Speedweek 2014

Last week Speedweek happened on Hakskeenpan in the Kalahari, near the border between South Africa and Namibia. What an event!

Bikeroutes went there to check out the scene and found magic. Speedweek is like Africa Burn for petrolheads, but better: a bunch of people on a dry lake with the sole aim of having fun on wheels. There’s no speed limit, but the loose, crumbling surface slows all vehicles down considerably.

Meet Nicci and her custom Suzuki GN400 (below). She reached a top speed of 140km/h. If you’ve been on the pan you will know that’s quite a feat. After relentless, full-throttle speed runs the track resembles a loose, sandy gravel road.

The rain a few days before the event also had a bad effect on the surface. It started cracking and everywhere the cracks made bumps as they dried. A very, very tricky surface!
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Michael Macintyre (below) had a go on his 1975 Suzuki 400. He was aiming to get a ton-up (100 mph or 160km/h), but spent the whole weekend tweaking the carburettors. The bike refused to rev past 6000rpm and after adjusting and cleaning it would only reach 89km/h on its last run. Michael said he’ll be back for his ton-up next year.

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This is Deon and his V8 flathead pick-up (below). He was just riding up and down slowly the WHOLE day. He arrived in a greasy overall and oil covered hands, totally in his Speedweek personality.

Bikeroutes will be back at Speedweek next year. We hope to see you there.

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Speedweek 6021Photographers:

Willem van der Berg

Jared Paisley

Desmond Louw

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