Motorcycle enthusiasts know that their lifestyle is more than wearing leathers, or going on unplanned adventures with fellow bikers. Sure, nothing beats the feeling of the wind in your face, the scenery, the smells and that sense of freedom, but imagine this sensory feast amplified by a rally or run where you can not only show off your bike but also your riding skills.
The local racing calendar for 2017 is jam-packed with motorbike events and we've collected some of the highlights that bikers should add to their schedules this year. These are events that offer every type of rider a chance to celebrate their proud culture.
The SuperGP Champions Trophy has become the quintessential motorcycle racing series in South Africa, with many of its champions using the event as a stepping stone to international success. The SCT showcases an exhilarating line-up of eight rounds taking place in six provinces. This year, the Africa Bike Week will host one leg of the SuperGP champions in East London on 29 April, while another leg, the 1000cc class, will form part of the South African Bike Festival at Kyalami Grand Prix on 27 and 28 May.
Motocross South Africa is thrilled to bring the country's premier motocross series to fans around the country. The SA MX National Championship gets underway on 18 February and runs until 14 October. The championship spans seven rounds at various tracks in South Africa, which includes Rover MX in the Eastern Cape (18 February), Zone 7 in the Western Cape (08 April), Bloemfontein MX (06 May), Dirt Bronco Racing Club in Gauteng (03 June), Maritz MX in KwaZulu-Natal (22 July), Harrismith MX in the Free State (02 September) and Terra Topia in Gauteng (14 October). Gates open at around 8 am and racing starts around 10 am. The entrance fee is R50 per adult and free for children of 12 years and younger.
Cross Country Motorcycle & Quad Championship
The SA Off-Road Motorcycle and Quad Series is an annual celebration of motorcycle and quad racing in South Africa. The event has grown to be an esteemed gathering of adrenaline-loving bikers, drawing over a hundred contestants from around the country, with television coverage on SuperSport. This year's edition is set to kick off in Lichtenburg in the North West province from 31 March to 01 April. After that, the action moves to Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal on 12 – 13 May and Jwaneng in Botswana on 23 – 25 June. A yet unknown venue has been lined up for an event on 28 – 29 June, but fans can look forward to more racing on home soil at Sun City on 15 – 16 September and the Glenharvie Westonaria in Gauteng on 27 – 28 October.
Visit the official Facebook page for updated information about the event.
National Motorcycle Enduro Championship
If you’re a fan of mountain biking, then the National Motorcycle Enduro Championship should be right up your alley. The championship revs up at the end of February and offers mountain biking entertainment until the end of September. Like the other national championships, the series is presented in a seven-round format to allow the hefty volume of entries. Tracks and locations that will set the scene for an exhilarating mountain biking experience this year include Dundee, Wild West Enduro Track, Robertson, Winterberg, and Harding, with two concluding rounds planned for Lesotho.
Visit the official Facebook page for updated information about the event.
Gravity Clash Shows
The Gravity Clash Show will be included in the programme of the Cape Argus Sport Show on the 24 – 26 March 2017 at the Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch. The event combines freestyle motorcycle racing with bicycle stunts and skateboarding. The freestyle motocross includes motorcyclists performing mind-blowing stunts such as backflips and the superman seat grab ten metre in the air, while six action racers puts on a show on BMX bicycles and skateboards. The second Gravity Clash event will have a similar format to the Cape Argus show but will be hosted in Margate on the 27 – 29 April 2017. It will form part of the annual South Coast Bike Fest.
Non-stop entertainment will be the focus at the ninth annual Africa Bike Week presented by Harley Davidson South Africa. One of South Africa's premier biking events will be taking over East London with a fantastic line-up of shows. The festival spans four days from 27 – 30 April, and aside from the usual mass ride, Harley-Davidson exhibitions, demo and stunt shows, attendees can immerse themselves in live performances by bands and entertainers. Entrance to the event is free but online registration is required.
When Harley-Davidson Africa decided to move the Africa Bike Week event to East London, the folks from the south-east coast grasped the opportunity to continue the tradition with a brand new event branded as the South Coast Bike Fest. The 2017 Margate biker event will be bigger and better with more thrills than ever before. The South Coast Bike Fest takes place from 27 – 30 April, offering something for everyone – from concerts and food stalls to extreme motorbike action and classic motorcycle displays. Festival goers get free entry if they register online for the #freefunseeker pass, which includes a whole bunch of extras.
After launching in 2016, international media and exhibition company, Clarion Events UK, is bringing the South Africa Bike Festival back to the home of racing – the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Gauteng, which provides the perfect combination of the extreme and the laid-back. From Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th of May, bikers can participate in racing championships or training sessions, buy the latest motorbike fashion and accessories, while regular attendees can also enjoy live music performances and a range of racing-themed activities for children. Tickets for the South Africa Bike Festival are currently on sale until the start date of each event. Children under ten years get free access.
South Africa boasts some of the most breath-taking drives in the world – with Route 62 counting among the top attractions. Therefore, it only makes sense that this scenic stretch along the southern region of the Western Cape will host the thirteenth run of the Whale Rally from 9 – 11 June. The Ulysses Motorcycle Club in the Garden Route invites serious bikers to share in the leisurely spirit of the festival. Pre-entries for the rally sell at R230 per person until the 26th of May while the gate entry fee is R270 per person. There are decent prizes up for grabs and all proceeds from the rally go to charities within the Ulysses Garden Route region.
Spectacular sights and the opportunity to meet culturally rich communities await bikers who participate in the 2017 Jozi2Kozi Motorcycle Adventure from Wednesday 09 August – Saturday 12 August. The three-day journey starts in Johannesburg and takes bikers on a cross-country adventure to Kozi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. A maximum of 75 bikes are allowed to enter at a cost of R5 800 per person for tented accommodation, and R 7 500 for lodge accommodation.
Bikers striving to do good while they ride will find the Toy Run right in line with their motorcycling interests. The Toy Run was originally launched by biker individuals in 1982 in Johannesburg. Other regional and provincial rallies were established in subsequent years, providing similar fun and excitement. Thousands of toys are gathered for the underprivileged in several regions across South Africa. These toys are attached to bikes and displayed through a procession in the major capital cities. They are then donated to charitable organisations such as Safeline and Masithembele Aids & HIV Centre. This year's Toy Run will take place on 26 November.
That concludes our round-up of some of the must-attend motorbike events for 2017. Whether you're an avid rider or simply looking for a great way to spend a weekend with family and friends, why not consider these events with their action-packed line-ups and electrifying atmosphere. And, because tender love and care is part of the experience, Hippo.co.za encourages motorbike owners to insure their precious two-wheel companions with comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance to help cover the cost of repairs if their bike gets damaged.
The information listed above was correct at the publication date of this article. The dates and ticket prices listed above are subject to change without notice at the discretion of the service provider. Hippo.co.za cannot be held responsible for any losses or inconvenience that may arise from the use of information obtained from this article.