Thursday, July 18, 2024

MOTORCYCLE & LIFESTYLE ONLINE MAGAZINE

HomeZA BikersBiking FeaturesSuzuki Weekend Away Celebrates its 13th Anniversary in Style!

Suzuki Weekend Away Celebrates its 13th Anniversary in Style!

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

This year marked Suzuki’s 13th Annual Weekend Away, a sunny and action-packed weekend in mountainous and twisty Mpumalanga. This year was no exception with the turnout growing to around 150 attendees which saw just over 40 registered teams filled with a mixture of Suzuki customers, dealers, families and even the local motorcycle media.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

For the newcomers, the Suzuki Weekend Away is a well-put-together weekend organised by Suzuki South Africa for their loyal customers and supporters. The weekend away takes place yearly at the Hotel Numbi & Garden Suites in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, and is always hugely popular with the Suzuki riders’ and drivers’ community.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

Before we get to talking about the Suzuki weekend away we have to mention a new motorcycle that was revealed to the public eyes and ears at the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna, of course, we are talking about the GSX-1000GX—a 1000 cc two-up sports touring missile on stilts. The GSX-1000GX made a spectacular and tyre-smoking appearance at this event, whilst in the background Suzuki was offloading another impressive machine at the port.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

For the Suzuki Weekend Away, Suzuki South Africa decided it was time to yet again treat us all with the reveal of their GSX-8R—a do-it-all middleweight sporty commuter. Yes, Suzuki herded the cats that are us media on the Thursday leading up to the weekend away and allowed us to take part and help showcase the fully faired 776 cc parallel-twin powered GSX-8R on the trip to Numbi.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

On the ride down to “MP” Meredith and I took the opportunity to ride the sleeper that is the GX, two up in comfort. Cruise control on, electronic suspension on its medium damping mode and the rear on its two-up preload setting saw us cruise in riding bliss behind the GX’s touring screen. What a joy it was on the wide and open and on the tight and twisty heading towards our lunch stop at Suzuki’s newly appointed dealer Freedom Motorcycles.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

We were treated before the weekend had even begun with a Friday morning breakfast at the White River History & Motor Museum. If you like petroholic history, this is a place you must see! We spent the rest of the day putting the GSX-8R through its paces on some of SA’s best roads, minus a few potholes.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

Bonding with the machines and riders down to Mpumalanga, we media formed an alliance called the Jizzles (inside joke) for the weekend’s fun and games. We had a full grid of teammates comprising Bill Hunter and Hazel, Donovan Fourie, Shaun Portman, Lawrence Minnie, Stefan van der Riet and Meredith. With a team filled with unhinged delinquents, Bill and Meredith had their hands full trying to lead us from one checkpoint to the next.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

The key to this “amazing race-esque” game was to follow the given GPS checkpoints, answer all the questions at the stopovers, take the required photos, take part in the physical activities and follow all the rules to gain as many points and as few penalties as possible. Time wasn’t a major factor so speeding wasn’t necessary, but in saying that we did have a cut-off time to finish the game and score our last bonus points. The team with the most points wins the game and with competitive personalities ingrained in all of us, we decided to take the game, for the most part, seriously.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

Saturday morning saw the fun and games kick off and a full team effort was put in by the Jizzles. From taking a half-naked dip in a fish pond, cuddling with the trusty Suzuki bobble-head, pointing out a checkpoint at a fuel stop map, counting letters on a road sign at God’s Window in Graskop and even sitting on a cannon—you get the gist. For the adventure riders and Jimny owners, there was an adventure route with different challenges and questions taking place simultaneously.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Most of the members of our team have known each other for years and working in our industry does get tough at times so enjoying the experience side by side and bonding over the Suzuki Weekend Away was for me at least, a fantastic experience to see others in a different environment which in turn reflects their true self.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

After a full and fun Saturday in the saddle, it was time to relax into the evening, sitting around the fire with full stomachs and with the air ringing with laughter. Prizes were handed out to quiz master Donovan for getting all of Suzuki’s historic questions correct and for the teams that finished the weekend in the top three.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

On the third step of the podium, we Jizzles collected our prizes for a good effort and with a mere 100 points off of the winners which were Suzuki JMD. And so another brilliant Suzuki Weekend Away came to a close. It is always a huge success not only because of the willing participation of so many loyal Suzuki owners but also due to the unwavering support of Suzuki Richards Bay, Suzuki East and Primrose Motorcycles dealerships, not to mention the huge effort made by Stuart Baker, Kyle Lawrenson, Corrie Meyer and everyone at Suzuki South Africa. As always we appreciate your hospitality—thanks, Team Suzuki.

Photo credit: Suzuki SA / Black Rock Studio

If you are reading this, and you either own a Suzuki or want to be part of next year’s Suzuki Weekend Away, then visit your nearest Suzuki dealer.

Stay tuned for our up-and-coming reviews on Suzuki’s latest duo, the GSX-8R and GSX-1000GX.

Bjorn Moreira
Bjorn Moreira
My name is Bjorn Moreira (Senior Editor at ZA Lifestyle) and I always long for the next adventure. Why yes this may be a problem, but I’m what you call a #LIFEAHOLIC which I have been since my very first breath. My passion leads me to enjoy capturing memories on camera, riding motorcycles, cycling and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.
RELATED ARTICLES

STAY CONNECTED

74,000FansLike
10,500FollowersFollow