It’s been said before that the first motorcycle race happened when the second one was built.
I’m assuming that race was more than likely on dirt, or at least that’s how I’d like to imagine it happened.
A few weeks back I attended one of the most fun races to be had (in Johannesburg) in the dirt on two wheels, Stof Skop.
Stof Skop is an annual flat track race (on dirt) that’s hosted at the Walkerville Show Grounds just outside of town. Last year, I was lucky enough to have competed in the event on my big ‘ol Harley, and it was a blast! This year I decided not to compete, and to rather work for a few clients that day and document the event for Bonafide Moto Co.
If you’ve never been to a flat track race it really is a sight to see. You’ve got guys and girls of all walks of life and skill levels competing on the day, giving it their all on an oval track, and if they’re good enough...they’ll be getting sideways and putting their foot down!
On the day there were various classes competing; Speedway bikes, Plastic Pigs, Scramblers & Trackers, incapable road bikes and lastly the scooters.
There were some of the professional guys out there on their speedway bikes and those are some bikes I don’t quite understand yet. They run a whole different type of fuel, have a very unique sound to the engine, they turn best to the left and they get their bikes proper sideways on every turn throwing dirt all over the place. They’re a sight to see
After the speedway bikes you’ve got the plastic pigs (dirt bikes). Last year this class was pretty gnarly, as it came with a few crashes early on and the boys seemed out for blood (and fun). This years class saw a few professionals out competing; David Goosen, Brandon Goode, Darien Kayser and Savannah Woodward.
After the plastic pigs was the Scramblers & Trackers. This group was my personal favorite. The bikes in this group consisted of a 1960’s Triumph Tiger, an old AJs (looked like it belonged in a museum) from the guys at The Workshop JHB and then a random mix of some modified dirt bikes.
My favorite rider for the past few years has been a good friend of mine, Justin Waddington, and he was in this group. Justin owns a company called Shock Logic, that specializes in performance suspension for both 2 and 4 wheels and it seems as if he has been riding bikes his whole life. If my memory serves me correctly he’s raced bikes competitively when he was younger. This guy is a sight to see on any track, and someone I’d gladly take lessons from (hint hint wink wink).
He was riding his old 1960’s Triumph. Some people would prefer to keep that bike in their garage, keep it clean and be nice to it. Not Justin. He believes in riding it like it was built for. Amen to that.
The next group was the incapable road bikes and they were exactly that. Bikes that more than likely would never pass a road inspection and I doubt any of them (except one) would be able to ride back into town. This class was great because the bikes don’t seem to go too fast, and it’s a nice class for beginners or for people who want to bring a little beater bike to the track and see how far they can push it.
Lastly was the scooters. Just your typical scooters that buzz around the track at a low rate of speed with the throttle fully locked into the down position.
After all the racing, there was a prize giving, a band, some sundowners in the parking lot and a group of us that did our traditional laps around the track as the sun was setting.
It was quite a special day and one that will be a personal highlight for 2017. I’m looking forward to competing in next years event (as I had severe fomo), and seeing what other events like this might pop up more often.