After the naming ceremony and the top notch graphic designing we had to really make plan. Bikes we have. One for every day of the week, or one fit for each purpose, motocross, trails, endure, superbikes and cross tourer. Honestly not we, he!!!! The addiction has taken hold and I quickly learned where I ranked in the greater scheme of things. Needless to say, I have a few bikes myself and well, as far as ranking go....let's leave it at that. The problem with "our" bikes is they are family, babies, children nurtured daily, cleaned, fed, and pampered like very few. What is the chance that I am gonna let someone, anyone pay me to go ride my own bike? Not even best friends have enough money to maybe have a glimmer of light in this situation, so there is only one thing to be done. MORE bikes!
I don't know who was more ecstatic about this prospect but I think the real biker to the core would get this. Two cardinal rules of biking. Don't sell a bike and there is always place for one more. In our case we need more, more, more, quite a few more. As we had a good relook at finances (bikes are not cheap in this neck of the woods) we stumbled upon 3 beauts within a very short space of time. 2 x KTM 450 XCW and one old lady KTM525.
Now you might think why madam 525. She is old , more than likely had her time and well to say the least cannot really compete with the big boys of today. I say, Carburator, long stroke, amazing curves, sexy as hell and sounds like a kitten purring. Not to mention she has not given us a grunt or mood swing or huff and puff since we got her. She is sophisticated and mature and she is my Unicorn.
The one I will never be able to ride but dream of daily and at night when I sleep. Her happy button give light to a motor that makes my heart beat out of my chest and makes my legs feel like jelly. She is THEEE bike. The one that will never let us down and the one that will keep going long after the other has seen the end of days. Her place is forever at Bike X Cape and although economy dictates that we would need to eventually replace bikes, she will find a pedestal and sit high on her throne for all of our visitors to see. For anyone that is interested in having a read up on her makings check out this article http://www.mcnews.com.au/2003-ktm-525-exc/
Now, for the two KTM 450 XCW ...well what can I say. Their grunt and Brut power will leave anyone eating your dust. One is carburetor and the other fuel injected. Both are fitted with some nice bling here and there. For me personally again, they are way too tall to ride, and I therefor can't really give fare comment but I have seen them in action and well, spectacular! These two are made for the job at hand and are sure to provide our guests with the ride of their lives!
Last but not least in the KTM house is the vice president of them all, and I say vice president because well, from my explanation above on Mister 525 I choose this one to be second in charge. A beast in it's own right and definitely not for the faint at heart. This machine is probably the most powerful in the standard production KTM XCW range.
It is with great honor and pleasure we present to you The KTM500XCW !
Now with the next two bikes you can expect a debate and somewhat of a story behind, and maybe, just maybe one of them will be removed as a tour bike...for a very good purpose, but only time will tell. See, I am really short, I mean really short! It has been an constant uphill battle to upgrade to bigger machines for me and even though I can ride somewhat taller bikes, it does not help if your foot can touch the one side but cannot at least reach the gear lever on the other. I am left with a dilemma which by all accounts left me with the complete impossibility to ever get on the bigger 450cc bikes. Currently I have a 350 Freeride and I adore her, but for what we will be offering on these tours she is really only suited for some of the terrain. As you can imagine we had to change a bit in term of the setup which has left the geometry of the bike unsuited for really fast high speed stuff. That being said, she is a gem in the rocky terrain, she is nimble and light weight and throwing her from side to side whilst maneuvering through this type of terrain does not need a lot of effort or fitness skills.
However, and maybe it is because I want to be a small girl on a big bike or maybe just because I know the upgrade to the bigger bike will mean I have the approval from my better half, I really want to make this bike work. The one Honda CRF450x. From when we purchased her she appeared slightly lower than even the Husaberg which we thought of making my tour bike. The Boss however is a Honda man and for a few years now I have grown out of bikes slowly upgrading to bigger and taller, but never ever have I been promoted to a Honda. All the other makes I have owned, but for the elusive Honda. If this bike does work, it will mean a little bit more than just a bigger bike, it will mean that I am finally worthy of riding a Honda and that, well, to me anyway is just an achievement beyond words.
Guess which one I want to make work?
Looking at these two, I also understand the division, turmoil and conflict during MotoGP season. I shout, neigh I scream at the top of my lungs for Dovi or Lorenzo all the while he smiles silently at Honda's win after win after win. (except from some competition from Ducatti every now and then this year) Whilst the upgrade is pending a girl can only but dream. Well , "upgrade" in terms of motor and amazing welding work from Honda, I do think my two KTM's are super sexy in presentation and some little work will need to be done to be able to pull of "girl sexy" on the Honda.
My Babies: how can you compare in the aesthetic look to the above (for a girl) What can I say, I like "pretty sexy hot bikes"
Me Blabbering on and on about a real deep emotion and some crazy bike demons, will not absolve me from presenting you with the last of the tour bikes...Hopefully there will be more...guess it all depends on the take up and feedback from our guests. The Husaberg 350 appears to be a complete abstract in terms of our red and orange colour scheme, but don't let that fool you. Originated from the Husqvarna brand and the company being led by a few of the main guys from Husqvarna manufacturing commenced in Sweden and was later moved to their parent company' manufacturing plant in Austria. Who would have guessed KTM. Yes ladies and gents, the brand has bit of blue and orange blood and combined leaves us the consumer with nothing short of spectacular. Not to mention when she eventually one also retire will more than likely become a very sought after bike to own and might possibly find her way to a glory place amongst our personal collection. And although blue and yellow and although manufacturing of this brand has seized all together maintenance of this baby is fairly simple especially if you are running a 80% KTM fleet already, because most of her day to day parts are readily available due to KTM and Husqvarna parts compatibility.
If you are all wondering....I did promise some news on other stuff. Yes we are all about the bikes and the offroad motorcycle tours but after a long day of riding there is nothing better than a hot shower, good food and a super comfy bed. All of the above is like a vitamin injection for the next day of riding and without, well, let's just say it can become uncomfortable. This is our commitment to our guests that we will never provide a bed we would not sleep in ourselves. And we are really set on this. Each guest will have their own tent/room/Bungalow and accommodation is not shared.
Basically we have been hard at work to bring the best quality to one of the most remote areas in our country to our guests. Granted some of the accommodation facilities, including our Base Camp is in tents, but these highly durable canvas tents are equipped with a decent bed and mattress and top quality linen and towels and are cleaned daily. Guaranteed there is no such thing as traditional camping and eating out of paper plates. I love cooking and the "boss" has mastered the art of braaing (barbeque) on an open fire. So our guests can be sure to a spoil of open fire cooking, traditional meals and of a few extra pounds in the body department at the end of their tour... the weight only dependent on whether you are gonna work up a sweat of whether you gonna plod along like a granny.
Next blog on South Africa motorcycle tours and site seeing info.