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Offline oo7

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A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« on: June 29, 2008, 06:31:14 pm »
Having sold off the KLR with a heavy heart, I started looking, this time with a very light heart, at some German two wheel technology in replacement of the grand thumper.

After following the thread started by Kobus (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=19291.0) on whether an Adventure  is overkill and that a ‚??normal‚?? GS is just as sufficient for one‚??s needs, I simply realised that my needs had to change: My needs dictated that I need a bike with at least a 33liter tank. Why, I don‚??t know, but I do. I then started looking around frantically to find a ‚??normal‚?? GS for sale with a 33liter tank. Two minutes later and with all guilt removed, I embarked in search for an Adventure, having sufficiently satisfied myself that no GS exists that could fulfil my needs. You see, a poser would never have gone through such trouble to actually look for a ‚??normal‚?? GS with a 33 liter tank. Those types just go and buy a GSA straight away.

Well, one tyre kick led to another and a couple of phone calls, e-mails and website visits later I had my mind set on a certain Adventure (after still being unable to find a GS with a 33l tank) . And what an adventure it turned out to be.

This specific GSA belonged to a nice chap in Vryheid, KZN. Which of course posed a slight logistical challenge, since I hail from the big city. (no, its not Petoorsdorp). However, my dear friend Brakenjan offered his version of German engineering (it‚??s not an ultimate driving machine, but it‚??s engineered like no other) as transport to Vryheid, whereupon I arranged with the nice chap that we‚??ll pitch up at his place around 9am on the Saturday morning for a tyre kicking session of note. This translated into a 5am start in Jozi, which we managed to pull off:

Note the temperature: At this stage it was ‚??only‚?? +2¬įC. It really was a cold, fresh morning. Somewhere between Balfour and Standerton we went through a dip and this reading changed to -8¬įC. Luckily Fritz‚?? climate control invention managed to keep this away from us. I didn‚??t manage to take a picture of the -8¬įC reading, because the amount of G‚??s required to lift your arms, pick up a camera, lean over and press the little button on top, were just too much for me - had Brakenjan not broken through the sound barrier by then, I suppose it could have been a similar experience to take a picture while in a moving car that has yet to break Mach 1 or whatever the speed of sound is.

Not sure what the light pattern is in this picture. I just wanted to take a picture of the sunrise, but I guess the car‚??s speed played tricks with the shutter. It could have been a traffic police jet trying to follow us. I don‚??t know. (On this point: I have noted that elsewhere on the forum a seriaas question was raised on whether various different descriptive versions of sunrise could be believed, with such versions being more than 2000 years old. If I remember correctly it was something along the lines of  ‚??early in the morning‚??, ‚??still dark‚?? and ‚??sunrise‚?? ‚?? surely all these will apply?)

After literally going airborn due to a hump in the TARRED road somewhere between Standerton and Volksrust, we had to pull over to inspect the undercarriage and main landing gear, since Brakenjan was convinced (still not sure if the expression on his face was one of being proud or one of fear ‚?? perhaps a mixture of the two?) that he saw sparks upon return to terra firma. At this moment I realised why its not an ultimate driving machine: Its an ultimate flying machine.

Here our pilot is in full morninglory after we established that the flight to Vryheid could continue with only minor scratches on the sump thingy:

What‚??s any trip without the compulsory stop to the health bar:

Maverick: This one was especially taken for you:

While chomping away at the zero calorie, very low in cholesterol and high in fibre health breakfast, we noted a local farmer arriving with his bakkie, full of little white buckets with lids on. The next moment he walks into the Wimpy with a couple of these and delivers it very proudly to the establishment. Now I also know why the Wimpy serves the best coffee in our country  ‚?? its their milk procurement policies of getting everything extremely fresh and extremely not pasteurised to you, first thing in the morning. So whenever you have your next cup of Wimpy coffee, do not worry about those ‚??melk velletjies‚?? bobbing on top of your cup ‚?? its organic, its fresh and its from the farm.

On the way to Vryheid we continued to pass various turn offs to different Boer war memorial  sites, but decided not to take any turn offs and to remain to the original plan of pitching up (i.e. landing) on time at the nice chap in Vryheid, as we did not know what the rest of the day would have install for us.

Which is exactly what we did. Landed at 08h57 sharp. (the three minutes early was probably due to some or other tailwind or something).

Now I don‚??t know how many of you guys have embarked on a similar sort of adventure, but maybe some can relate: It was one extreeeemly nervous boykie getting out of the car at the nice chap‚??s place in Vryheid. I mean how clever is one to drive (sorry: fly) almost 500km in pursuit of something which you haven‚??t seen, something which will half the GDP if suddenly removed from the economy (even though I still believe it was a SCHWEEEEET deal), all the while with a little devil sitting on your shoulder explaining the merits of buying a GS instead of a GSA. But that was not the part that made me nervous: At this stage I haven‚??t even so much as discussed anything in this regard with Mrs oo7, and here I am already in Vryheid.

F**k me. I know I‚??m f****ed.

And then I saw the bike.

And then I forgot all about distances, the state of the economy, devils and even Mrs oo7. For a moment that is, because apart from my wife, this bike that I just saw was just the most beautiful thing that I ever laid my eyes on. And that‚??s why I‚??m not too worried that I couldn‚??t find a GS with a 33l tank. Cause any GS (33l tank or te not  ;D), is not as nearly as good looking as its adventurous brother. And that‚??s a fact.  :deal:

And then I took it for a testride. Could anyone tell me what the small little 160km/h Vne sticker is on the handlebar? I suspect it is ‚??velocity never to exceed when riding on knobblies‚??, but I ignored it (if that is what the sticker is for). I mean come on, having just landed from the big city in the Brakenator‚??s ultimate flying machine, 160km/h felt like sitting on one of those yellow and green tri-wheel plastic squid imitating scooters which is loved by kids and hated by adults (especially on boxing day when every little bugger in the neighbourhood got one for X-mas), using just your two feet to propel you forward. So I went up to 180km/h.   And again I was ‚??disappointed‚??. Who has ever ridden a bike at 180km/h, but it actually feels like your going only 60km/h?  :ricky:   

Anyway - to wrap up the tyre kicking session: Save for the main key which the nice chap had lost (and had informed me of earlier), and a couple of small scratches on the protection thingy on the left cylinder head  as well as on the right brush guard, the bike IMHO is immaculate. It only had 6300km‚??s on the clock, and it also still have its original tyres on. Which unfortunately means Runner and I will probably be running into each other again shortly.

Here I am figuring out if my No14 boots will allow me to shift gears.

On the KLR I had replaced the stock gear lever with a longer one and also adjusted the shifter upwards, which allowed me to fit my toes in underneath the shifter. However, I found yesterday that I could actually, without any adjustment, very comfortably shift gears while only using the side edge of the sole of my boot. I was wondering if this is a practice widely used by experienced gelande strassers, or if it is just a newly invented fad attempted by noobs like me?

Please sign on the dotted line:

Could anyone also perhaps tell me if they have EVER, EVER laid eyes on anything SO BEAUTIFUL? (Apart from your wife of course).

We then left Vryheid and the nice chap with a VERY light heart. On the one hand. On the other hand I still haven‚??t told Mrs oo7 about the multi billion dollar private equity buy out which just closed.

F**k me. I know I‚??m f****ed.

The nice chap gave us directions to the memorial site of the Battle of Blood river, which we decided to visit since the smoothness of the transaction left us with some time and neither Brakenjan nor myself have been.

The first 30km‚??s from Vryheid to the turnoff is tar, and I must admit it probably took me the whole 30km‚??s to get used to using the indicators and the indicator kill switch, getting my posture in its most comfortable position and generally just getting the feel of the bike with full kit on, applying brakes, shifting gears, playing with the onboard computer and cursing the stupid German engineers for not fitting such a machine with a simple devise such as a trip odometer. When we hit the turn off and the first dirt, I immediately realised the purpose for which this machine was designed. The GSA is actually a civil engineering marvel: It turns gravel into tar. Baaa bliksem! I enjoyed myself so much on that piece of road ‚?? nothing too serious: A little bit of loose gravel, one or two hills, a couple of low water bridges and one seriously off-camber turn. Man I was in my element. Even though I knew I was f***ed, I didn‚??t worry anymore. This is worth it!!!

At the entrance to the memorial site:

What a monster he is! (And the bike looks kinda mean to).

Without the intention of evoking any political or religious argument, I must admit it was interesting to visit this place which I have heard so much about before. (Ok, it probably would have been a bit duller if I arrived in a cage). I have been struggling for most of my life trying to figure out if I am an Afrikaner? or rather an Afrikaans speaking South African? or perhaps a Boer? Or just an African? (Assuming that agreed definitions does exist for these terms). Be that as it may, during that short time spent at Bloedrivier, for those moments I was definitely a Voortrekker Boer! You could even sense that some of the souties walking around in the museum shared my feelings.

Those poor Zulu‚??s just didn‚??t had a good night and day as everything went against them. But even so, it is still amazing that those 400 odd Voortrekkers managed to held out against such a large Zulu force, even though they had firepower and the Zulu‚??s only spears. But the Trekkers had made a vow . . .

Probably the reason why I am here today?

A closer inspection confirms:

Here Brakenjan is explaining how he would have handled those Impi‚??s:


Good thing the Zulu‚??s weren‚??t attacking on these:

Die middelpunt van die laer:

Standing at the one end of the laer and looking out across the river which apparently turned red with all the blood shedding that took place, this building is visible:

I‚??m unsure what it is, but after some googling I think it must be the Ncome monument and museum complex, erected in remembrance of all the Zulu‚??s that lost their lives.

According to Wikipedia, Mangosotho Buthelezi made these remarks during a speech given at this place‚??s opening:

"At the 16 December 1998 inauguration of the most recent version of the monument, the Zulu politician and then Minister of Home Affairs, Mangosothu Buthelezi, again apologised to the Afrikaner nation for the death of Piet Retief and the subsequent suffering. At the same time Buthelezi noted the suffering of the Zulu under the Afrikaner rule during Apartheid. He stressed that South Africans needed to consider the day as a new covenant which binds us to the shared committment of building a new country'"

I kind of like that - its probably a good attitude to have when remembering what happened here.

Its also sad in a way that the Zulu's were only afforded a monument to mourn their lossess (approx 3000 of the 12,000 men died) in 1998, whereas die boere, who by the way only had 3 (yes three!)  injuries and no deaths, were allowed to erect whatever they wanted to.

We then left this interesting place and whippidiedoedaaa I‚??m back on my skelmpie, back on the enjoyable piece of gravel leading back to the tarred road.

From there we took about 20 minutes to get to Dundee, where I filled up for the first time. I also realised that filling up a motorcycle with a 33liter tank at R10/liter will cost you R330. Bliksem, just to fill a motorcycle!!!!

After Dundee, a nice stretch of tar (as far as being on tar can be considered nice) greeted us and I, for the first time in my life, enjoyed having awesome power below me and just filtered through the traffic. Its obviously a lot easier to overtake on a motorcycle, so funnily enough  Brakenjan wasn‚??t able to keep up with me due to being stuck behind cars. The next thing I know I was stuck behind a car and just before I passed it, I saw a spietkop with a laser gun aiming at the traffic. Fortunately it was an old man in the car in front of me, and that, without a doubt, prevented me from being caught.

Half an hour later I arrived at the Engen garage just before you enter Newcastle , but still no Brakenjan. I took my time, took my gloves, helmet, jacket and earplugs out and then decided to phone the man. Just as I thought. His petrolhead got hold of him again and was ‚??shot‚?? by the cop doing 145km/h. In a hundred zone. Now I‚??m not the only one who‚??s f***ed. To cut a long story short, apparently if you are doing more than 40km/h above the speed limit, it is a ‚??go straight to jail‚?Ě type of offence.  However, this cop was really nice and started off with a R2500 fine. Then Brakenjan (or rather the ‚??Brakenator‚??) negotiated him down to R1000. Then the cop was asked if he spotted me and then I was also pulled into the discussion. After another ten minutes of sad, sad story telling by my lawyer friend, he was let off with no fine and a stern, stern warning.

Here I am in front of the ultimate flying machine at the filling station putting in my earplugs, ready for the long road back to the big city. I used my earplugs on the KLR to dampen the engine noise. Now with the GSA I first discovered wind noise and therefore use my plugs only for that  :pot::

Could anyone also perhaps tell me if they have EVER, EVER laid eyes on anything SO BEAUTIFUL?

What I have omitted to blurt out was the fact that not only was Brakenjan the designated pilot for the trip, he was also the official photographer. Before we left here at this filling station, I told him that we should stop and take some pics of the scenery along the road and of the bike and maybe of the sunset and so on. Knowing Brakenjan I knew that was a tall order to expect, but hey, after all, its my big day on my big motorcycle and perhaps the man (who does not even own a camera himself) would exchange his petrol head for his artistic petrolhead.



Mr Petrolhead just went about his business as usual and failed to, as official photographer, record any competition winning  type poses which I had in mind. In fact, I think what might have happened was that while he was driving, the camera fell on top of its trigger button a few times. This is the result:

Could you spot the GSA in the background?

Could you spot the GSA in the foreground?

Ok, this one is not too bad with Jozi in the background, but the bike in front could have been a KTM for all you know . . .and we definitely do not want to create the wrong impression, do we?  >:D

The ride from Newcastle to the big city was boring. We went past Memel, through Vrede (which I remember a little from high school rugby playing days) and hasn‚??t changed at all, Standerton and then on to Heidelberg and then home.

A side wind was blowing fairly hard, and the sun was setting right in front of us since we were driving due west. I was using Brakenjan‚??s full face helmet with no peak and as a result had to stop after a while since I could not see anything. This was solved by getting out my Enduro helmet with peak and goggles. Things were fine then until it became dark, when the very dark goggles (obviously designed to keep as much sun out as possible) made things yet again almost impossible to see. This time I didn‚??t felt like stopping again to exchange helmets, so I decided to take the goggles off and ride with an open endure helmet.

Anyway, I made it home safely and fortunately managed to convince Mrs oo7 that its in fact done just for her as she will now be able to accompany me wherever I go. So I‚??m not f***ed anymore. In fact  . . . >:D

Mr Brakenjan. You‚??re a top man. Doe da doe da dy!

Also a sincere word of thanks to Barclays  ;-)

This is oo7 signing off on the fourth floor.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 08:24:20 pm by doubleoseven »

Offline JourneyMan

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 06:36:13 pm »
Congrats on the new bike! :cool:

I like these "picked-up-the-new-bike-trip-report" combinations.  :razz:

Lekker man!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 06:38:59 pm by JourneyMan »
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Offline michnus

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2008, 06:37:09 pm »
Sheeeez, congratulations  :occasion14: You are going to love that bike, no doubt about it.

Offline LeonDude

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2008, 06:39:08 pm »
Nice, very nice.
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Offline luke

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2008, 06:43:11 pm »
You got yourself a cool ride there,  ;)
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 06:43:40 pm »
Congrats on the new ride doubleO!
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2008, 07:00:47 pm »
Awesome bike
And a great bike collection report ;D ;D

Offline Brakenjan

Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2008, 07:41:12 pm »

Great report doubleO!! I enjoyed yesterday so much, you would say it was my bike that we collected!

And as a good friend should do in these circumstances, I have already started working on Mrs Brakenjan for permission to buy a GSA.....  ;) (and no, I do not have your balls to buy now and explain later.... ;D )

Many happy and safe miles on your new baby!



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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 07:58:41 pm »
Baie baie geluk. Hel ek hou van jou manier van skryf. Geniet hom!!!

Offline gonedown

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2008, 09:20:58 pm »
very nice - and hopefully by now you have found the trip odometer - yes it does have - 2 to be precise. ;D ;D ;)
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Offline Carlos

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2008, 09:40:58 pm »
Excellent - I remember this huge painting of the battle of blood river hanging in the entrance hall of my Ouma's place - as a boy it scared the shite out of me - enjoy your new bike

Offline Matroos (aka JJred)

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2008, 10:27:03 pm »
Congratulations and may you have many safe miles on that beast.

Offline lonerider

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2008, 10:35:16 pm »
Cool report! And congrats on that "good-looking" machine... :)
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Offline Lootch67

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2008, 01:26:21 am »
Congratulations 007!! It is indeed an awesome looking bike. Pity they don't do it in green... >:D Glad to see my instructions re the Ride Report did not fall on deaf ears. In fact, I feel a re-write of a certain ride report coming on. This time you can do some of the writing!

Brakenjan, how the hell do you do it???
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Offline Stephan

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008, 07:15:22 am »
Nice bike, congrats.  Now for the next challenge  >:D find a GSA with a 18l tank  ;D
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Offline malgat (RIP)

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2008, 10:22:17 am »
wow,,,what a lekker rr,,,lekka pics and me seeing the bloedrivier monument for the first time,,,,,,

dammm i like that gs,,,i also want one,,,sooon

hope it brings you all the pleasure you want and more
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Offline Kaboef

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2008, 11:00:16 am »
So you went and did it!
Congrats 007! :ricky: ;D ;D ;D

Lekker, I KNOW you will enjoy that scoot.

She's a beauty - but dont let the wife catch you staring at her... :dousing:

You coming to the Bash then?

My great granddad was Sarel Cillie - the guy who laid down the "gelofte" at Bloedrivier.
Nice write-up and pics of the memorial, thanks.
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Offline brettp

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2008, 11:26:05 am »
Congrats, what a lekker bike.....and report! Ride with gusto, live with passion and enjoy every moment on board the finest bike built! (Not biased, right????  ;D)
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Offline Hentie @ Riders

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2008, 12:33:12 pm »
Geluk 007 ek glo jy sal haar baie geniet :thumleft:

Offline Maverick

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a river of blood
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2008, 03:08:59 pm »
Awesome dude, jy sal daai fiets lekker geniet en hoop jy kry hom in 2de rat  :biggrin: Het die negotiations al met skeeps doktor begin of soek jy nog idee's  ;)
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