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Adventure Demo Day Is A Step In The Right Direction

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

It’s far too easy to bemoan the state of the motorcycle market in South Africa and we’re as guilty as anyone else, so we’re very happy to be kicking off 2024 with a second good news story, following on from the trial of a new kind of AMID (Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors) motorcycle expo that took place at Red Star Raceway in late January.

That event signalled a welcome effort by virtually all the major importers to get out and in front of their audience rather than waiting for that same audience to walk into one of their dealerships. For a first tentative toe-dipping into the water, it was a great success and will surely lead to it becoming an annual fixture.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

More recently, on the 3rd of March, adventure riders were encouraged to head to the brilliant Grotto to Gravel venue on the Rustenburg road in Magaliesburg, where there was a mouth-watering selection of adventure bikes, waiting patiently in the sunshine to be put through their paces by anyone who made the effort to attend.

The effort for attendees was well worth it and the manufacturers and dealers are again congratulated for putting in a lot of effort to ensure an excellent representation of adventure models.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Bikers’ Warehouse, being a Honda, SYM/Kawasaki, Suzuki and Husqvarna dealer, was there with the Honda CB500X, Honda Transalp, Honda Africa Twin, the SYM NHT 300 and Kawasaki Versys-X 300, the Suzuki V-Strom family – 250, 800 and 1050 – and the Husqvarna Norden 901 and 701 Enduro.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Hero South Africa, which is making good gains in the SA market, had its surprisingly good XPulse 200 there. BMW Motorrad Montana had the impressive-looking new R 1300 GS, the 850 GS, the 310 GS and a 1250 GS. Raceworx KTM was KTM South Africa’s representative, with the 1290 Adventure S and R, 890 Adventure and 390 Adventure.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

So, as you can see, almost every significant adventure bike on the market was present and they added up to an unparalleled experience for what is arguably the most important class of motorcycling in SA.

Riaan Fourie and Stuart Baker, of Honda SA and Suzuki SA respectively, who are both staunch supporters of any initiative that involves getting potential customers onto their products in the environment for which they were designed, expressed great enthusiasm for the day and, with around 350 people registering beforehand and turning up on the day itself, it can only be deduced that this is the type of event that the market really needs right now; getting bums on seats and trying the bikes out in person, rather than simply reading about them in the media or looking at them in showrooms and taking them for a ten-minute test ride on the road.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

If we have been critical of the SA motorcycle industry in the past, then we’re going to have to seriously assess that viewpoint, if not ditch it altogether, in the light of both the Red Star Expo and now the Grotto to Gravel Adventure Demo Day. These are important initiatives that show that the industry is realising that there is far more strength in working together than always pulling in their own directions: it’s good for the industry and it’s great for us, the customer.

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Compiled by the ZA Bikers team.
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