MOTORRAD IN SA: The Eastern Free State town of Clarens, situated in the foothills of the Maluti mountain range, was the venue for the inaugural BMW Motorrad Days in SA.Image: Dries van der Walt
Cape Town - Following the huge success of BMW Motorrad Days in Germany, BMW Motorrad SA decided to bring the event to our local shores - or interior, to be completely accurate.
The Eastern Free State town of Clarens, situated in the foothills of the Maluti mountain range, was the venue for the inaugural event that took place from November 6-8.
Image Gallery: BMW Motorrad Days in SA 2015
Deviating somewhat in format from the European event, which has become an annual institution in Garmisch-Partenkirche in Bavaria, BMW Motorrad SA decided to levy a single cover charge and free access to all the ancilliary activities (entry to the Garmisch event is free, but you have to pay for ancilliaries such as demo rides, etc).
We spoke to Alex Baraka, GM of BMW Motorrad SA, during the event and asked him how the whole thing came about.
He replied: “The idea came from the realisation that consumer marketing is not enough - we want to add value to our customers’ lifestyle. We chose Clarens both for its magic surroundings and the involvement and enthusiasm of the local community.
“The first BMW Motorrad Days South Africa exceeded our expectations and the feedback we have received from participants, festival goers and the local community has been overwhelmingly positive. We are committed to growing this into South Africa’s biggest premium music and motorcycle festival.”
On the question of the cost of the event, Baraka replied they hope to reduce the cost in future, especially in view of the fact that the inaugural event was very successful. Larger visitor numbers at future events will help them lower the price, as well as find co-sponsors to help carry the cost.
SA biking veterans
We also caught up with two of BMW Motorrad SA’s brand ambassadors, adventure rider Jolandie Rust and superbike racer Lance Isaacs.
Rust praised the choice of venue, saying that it offered ample opportunities for both on-road and off-road riding: “Peope are always skeptical about a new event, but once they’ve seen the success of the inaugural Motorrad Days, I believe attendance figures may double next year.”
Isaacs also though the event was well-received, and that it may have exceeded even BMW’s expectatitons. He added: “BMW did a great job, giving non-BMW riders the opportunity to experience the lifestyle. I got the sense that people were tuly enjoying themselves.”
Entertainment at the event included shows by Irish stunt rider Mattie Griffin, and chart-topping performers CrashCarBurn, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Mean Mr Mustard, local rock band Rooibaardt and Ard Matthews from Just Jinger.