40 riders, including Honda customers, journalists and dealers of the winged brand, left last March 1 from Durban to arrive after 3,800 km in Cape Town. 12 days of travel riding the legendary Africa Twin 1000 in the HRC tricolor color equipped with original Honda side bags, as well as a practical soft waterproof bag 50 lt Enduristan and a rich travel kit branded Honda Adventure Roads. The trip was articulated between paved roads and mixed off-road vehicles, covering the whole of South Africa from east to west through the small state of Lesotho with temperatures ranging between 10 degrees in the mountains and 45 degrees in the desert.
The participants were all passionate motorcyclists with a good motorcycle background, lovers of the Honda brand and of course eager for adventure. They came from most of Europe (many Spaniards, French and Germans), some from overseas. Honda Europe has done a great job! The organization was impeccable: organizers and young collaborators nice and prepared, each with a precise role and in tune with each other. The organization was formed by: five jeeps off-road assistance, mechanics, doctors well equipped to intervene promptly in any case and a troupe of photographers and cameramen ready to create a memory of this fantastic trip. The off-road assistance that followed us during the days on the bike had the task of transporting the luggage of all the pilots and have them found promptly in the hotel room in the evening to each participant. They also organised mid-morning ‘coffee breaks’ in characteristic, scenic places where pilots could relax and refresh themselves in the midst of nature, often with remarkable views and landscapes.
The flagship was the opportunity to take advice and drive together with great drivers of the HRC Rally Team such as Joan Barreda, Ignacio Cornejo and the great Jean Michele Bayle, who accompanied us for all 12 days of travel giving advice and showing participants his driving style.
Each day was structured in the same way: early wake-up call, international buffet super breakfasts to get the day off to a good start, short briefings and, before the start generally around 8:30 a.m., time was taken to control and equip our Africa Twin to the daily stage, which generally covered between 300 and 400 km: never tiring, never boring, always well driven and with the right alternation between asphalt and off-road. Not to mention the lush landscapes and its colors, the feeling of majesty and grandeur that transpired when looking at the horizon while traveling, the reactions, folkloric greetings and looks of the locals, often astonished or other times happy, who had perhaps never seen motorcycles of that size live, were surprised to see 40 passing all the same. Sometimes they are unique exchanges of glances, which say so much, make you live the experience, for that instant, from a completely different point of view. The choice of starting each pilot with his own “Trippy” (navigator) was fundamental to the success of the trip. Therefore, the guides were not captained: with 40 pilots it would have been problematic, but each pilot was free to leave autonomously, having his own navigator with the daily track complete with refreshment points, supplies, lunch and any dangerous points clearly marked. So each rider was free to proceed at his own pace, in the company of other pilots or alone, living the adventure in full safety because, in addition to the navigator, he was equipped with GPS locator with the ability to report any damage to the bike or injury fortunately never occurred, also because the philosophy of the trip Honda Adventure Roads, remember, is to live the adventure and not a race! Usually the day on the saddle ended around dusk or just before and the most absolute relaxation started.
The locations chosen for the overnight stays, as you can imagine when organizing Honda Europe, were sought after, luxurious and many times with complete relaxation area. Structured to accommodate 40 dirty riders and their own Africa Twin (no less) until the following morning, they always offered great dinners, breakfasts and overnight stays. It happened to sleep in bungalows surrounded by baboons, in tents in the middle of the savannah, in luxury hotels located in nature parks and in a village next to ski slopes above 3000 meters above sea level.
It was really a breathtaking journey with attention to detail that I would recommend to anyone who is a lover of motorcycling, nature and adventure, who has a good knowledge of off-road motorcycling, the will, the pleasure and the skills necessary to deal with two weeks of motorcycling every day for several hours. It is an economically demanding journey but as soon as you are there to live the adventure you will understand how much it was worth it and you will realize that the economic demand is absolutely proportionate, indeed, you will realize that the trip is actually worth even more objectively thanks to the commitment of Honda Motor Europe to satisfy its customers always striving for the best. All that’s left is the fantastic memory and the desire to take part in the next Honda Adventure Roads event, which is held every two years.