AFRICA BIKE WEEK™ 2017
In 2017 Africa Bike Week™ moved to East London with Harley-Davidson remaining the title sponsor. The event was held from the 27th to the 30th of April and as has become synonymous with the event, the site in front of the Harley-Davidson Hotel (Osner Hotel) was bathed in orange.
Project Manager, Carl Frayne opened the festivities with inputs from Harley-Davidson and Municipality dignitaries. The Executive Mayor of East London, Xola Pakati, welcomed the bikers and said he estimated that by hosting Africa Bike Week in the Buffalo City Metro, an additional cash boost of R10-million would be injected to the region. He also gave his commitment that the event would return in 2018 and 2019. The organizers have aligned themselves with the Executive Mayors legacy project to restock the libraries of rural schools with books to help educate local communities.
Frayne explained that a decision was made by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company to rotate the event and hence the move to East London. The location offers almost 500m² of space and the entire event is now integrated into one massive motorcycle and lifestyle area. The entertainment area alone could accommodate 4 500 patrons at any one time!
Top bands such as The Parlotones, Majozi, Monark and Black Byrd performed every evening and a platform for local artists was provided to showcase their talent during the day. A local jazz band impressed so much that they were asked to perform the next day as well. Even a brass band from a local school joined in the festivities.
Stunt rider Patric Botha thrilled massive audiences showing off his riding skills. After a massive accident a while ago that had him wheelchair bound, Botha dreamed of becoming a stunt rider. On the Friday and Saturday he was able to live his dream.
The annual Custom Bike show on Saturday saw a number of impressive entries and the Mass Ride on Sunday morning was equally successful.
For the first time at Africa Bike Week, off-road outrides were incorporated into the event. Harley-Davidson doesn’t have an off-road model in their line-up, however in the spirit of promoting motorcycling as a sport this initiative was well supported. Super GP was hosted at the East London race track during Africa Bike Week which provided adrenaline-pumping motorcycle racing action.
All Harley-Davidson Africa Dealerships were represented and free demo rides around East London on the latest model Harley-Davidson motorcycles was fully booked for the duration of the event.
For people whom have never ridden a motorcycle before, Harley-Davidson offered a Jumpstart (stationary bike) where you could try your hand at learning the nuances of riding a bike in a safe environment. The Harley-Davidson riding academy taught people how to ride a real motorcycle once basic skills were honed at the Jumpstart.
The event provided ample entertainment and the venue was packed to capacity nightly. The highlight of Saturday evening was when one lucky visitor walked away with a brand new Harley-Davidson.