Bike Fest bonanza

It is the ‘Year of the Rat’ in the Chinese nomenclature for 2020 but, in South Africa, it is going to be the year of the biker with no less than five festivals scheduled for the two-wheel community.

Africa’s biggest motorcycle, music and lifestyle festival will now be extending its reach across South Africa with Bike Fest SA 2020 taking over five rocking venues. Bike Fest SA, working in conjunction with SA’s favourite motorcycle brands, will kickstart this biking journey with the Jeffrey’s Bay Bike Fest in the Eastern Cape from February 28 to March 1.

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Image: Justin Klusener

“The annual Bike Fest, which originated on the KZN South Coast, has proved so popular we are responding to market demand and taking the festival to another four locations across the country,” says event organiser, Vicky Wentzel – owner of Wozani Africa Events and co-founder of Africa Bike Week  & South Coast Bike Fest.

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“The festival destinations selected will showcase some of South Africa’s most incredible towns – inland and seaside destinations – and the dedicated event programme will ensure all ages and interests are catered for, from the die-hard biker fans through to the musos and foodies, everyone will find something to enjoy at any of the Bike Fest SA 2020 Festivals!”

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Bike Fest SA 2020 is a celebration of the modern biking experience while also retaining its connection to the traditionally explorative soul of ‘old school’ bikers. These family-friendly events are also the perfect destination for those seeking quality music, food and retail stores with a line-up of great biking displays planned throughout the festival. This collective five-series festival will be marketed on international platforms positioning South Africa as a motorcycle destination.

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Charl du Plessis of Kouga Municipality said they were positioning Jeffrey’s Bay as a top travel and tourism destination in South Africa:

“This region is an iconic surfing location – the second most famous worldwide – but we have extended the tourism experience beyond this. Our pristine Blue Flag beach is wonderful for swimming and relaxation, while the many seaside cafes, retail offerings and nature reserves make for an idyllic coastal getaway.”

He said the inaugural Jeffrey’s Bay Bike Fest worked alongside the municipality’s mandate of extending the tourism footprint:

“We are looking forward to welcoming many new visitors to this beautiful part of the world. The Bike Fest programme is really packed with a wide variety of entertainment suited to bikers, music lovers, foodies and thrill seekers.”

Local biker, Dean Gilbert, who is involved in the on-ground event organisation, said the Jeffrey’s Bay Bike Fest was set to be a ‘motorcycle wonderland’:

“Stopping in a small town, like Jeffrey’s Bay, and being greeted by the friendly locals is what makes riding so great! We encourage everyone to get their gear ready and experience the amazing biking, beautiful people and attractions we have on offer at the 2020 bike fest.”

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Jeffrey’s Bay Bike Fest highlights

  • Biker and beach bars
  • Power Play featuring Wheelie Machines, an Arm-Wrestling Power Table, and Virtual Reality Bike Racing
  • The Kouga Talent Search on Friday, February 28 with R15 000 for first place
  • Experiential Energy Zone with a Burnout Pit, Le Riche Brother Stunt Riders, King Donut
  • Bike Rocker Stage featuring top DJs and artists including Mean Mr Mustard, Koos Kombuis, Early B, Fatman, Bigggy, Wonderboom, Ghapi, Anton Botha, Roan Ash and Jo Black, as well as the Bike Fest SA Fashion Show & Battle of the Bands
  • Street Vibes featuring Street Dancing, Busker Alley, Marching Brass Bands and Scottish Pipe Bands
  • Custom Bike Show
  • Outrides including the J Bay Explorer Bike Route
  • Benevolent Fund charity initiative raising funds through the Mayoral Mass Parade on Sunday morning

Check out www.bikefestsa.co.za to book your tickets and accommodation now, or visit the ‘Bike Fest SA’ Facebook and Instagram pages for all the latest updates.

Bike Fest 2020 Countrywide Schedule

Jeffrey’s Bay Bike Fest

28 February to 1 March 2020

Jeffery’s Bay, Eastern Cape

South Coast Bike Fest, Port Edward

25 to 27 April 2020

Port Edward, Ugu District, KwaZulu-Natal

Clarens Bike Fest

24 to 26 July 2020

Clarens, Free State Province

North Coast Bike Fest, Ballito

4 to 6 September 2020

Ballito Beachfront, KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal

West Coast Bike Fest, Langebaan

23 to 25 October 2020

Langebaan, Western Cape

 

Killarney packs them in

Thousands of car freaks, racing fans and just plain adrenalin junkies poured into Killarney International Raceway on December 28 for the annual StreetFest in partnership with the City of Cape Town.

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It was an international celebration of car culture featuring top Drag Racers from all over South Africa and as far afield as Namibia taking on the best of Cape Town’s quarter-mile crew, as well as Drifting, an IASCA Sound-Off, a Show ‘n Shine competition that highlighted some of the prettiest and most outrageous customs in the Western Cape.

The Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Ian Neilson, braved the steep ladder to the commentary tower at the Drag Strip for the official opening of StreetFest 2019. He welcomed the visitors, local racers and the thousands of spectators lining both sides of the strip, saying that Cape Town, the Events Capital of Africa, was proud to host big motor sport events such as this, events that cater as much to grassroots enthusiasts as professional race crews.

There was music all day from the Coca Cola Gig Rig, a bewildering variety of good things to eat and drink, to wear and to upgrade your car, from custom wheels to high-quality suspension components and bolt-on custom bumpers, grilles and aero kits.

Most of the noise, the excitement and the tyre smoke, however, came from the Drag Strip, as top racers with screaming turbo-charged four-cylinder engines, howling sixes and thundering seven-litre V8s thrilled the crowds with huge burnouts before launching off the line to cover the 402 metres to the finish line as quickly as they could.

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Jannie Bezuidenhout’s Mk1 Golf prepares for a hot run.

It sounds simple, but the launch is crucial. Most drag races are won and lost in the first second of the run; as a combination of brute force and precision car control it is unmatched in any other form of motor sport.

The fastest time of the day was set by local hero Ralph Kumbier in Suspect, Shaheen Barmania’s twin-turbo Chev Lumina Ute bakkie, who laid down a superb 9,356 second pass at 227,68 km/h, closely followed by Shaun Zurich in his immaculately prepared Honda Civic, reputedly the quickest normally aspirated front-wheel drive car in Africa.

His best effort of 9,483 seconds at 230,95 km/h was good enough to win him Class OA for modified normally aspirated cars, well ahead of Hennie Watkins’ Toyota Corolla (11,173 seconds at 192,07 km/h) and Lyle Africa in a Honda CRX (11,195 seconds at 199,65 km/h).

Third overall, and second in Class OS for open force-fed machines, was Rudy Roode in an all-wheel drive Volkswagen Golf Mk2, with a 9,831 second pass at 234 79 km/h, just two hundredths of a second ahead of petite 20-year-old Yuresa ‘Yuri’ Naidoo from Durban, the fastest lady on the day in an Audi TTRS.

Sadly, Tiaan van der Merwe from Mpumalanga in Fireball – a mid-1970s Ford Escort with a seven-litre Chevrolet crate engine by Steve Schmidt of Indianapolis, Indiana – was unable to make good on his stated ambition of breaking into the nines on his first visit to the coast, although he came tantalisingly close with a best effort of 10,449 seconds at 187,92 km/h.

And that’s all motor, the commentators reminded the crowds, without forced induction or chemical assistance!

Even more disappointed was Shawn Dziire out of Johannesburg, who got even closer to the magic 10-second mark in his raucous turbo-charged BMW E30 with a 10,194 second pass at 195 423 km/h before its differential failed.

Class 4A went to Moeneeb Parker in a Nissan Champ bakkie with an 11,573 second run at 194,08 km/h, while Dziire made up for his Class OS disappointment by taking Class 4S in his Opel SuperBoss with a best effort of 11,814 seconds at 193,10 km/h and Class 6S was won by Herman Mostert in a Toyota Corolla fitted with a straight-six 2JZ engine, who laid down an astonishing 9,503 second pass at 223,76 km/h.

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Reece ‘Buddy’ Robertson’s Suzuki was the fastest bike on the day.

The quickest times of the day, as always, were set by the motorcycle competitors, led by Reece ‘Buddy’ Robertson, (Suzuki GSX-R1000) with a best run of 8,684 seconds at 254,78 km/h. He was the only rider into the eights on the day, well ahead of a pair of BMW S1000RRs in the hands of Edson Almeida and Irrvinne Bruinders (9 150 seconds at 250,43 km/h and 9, 453 seconds at 240 22 km/h respectively). Fourth was 16-year-old Stephen Lottering from Port Elizabeth, with a very creditable 9 528 second pass at 238, 76 on a brand new Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Top quad rider was Kyle Johannes (Yamaha Banshee), who caused a stir when he laid down the only sub 12 second run of the day on a quad at 11,967 seconds and 166 95 km/h.

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This superb Ford Mustang won its class in the Show ‘n Shine competition.

 

Adrenalin action at StreetFest

Cape Town is about a whole lot more than ‘The Mountain’ and some of the most stunning beaches in the world – and the entry list for the StreetFest on December 28 proves it is a city with a passion for fast cars and adrenalin action.

The StreetFest at Killarney International Raceway in partnership with the City of Cape Town looks like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the quickest quarter-milers in South Africa and beyond.

Among the 86 contenders, chosen from more than 100 entries, there are six cars and three motorcycles from Namibia, three from Shawn Dziire’s AirVolution Motorsport stable in Johannesburg, two more from Jannie Bezuidenhout in Pretoria, teenage National Drag Racing title contender Stephen Lottering on his Kawasaki ZX-6R, hot rookie Lenzey Henry from Springbok on a trick Suzuki GSX-R1000 and ex-Capetonian Rameez Ebrahim, now resident in Jozi but back for StreetFest 2019 with a killer Audi TT-RS.

Heading the charge, however, will be Tiaan van der Merwe, straight out of Mpumalanga in Fireball, a late-1970s MkII Ford Escort with a 434 cubic inch (7,1-litre) small block Chevy V8 by Steve Schmidt of Indianapolis, Indiana, rated at 850 horsepower.

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It is reputed to be the quickest naturally aspirated street-car in South Africa, consistently running low 10s inland, and Van der Merwe is bringing it to Killarney in search of that elusive first nine-second run.

Mayoral Committee member for Safety & Security, Alderman JP Smith says: “Cape Town has one of the most enthusiastic motor sport fan bases and this is evident by the numbers that descend on the Killarney International Raceway for every race event.

“As the City of Cape Town, we are proud to support events that contribute to our economy, provide opportunities for our residents while also giving petrol heads a platforms for more responsible racing instead of illegal street racing which unfortunately remains very prevalent on our roads, often with devastating consequences.

“We wish all the participants a safe race and we would like to encourage residents to head to Killarney to support the drivers. ”

There are many facets to Cape Town’s car culture, however, and most of them are represented at StreetFest.

You will see drifting on the Tar Oval, customised cars with incredible paint jobs, cars that sit so low on their suspension that they can only be driven in straight lines (their owners jack them up and adjust their ride height before driving to and from the event!), cars with sound systems that would put a recording studio to shame and cars with outrageous body kits that have less to do with aerodynamics than with image.

They all have one thing in common, however: They reflect the personality of their owners in a way that a standard model off the showroom floor never could.

Also in the New Pits Complex, you will find the computers and sound pressure meters of the IASCA Sound-Off. These enthusiasts take their sport (and it is a world-recognised sport) very seriously indeed. Pretty has nothing to do with it and many of the cars clearly reflect their backyard origins.

Nevertheless, with a bank of batteries feeding multi-kilowatt amplifiers through cables as thick as your thumb, all the windows closed and nobody in the car, they can produce a single tone louder than a jet fighter on take-off.

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Image: Extreme Car Sound

StreetFest is not only about cars, It is also about the people who love them – petrolheads of all ages – with a children’s play area below the New Pits Lounge as well as dozens of food and beverage stalls, and vendors offering motoring-related merchandise.

Gates open at 6:30 am on Saturday 28 (with Sunday 29 December pencilled in as rain date). There will be on-track action from 9:00 am, as well as the Sound-Off and displays from 10:00 am to around 5:00 pm. Book through Computicket at https://tickets.computicket.com/event/street_fest_2019/7120896/7120915/69693 or pay at the gate: R90 for adults, R40 for scholars under 16 and free for children under 12.

Revving up for Bike Fest

Things are moving at full throttle for a series of biker events around the country next year, with the South Coast one moving to Port Edward for its traditional April date.

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Commenting on behalf of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, the main sponsor of the event, the Mayor Cllr Nomusa Mqwebu said: “Since its inception the Bike Fest has become synonymous with adventure, great fun and excitement. We are delighted this home-brewed tourist attraction event is now growing to include patrons even beyond our borders.

“The seaside town of Port Edward is a treasure trove of natural unspoilt beauty that will appeal to young and old alike. We fully support the Bike Fest, along with other events which do not only put our area on the map, but also create much needed job opportunities for the local people.”

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CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu, said USCT is 100% behind this event: “The Bike Fest, which is such a tourism drawcard to the area, has moved from government sector into the private – and this is something to be celebrated. As government, our objective is to drive tourism and create employment by creating an environment for the private sector to thrive.”

She explained the annual festival has become synonymous with the South Coast area, and the move to Port Edward would continue to draw visitors to the region, while highlighting the world-class tourism facilities at Port Edward.

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“The South Coast has long been considered a ‘beach destination’ because of the magnificent beaches, but there is so much more to discover,” continued Mangcu. “There are so many hidden gems in our hinterland region which are being exposed. We believe that, by hosting the Bike Fest at Port Edward, these agri-tourism initiatives will get some well-deserved recognition, offering tourists a unique experience while boosting the local economy.”

The 2020 Bike Fest, which is partnering with Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, is set to be a celebration of the modern biking experience while retaining its connection to the traditionally explorative soul of ‘old school’ bikers. This family-friendly event is also the perfect destination for those seeking quality music, food and retail stores with a line-up of great biking displays planned throughout the festival.

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Port Edward will form the second of five anticipated Bike Fest SA events, starting with Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape – 28 February to 1 March, and followed by Clarens, Golden Gate – 26 to 28 June, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal North Coast – 4 to 6 September and Langebaan, West Coast – 30 October to 1 November.

“Bike Fest SA is very excited about the South Coast leg of this action-packed festival,” says event organiser, Vicky Wentzel – owner of Wozani Africa Events and co-founder of Africa Bike Week. “Port Edward is a really incredible venue – the ultimate outdoor lifestyle and entertainment destination. We are sure visitors will get to enjoy, not only the many tourist sites of Port Edward, but the entire South Coast and everything it has to offer.”

Alongside the entertainment offered by the Bike Fest, visitors can visit the many agri-tourism initiatives for which Port Edward is renowned. Some of these popular sites include the Beaver Creek Coffee Estate, Villa Doré macadamia nut farm and banana plantation, Mattison Square, and Mac Banana. There is also the smallest big attraction, The Red Desert, which – at a total of 11 hectares – is the world’s smallest desert.

For more information on these and other events, visit www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za

 

Bike Fest is a go

The torrential rain that battered the East Cost of the country earlier this week has abated and everything is moving at full speed to ensure this year’s South Coast Bike Fest – presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism and powered by Gearhouse – is on schedule for Friday.

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Recent rains along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline have not affected South Coast Bike Fest event area or surrounds, and the anticipated sunny skies will create the perfect backdrop for a weekend of fantastic festival action.

“We are excited to say that all the South Coast Bike Fest activities will go ahead as planned,” says event organiser, Vicky Wentzel. “We can confirm all access routes to and from Margate are open and festival-goers can be assured of a fun, safe festival weekend with this year’s programme boasting a host of new events. Don’t miss out on any of the action!”

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Alongside the incredible biking stunts will be the hottest musical showcase featuring 35 of South Africa’s most in-demand musicians. The Budweiser Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage and Sunset Beach Party venues will play host to non-stop musical mayhem in the form of Fokofpolisikar, Desmond & The Tutus, Locnville, Pascal & Pearce, Euphonik, Nasty C, Black Motion, Distruction Boyz and – for the first time ever on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast – the legendary artists, Sjava and Shekinah.

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In addition to the musical programme, visitors to the 2019 South Coast Bike Fest can look forward to:
• 6 Beachfront Boulevard-Themed Bars
• Village Market and Expo Zones
• The WFO Hard Enduro Club-endorsed South Coast Hard Enduro Festival Race which forms part of the 4th round of the KZN Enduro Championship.
• Food Courts
• The Pals in Paradise Mass Parade (leaving from C-Bali Restaurant at St Michael’s Beach on Saturday, 28 April
• KwaXolo Biker Extreme Festival
• KwaNzimakwe Biker Extreme Festival
• Soweto Riding Academy – Learn to Ride

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Katana launches at Bike Fest

One of motorcycling’s most iconic names, the Suzuki Katana, will be launched in its comeback format at the South Coast Bike Fest in Margate during the weekend of April 26 to 28.

The big retro bruiser has a 999 cc transverse four-cylinder engine punching out 110 kW and 108 Nm of torque – the powerplant shared with GSX-S1000 and boasting dual throttle valves, a 44 mm throttle body and 10-hole injectors for precise atomisation.

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It also has three-mode traction control, a slipper clutch, ABS-enabled Brembo radial calipers, low rpm assist and a new, full LCD dash. Lighting is LED all round and the suspension comprises 43 mm inverted, fully-adjustable, KYB forks and preload/rebound adjustable shock. Wheels are Y-spoke, cast rims rolling on Dunlop Roadsport 2 rubber (120/70 R17 front and 190/50 R17 rear).

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South Coast Bike Fest has also expanded its footprint for the 2019 event presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism and powered by Gearhouse.

“We will be extending the South Coast Bike Fest event site by one kilometre, as well as growing the festival footprint by moving into the hinterland,” says event organiser, Vicky Wentzel. “This will give visitors an even greater opportunity to experience more of the incredible KwaZulu-Natal South Coast while also opening up the event to the wider community.”

The WFO Hard Enduro Club-endorsed South Coast Hard Enduro Festival Race will form part of the 4th round of the KZN Enduro Championship. Riders will race along a specially-designed junior enduro track for 65 cc and 85 cc competitors, with the winner set to be crowned the Junior Margate Enduro Champion.

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Scott Bouverie. (Credit: Sam Clark)

There will be some fun-filled entertainment for all spectators at KwaNzimakwe and KwaXolo with demonstrations by South African motorcycle trials’ champions, Bruce and Brent le Riche, as well as Yamaha South Africa’s brand ambassador, Alfred Matamela – AKA King Donut. He will also be hosting his popular Soweto Learn-to-Ride Academy Workshops for up-and-coming riders.

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Visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest can also look forward to:

• 6 Beachfront Boulevard-Themed Bars
• 35 musical acts at Budweiser Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage and Sunset Beach Party venues.
• Full Throttle Programme
• Village Market and Expo Zones
• Food Courts
• The Pals in Paradise Mass Parade (leaving from C-Bali Restaurant at St Michael’s Beach on Sunday, 29 April)

UGU South Coast Tourism CEO, Phelisa Mangcu, says: “For thrill-seekers, bike lovers and music fans, the annual South Coast Bike Fest always offers exactly what is required for a weekend of entertainment.

“It is events like these that give the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast a really usable platform to showcase the inviting atmosphere and incredible family-friendly tourist sites and activities on offer.”

She said the diverse tourist offerings included extreme sports such as scuba diving, abseiling, white water rafting, ziplining and shark cage diving; family-orientated options such as waterslides, game parks, paintball, butterfly farms and boat trips; as well as unmissable heritage and cultural tours.

There will also be an official South Coast Bike Fest shuttle service for all attendees, running from The Hibiscus Mall to the venue.

Bikers and pillions wanting to access any of the bars or stages (Budweiser Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage, Sunset Beach Party, Full Throttle Entertainment Zone, and Jazz Bar) must pre-register online (www.southcoastbikefest.co.za) and purchase a South Coast Bike Fest pin for R35. Bikers and pillions will need to purchase a pin each. Bikers must be accompanied by their pillion to collect the pre-purchased pin at the Sasol Garage, Margate – bike licences must be shown.

Biking thrills at South Coast Bike Fest

Stunts, tricks and smoking tyres will all be part this year’s South Coast Bike Fest with an array of talent performing their signature moves during the show that gets under way in Margate on April 26.

Bruce and Brent Le Riche

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South African motorcycle trials’ champions, Bruce and Brent le Riche, will be putting on a high-impact, interactive show with a series of new tricks – including the 3,7m-high undercut ledge.

“This is a coastal event with a great track record… who wouldn’t want to perform at such a show, let alone such a dream location!?” says Brent. “KZN spectators always get right into the vibe and are always ready for some daredevil motorsports!”

King Donut

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Yamaha South Africa’s brand ambassador, Alfred Matamela – AKA King Donut – will put on a must-see performance burning rubber in his signature smoking style.

“Last year, I rode the Yamaha MT10, and this year spectators will get to watch me on the incredible Yamaha R1,” he says, explaining this is the bike ridden by Yamaha Moto GP racer, Maverick Vinales. “I enjoy participating in the annual South Coast Bike Fest because it’s such a great place to watch upcoming talent. It’s a festival I look forward to every year! The past experiences of performing here has been life changing and I am honoured to be able to work with such amazing people.”

ShredBettys

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The country’s top all-female biker crew will return to this year’s South Coast Bike Fest to showcase their off-road racing skills. Audiences can look forward to a high-energy performance by stunt rider, Skinny van Skalkwyk, as well as demo rides by top female riders in the motorsport’s industry.

Nicole Salt of ShredBettys, says: “The South Coast Bike Fest has been a great platform to represent women riders in South Africa and we’re looking forward to another impactful show.”

ShredBettys will be accompanied by Airworx, a company specialising in virtual reality. Visitors will get the surreal experience of riding motorbikes and surfing – all using virtual reality equipment!

Powasol EnduroX

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Spectators will be treated to high-energy impact racing at its best as top EnduroX riders put on a quality performance.

“It has become a recurring action-packed weekend and, for three years running, we have successfully hosted the EnduroX event overlooking the amazing KZN coastline,” said Klint Mills. “With the help of Upfold Construction, we assemble a world-class EnduroX track the night before the main event – it’s insane but nothing beats the adrenaline of the impossible!

Mills said that he hopes to wow audiences with international superstars – the likes of Wade Young, Blake Gutzeit, Travis Teasdale and Kyle Flanagan – battling it out. There will be 50cc Micromini Classes, 65cc Juniors, 85cc Pro Mini, 125cc Highschool, Hobby, Experts and Pros classes.

Visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest can also look forward to:

• 6 Beachfront Boulevard-Themed Bars
• Village Market and Expo Zones
• Food Courts
• The Pals in Paradise Mass Parade (leaving from C-Bali Restaurant at St Michael’s Beach on Saturday, 28 April
• KwaXolo Biker Extreme Festival
• KwaNzimakwe Biker Extreme Festival
• Soweto Riding Academy – Learn to Ride

There will also be an official South Coast Bike Fest shuttle service for all attendees, running from The Hibiscus Mall to the venue.

Bikers and pillions wanting to access any of the bars or stages (Budweiser Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage, Sunset Beach Party, Full Throttle Entertainment Zone, and Jazz Bar) must pre-register online (www.southcoastbikefest.co.za) and purchase a South Coast Bike Fest pin for R35. Bikers and pillions will need to purchase a pin each. Bikers must be accompanied by their pillion to collect the pre-purchased pin at the Sasol Garage, Margate – bike licences must be shown.