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Offline Kalahari Johan

Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« on: October 26, 2018, 06:37:15 am »
I have been riding dirt bikes since age of 5 , and except for the first 5 years after starting to work where I could not afford a bike , I have been riding now for almost 35 years of my life

Yet I never had the opportunity to go racing until I started track days on my first super bike in 2004. I did the odd regional super bike race for 3 years, but shortly after the birth of my son , I had quite a big crash in a race at Kyalami that ended me up in theater with an emergency operation on my knee.


So with a lot of pressure from family and friends I sold my race bike and purchased a BMW GS 1200 Adventure.


Well a new flame was ignited inside of me. A longing to go and explore. And explore I did.
I went in search of every gravel track or railroad service road I could find in Gauteng

When time allowed I also went on extended trips to Namibia, Botswana (Kubu island) Lesotho (sani pass) , eastern and western Cape , and my favorite Northern Cape


About a year ago I purchased Joey Evans book Para to Dakar at Cape Town Airport on the way back to JHB. 3 Days later I had finished reading it and suddenly had this massive urge to go racing again, but on dirt bikes and hopefully in a Rally

Shortly thereafter I saw the first advert for the Kalahari rally and immediately knew what I wanted to do in 2018.
I started training to get myself back in shape and did my first GXCC race in February


That first race was quite a shock to my body and I knew I would have to increase my training and time spent on the bike on weekends

I also entered the Botswana 1000 desert race , because Joey Evans also did it in his book


The thick sand and thorns almost destroyed me , yet I managed to finish 36th overall after 3 days in the desert

As part of my preparation I also did the Pongola 500 on my Husqvarna 701 Rally bike and joined Thomas Eich from Omega Fibre on a 2 day Roadbook Training weekend


If ever you doubt whether you would want to try rally Navigation riding, go and do this weekend with Omega. It was massive fun and I learned a lot

Well unto Kalahari rally
The day had finally arrived


Scrutineering and all checks done , first roadbook received and I was ready for the prologue on Sunday


Roadbook marking would become a daily ritual, often until very late at night


Day 1 Prologue:70km

Started the race and quickly got the nerves to settle down. Started increasing my speed and at about 50kmís my bike stopped. After about 10minutes realized that I forgot to open my auxiliary tanks taps and so ran out of fuel
Quickly opened them and carried on


I had forgotten to properly mark my STOPS and Speeding zones on Roadbook and missed almost all of them. Got a 1.5 hour penalty for those mistakes, meaning tomorrow I would start 2nd last. Luckily the prologues times will not be part of our overall time for rally
So I went back and properly started highlighting and coloring my stops and speed zones for rest of rally

Day 2: 221km Liaison and 208km Special

Todayís special was mostly on agriculture farmland next to ploughed fields and fences similar to GXCC racing with navigation not to difficult.
To my own surprise I finished 3rd overall




Day 3: Special 208km , Liaison 74km , another special 287km and then final Liaison 244km

A very long day. Started at 6:45am and only finished at 7:30pm. During the 2nd special we were racing on sandy tracks in between thick thorn bushes. Felt a sharp pain in my left arm and noticed a long camel thorn tree thorn standing straight up lodged into my arm. I pulled it out whilst at speed and finished the stage with a bleeding arm

Still 3rd overall

Day 4: Special 327km and Liaison 76km
A very difficult day with extremely tough navigation, very sandy technical riding in the Digtebos area. I now know why they call it Digtebos.



With about 50km to go off special I again felt a very sharp intense pain again on my left arm as I was speeding past a thorn bush growing unto the track.

The pain kept on intensifying and as I got back to bivouac in the dark I knew there was something large lodged into my arm muscle
Off to the doctor and half an hour later out came a 4cm sekelbos thorn. First set of stitches


We again only finished the stage in the dark due to the low speeds of the stage.
Still 3rd overall

Day 5: Liaison 39km , Special 238km

Day started extremely fast next to long stretches of fence averaging speeds between 160-170km/h at times.
At km 50 I hit a rut at about 120km/h
Got flung up into the air and as I came crashing down on top of my navigation tower , the bike turned left into a bob wire fence


My daily ritual prayers for protection I believe saved me if you see how close those bobwire marks came to my throat on the side of my helmet.

As I jumped up and realized nothing was broken, all I could feel and see was lots of blood. My nose was bleeding severely so I assumed it must be from there
I started removing my bike from entangled bobwire and picking it up.
My bars was bent , my rally screen and panels broken. Out came the duck tape and cable ties and I started patching up my bike.
Loosened the triple clamps to straighten my handle bars.
Only then I realized that my left glove was soaked in blood


Rally control had picked up that I crashed via my onboard tracking device showing a sudden speed decrease and no movement
A paramedic was dispatched already to meet up with me after I telephonically contacted rally control to say I am sort of ok and will try to continue
Took out my first aid kit and bandaged up my cut as best I could before I started riding again


After meeting first paramedic who patched me up proper , a paramedic was placed about every 20-30 kmís to assess me.
Hatís off to the rally organization



Carried on riding but at Km 161 my motor seized due to an unknown punctured radiator that I did not know of after my crash

Went back to doctor 2nd day in a row for more stitches


So with only one day to go my rally seemed over
At riders briefing that evening I asked rally control permission to finish rally tomorrow on a different bike. I had already received a ďcut and runĒ penalty for abandoning todayís stage , so another penalty for changing bikes would make no difference to my results anymore
At about 8:30pm we started driving back to JHB to fetch my husky 501.
Arrived back at 3am Friday morning and started prepping bike. So with no roadbook holder on my bike , rally control decided to give me a gps with route and asked me to act as a sweeper and assist the back markers whom was struggling with navigation to finish the last day , as long as I do not overtake any of them

So I managed to finish my first Kalahari rally 11th overall with all my penalties, but that did not matter as I was more excited about just finishing


So will I go back
I would say definitely yes , but on a lighter bike and I would race less aggressively next time

See you at Kalahari rally 2019

For the record the oldest finisher was Joe at 67 years old on a Yamaha wr 450

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 05:57:31 am by Kalahari Johan »
Bikes owned: Honda CB900F , BMW GS1150 Adventure , BMW GS 1200 Adventure , KTM 990 Adventure , BMW GS1200 LC
Current: KTM 1290 Adv R , Husky 701 Omega rally , Husky FE501 , KTM 450 xcw
 
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Offline Dwerg

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 06:57:13 am »
 :sip:
KTM 690R, 790ADV
 

Offline Buff

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 07:09:45 am »
Finally, a Kalahari RR  :thumleft: Whoohoo   :ricky:
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 

Offline Battlestar

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 07:42:03 am »
Sub.....
Pass this way once!
 

Offline Mr D

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 09:03:59 am »
Thanks for sharing and well done in completing it against all odds too.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. T. E. Lawrence
 

Offline Edgar

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 09:16:21 am »
That accident could have been much worse, glad you survived that. I love your never give up attitude!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Antonie

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 10:03:21 am »
Awesome!! Admire the perseverance despite all the challenges! Well done.

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Offline 0012

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 10:19:54 am »
+1 to the above comments, well done!  :thumleft:


->    TransAlp 650 - sold
:(    Yamaha XT1200Z - written off - R.I.P.
 

Offline RobLH

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 10:46:00 am »
Congrats Johan, great effort to keep going.

Care to tell us more about your bike, what mods you've done, fuel tanks / range, weight etc?
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 01:11:26 pm »
Congrats Johan, great effort to keep going.

Care to tell us more about your bike, what mods you've done, fuel tanks / range, weight etc?

Like Rob said above, congrats, and of course, some more on the bike prep pls.

Get your 2019 schedule sorted and see if you can work the Tankwa Rally in, quite a tough one.
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Kalahari Johan

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 01:31:24 pm »
I purchased a 2nd hand Husqvarna 701 that had the Omega rally kit on already
It consists of 2 front carbon fiber fuel tanks pushing total fuel capacity upto about 32 liters on bike. Also a rally tower and rally screen similar to a 450 factory rally bikes with road book holder and trip meter/gps cap heading meter.
Previous owner also had a steering damper fitted and Akropovic slip on exhaust
Suspension wise bike was left standard

Overall this must be one of the best bikes to go serious adventure biking like on thick sand and goat tracks with odd tar road in between

However I would rather go back on a lighter bike like my 501 with long range tank and navigation tower next year and with a proper suspension setup.


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Bikes owned: Honda CB900F , BMW GS1150 Adventure , BMW GS 1200 Adventure , KTM 990 Adventure , BMW GS1200 LC
Current: KTM 1290 Adv R , Husky 701 Omega rally , Husky FE501 , KTM 450 xcw
 
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Offline africanSky

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 01:33:35 pm »
Awesome RR, thanks. Proper crash!
 

Offline Serf

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2018, 06:57:08 am »
Glad you survived the crash. Great that you finished, although on another bike.

It just shows that one can never have too many bikes!

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Offline gser

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2018, 07:18:19 am »
Lekker KJ . . . !
 

Offline Hinksding

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2018, 09:21:34 am »
Dankie Johan vir die deel van jou ondervinding. Dit lyk awesome. Jy het nie dalk n kaart vd roete wat julle gerace het nie?
Eet vleis! 'n 1 000 000 jakkalse kan nie verkeerd wees nie.
 

Offline Skim

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2018, 10:01:54 am »
Mooi man dankie vir die deel.
Skim

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Online Brink

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2018, 10:48:04 am »
Awesome effort!  :ricky:

That rut looks like/similar to, the one that ended the race for Brian Baragwanath and his driver.
I know nothing but I can not prove it,,,,,
 

Online Kortbroek

Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2018, 01:52:52 pm »
Well done man. Loved following the race.
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 

Offline katana

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2018, 03:35:01 pm »
Respect  :thumleft:
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Offline SparkMark

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Re: Kalahari rally 2018. And why I wanted to race it
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2018, 09:18:15 pm »
Yeah man ... total respect. I'm planning to be there next year for my 1st rally too  :big grin:

Could you tell us a little bit more about the Rally support ? I.e. did you go as a team, did you carry spares etc ?

Thanks