Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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BMW Motorrad 100 Years Celebration

Image source: Brand Boom Media

The first time you visit Grotto to Gravel, your first reaction is, “Why have I not been here before?” Then you start to look at the details and you realise that here is a space that has been created with so much passion and a genuine love of motorcycling, not to mention an incredible bond between Marietta and Gus, the owners.

Photo Credit: ZA Bikers

There are photographs everywhere: not arty shots of magnificent landscapes, but simple snaps of people having fun on their motorcycles, all with wide grins and it’s clear there’s a lot of laughter going on both in front of and behind the camera.

There is a lot more to Grotto to Gravel but today wasn’t the day to explore it because we were gathered here for one simple reason: this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first BMW motorcycle and the formation of BMW Motorrad and BMW Motorrad South Africa had planned a big jolly to celebrate the fact.

Image source: Brand Boom Media

As always with BMW, things were not done by halves and, in addition to the live music on stage, food stalls, fully stocked bars, a large braai area and plenty of faces, both familiar and new, there was the impressive sight of two skydivers jumping out of a helicopter at 7,000 feet and parachuting smoothly down to the arena area to officially open proceedings.

Image source: Brand Boom Media

Confident riders could tackle the off-road course on their GS models, Motul was there to offer support, tents were arranged in neat rows for overnight accommodation, the sun shone and a good time was had by all.

Image source: Brand Boom Media

But the real stars of the day were Grotto to Gravel, Gus and Mariette. If you haven’t visited yet, then do yourselves a favour and make a day (and night) of it: you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find it on Rustenburg Road, just around the corner from the Black Horse Brewery. Call 076 085 2050 or find them on Facebook.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.