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Author Topic: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride  (Read 46910 times)

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Offline GSing

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #80 on: January 30, 2008, 11:01:35 pm »
Whethefakawe, I'll buy your book. Put me down somma now...
Me too!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #81 on: February 01, 2008, 08:12:15 am »
Whethefakawe,

Some useless but coincidental information for you.

My old man worked at Midmacor in the early 80's, the then Honda agents for SA.

One of the reps there, Fred Pretorius, was the guy that sold those XR's to the Army. He was in with the Generals of the time and the stories he used to tell us of the 'entertainment' these guys demanded was incredible, lots and lots of 'schmoozing'.

Interestingly, the orders were by the hundreds and continued for many years. They (Fred and my old man) even flew over to Japan to find out from Honda whether the bikes could be painted in the army green shown in your pics. The Honda execs refused and the bikes had to painted here in SA before being delivered to the Army.

I used to go to Midmacor and marvel at the HUNDREDS of XR's sitting there waiting to be painted and delivered.

I showed my old man your post and it's great to see where those bikes went and how and by who they were used.

Thanks for this it brought back many memories for me and for my old man.

 :o :o

Jissis China, that's anything BUT useless trivia!!!

Superjuice, I reeeeallly want to talk to you and your dad. I met with an oke named Ron Wood a month ago who designed the "Kriek", a custom bike he built to compete for the army bike contract in 1983. He mentioned that Honda won because of some general who had a finger in the pie with Midmacor, didn't know who it was. He is still a bit miffed about it, basically all he got out of it was a SA vacation. A really nice oke. My bro  Patrick confirmed the "generals" bit, but he doesn't know names either.

The plot thickens........

Did your dad know Jimmy McDaniels? He was one of the MMWC's at Midmacor, his son Craig was in BS in 1983. Craig scored me a Honda CR480 fuel tank when somebody stole the one off my loot friend Herbert's bike that I raced for a while. A sarcastic, funny oke Craig was.

The title for my own kakpraat stories will be decided soon, however I plan on naming the factual history simply "Bike Squad". The format will be, as stated, a historically and factually accurate account, with probably a section of "stories", peoples' personal angles, which are mostly funny, judging by my own. 

Thumpernut, if you were there in 83 and 84 we crossed paths, I was the workshop manager in 83 and spent some time with platoons 13 and 14. I would appreciate your input, too.

Small world, did I mention that? ;D
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 08:13:31 am by Whethefakawe »
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Offline Thumpernut

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #82 on: February 01, 2008, 06:09:29 pm »
Does this bring back memories? I recall it's after a day of riding training at "Saddleback" (the MX track where Bike Squad used to go for laughs):


I recall we also had those useless Sukuki DR400s for road training. They handled like pigs, but at least they got the whole platoon to the roadhouse at Potch once or twice:


We even rode them in the bush - I think the place was called BlouBos?? No match for an XR500RC like we had on the border (that was to prove itself as one helluva tough bike):


During our training we used XR500RBs which were great bikes. I still think the XR was a better bike than the Kriek, although the Kriek had some clever features like interchangeable front and rear wheels.


 

Offline Thumpernut

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #83 on: February 01, 2008, 07:08:36 pm »
Once we ('83-'84 Bike Squad) got to the border in late '83, we had XR500RCs painted the Army "shakhi" colour (a mixture of shit and khaki). Our helmets were still white and we had stupid glass goggles which we soon replaced with Smith plastic MX goggles that our families would post up to us. That made a heck of a difference. We later painted the helmets shaki too. The shaki paint kept coming off the bikes' plastics so it was really difficult to keep them semi-camouflaged.

We bought a lot of our own kit to make riding easier, and later even bought our own spares to keep the bikes running so as to avoid having to become foot-slogging infantry if our bikes packed up. There's a fascinating story in itself about the tricks we employed to deal with stretched timing chains, and worn chains and sprockets.

The platoon was split into three sections stationed at Okatope, Ogongo and Ruacana.

This pic is taken at the Ruacana Dam hydro-electric scheme around end '83, perhaps early '84. The bike squad section from Ogongo had ridden up past Ombalantu and Mahenene, to Ruacana, and met up with the Ruacana section, who took the Ogongo guys for a tour of the dam. We all rode down the huge tunnel inside the dam wall, to the turbine and generator hall of the hydro-electric plant. On the way back out there was much wheelieing up the tunnel back to daylight. There was a massive sliding door protecting the entrance to the tunnel, and mortarists from 3SAI stationed on top of the dam wall to protect the dam from attack.


The '83-'84 Bike Squad section based at Ruacana worked mainly in hilly terrain, protecting the SWAWEK (South West Africa Water and Electricity Corporation) powerlines that ran from Ruacana Dam southwards through the Kaokoveld.

In contrast with this, the section based at Ogongo patrolled the flat "shonas" which were like shallow lakes that extended for kilometers at times.


Around Dec - Mar there was always more rain on the way. Here another shona can be seen behind the "Noddy Car" (Eland armoured car).


One got used to wet boots and soggy feet. Periodically, someone would disappear into a canal or a hole and the bike would drown. Somehow those XRs just kept on going, month after month, after draining the water and changing the oil. Heck, ask anyone in Bike Squad and they'll have huge respect for those bikes, considering what they went through.

Sometimes (rarely) we had to dump the bikes for a few days and head out on a "mynjag" (mine hunt) in Buffels. Here we are stuck and trying to pull a Buffel out the mud. I think the Buffel patrols just made us appreciate the freedom our bikes gave us when we got back to riding patrol. Nobody really bugged Bike Squad so we could come and go as we pleased, to some extent.


I haven't looked at some of these photos in over 20 years. And I have 1000 more showing us being a lot more mischievous and having some great riding fun. The downside was that one could always ride into a trip wire or hit a land mine or fall really hard.

The good side - great memories of a contentious time in history, and the ability to wheelie for 20km today!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 09:02:57 am by Thumpernut »
 

BigEd

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #84 on: February 02, 2008, 01:44:17 pm »
Thanks Thumpernut and of course, Whethefakawe, for this insightful glance of a era gone by.

I only made it to the army in 1989, thus missed all the going-ons. In fact midway through my first year we started pulling back from Grootfontein. We, the SP Gaurds, had to do the final handover parade in Windhoek, but the night before we flew up we got a det to stay for safety. One poor little section leader had to go alone and was hit by a stone marching off the parade ground and knocked out. Poor sod. We disbanded 4 months later - the end to another era.

Sorry for being younger than you okes...
 

Offline Scrat

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #85 on: February 02, 2008, 06:59:44 pm »
Great report guys!!

I missed that era - nog nat agter di ore gewees!! but my ouboet told me some great stories about the same time you okes were there!

I always loved the XR's and in 2006 managed to get my hands on 2 XR500RE's (twin carb model)  still had the brown army paint on the carbs and smaller parts. What great bikes they were!! i redid the motors and me and a mate did the 2006 Desert run with them - funny to see all these WR/CR/KLX and so on new bikes fail and the calssic thumpers just carried on - kanni-dood bikes!!

my boet still stays up in Katima Malilo and has one of those XR500R's still half brown/ half red!! still going strong!!



Call us Crazy!! But what an ADVENTURE!!
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2008, 10:20:23 pm »
Geez - I was looking for the post, couldn't find it thought they dumped it cause I said f*** once too often!
Glad to entertain anybody with kakpraat.

Thumpernut, those are some astounding photos! Were you the official photographer or something?

I finally made it to SA, had a hell of a time getting on a flight to the southern hemisphere for some reason. I'll PM a few of yer, hopefully we can hook up.

Thanks again for the kind replies.
Cheers
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Offline Iron Shark

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2008, 11:24:38 pm »
What a great read, you are a master at this topic!!!

Thanks again for all the great memories, I was in the Pantzer unit (School of Armour) then the tour around the country etc. thus spent much time in the dust too...  ;D ;D :)
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #88 on: March 24, 2008, 01:26:02 am »
Brilliant thread...please update from time to time with tasters of your book to come.
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Offline Tengai

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #89 on: March 26, 2008, 10:37:39 am »
What a great read. Thanks

Iron Shark, what year were you at the school of armour? I was there in 82/83. Did the officers thing and shipped out to Angola thereafter. What a time.........

Let us know when the book is ready, I will get one for sure 8) 8)
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Offline Iron Shark

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #90 on: March 28, 2008, 01:35:13 pm »
What a great read. Thanks

Iron Shark, what year were you at the school of armour? I was there in 82/83. Did the officers thing and shipped out to Angola thereafter. What a time.........

Let us know when the book is ready, I will get one for sure 8) 8)

No Tengai, I only got there in 89, bit late for most of the action. But you know the tankers, spent PLENTY time in the bush!!!
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Naartjie

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #91 on: March 28, 2008, 05:07:39 pm »
Man , this was a great read!!!!!!!!

I remember the SADF having a motocross team in the early 80's.... They always used an army tent in the pits!!!!!

If I recall correctly, David van der Merwe was one of the guys that raced for the team while doing national service.
And Peter Hills as well.....

Also had a good friend (Guy Ladeira) who raced with me that served in the demonstration bike squad in '82 and '83.... Needless to say he was the clown!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 05:09:31 pm by Naartjie »
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #92 on: March 28, 2008, 08:24:54 pm »
Man , this was a great read!!!!!!!!

I remember the SADF having a motocross team in the early 80's.... They always used an army tent in the pits!!!!!

If I recall correctly, David van der Merwe was one of the guys that raced for the team while doing national service.
And Peter Hills as well.....

Also had a good friend (Guy Ladeira) who raced with me that served in the demonstration bike squad in '82 and '83.... Needless to say he was the clown!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D

Howzit Naartjie,

Yes I knew all those okes, I don't remember an official MX team, but I was in Potch with Peter Hills who raced 125's, David vd Merwe who raced 500's for Butch Hirsch KTM, Shane Thomas who raced 500 Enduro, Deon Roux, 125's, Patrick O'keefe 125's, Gavin Murphy 125's, Kenny vd Merwe, and also old Guy Ladeira. Guy was a funny oke, he raced a 125 Cagiva at the time. I used to see all of them at the races, of course they were experts, I was NOT!.  O0   I was just wondering recently where Guy is,  do you still have contact with him?

The manuscript for the kakpraat stories is ready and at the publisher, just working on the photos and layout etc.

The full-on history project is on simmer at the moment, I just got back from SA and Uganda and am working overtime to make up the lost tom and trying to sell/give away/burn all my stuff so I can leave here.

I'll say it again, if anybody knows someone who was in bike squad or had interaction with same back then, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!

Thanks
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Offline RobC

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #93 on: March 30, 2008, 09:49:30 pm »
Great story WTF... 1978 (I think) was when I had contact with the Bike Squad, July/August as I recall, there was a huge sweep all the way down to Otavi in pursuit of Terrs... This was during our refresher at Oshivello. I was amazed at how many bikes were at the disposal of the squad, they had a whole maguires loaded with bikes and spares as I recall. We were 3 month Regt Dan Pienaar Campers and after this we deployed to Okattope, what an anticlimax that was compared to running around the farm area.
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #94 on: May 30, 2008, 06:38:55 am »
Posting this on behalf of the guy I ride with, he does not have a PC but I mentioned this report knowing he was in the Berede, he has hundreds of photos and is a great story teller. He was in the Berede 79 to 80..If you need to contact him, PM me, he knows a lot of the history and mostl of the funnies that went down.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 11:04:11 am by Beserker »
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Offline KiLRoy

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #95 on: May 30, 2008, 09:44:12 am »
Ask him to post - or post on his behalf - plse........
 

Offline Goose

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #96 on: May 30, 2008, 06:56:45 pm »
Ask him to post - or post on his behalf - plse........

+100
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Offline Beserker

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #97 on: June 02, 2008, 06:44:06 am »
We're going up to Namibia in July, will but a report together, have the stuff scanned in and post...
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Offline Wolweseun

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #98 on: June 02, 2008, 08:45:43 pm »
What a great posting
it is very seldom i get to see so many photos I was in Armoured corps 82-83 and we were always searched for cameras etc.
I also never knew Ford made so many F100 Bakkies as what I saw up there, we would take the bonnet off an old one and tie it with a cable behind the buffel and ski until the bonnet skin wore through.
I also scored a whole lot of XR spares from one of the Tiffies from Oshakati to take home for my bike.
I was also very envious of the bike squad guys and the only time I ever saw them not wheelying was when they were in base camps.
Very nice post and will definitely consider purchasing your book
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: The year long All Expenses Paid hooligan ride
« Reply #99 on: June 02, 2008, 10:10:01 pm »
It's been a while since I sat down to read a thread and never got up the get another beer. Thanks for the report and pics and menories. I did my basic training at Potch 3 SAI, then Nambia
IN 84/85. Never meet any of the BS guys, but your pics and stories just brings back really good memories.

Thanks