After our 2018 tour on the same motorcycles, published in Bike SA magazine of November 2019, we then speculated the next trip will be from Kathu via Baviaanskloof, Gamkaskloof and Route 62 to end in Bokkomlaan Velddrif again. This was then planned and executed in the October 2019 short school holiday.
We had the bikes serviced left all the extras we did not use the previous trip and added some new stuff – Intercom systems in the helmets (BEST thing ever!), nice proper bike jackets (not the normal drymacs we used before), took some spare tubes, 5l extended fuel tanks and obviously our Veldskoene. Again, we planned to use only gravel roads for the trip and added some more serious 4x4 sections to add to the adventure.
Kathu to Prieska
283km’s, over 4 hours of riding.
The first day we tried to keep not to long to sort out any issues and to get used to our bikes. Started at about 9am in Kathu using the tarred road to Postmasburg and the gravel roads to Prieska via Griekwastad and Niekerkshoop. Only two words for this section Dry + Corrugations!
Prieska to Graaff-Reinet via Sneeuberg
418km’s, 6 hours with top speed of 96km/h!
Second day of the trip started with a good breakfast in Prieska then gravel road to Vosburg. Thought we will get petrol here but everything was closed except the church as it was Sunday, so we had to use our extended tanks to fill-up. Then gravel road again to Victoria-Wes where we pictured a lovely Sunday lunch, but again all eateries closed - luckily, we could buy a wrap at the local Spar which was about to close. After a lekker lunch on the pavement, off we went to Murraysburg. Here we again though the hotel will be open, but we ended up in someone’s private backyard lapa for tea and pudding! Only Karoo hospitality will allow this! Then it was off to Graaff-Reinet using the Sneeuberg gravel road – what a treat - now the scenery started to change from the flat karoo to the spectacular mountains of the Valley of Desolation area. We arrived in Graaf-Reinet just before dark after the extended Murraysburg stop.
Graaff- Reinet to Baviaanskloof start via Klipplaat, Steytlerville, Elandsriver Valley and Patensie
288km’s, but it felt like a thousand.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WHAT NEXT FOR NORTON AND BSA?
Following on from the success of the Triumph revival, a lot of noise was made about the arrival of Norton back on the motorcycling scene in 2008. The new owner of the brand, Stuart Garner, got everyone excited when he announced that he would be making not only a new Norton Commando motorcycle but would be returning to the Isle of Man TT with a new superbike, powered by an Aprilia V4 motor.
In the world of motorcycling, it is rare, if not unique, for a manufacturer to have two bites of the cake - both with a cherry on top - with two iterations of one particular model, especially when separated by a couple of decades.
TALES FROM THE HOOD
SA & MOTORCYCLE COMMUTING
NORIYUKI HAGA SULTAN OF Slide
Rare in-depth interview with Nori-chan himself explains how the Sultan of Slide rode the bike - and the crucial differences between Superbike and 500 GP
THE GXCC’S PUSH THE SEASON TO THE LIMIT IN 2020
THE GREATEST Comeback?
The greatest British bike racer? Surtees? Sheene? Both have good claims to the title but, in reality, there can be only one king. This is the story of the race that only served to enhance an already glittering reputation.
Great Bikes? The Ariel Square Four
Elsewhere you will have read about the Ariel motorcycle company and here I intend to talk more about their most famous design, the incredible Square Four.
Engineering DEAD-ENDS Part 2: Hub-Centre Steering
Motorcycle development never stands still, although maybe recently, it would be more accurate to say that motorcycle electronics development doesn’t stand still; it is very little in the physical architecture of a motorcycle that is likely to change. But it wasn’t always so and one innovation that was tried not only on road bikes but also 500cc Grand Prix bikes was hub-center steering.
So, What Really Happened To The British Motorcycle Industry?
It’s a story that no-one is unfamiliar with; how the British motorcycle industry withered and died through the 1960s and into the ‘70s. What was once a thriving industry that sold state-of-the-art motorcycles from world-famous manufacturers, by the hundreds of thousands, was reduced to first a handful and then just one manufacturer, producing an outdated design in the face of modern and reliable machines from Japan.
Gone But Part 5 Ariel Not Forgotten
Turner’s Square Four remained in production from 1931 to 1959