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Harley Safari: Thunder at Sun City

2013-08-26 07:26

EARLY RIDERS: More than 150 Harley-Davidsons from around the world rocked up for the 2013 Harley on Safari in Gauteng, South Africa. Image: DRIES


Summer thunder came early to Gauteng this year - from the exhausts of 150 Harley-Davidsons en route to Harley on Safari 2013.

Gauteng is no stranger to the sound of thunder but on August 15 the roar was created by mechanical means as more than 150 Harley-Davidsons participated in a mass ride at the start of Harley on Safari, one of the world's top international Harley-Davidson rallies.

Gallery images - were you there? Take a look and if your bike's in the gallery email us and we'll add your name to the caption. If you're a friend and can identify a bike's owner, tell him/her to email us with a name.

It’s held only once every five years, mostly in and around Sun City between northern Johannesburg and the Botswana border. Wheels24 was there to watch – and take part in - the festivities.


The 3½-day event included the mass ride, a flag parade at Sun City in which the various Harley-Davidson Owners’ Group (HOG) chapters participated, a custom bike show and performances by three rock groups: the girls-only group BlackByrd, the energetic Irish group The Bogus Brothers and the 1980’s supergroup Mike + The Mechanics. Mike+M performed several of their popular chart hits, including The Living Years, All I Need Is a Miracle and Word of Mouth.

The custom bike show attracted some seriously good-looking machines ranging from pristinely restored classics to over-the-top customs and my impression was that the standard of the local bikes could easily stand up to customisations from beyond our shores.

The winners and runners-up in the various categories were:

 Free Style Custom:
 1-Leonard Myburg 2-Bob Bartholomew
 H-D Big Twin:
 1-Faan du Toit 2-Dave Kriel
 H-D Sportster:
 Johan Botha
 Modified Harley-Davidson:
 1-Peter Schmitt 2-Brian Wood
 Lady of Harley Big Twin:
 1-Bettie Kloppers 2-Caroline Farmer
 1-Faan Botha 2-Don Conceicao
 1-Martin Smith 2-Phill Beckett
But Harley on Safari is about more than just riding on and showing off motorbikes: the rally’s designated charity is Lambano Sanctuary, established in 2001 in response to the HIV crisis and the absence of residential facilities for HIV positive orphans and vulnerable children. Lambano cares for 30 HIV-positive children by providing them with an environment in which they are nurtured and cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Take acres of gleaming metal and roaring motors, add thunderous music and give it all a charitable twist – for Harley Davidson this is definitely a successful recipe for an event that has left its participants in anticipation for the next one in five years.

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