The Legacy of The Roof of Africa Rally Lives On

Events management company Live Lesotho is proud to introduce a new competitive event that harks back to the early days of the Roof of Africa Rally.

Photo credit: Motul South Africa

The first Motul Retro Roof will take place in Lesotho on 20 and 21 September 2019. Whereas the modern Roof is a notoriously challenging Hard Enduro event for motorcycles only in the upper reaches of the Maluti Mountains, the Motul Retro Roof has been designed to be much more accessible to a broad range of competitors.

When it first began more than 50 years ago, the Roof was a cross-country rally for cars from Johannesburg to Durban, passing through Lesotho. It slowly morphed into an off-road event for cars, motorbikes and quads, entirely contained within Lesotho before becoming the Roof as it is today.

Photo credit: Motul South Africa

To give more off-road vehicle racing enthusiasts and motorcyclists the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Kingdom in the Sky, the Motul Retro Roof will be open to more categories and will take place at lower altitudes than the Roof.

“As a brand that understands the importance of legacy and heritage, we’re delighted to support the Motul Retro Roof,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “Through our ongoing relationship with the Motul Roof of Africa, we are committed to the development of motorsports in Southern Africa. We’re excited that the Motul Retro Roof will give more people the chance to experience the thrill of racing in this beautiful and welcoming country.”

Photo credit: Motul South Africa

“We wanted to turn back the clock to what the Roof was originally about,” explains Charan Moore, Retro Roof Route Director, Manager of Live Lesotho and a man with serious Roof pedigree. “By making the event open to cars and quads as well as bikes, we’ve made it possible for more people to experience racing in Lesotho.”

“The course will consist of a 250 km loop which will be faster and less technical, so many more people will be able to complete it. In addition to honouring the legacy of the Roof with a Vintage Bikes class, we’ll also have an Enduro and Adventure Bikes class – in other words, just about anyone can participate.”

Photo credit: Motul South Africa

The Motul Retro Roof event will be run under the auspices of Motorsport South Africa, and all competitors will require a current MSA licence. The full list of classes includes Motorbikes, Quads, Cars, Vintage Bikes and Adventure Bikes. There will also be a non-competitive Sweep Class for experienced 4×4 drivers wishing to assist with recovery and other event functions.

Entry costs are just R1 500 per motorbike or quad (all classes) and R2 000 per car. Retro Roof entries, full event details along with all applicable regulations can be found on the website at  As the organisers of this ‘new but old’ event, Live Lesotho welcomes all off-road enthusiasts and budding racers to Lesotho for the inaugural Motul Retro Roof event.

Editor’s Note:

What a great initiative from “Motul South Africa” and “Live Lesotho”. We are feeling extremely proud at ZA bikers as our very own Dave Cilliers will be participating in this year’s Rally thanks to Charan at Live Lesotho who invited Dave along for the ride.

Dave is very excited as the bike he will be riding is none other than Gareth Cole’s 2019 KTM 350 XC-F. It is the same bike that Gareth Cole, has used this season to currently lead the SA National Cross Country Championships overall with one round remaining.

Photo credit: Franziska Brandl

Gareth has just upgraded to the same spec 2020 model KTM for the final round, so his old bike was available for Dave to borrow. Thank you to KTM Durban for organising Dave the bike, we really appreciate it!