3 Weeks To Go – Are you and Your Bike Ready?

There are exactly 3 weeks left until we ride out of Johannesburg to the mountains of Mpumulanga for the 2015 Sabie Bubble Run.

Will you and your bike ready for over 1,500kms of riding for the five days? Do you have camping gear? Has your bike been serviced? Below is a list of things to help make sure that both you and your bike are ready for the journey ahead.

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A bed roll.

Bed Roll

One of the more important things of the run is to make sure you’ve got a comfortable place to lay your head at the end of the long day. Along with comfort you obviously want to pack a minimal amount as possible to take on your bike with you, thus the bed roll.

What’s a bed roll? It’s what I take with me on road trips and contains the following three essential items:

  • Wool/Mexican Blanket: Used to wrap the items together and can also wick away some moisture (from the rain) away from the sleeping bag.
  • Sleeping Pad: Gives you an added layer of padding from the ground. These vary in price and can be found at any of your local camping stores. Tip: Use a yoga mat if you can’t quite afford one.
  • Sleeping Bag: Temperatures may dip a bit low at night so curling up into a sleeping bag to stay warm is ideal after a long day out on the road. Tip: Check out Checkers camping section. I picked one up last year for R350 and it’s perfect for the temperatures around here.

(“How to make a bed roll” blog post)

Recommendation: You can leave out whatever you want and still have something to curl up to at night but each of these items have their own function that will keep you happy at night. .
Tip: Strap it to the back of your sissy bar (or above the headlight) to save space for other gear on your bike.
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Photo taken by Marnitz Venter during Sabie Bubble Run 2014.

Sissy Bar

Not all of our bikes are blessed with space to carry cargo along with us for the weekend ahead. Last year I had Rory from Straight Edge Customs fabricate a sissy bar for the run. It was probably the best thing I could have done for my bike prior to the trip. What’s great about the sissy bar is that it’s long enough to strap a considerable amount of cargo, and an added bonus of a back rest for me.

Recommendation: Give Rory a call.
Tip: Pick up a cargo net or bungie straps to help secure gear to it.

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Can’t remember who took this photo of me on my way to Strange Days in 2013. Throttle cable snapped.

Bike Service

Last thing we want is for your bike to break down due to a lack of oversight on your bike. If you and your bike haven’t left Johannesburg in a long time, or ever, we HIGHLY recommend that you get it serviced before we leave. You’ll want to do this now to avoid any delays and give your mechanic ample time to get the job done right. Here are just a few shops that we personally recommend based upon your type of bike and what you need done.

Recommendation: Choose one of the shops below to help get your bike sorted out.
Tip: DO THIS NOW! Don’t wait until the last minute and put pressure on your mechanic.

Joint Effort Custom Bike Shop: Has been in business for over 25 years. Robin Da Silva, owner, is one of the most knowledgable Harley mechanics in the country.
Bikes: Harley Davidson only
Location: Edenvale
Services: Repairs, sales, service and customising.
Contact: 011-609-2025

Traditional Triumph: Traditional Triumph is an authorised and liscensed Triumph dealership based in Edenvale, Johannesburg South Africa. The passion and dedication towards the Motorcylce and industry has seen them win dealership of the year (S.A) for the last 12 years.
Bikes: Triumph
Location: Edenvale
Services: Repairs, service and customising
Contact: 011-609-4590

Straight Edge Customs: Straightedge Customs was born out of a passion to give regular working guys and girls a chance to own a custom bike that doesn’t break the bank. The owner, Rory, is a hands-on guy and prefers doing things old school.
Bikes: Cruisers and modern classics
Location: Edenvale
Services: Repairs, service and customising.
Contact: 074-603-7399

The Work Shop: The WorkShop is an awesome family owned and run business by the Harvey boys, specialising in full restoration and custom built motorcycles.
Bikes: British bikes and preferably twins and singles. No multi cylinder bikes.
Location: Edenvale
Services: Repairs, service and customising.
Contact: 072-258-4216, Kyle

Cayman: Jaco and Ferdi are our lead builders that is responsible for building quality motorcycles that are ergonomically practicle and comfortable to ride and at the same time, finding ways to build the crazy ideas that our clients require. Tim is our passionate boss that make sense of all the numbers and difficult month ends and Walter fucks about in his Ford Cortina irritating everyone that wants to get some real work done.
Bikes: Custom Motorcycles, Urban Scramblers and Cafe Racers
Location: 106 Oxford Road Ferndale
Services: Repairs, service, customising and builds.
Contact: 073 683 1234

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Almost home to Johannesburg after 11 days on the bike and I had to put this crap on. I hate rain gear. Photo by Leroy “Black” Tulip.

Rain Gear

Apparently we are in a drought here in the Johannesburg area for the rest of the year but I wouldn’t count on that being the case around the Sabie area in December. Last year we faced two days of rains and I was definitely thankful to have a bit of rain gear. I absolutely hate wearing rain gear. Mainly because it’s awkward, looks terrible and acts as a parachute to slow me down sometimes. Regardless of those things, it does help keep you dry when you need it to.

Recommendation: Go to Startline in Edenvale. They’ve got a 5 piece rain suit (Jacket, pants, gloves, boots and bag) for around R600-800. It’s not the best but it gets the job done by keeping you dry.
Tip: Keep it accessible at all times. You never know when you’ll need it.
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Last years campsite at Sabie River Camp.


Even though the trip is only 5 days you really don’t need anything crazy when it comes to your tent. There are definitely plenty out there for you that have a garage, room for 8, their own kitchen but I doubt you’ll be able to strap that on to your bike (unless you plan on bringing your GS).

Recommendation: Check out OLX and Gumtree. There’s always people getting rid of tents that they’ve only used once and chances are you can get it at an affordable price.
Tip: Stay light. Look for a 1-2 man tent.
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Andrew Robertson and his bubble shield. Photo by Zeno Petersen.

Bubble Shield

Last but definitely not least, a bubble shield. Hopefully you’ve seen the story behind the Sabie Bubble Run and how we came about the name (if not watch here) so you know that when the rain comes your face will be taken care of with your bubble shield (if you’ve got an open face helmet).

Recommendation: Check out Old Skool Trading for their latest stock of bubble shields. Price R450
Tips: Don’t leave it at home.



These are just a few of the things I recommend and definitely not the only things to bring for a trip like this. Each person is different and needs certain things to keep them comfortable throughout the journey.