Orange mist descends on the Berg

South Africa’s first ever KTM Adventure Rally is set to become an annual event.

“If almost 200 fire-breathing orange bikes descending on biking paradise in the Drakensberg mountains doesn’t get your heart racing, then you need to find an organ donor!”

Two KTM riders

That’s according to well-known Dakar racer and in dyed-orange-in-the-wool KTM guy Alfie Cox. He was one of the 160 participants in KTM South Africa’s first Adventure Rally held earlier this month at the Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg, South Africa.

At the rally riders could choose between three routes: green (easier dirt roads, 300 km), red (technical single track, 90 km) and black (for hardcore adventure riders, 80 km). In true KTM spirit, riders took on  the best and most exciting terrain KZN had to offer. They experienced open dirt roads, single track and riverbeds. A few serious climbs were also thrown in, which had heart rates rocketing and took some sweat to conquer.

A KTM and rider conquer an obstacle

Participants returned to the resort at around 15:00 to be welcomed at the bivouac with music, a pizza truck, a beer tent and a bike-wash and repair centre. The evening’s entertainment started at 19:00 with a live performance by the iconic band Ballyhoo, whereafter prizes were up for grabs. The main prize was a full set of KTM PowerWear Kit, Alpinestar Tech 8 boots with an Airoh helmet. Other prizes included Motorex and KTM hampers.

Participants could ride the green, red and black routes again the next day, and at 14:00 it was time for the Red Bull Skills Challenge. After the dust had settled, Alfie Cox walked away with top honours.

Alfie Cox won the skills challenge

Riaan Neveling, KTM SA’s marketing manager, says the company wants to make this event an annual “must-do” for the Orange family. “The goal is to spend quality time with our customers and enjoy the products together. Anyone who was at the event would agree that we pulled all the stops and that the same experience can’t be found anywhere else. We are in the planning stages for 2018 already and we have something big up our sleeve,” Neveling says.

To Neveling a highlight was the abundance of prominent bikers like Alfie Cox, Joey Evans, Darryl Curtis and Ross Branch.

A lone rider in the beautiful Drakensberg area

KTM South Africa subsidised the event so that the three-night-stay, meals and riding “some of the best routes in South Africa” amounted to R4 900 per person sharing. “We offered the best of both worlds: luxury accommodation and entertainment combined with the best riding experience,” Neveling concludes. If you missed out this year, start planning now. For more information visit http://www.ktm-adventure-rally.com/.

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