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Paradise rally a great success


The 36th. annual Paradise Rally was held recently in a chilly but sunny Waterval Boven over the weekend 30 May – 1 June and attracted bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country.
An estimated 450 riders astride a glittering array of chrome and steel began arriving as early as Thursday afternoon to claim some of the prime camping spots at the venue, the local Nkangala FET Campus. This large, but still central venue, also hosted last year’s rally and proved to be very popular with rally-goers. As usual, Bike SA editor, Simon Fourie and his experienced team of organisers already had everything well organised long before most people arrived. When tired and saddle-sore riders pitched at the gates, everything was well in hand. The campsites were laid out, the ablution facilities clean and ready and the music was playing in the large custom tent cum bar. And, of course, the beers were cold and the boerie rolls sizzling hot!


As bikers from as far afield as Cape Town, Durban, Jo’burg (some from as far as Kathu in the Northern Cape) continued to roll in after long rides, the party got well and truly started on Friday as old mates who had not met up since the last rally quickly got re-aquainted. Apart from a few minor incidents that were quickly resolved, the mood of the rally-goers was cheerful and relaxed and, apart from some rather chilly nights and mornings, the weather was sunny and warm. Perfect for riding and touring along some of the most scenic routes in and around the escarpment area.


Apart from some of the shiny new ironmongery on show by the likes of Big Five Harley Davidson from Nelspruit, the bikers own personal steeds were definitely nothing to sniff at. If it had two wheels (and sometimes  more), it was welcome at the rally. Jet-black Kawasaki Ninja’s rubbed shoulders with pearlescent silver Honda Blackbirds. Sleek Suzuki Huyabusa’s stood side-by-side with Yamaha Super Tenere’s, KTM’s, BMW GS 1100’s. And of course, seriously customised trikes, choppers and Goldwing’s with every conceivable accessory were the envy of all. Fortunately, all of this good-natured rivalry and “my-bike’s-better-than-your-bike” between the different makes and models was able to be proved – once and for all – due to the fact that Wayne van Winkel and his Dyno set-up were on hand again this year to test all comers – up to the red line, and beyond. A Huyabusa was clocked by the computerised monitoring system at an eye-watering 309 kmh, whilst a fearsome Kawasaki ZX12 posted an impressive 301 kmh at a rated 156hp. Even a brand-new Honda VFR 1200 (less than 4500 k’s on the clock) was put to the test – clocking a governed 185 kmh, with plenty of oomph still under the throttle.


On the Saturday, it was time once again for the traditional parade through the town before the main street was cordoned off and opened up to any biker who wished to parade his (or her) machine to the large crowd of appreciative spectators. It was a talented bunch of black riders from Urban Fella’s MCC from Pretoria that got the ball well and truly rolling with a skilful display of wheelies, high-speed runs and front-wheel breaking that had the crowd hooting and clapping with delight. Not to be outdone, others soon got in on the act and a great afternoon was had by all – even the old Oomie in his Polaris ATV with his equally old canine co-pilot, and the brash young man who swept up and down the course on his camouflaged “stretched” scooter playing Creedence Clearwater Revival at full blast from two rear-mounted speakers! All in all, a great rally in a great location that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Boven looks forward to welcoming the Paradise Rally back again next year.

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