) came up and
I asked her for some money to give them.
They were happy – I was overjoyed to get
my bag back with my phone back. My
faith in humanity is restored.
I rode like a demon to the end – the last
10km are the best 10km I’ve ever had a
on a bike – I was actually sad to get to the
end. The 30min time lost with the bag cost
me a top 100 position but I was more than
happy with my final time 5h:38min and 135
position. Elize I owe you some cash.....
Oh yes... my wrist – It got progressively
more painful so I went to see the Doc this
morning. I had an x-ray – it’s got a hairline
fracture – I was lucky to be able to finish....
What a ride.... Thanks Live Lesotho
and Charan Moore for some lifelong
memories.....the real work starts now.
By Graham Maclachlan:
The two chubby guys on the left just
behind my brother Vivian are Shaun
Stevenson and Wayne Thompson.
Now Stiffie aka Shaun is a very good
rider and Wayne is more chubby but not
so good. “We all know never to under
estimate a chubby Enduro rider”….LOL
Well, this is where it gets interesting:
There is a bet between the two. If Wayne
finishes the Roof of Africa Bronze, Stiffie
has to grow his hair for a year. If not,
Wayne must buy Stiffie a case of beer
every month for a year.
Well, Stiffie helped Wayne at this
years qualifier and Wayne came in @
17:20….so now the march is on for Roof
of Africa proper!!!!
He hung with him all the way to the end
That is a long time on a bike for a “big guy”.
You can imagine how much fun it has
been and still will be for the circle of friends
proud dad with
Griffin Joubert #15
From Johan Joubert:
Attached (left) are some
photo’s of my son Griffen
Joubert @ the Bronze
Qualifier. I must say I am a
proud dad and the event was
The Moore’s did a great job.
SO GOOD IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE CHEATING
DUNLOP TYRES – PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY HENDERSON RACING PRODUCTS
SA NATIONAL ENDURO RACING ROUNDUP
BOUVERIE AND FLANAGAN
SHOWDOWN IN MALUTI MOUNTAINS.
Supplied by ZCMC thanks guys!
All roads led to Lesotho for the third round
of the MSA National Enduro Championship.
Living up to its reputation, the mountain
kingdom showed no mercy with over
120km of unforgiving terrain to conquer.
Having stepped on the Roof of Africa
podium multiple times in his career,
Harding rider Scott Bouverie (Brother
Leader Tread KTM) took his place at the
start line as no stranger to the Maloti
In an intense battle to defend his lead in
the E2 Class, Round Two winner Bouverie
entered a bar-to-bar battle with arch rival
Kyle Flanagan (Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha
Racing), who won the opening round.
It was a game of cat and mouse for the
first three laps of the race until Flanagan
managed to take the lead in a final push
for the finish line.
As the season hits its halfway mark, it
has become increasingly clear that the
race for the E2 Championship will come
right down to the wire. Just three points
separate Flanagan and Bouverie ahead of
the next round in Eshowe.
“Back on top…thanks to my team and
everyone who made it happen,” said
“This race was for my uncle and gran who
are both in hospital at the moment. I fought
hard and gave it everything I had, now you
two do the same please,” he added.
Bouverie commented: “Pity I didn’t get
the win but had a really good battle
today. There are still three rounds to
make up some points – it’s going to be
a really tight championship. Looking
forward to the next round.”
For teammate Bradley Cox, Lesotho
brought just the kind of breakthrough
he’d been waiting for. The talented multidisciplined
athlete took his competitors by
surprise when he stormed to his first E1
podium finish this season.
44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
The confidence-boost comes at just the
right time for Cox, who is just days away
from a race at GNCC – the biggest offroad
series in America.
“I finally managed to land it on the box!
I’ve been so close so many times, so
for it to finally payoff is really cool. It’s
also really good to carry this kind of
confidence as I head off to America,”
Adding to the celebrations at the orange
camp was the announcement that KTM
South Africa won the National Enduro
event’s Manufacturer’s Award.
From the Proudly Bidvest Blu Cru
Kyle Flanagan lead the race from start to
finish with his rival Scott Bouverie (KTM
Brother Leader Tread rider) hot on his
heels until lap 3 when Kyle checked out
and put some distance between himself
and Scott. . “When I saw Scott made a
mistake on lap 3 I knew I had to push
hard to try and open up a gap. I’m glad I
was able to open a gap and increase my
lead in the championship.” Kyle won the
E2 Category and the overall for the day.
Lloyd Kirk had a good race this and it
was easy to see that the technical terrain
suited his riding abilities. “I managed to
get into a rhythm after the 1st lap and felt
comfortable on the bike”. Lloyd placed
a respectable 2nd for the day in the
E1 category and is currently 2nd in the
Bruce May was flawless yet again
aboard his YZ250FX “I had a good
day overall and in the beginning I just
tried to ride as smoothly as possible
knowing the terrain in Leostho.” Bruce
placed 1st overall for the day in the
Masters category and increased his
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• Soft terrain tyre, with an unusually wide scope
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compound offers enhanced chipping, tearing and
• Geomax AT81 RC (Reinforced Construction) rear
tyre carcass features four nylon plies
• Lateral grooves on the shoulder tread blocks
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DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 45
Denzil “The General” Torlage had a
great ride aboard his YZ250X. “1st
lap was really tough as I tried hard
to push and ended up losing my
breath. 2nd lap I caught my breath
back and got going with a good
pace.” Denzil finished the day off in
2nd place in the Masters category.
Well done to Charan Moore and
the Live Lesotho team for hosting
a great National Enduro and a Roof
of Africa Bronze qualifier. Thankyou
must be said to all sponsors
for their support: Bidvest, Metzeler,
PSP Racing, AMP, Shoei, Acerbis,
RK Chains, Progrip, Yamalube,
GYTR and Hayward Suspension.
1 Kyle Flanagan
2 Scott Bouverie
3 William-Waide Slater
4 Luke Walker
5 Heinrich Zellhuber
1 William Oosthuizen
2 Lloyd Kirk
3 Bradley Cox
4 Matthew Green
5 Kayde Mante
2 Dricky Morkel
3 Gerhard Venter
4 Henri Lategan
5 Stefan Brits
1 Heinrich Aust
2 Ryan Pelser
3 Ryan Sequeira
4 Cayden Purchase
5 Dylan Cox
1 Bruce May
2 Denzil Torlage
3 Gideon Malherbe
4 Warner Trimmer
5 Carl Rohrbeck
46 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
And then it was like Braap!
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Ever wonder how EnduroCross riders manage
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with the all-new Geomax AT81 EX that features
even greater grip and performance.
The AT81 already has a championship-winning
record, scoring numerous titles in AMA National
Enduro competition, Grand National Cross
Country, and other series. The new AT81 EX was
built on the same winning tread pattern and
construction as the AT81, but adds ultra grippy
compounds to the equation.
Available in 110/100-18 rear size, the AT81 EX is
made for a wide variety of extreme conditions—
not just EnduroCross—and was developed with
the help of Cody Webb and Destry Abbott.
Webb, who used the new AT81 EX en route to
winning the 2017 EnduroCross title, had this to
say about the new tyre. “The AT81 EX has been
amazing and I was shocked how much better it
made my rear shock feel going over obstacles and
absorbing them. It’s great for trail riding and any
type of extreme terrain.”
“I can honestly say the AT81 EX is the best
advantage you could have to help you win races,”
said multi-time off-road champion Destry Abbott.
“I’m able to go up things I couldn’t with a regular
tyre, especially in rocky, slippery conditions. I’ve
been using it for EnduroCross racing and extreme
rides and it has helped me with my confidence too.”
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DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 47
Koue Bokkeveld 400
storms to Bokkeveld win
Kenny Gilbert delivered a stunning ride to lead the
Koue Bokkeveld 400 from lights to flag and move
into the South African Cross Country Motorcycle
championship lead for Pepson Plastics Husqvarna.
The Pretoria Dakar hero was backed up by compatriot
Taki Bogiages, who continued his comeback charge
with fourth in the OR2 class.
“What a day,” Kenny Gilbert beamed after storming
to victory in a tough and torrid race across the
deserted Bokkeveld highlands north of the Western
Cape town of Ceres. “We knew long before we arrived
here that to win this race, we needed to get out front
out of the dust and stay there, so Saturday morning’s
time trial was crucial. “But I won that by two seconds
to start the main race first.
“Ross Branch pressurised me for a while but I
fought him off and repaid him the dusty favour he
imposed on me last year and I managed to slowly
open the lead. “The going was super tough as it
always is in the Bokkeveld, but the team prepared me
a beautiful Pepson Plastics Husqvarna this weekend
and I managed to use it to great effect.”
The Koue Bokkeveld was the next step in Taki
Bogiages’ recuperation following his broken back late
last year, but the Pretoria rider was happy with his race
to sixth in class. “We are getting there,” Taki grinned.
“This was a tough one — I had a good time trial and
set a target to ride home to a strong finish, which is
what I did, so I am pretty happy with fourth in OR2
and the way the season has started. “Thanks to the
Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team for a great bike as
It was a day to forget for Masters rider Iain Pepper
however, who took a tumble in thick dust in the time
trial and retired with a hurt wrist. “It was a bit of bad
luck I suppose,” Iain explained. “Visibility was almost
zero and I hit a lurker in the dust and that was it.
“Apologies to the team — my Husqvarna felt incredible
as always today.”
“Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing enjoyed a
brilliant day in the Bokkeveld,” Husqvarna Motorcycles
South Africa brand manager Fred Fensham concluded.
“Kenny delivered a star performance to win and move
into the championship lead and Taki continues on
an impressive recovery path. “Sorry for Iain, but he’s
tough as nails and will be back — well done to the
Pics from all over and ZCMCC
Some other comment:
P2 overall at this past weekend’s National Off-road
down in Koue Bokkeveld. My best finish to date in the
National OR1 class Stoked with my result but won’t
settle till we get that win!
Big thank you to Rall Racing and Hein Perry for the
help in the pits. Also a big thank you to all my sponsors
for making it possible for me to do this sport I love full
The koue bokkeveld National in Ceres was a real
learning curve and I felt good and fast managing to
make up some time after having a bad qualifying 12th
The dust was just too hectic to take chances and I
could only manage to get a 5th in OR2 class.
Keep on building and moving forward!
TEAM MCA HOLESHOT HUSQVARNA
A cold, dusty and loose rock haven awaited us on a
grueling, mixed terrain track in the formidable Koue
Our team set onto time trial with some plausible
results as we awaited the 10:30 am start on May 4th.
Jaycee Nienaber, was back to himself with a strong,
all round, performance with a 4th in the OR1 class
and 5th Overall. Some good points in the bag going
In OR2, we had the duo of Jason Venter and Darren
Macleod take to the stage. The initial first charge by
Jason Venter was looking highly promising and he
crept into the Top 15 overall however a rear moose
collapse, halted this and with a limp to the DSP, losing
too much time to catch up, finishing in 7th in OR2.
Darren Macleod, however, kept his consistent
pace throughout with one last surge on the last of the
smaller loops to come in just behind 5th place, in 6th
Stefan Van Deventer, took off in fine
style and was looking good in 2nd place
in the OR3 gate until he lost rear brakes
into the second of the longer loops. This
set him back and limped into the DSP for
some fresh brakes. He managed to stay
constant after that and bagged a 4th in
Our young high schoolers, who have
been a sensation watching this year so far,
bidding well for the future in SA Offroad,
came home with some awesome points.
Davin Cocker Led from the start of the
race after a good time trial and grew his
lead steadily throughout the day. Well done
on 1st place and currently leading the Hs
Matty Wilson, in his rookie year, again
found his mojo and set into a 4th place
time trial start, he quickly found his
way into 3rd place and remained there
untouched throughout for some very good
Our Master Class Rider, Faan Van
Deventer, was running big numbers and
amongst some of the bigger bikes with
yet another awesome win in the Masters
Class. This puts Faan at 2/2 for Nationals
so far this year.
Well done to Kenny Gilbert on an
incredible win and thanks to all our team
1 Kenneth Gilbert
2 D’Artagnan Lobjoit
3 Brad Cox
4 Louwrens Mahoney
5 Jaycee Nienaber
6 Ross Branch
7 Gareth Cole
8 Wilhelm Schonfeldt
9 Louw Schmidt
10 Jarryd Coetzee
1 Kenneth Gilbert
2 D’Artagnan Lobjoit
3 Louwrens Mahoney
4 Jaycee Nienaber
5 Ross Branch
6 Wilhelm Schonfeldt
7 Brett Lewis
8 Ryan Ripley
9 Kirsten Landman
10 Taye Perry
1 Gareth Cole
2 Louw Schmidt
3 Jarryd Coetzee
4 Taki Bogiages
5 Ian Rall
6 Darren MacLeod
7 Jason Venter
8 Carika Pieterse
9 Carl Swanepoel
10 Kyle Schutte
1 Davin Cocker
2 Nardus Rabe
3 Matthew Wilson
4 Ryan Pelser
5 Judah Josua de Villiers
6 Jan-Ruben Botha
7 Storm Viljoen
1 Faan Van Deventer
2 Wayne Farmer
3 Dax Hunt
4 Ian Venter
5 Martin Lourens
6 Robert Streak
7 Henry Smith
FITNESS FOR ENDURO
“I couldn’t podium
– Bruce Viljoen
Bruce Viljoen #44
Multiple GXCC & Northern
THE AUTHORITY IN
FOR DIRT BIKERS
Contact us NOW at: firstname.lastname@example.org | 082-461-1443
Photo by: Chantelle Melzer Photography
52 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
W E T H E R D D E S I G N S
2006 KX250 BIKE BUILD
Here is a very personal feature from one of our mates and Kawasaki nut Shane Rutherford from the
Wetherd Designs outfit. Life sometimes throws you a curveball. This is how he has dealt with tragedy.
In 2016 my brother and best friend Aidan
was diagnosed with Leukemia.
At the time, I was still living in Johannesburg
and working for Rockstar Energy. For the first
year he was sick, I was bouncing between my
hometown of East London and Jozi. Well, as
often as I could possibly afford anyway.. It was
a tough time for him, plus I was going mental
living so far away..
A year into Aidy being sick, I had
a small melt down and resigned
from my job, so that I could
move home to be with
my family and brother.
It wasn’t a tough
decision at all. Work at the time was awful,
JHB was really crappy and to be honest with
everything happening, I came to realize that
I wasn’t happy with the direction that my life
In Early 2017, I took the leap and moved back
to our family farm just outside of East London. I
had no idea what work I was going to be doing,
no direction at all, other than I knew I had to be
where my brother was. When I told the guys
at Rockstar what I was planning, they didn’t
want to lose me, so made a plan to keep me on
board. I worked remotely from East London for 5
months but long story short, this didn’t work, so I
resigned again, with no plan or direction.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 5 3
Aidan and Daughter
Aidan and Mother
This was the bike at
Again! Flip! I thought I would only be silly once! Haha!
Although times were tough financially, there was better
news on the horizon! Aidy gave me the best news I could
have ever have heard! His latest tests had come back
completely clear, and he was told that his cancer was in
remission! What amazing news this was, we were all so
pumped for him, that he had beaten this monster!! Hells
YEAH! FCK Cancer!!!
For the next 10 or 11 months, things went on as
normal, I was working on my Wetherd Brand again,
painting helmets and doing design work and we managed
to buy Aidy a fix her upper bike that we planned to build
as soon as we had some cash. Then, when it was done,
we would do a small photo-shoot together to celebrate the
hard times and build a little memory bank with something
we both loved along the way.
The plan went smoothly until Aidan came home from a
work trip, feeling tired, sore and had been suffering from
terrible headaches and tummy ache the entire trip.
Two months went by, in and out of hospitals, with his
condition only getting worse. He lost 25kg in the first 4
weeks, and roughly another 12 over the following 4 weeks.
He then developed Bell’s palsy symptoms in his face,
and doctors could not tell us what was causing it.
He wasn’t able to hold food down, and eventually could
not walk on his own. He was deteriorating fast. We could
do NOTHING to help him. I felt so USELESS!!
After seeing specialist after specialist, his doctor finally
came to the conclusion that they had missed a rare cancer
right in the beginning and started treatment straight away.
In a few short days, Aidy was getting chirpy again and
acting a little more like himself. The doctor diagnosed him
with Mature T-Cell Lymphoma, which had spread to his spine
and brain fluid. This of course was causing all the trouble!
Aidan stayed in hospital mostly from then on out, but
when he was well enough to go home, the doctor would
allow him to spend a weekend or week out, to regain his
strength for treatments. Sometimes when he was well
54 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
NEW NC750X D.C.T. (white or black in stock)
Normal price R113,999.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF 250 RX
Normal price R105,999.00
clearance sale special
CRF 450 R DEMO
Normal price R108,000.00
clearance sale special
2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin D.C.T
(demo bike, +/- 5,500km on the
clock, includes full RUMBUX bars
& STEALTH PERFORMANCE exhausT)
Normal price R182,300.00
clearance sale special
2018 NC750X (new – old stock)
Normal price R100,999.00
clearance sale special
(only 1 left – white)
2019 CRF 250 R
Normal price R98,999.00
clearance sale special
CRF 250 RALLY
Normal price R84,999.00
clearance sale special
2018 CBR1000RR (demo bike, +/-
300km on the clock)
Normal price R228,600.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF 450 L
Normal price R124,999.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF 110 F
Normal price R34,400.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF1000L Africa Twin,
Adventure Sport, manual
Normal price R196,500.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF 450 RX
Normal price R107,999.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF 125 F
Normal price R42,900.00
clearance sale special
2019 CRF1000L Africa Twin,
manual (only 1 left – black)
Normal price R181,500.00
clearance sale special
CRF 250 R BROOKE WHIPPLE RACE REPLICA DEMO
ALL EXTRA’S INCLUDED - NORMAL PRICE R85,000.00
clearance sale special R75,000.00
ONLY WHILE STOCKS LAST! FIRST COME FIRST SERVE!
enough we could work on his bike in the
garage - Our happy place!
However, times were really tough for
him. He was up and down a lot, and had
lost more than 30kg is total, my brother was
so frail. It was the most difficult thing to see
and be around.
I would get in the car after visiting and
cry my eyes out all the way home. I never
thought feeling so helpless could feel so
bad! It is quite possibly the worst thing any
physically fit person could endure with their
sickly loved one. Anyone who has been
through cancer with someone close to them
I’m sure can and will relate.
All through Aidan’s illness, the best thing
I figured I could do was keep his spirits up
and keep him motivated to fight this thing,
so that’s what I kept on trying to do until
the very end. We spoke of dirt bikes, future
plans, holidays together, and my really poor
taste in women. Haha!
On the woman front though, I think
he would be pretty proud of me now. We
also planned and held a small event in
his name called Throttle Day, built a really
cool fundraising campaign for him called
#FCKCancer, and just hung out as two
brothers would - I used whatever time I had
to the max.
Aidy eventually lost his battle with Cancer
on the 3rd of December 2018, and I lost my
very best friend. It was intense, and the most
difficult thing I have ever had to deal with.
But, just before Aidy passed, we
managed to finish his bike, and my good
friend Marc Sing Key took some amazing
photos of us together with the bike at our
track on the farm. Just after he passed, two
other good friends came to visit and took
some photos of me messing around on his
bike so I had some memories to hold onto.
These days when I want to spend time
with Aidan, I jump on his bike and we go
throw some laps around the track together.
Shane putting the bike
through its paces...
56 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
• Stock 2006 Kawasaki KX250
• Powder Coated Frame and Parts
• Tyres: Dunlop
• Bars/Grips: Renthal
• Chain: RK Lumo Green
• Sprockets: Renthal
• Bearings: Pivot Works
• Sticker Kit: Wetherd Racing/BBFX
• Reed Valves: VForce3
• Pipe: Running Stock
• Suspension: Stock
All available through Wetherd Racing.
Email: Sales@wetherddesigns.co.za for any help
needed or more information.
Massive thank you to my friends and family who were always
there when we needed them. Thank you to the Companies who
supported us along the way:
Monster Energy, Kawasaki, FOX Racing, Von Zipper SA, Bandit
Bike Graffix, Bell Helmets, Milltrans, Riegers Group, Tractor World,
Claas, 139 Motorsports, Gazebo World, Prepsol, DJ Tech, Sounds
of Summer, Buco EL, Duram Paints, The Bright Beetle, Tim Banks
Biokinetics, Track my Ride, Rubicon EL, Nithrone, Symonds
Sports, His Way Church, Cannonbury Rows Eggs, Shelford Farms,
Pro Veg EL, Kempston, The Out Post, Best Man Suit Hire, Premier
Hotels, Wilson Buchery, Heins Meats, Wildcoast FM, Link FM, Ajax
Tool Hire EL, Norland Plant Hirt, Pine Creek, SL Contractors, Gule
Meats, Kidds Beach Methodist Church, Sunshine Ladies, Elzea
Snacks, Twizza, St Christophers School.
Marc Sing Key
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 57
Taye has just returned
from the Merzouga Rallye,
where she raced in the
of Ross Branch, Kenny
Gilbert and and Kirsten
Landman. It was a huge,
amazing event for Taye
– her introduction to the
world of Rallye racing in a
lead up to hopefully giving
the Dakar a shot in 2020.
But she’s been racing for
years. Here is the story…
DT: Taye where did it all start?
TP: The social bug bit when I was just
a teenager, I saw a pic of my dad Hein
racing back in the day – and I thought
I’d give it a shot. My dad loved the idea
- My Brother is not so keen on bikes –
and dad brought home a clapped out
RM80 to mess around on with dad on
his RM250. I rode that for less than a
year, but decided that I really love bikes
– and dad agreed!
The 80 was traded for an 85 Big wheel
– my first brand new bike. Another year
on the 85 – and that was replaced by an
TP: Yup my first race was the Sun
City 200 on that 125 in 2006. I actually
wasn’t sposed to race – I was only 15,
but somehow they snuck me in. The
bug bit so hard – and I got a fourth in
the 125 class.
For 2 years, I raced that 125 – a
brilliant bike, suffered lots of gearbox
issues, but man it was fun. I raced
junior nationals and was just about at
the back of the pack each time – but
man we had fun. My best result was
getting rider of the day at the mini
Winterberg because I struggled so
2006 first offroad
race on RM125
2006 family pic RM80,
RM85 and RM250
2007 learning to
58 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
much! Dad raced with me all the time – until he broke
his leg at one of the regionals…
DT: Then your dad lost his 250?
TP: Correct. I decided to train on dad’s RM250, because
it would make me faster on the 125. As soon as I hit 18,
I started racing that. Dad only got to ride it when I wasn’t
racing. I rode that 250 for many years and slowly started
moving up the ranks. There still weren’t many girls racing,
so I do have quite a few trophies and great memories on
that bike. I actually learned to crash properly on that bike
– I’m only 4 and a bit feet tall so getting feet to the floor is
often a problem. I had to learn to keep feet on pegs and
open the throttle…
I even raced a quad for a few months – because there
was a ladies class. I raced a LTR450 and got a couple
of podiums – until I managed to cook the motor. I prefer
motorcycles, so I decided to go back to bikes.
Quads a go
DT: Did you race in teams or for Taye?
TP: I always try to join a team – it’s more fun so the early
days was Junior team Suzuki with Douw and Elouise
Steenkamp, then we moved along to Off road racing
Concepts on the 250. From there we joined Waterite
Racing – and I went Motard racing on Estiaans YZ250F. I
enjoyed the racing a lot – but I wanted more speed – and
girls were only allowed to race 250’s. I did about four races
for the year – the best result there was fourth.
DT: In between all of this you were still racing the 250?
TP: Yes I was racing regionals and GOC with the Bert
Smith Allstars. I was with them for a few years.In 2013,
Bert let me try his KTM 450 – and I never went back. I HAD
to have that power. After many hard years, dad got his
Suzuki back (Thanks Dad), and I conned Bert into letting
me race his bike, eventually buying it from him at the end
of the season.
2013 Taye and
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 5 9
In 2014, the team put me onto a KTM 300.
Great bike fast, light, but a small girl like me
needs lots of power – and a bit more weight…
my 450 just fits. I won the GOC championship
that year and was fortunate enough to do the
same for the next 2 years. All on that same
450. A brilliant, unbreakable bike.
While I was racing GOC, I was also racing
national off roads solo. I went into OR1 so
that I could do the full distance – I consistently
ran 6th or 7th. The nationals then were like
400KM’s, so it was a great learning curve.
One of my favorite events is the Botswana
desert 1000. Results have always been good
– 4th in OR1 one year… and consistently
in the top 10. That’s where my love of long
DT: You went off to the DRC?
TP: I’ve been backwards and forward to
The Congo for four years to compete in
the annual 4 hour enduro, a tough ride all
around Lubumbashi. The race attracts a lot
of internationals, and we are invited back as
the “Guest Stars”, lots of French and Belgian
competitors and ex pats who live in the DRC.
Some of them have done Dakar, and they keep
asking me why I have not done that yet.
DT: Yup. Dakar?
TP: It’s a big dream. 2020 here we come.
Last year November I decided to make that
a reality. I believe I can do it. The rallye stuff
is what I really love – and I really want to get
into the international Rallye scene. We started
selling everything – to save some funds
to make it to the Merzouga Qualifier. The
challenges are huge – it costs a lot – and we
are not as well-heeled as we’d like. I needed
to raise about R170.000. I managed to get
about 60k together, and a bit more through all
sorts of people who made donations. Thank
you guys - and when I was about to give my
transporter away – Pro Touch Global got to
hear about my efforts – and they stepped in
to help. More funds were secured and in a
dream I flew off to Morocco.
I managed to rent a KTM 450 from an outfit
in Merzouga – for roughly the same price as
it would have cost to ship a bike there and
back again – but I did not want to lose time
or take the chance with customs. That bike
was very tired… I only managed to get like
130kph tops out of it – when my old KTM
ran in excess of 150. But it was a bike and,
happily it did the job.
DT: How did you enjoy the race? And you
were fastest on most of the stages in the
TP: Loved it! Too short and over far too soon.
1300 KMs of mostly sand, man I loved every
second of it! And on the short rocky sections
the South Africans killed it! The internationals
don’t like rocks much. And yes – day one was
a mess - so I had to do some serious racing
over the next few days - but I just couldn’t
quite make up enough time on the leader.
DT: Walk us through what the race is like.
TP: Day 1 in the prologue – Sunday: That
was a mess, my road book came loose and
was flopping around, Kinda difficult to read at
130kph. I eventually tucked in behind someone
and made it through, but my position was not
so good. We fixed it in the bivvy that night, I
forgot to mention that we paid the Desert Rose
outfit for Pit assistance – and they fixed it up
Day 2: Stage 1: Thanks to the prologue, I
started at about position 76… kept it steady
for most of the day and I made up a lot of
positions… until the last check point. A whole
2019 Honda with Mom and Dad
2018 DRC with
Ross and Dart
2019 Honda team with
60 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
2018 DRC Race
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 6 1
group of us got very lost… and ended up
doing one of the sections twice which added 2
hours to the time… Frustrating!
Four of us did an extra 40KM’s that day, we
finished late afternoon.
Day 3 Stage 2: Despite the bad start, my
position was better – 63rd. It was a good
day of racing – I ended up 35th for the day. A
much happier Taye was at the dinner table that
Day 4 and 5: Stage 3 and Stage 4 Marathon
stages: No changes to bikes, no tyre changes,
no team support. Slept out in the desert.
Big Adventure! I came in 31st. By stage 4, a
massive, sandy dune day, my tyre was totally
shredded, making traction kind of interesting.
It is a tough race, easy to make mistakes. Easy
to lose hours in the dunes. It’s a big mental
game – stay focused with your eye on the
finish. Thanks to all the falls in the dunes, my
road book and ICO stopped working – so I line
hunted for the last 40KM’s…
I had a great day and made up some more
places. Ready for the last day – it felt so good.
Day 6: The last day stage 5, the MX Dune day.
Cold. We kicked off at 8 in the morning. The
start was 60KM’s away from where we slept
and we were all frozen by the time we got
there. The SXS’s started first – so guess what?
We had big ass lines to follow and we barely
had to use our road books. The racing section
was only about 50KM’s of dunes, but man was
it fun! The end came too quickly I could not
believe that it was over after all the prep.
My overall result – 48th – and I qualified for
DT: What’s next for Taye?
TP: Lots of bike time. Lots of road book time.
Bigger and better motorcycle things.
Hopefully quite a few Rallye’s before the big
one. Lots of fund raising – so if anyone out
there has some change lying around… please
do get in touch!
Tayes career at a glance:
• 2 x MSA National offroad Womans Titles –
2014 and 2015.
• 5 x Gauteng Cross country club Champ
2010, 11, 12, 14, 15.
• 4X Daqme de Fer/ Woman of steel award,
DRC ’15, 16, 17, 18
• 2 wins in Toyota desert 1000 race ladies
class, 2013, 2016.
• MSA Namaqua African Rally production
450cc Class winner 2014.
• Merzouga rallye finisher, Dakar qualifier.
DT: Any thank you’s?
TP: Where to start?
Pro Touch Global.
Dad, mom… all the teams I’ve raced with and
for in the past. To all the generous people who
donated to Merzouga, Big thank you for your
Follow Taye on facebook, Instagram, twitter
and wotnott: Taye Perry
Mrathon Day 2
2019 Merzouga podium
stage 3 start
Trophy Plate 2nd
2019 Merzouga Taye with BAS
Team boss Bart and mech
62 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Kinyemi in Swahili means ‘a good thing’
Africa...origin of mankind, a symbol of birth, a new beginning...
At Kinyemi Africa we offer ladies’ 4x4 trips. Our trips are carefully
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for ladies without a suitable vehicle to join us in one of the
Kinyemi vehicles as a passenger.
For further details contact Rose Thomas
+27 (82) 493 0734; E-mail: email@example.com
or visit our web page http://www.kinyemiafrica.com
Re-tread’s & Second Hand Tyres
in the Motorcycle Tyre Industry:
We bet that 90 percent of us
have been in the situation where
you simply cannot afford to
buy a new tyre. I remember
wandering next door to The Bike
Hospital to find a semi decent
used tyre for my CB5504k (OK
that bike was already old then!)
It’s not ideal - but when times are
tough you make a plan.
The guys from Bike Tyre
Warehouse sent us this feature
on what to look out for...
Used and retreaded motorcycle tyres:
The proliferation of second hand motorcycle
tyres is growing driven by economic factors &
rider ignorance to the dangers of using them.
The rider needs to ask him or herself
what the tyre went through when used by
the previous owner because it is not always
just about the life and wear of the tyre; not
many riders will get rid of a tyre at 50% of
its life just because he can more often than
not the tyre has experienced some sort of
critical damage that is not always apparent
to the unskilled eye.
So - has the tyre with 2mm-3mm tread
suffered impact damage? Or while buying
the second hand tyre for example you ask if
it has had a puncture you get shown a tyre
that has no evidence of a puncture repair
- but a faulty valve could have caused the
tyre to deflate and the previous owner could
have ridden the tyre while flat.
So he naturally got rid of it after having
it inspected by a tyre professional as the
carcass is fatigued and it is not safe to be
used any longer.
You buy it for R500 what a deal, then on
your Sunday run you run tight in a corner
and the tyre collapses and delaminates
which normally causes extensive damage
to the tail end of your bike and in some
cases takes the bike down with you on it...
The sale of scrubs (used race tyres) by
track riders after a race or track day is a
common practice in the race market. This
is all very well if the tyre is going back onto
the track but when these tyres end up on
road bikes used for daily commutes etc. it’s
very dangerous - and sadly so many bike
owners are ignorant to the fact thinking
because it is a track tyre it has great grip.
Sadly this is a big misconception.
Slicks are not designed for road use.
They require heat which they get with the
use of tyre warmers to bring them to the
required temperature for optimum grip. This
is not possible when you are going to work,
stop starting and filtering through traffic.
Ask anyone who tries to sell you a slick for
your road bike.
“Retreaded motorcycle tyres” you say
with a quick frown. “Why?”
Because you have been racing for 10 years,
you have ridden all the brands because as
an experienced rider you know you need
to try any & all tyres specific to your race
discipline because it’s what you do; because
you want to find what works for you.
You need a tyre to give you traction
& stability at high speed; straight line
precision; braking stability; cornering
stability; lateral support and durability. Tyre
versatility for multiple terrains is critical now
as a single race can cover several terrains,
and you might need different levels of
durability (tyre life).
Yes, every brand works at this - during
development to rigorous testing in-house
as well as giving tyre products to globally
recognized industry test centres like
Tass International. And they do obtain an
estimated tyre life for each product - but it’s
never a definite.
Because there are so many variables -
essentially how long is a piece of string?
Trust me, the most asked question in 20
years in the tyre trade – “How many kilo’s or
hours will I get on this tyre” proves without
a doubt that the life of a tyre is one of the
most important considerations made by a
customer when buying a tyre.
Racers are no different - they ask the
same question as the everyday riders why
because specially developed race tyres are
expensive when you use a set per race or
in the more extreme events 2 to 5 tyres - it
adds up very quickly.
A good example is the 140/80-18
extreme tyre which led to a war among
the manufacturers with a literally overnight
boom creating a high demand for this
extreme tyre type The brands rushed
to get product into the market; specially
designed carcasses and compound
offerings hard; medium; soft & the super
64 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
soft commonly known among this breed of
racer as a sticky.
Unbelievable technology which must
deliver on capability and safety when
pushed to the ultimate limit by the racer
and, yes there are brands that have
produced premium quality for this market
but again durability is the one thing that
So back to the quick frown; motorcycle
retreads - what’s this all about?
We have all heard the word retread and
the first thing that comes to mind is truck
tyres, and the daily reminder is the retreaded
rubber lying on our highways and
roads from these truck tyres.
So what are retreads; a brief synopsis.
A re-tread is a used tyre that has been
re-manufactured to extend its life. The old
worn tread is removed and new tread is
attached through a specialised process
involving hot and cold curing. Retreads
are widely used in the trucking industry
because of the high cost of replacing truck
tyres. Commercial jets also use retreads for
the same reason.
However, in the case of truck & aircraft
tyres the carcass has been designed to
take the extended life (mileage) of being
In overseas markets, re-treaded tyres for
passenger vehicles must have a maximum
speed rating of 140 km/h and the original
casing used must have a minimum rating of
Many motoring bodies and car insurance
companies do not consider retreads
safe and do not recommend their use in
passenger vehicles for the following reasons:
• The history of the original tyre is unknown
(how often has it been re-treaded and under
what conditions has it been driven).
• Less overall structural strength than a
new tyre and the potential for the retread to
come loose from the tyre.
• Potential instability at high speed.
• Inferior wet grip, durability and braking
In South Africa, there are no quality
safety standards that retreaded tyres need
to meet only that the tread depth meets
Why you should avoid retreads & used tyres.
While retread tyres may be suitable for the
transport industry due to the cost savings,
they should be avoided in passenger
vehicles simply because of the doubts that
still hang over them. The bottom line is,
these are not new tyres and, like anything
used, they have a greater potential to fail.
Given that most tyre retailers now carry very
affordable new tyre brands at the lower end
of their ranges, there is simply no excuse for
bringing your family’s safety into question
for the sake of a few rand.
The situation is even more severe in the
Motorcycle industry. Generally speaking a
motorcycle tyre works harder than a car tyre
due to more horsepower per square inch
being generated into it, particularly under
All tyre manufacturers will tell you that
motorcycle tyres are not designed to be
re-treaded under any circumstances -
never use a motorcycle tyre that has been
retreaded. They are not safe and more than
likely will fail with dire consequences.
None of the reputable premium brands
will be responsible for any warranty claims
relating to re-treaded or remanufactured
tyres using any one of these premium brand
What is the standpoint on retreading,
from a safety aspect?
Technically speaking (best-case): re-baking
the rubber affects the tyres structural
property of carcass plies and sidewalls, the
discontinuity between sidewall (baked and
made of proprietary materials) and tread
pattern (raw and of unknown source) layers
may potentially generate circumferential
joint opening. Structural reliability is
therefore unpredictable at least from a
So - is it worth it?
Retreaded tyres could be less expensive
than the new ones, however, after the
budget tyres have come into play, the
scenario has changed to a large extent.
Now, it seems that budget tyres are even less
expensive than the retreaded ones and as
they are freshly made tyres, they obviously
have better quality than the retreaded tyres.
Hence, a customer is more likely to prefer
budget tyres to the retreaded ones.
In retreading, a new lease of rubber is
put on the casing of a worn out tyre without
changing the cords of infrastructure. Hence,
the quality of the retreaded tyres always stays
a lot down than that of the new tyres. No
matter how well it works after retreading, there
has to be some issue with a retreaded tyre.
Short term you might save a
few bucks - but when you are
cruising at mach 4 and the tyre
delaminates... it wont be pretty.
Even if a used or re treaded tyre
looks good, there is a reason
why it was removed by the
previous owner and destined for
the tyre graveyard.And on a bike
especially - that is no joke!
Bruce de Kock
Bike Tyre Warehouse Group SA
Tel: 011 205 0216
READERS RIDE: BOTSWANA RIDE
Not a huge variety of pics but a
great read for anyone with a bit of
wanderlust. A trip report by Martin
Malec, Adventurer of note.
The Simpson Desert is probably
the most iconic dual sport ride
in Australia, crossing the biggest
parallel sand dunes desert in the
world - at least that is what my
google-fu says. Depending on
track the ride is about 550 to 700
The rest of Australia - at least from
what I have seen on interweb - cannot
match the riding we have available here
in Southern Africa. But then all I have
ridden in Oz is tar road from Sydney up
to Blue mountains on GSXR1000 and
riding 180hp bike up the most speed
trapped road on the planet patrolled by
one of the most overzealous police force
and pegged mostly to 60 - 80 km/h is a
true mystical experience, as by the end
of it one is hallucinating from excruciating
frustration. But that Simpson desert kept
me awake at night or few, slurping up
whatever youtube videos of its crossing I
So over the years I have kept my eyes
open for something similar down here (I
should probably say up here as I think
we may be above Australia actually).
Now there are candidates here that can
probably at least to an extent match
Simpson desert - the most obvious being
Kalahari and Namib desert, but most of
them are off limits for riding due to being
on private property or part of protected
areas off-limit to bikes.
But eventually I stumbled upon
south-west Botswana and my focus
shifted there. It started many years ago
when I was trying to figure out interesting
dirtworthy route from CT back to Joburg.
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DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 67
I just happened to read something
about the annual Desert run going from
Kuruman to Swakopmund, initially following
the Molopo river along the Bots border.
They even had a ‘red’ route (that is the one
following the Molopo riverbed), so I thought
what a heck, rode up to Molopo lodge and
took the Molopo track next day east. It
turned out to be massive disappointment -
basically riding in very shallow dull riverbed
along the Bots border fence and most of
the time within 70 meters from perfectly
good tar road on the Botswana side.
In other words, it was like riding 200
km on a tar road shoulder. To add insult to
injury, the boring riverbed was running in
a valley of beautiful Kalahari red dunes for
most of the ride - but those were off limits
as the ones to the south were on private
property, and the ones about 100 meter to
the north in a different country. But I filed
away image of those dunes in my brain.
That image got triggered few years later
when one of the inmates on the Wild Dog
Forum said something to an effect that
there is ‘no good riding around Kathu’.
WTF, I thought as Kathu is right in the
middle of Kalahari. I cranked up my google
satellite images and sure enough struck
gold straight away. I knew there was no
point looking on the South African side
due to private property. But I also knew
that Botswana - one of the last outposts of
freedom in this increasingly incorporated
world - with its predominantly public land
is a better chance. And sure enough,
what I found on those images looked very
What was seen couldn’t be unseen and
within a month I was heading there. The
problem was the 690 with rally kit was
way too heavy for proper exploration in
unknown territory and I ended up failing
miserably. That failure is documented on
the Wild dog Forum:
On the positive side, the failure gave me
the final push to get real dual sport bike
- enter KTM 500, prepared by Off-Road
Cycles - as the big bikes became liability
way too quickly while exploring unknown
and potentially risky territory.
Well, I had to go back. So, when my
plan to go ride Lesotho with few mates
My 500 built by the guys at
over Easter fell through mostly because
last minute they opted for more exciting
stuff (plumbing - heya Tony), I immediately
switched my attention to Bots and after day
or two of plotting whatever tracks I could
see on the satellite images, I was ready.
And boy did I strike gold! Why nobody rides
there is just incomprehensible to me.
This place is just magic and as far as I’m
concerned easily matches the best riding
places in Southern Africa like Kaokoland
or Makgadikgadi. Yes it cannot match the
size of Simpson desert - it is about 250 km
across from Bokspits to Tsabong.
But, unlike Simpson which I think is a
park and one has to stick to tracks), you
can ride wherever you want, i.e. completely
off-piste (as long as you stay out of
68 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
Kgalagadi NP to the north of course). So
you can zig zag all over the place and I did
over 750 km of proper sand riding in three
days of riding.
What I do know, is that there are stray
cats running all over our version of Simpson
as the Kgalagadi park is right to the north
and of course there are no fences around
Bots parks. So one may come over
the dune and be greeted by one. In my
deranged mind I actually hoped to bump
into one or few of these.
I woke up feeling better and finally fully
keen to hit the desert. During the night there
was a heavy storm, which I took as a good
sign as the sand would be compacted and
easier to ride. I settled the bill, jumped into
the car and drove 30 or so km to Middelputs
border post, where I arrived just as they
opened for business at about 7:30 am. I
crossed the border without too much hassle
and drove into the Middleputs town looking
for the police station which I found after
an enquiry or two. The police chief kindly
agreed that I could leave my car there for the
next few days and I parked under awning
in the fenced police parking lot. The reason
I took the car into Bots was the lack of
petrol available in the area west of Tsabong
(if you get lucky you might get petrol in
Middelputs - but it’s not guaranteed so, I
decided to leave my car with two full jerry
cans positioned roughly in the center of my
area of interest, which gave me convenient
temporary base for the exploration.
Cops helped me to unload the bike and
I geared up and set-off. I was quite chuffed
with my progress so far in that it was still
before 9:00 am, and in all my chuffness, I
forgot to take my bike documents, which I
realized within the first 10 km just as I was
to turn off tar and into dunes. Grudgingly I
turned back. I needed the papers with me
in case I needed to cross back to SA to get
petrol in Askham or Two Rivers. I was on
my way again about 20 minutes later.
The objective for the day was Two
Rivers, which is a big camp at the entrance
of the Kgalagadi NP, about 180 - 200 km
away over the dunes. The camp is part of
the NP so off limits to bikes, but I hoped
to be able to sweet talk my way in for an
overnight, and more importantly to fill up at
the petrol station they have there. It was a
long shot, but worth a try.
The first 10 - 15 km from Middelpits was
on tar until I came to village named Khuis,
where I turned off tar and onto a dirt road
that very quickly morphed into sandy double
track. I settled very quickly into the swing
of things and cruised comfortably heading
west. The track runs across low dunes
and flat plains, and the sandy landscape
alternated between light red and yellow/
white, with scrub bush providing spatterings
of green. About 20 km in I came upon cattle
post, which I diligently marked in my GPS
for an emergency - the guy there had water
available. For some reason all the cattle
posts I found were situated on big sandy
plains - I suspect that for some reason that is
where the water is easily available.
At the cattle post I had to decide on
direction. When I plotted the routes I could
only see track running north from the post
eventually taking me to Khawa, which is
a village in the center of this area. I have
been to Khawa before and was going to
ride through it next day, so for now I was
keen to rather push west. I couldn’t see any
track heading west on the satellite images
- most of the tracks here head north/south,
because the dunes are situated in the north/
south direction and the tracks usually run in
the valleys between the dunes.
Anyway, I decided to push west offpiste
if necessary. And while I floated over
the plains free form for first few km, sure
enough eventually I bumped into double
track heading west and took it for another
10 - 15 km until I hit the north/south track I
wanted to connect to.
Further north the dunes gradually grew
with vegetation became sparser and the
sand more pronounced. It was amazing how
the scenery changed every few kilometers.
The riding was just sublime, I was smiling like
the happy idiot I was all the way.
When the track I was turned decisively
north east towards Khawa. I just turned left
and sailed across increasingly higher waves
of dunes off-piste for the next 20 or so km.
The freedom of riding this place gives you is
unparalleled anywhere I know of. Yes, one
can ride freely in Lesotho as well, but the
terrain there will very quickly limit one to very
few options, which is fun in its own way as
one has to solve the puzzle of terrain to get
wherever he wants to go. Here, one can ride
in whichever direction he wants, without any
limitation (apart from strategically concealed
hyena dugout of course).
The off-piste dune section:
After dozen or few dozen km of that I have
arrived at yet another completely different
set of dunes and at that point connected
to the main track between Khawa and Two
Rivers. There was another cattle post with
water there, where I greeted the two herd
The dunes get really challenging
and can sap your energy.
70 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019
oys there and marked the spot in GPS to
know where to head to should I run into
trouble. By now it was getting afternoony
and I still had about 40 km of dunes to
navigate to Two Rivers. I didn’t know when
they close the gate, but judging by other
border posts (the entrance to Kgalagadi NP
is also a border post), I suspected they may
close at 16:00. So I jumped on the main
track and pushed on to make it there before
I knew I was being somewhat stupid and
should have rather ease up as by now I was
nursing proper headache from dehydration
and heat. It was pretty hot and I was riding
apart from few photo stops more or less
non-stop since 9:00 am. Since then I have
done about 140 km of sand and dunes and
- because 500 made it deceptively easy - I
stupidly drank probably less than a liter of
water (I was carrying about 7 liters). I know
dehydration when I feel it, and I knew I was
being stupid, but I was keen to get to Two
Rivers before the gate closed so after few
gulps from my camel bag I just pushed on.
The rest of the track sailed up and down
sets of paralled dunes all the way to the
Two Rivers - the more west I got the more
reddish tint they became.
A Few km shy of Two Rivers I came upon
my first fence and gate. I found gate in 180
km of sand and dunes an acceptable score,
though of course I would have preferred
not to find one at all. I made it to the gate
at about 5 to 4pm. My original plan was the
following: The top priority (minimum) was
to talk them into letting me in to fill-up my
bike at the camp petrol station. Second
priority was to talk them into letting me sleep
in their campsite, as that way I would also
have access to the restaurant in the camp -
bingo. If I could get petrol and but not be let
to camp there, I was to backtrack into the
dunes and bushcamp.
Hasty enquiry at the reception desk
confirmed what I expected - the campsite
was full, so no go. They wouldn’t let me go
on the bike to the petrol station either,
but they offered that if I have a jerry can
of a kind I can walk there to get petrol.
I didn’t - I took one of the Coke bottles
with petrol in the morning as spare, but
it fell off somewhere in the dunes. Plus,
it would take quite a few trips there and
back with 2 liter bottle to fill up my bike.
My head was killing me by know, so
I went into full autopilot mode - i.e. my
inner gastro tourist took over. He argued
that without petrol I was toast anyway as
I wouldn’t risk trying to get over dunes
back to my car and possibly running out,
so the only option was to jump across
the border and ride down to Molopo
lodge where they had petrol. Of course
there was another option - backtrack
to Struisedam about 20 km south, buy
some bottles there (or even better, just
buy bottles at the camp), fill-up and go
sleep in dunes as planned originally.
But there was one massive problem
with that plan - no medium rare steak
to be had this side of the border. I eat only
once a day in the evening, but then I have
to eat properly and while I came prepared
with variety of possibly expired cans (as
I have been carrying the same cans for
past 2 years or so) in my bags, I felt that it
may not fully satisfy the gastro tourist after
180 km of sand. In other words, I went
full tourist retard mode, threw away any
adventurer/outdoorsman pretenses and
begged them to let me through the border,
which they were about to close. Nice
people they were they obliged and at about
16:05 I have made it across the border and
after short break I rode remaining 50 km
of tar south to Molopo lodge, where they
were out of petrol. But not out of steak, so
I booked into an A frame chalet and rushed
into the restaurant for a 4 course dinner of
variety of meats and cold beverages.
Petrol will have to wait till morning - I
knew there is petrol station in Askham
about 15 km away, so that should take care
Next month will be part 2. Look out for
the July issue on shelves.
Molopo lodge - at the end of a rainbow.
Hyaena holes act as traffic
cops keeping things slow.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 7 1
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