KTM South Africa made history this weekend by hosting the first sell out Adventure Rally that the orange brand has seen.
The event took place in Swaziland from 23-25 August, and was one of six locations chosen by KTM to showcase some of the most scenic and adventurous trails on earth.
Close to 300 riders arrived at Lugogo Sun Hotel for registration on Thursday, with the likes motorsport legends Lyndon Poskitt, Ross Branch and Alfie Cox in the mix.
“This kind of event is really important for the adventure community we have in South Africa. It brings us all together and keeps our passion for this lifestyle alive,” said Cox.
For some riders, the appeal of this event in particular came from far more than the promise of an untamed Swaziland adventure.
Riaan Neveling, Marketing Manager of KTM South Africa, had hearts racing when he invited riders to compete in the ‘Ultimate Race’ for a prize worth R500,000.
Specific challenges were presented over the weekend, and the two top competitors, Christiaan Odendaal and Greg Hodgskin, were awarded an all-inclusive trip to the iconic 2019 Merzouga Rally in Morocco.
To top things off, the lucky riders will be given a brand new KTM 790 Adventure R to tour with.
For international participants, the rally was an opportunity to experience the unique and truly South African sense of adventure.
Harrison Norton from KTM Australia was moved by not only the heart-felt support from local Swazi people, but the wild and carefree spirit of South African riders.
“It’s been wild! Every time we rode past the locals, they were genuinely so excited and would run out to see us… I’ve never seen that kind of thing in Australia. The South African people are really incredible – small issues like the rain on Friday didn’t dampen the mood at all. They’re just so ready to make the most of every situation and the friendliest group of people I’ve come across,” Norton enthused.
A stand-out aspect of this event was that it not only catered for bike-mad dad’s and ‘beers and the boys’, but was an all-inclusive family experience.
Many wives signed up as pillions, even for the tougher and more technical orange route. After 234 km’s of wet and windy trails on Friday, BeauAnn Jordaan commented:
“I’ll admit that sometimes I turn that microphone off when I need a break from all the banter! But on a serious note, being a pillion creates an incredible bonding experience with my husband. I’d really encourage more women to try it.”
A parting shot from Belgium’s Yve’s Grofils, who flew out for the KTM Adventure Rally for the second year in a row:
“When KTM decided to organise this event, I just couldn’t miss it! I arrived here and was welcomed by the same South African motorcycling family I’ve grown to love, and this adventure in Swaziland with them this weekend was everything I expected and more.”