Ride to Live and Live to Ride with Motorcycle Safety Tips Every Rider Should Know

Did you know that driving a motorcycle is 27 times riskier than driving a car? While there is no better way to enjoy the freedom of the open roads than a two-wheeled journey, unfortunately, a motorcycle is one of the most unsafe vehicles on the road today. In fact, according to MSI, the leading organisation on Motorcycle Safety & Risk Awareness in South Africa, lack of rider skills is the biggest contributing factor to motorcycle accidents on our roads today.
If you’re ready to feel the wind in your hair, it is of vital importance to put safety first. As the leading motorcycle rental agency in the Southern Hemisphere and as a registered local and international Travel Agency with Eagle Rider in the USA, we’ve recently become ambassadors for MSI and have put together a list of important safety tips that every rider should know before heading out onto the big open roads.

• Practice the brakes – unfortunately, sharp stops can result in nasty accidents, which is why riders must know their stopping distance at different speeds. It’s important to practice slowing in, stopping gradually, and learning to never hit the front brake first.

• Visibility is everything – in a car, you have your windscreen wipers, on two wheels you have nothing. For this very reason, be smart and don’t take your motorcycle out if the weather is bad.

• Ride motorcycles you’re able to handle – you will be amazed by the performance of today’s motorcycles. Of all vehicles, motorcycles accelerate the fastest and being more powerful than they were a few decades ago, riders are advised to choose a motorcycle that allows them to stay in their own comfort zone.

• Conduct a motorcycle safety inspection before each ride – just as one would take their car for a regular service, it’s of vital importance to take your motorcycle for regular maintenance check-ups to carry out the required maintenance routine. But that’s not all, before each ride, it’s imperative to make sure you check your tyres, brakes, lights, mirrors, and leaks.

• The right gear is imperative (no exceptions) – the motorcycle gear you wear should provide you with protection from the wind chill, debris, flying bugs and road rash. You cannot put a price on your life, so be prepared to spend quite a bit on the right riding gear and helmet.

There’s no doubt that riding a motorcycle is way more dangerous than driving a car. Thrilling as it is dangerous, riders need to take full responsibility for their safety and learn to anticipate any oversights that others on the road may make. With that being said, it’s totally possible to avoid road dangers while riding a motorcycle.

While there are a good number of riders out there that have never been involved in a motorcycle accident thanks to their proficient riding skills, if riders keep the speed within the reasonable frames, conduct motorcycle safety inspections before each ride, stay vigilant on the road, be dressed in the proper motorcycle gear and stick to the basic road rules, they will enjoy the incredible benefits their motorcycle has to offer, without any risk.

As the only active organisation that monitors Motorcycle Crashes in South Africa, collecting and analysing data for the sake of Risk Awareness and Safety among motorcyclists – along with GS Africa – MSI are asking that all our riders become Ambassadors for Motorcycle Safety. Join MSI and GS Africa and be the change you want to be! Ride to Live, and Live to Ride!

Charley Boorman is Back in Africa

Destination to destination is as good as it gets for some riders. However, for those who thirst for exploration and adventure, few activities offer the feeling of freedom and speed than a long trip on an adventure motorcycle.

There’s no doubt that adventure motorcycling has grown massively in the last decade. In fact, this could easily be blamed on Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor. Interest in exploring unpaved hidden roads and trails has been warming up since childhood mates and Hollywood stars, Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor shot the 2004 “Long Way Round” and 2007’s “Long Way Down” TV documentary series round the world rides.

Obsessed with exploring the most epic locations in the world, from the most dangerous roads to Alaska, Ireland to Sydney, Sydney to Tokyo, Hawaii to LA, London to New York, Dakar, and from Scotland to the wide open plains of South Africa, Charley Boorman has certainly earned an outstanding reputation as one of the most engaging and entertaining adventure riders of our time. A ride lover who knows what a good road adventure is, we are excited to announce that Charley is back in South Africa with a tour that just kicked off on the 28th August.

While there are hundreds of scenic roads worldwide, nothing quite beats the open plains of the Southern Hemisphere. A head turner for its sensational wild life sceneries, this route is a favourite among many local and international bikers, and Charley Boorman is once again leading the pack with Billy Biketruck.

An incredible feast of riding across open plains, through dense bush-land, forest and barren desert, socialising, and discovering, this double trip covers around 5,000 kilometres and 4 countries, in about 17 days through Africa’s most amazing countryside. Using a combination of 1200′s and 800′s Triumph & BMW motorbikes, knobbly tyres and Garmin Zumo GPS’s, this is a truly amazing journey that began in Cape Town on route to the Victoria Falls via Namibia and Botswana, and starts again heading back to Cape Town through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Lesotho.

How to Rent a Motorcycle in the Most Beautiful City in the World with GS Africa

It’s that time of the year again, a time all about sunshine and blue skies. Yes, summer in South Africa provides one with a true African experience, with its dynamic and diverse cultures, breath-taking scenery, and wildlife like no other. And although South Africa and beyond makes for pleasant and exciting adventure motorcycling all year round – with some of the best subtropical weather in the Southern Hemisphere and with over 2500 kilometres of the best beaches in the world to ride and explore, summer in South Africa is a brilliant time to be spent riding the coastline and open roads, chasing waterfalls, tasting award-winning wines, braaing, and photographing unbelievable sunsets and wildlife.

If you’re looking to rent a motorcycle this summer and ride through South Africa to Namibia, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe or Mozambique, don’t think about it, just do it. As one of the leading motorcycle rental agencies in the Southern Hemisphere, affiliated with Eagle Rider in the USA, at GS Africa, we take care of your entire motorcycle tour adventure, so you don’t have to. What this means is that we collect riders from the airport, we plan their entire route, and we make sure they are booked into the best hotels or B&B’s along the way.

So how does one go about renting a BMW motorcycle in the sunny city of Cape Town and driving through one of the world’s most beautiful countries? Whether for yourself, a friend or a family member, the first step to an African dream adventure ride would to be over 21, provide us with a full valid national or international unendorsed Motorcycle Riders License, and a Passport or Identification Document.

Secondly, riders would have to download our daily rental rate sheet and book the number of days to rent the bike, the type of bike they would like to rent, their riding gear, and the GPS system and accessories they would like. What about insurance? On our daily rental sheet, which can be found under our frequently asked questions, you will find that our daily rental fee includes standard comprehensive insurance cover of the motorcycle with an Insurance Excess Deposit payable for each model.

To understand our insurance coverage a little better, we suggest that riders familiarize themselves with our insurance options, which can also be found under our frequently asked questions. However, it’s important to understand that once riders are off on their journey, it will be up to them to make sure that the bike is not damaged in their possession. Keeping in mind that incidents do occur – whether scratched or dented – the damaged parts will be replaced at the prevailing BMW Motorrad dealer at retail cost, including labour. A quotation will be obtained and repairs will be carried out at the cost of the rider.

What about mechanical faults and breakdowns? Unfortunately, this can happen – even BMW’s experience mechanical faults. If this should occur, riders need to ensure that they are at a fuel station if possible. They will need to call GS Africa on +27 (0) 82 904 8228 or +27 (0) 71 515 3808 and we will immediately contact the nearest BMW 24 hour On-Call Roadside Assistance service (available in South Africa only). In the event of us locating an alternative service provider (in close enough proximity), we will assist as soon as possible.

At GS Africa, we care about everything from giving you a choice of exciting rental motorbikes to guiding you through every mile, smile, and mountain road and coastline in South Africa and beyond. To learn more, visit our website and look under our Q’s and A’s, you will find everything you need to know. Or, contact Paul or Candi-Lee at GS Africa.