Sani Pass by the Vesparados





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  1. #1
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    Default Sani Pass by the Vesparados

    So I have not yet seen Sani pass from behind my Defenders steering wheel or any other 4x4 or even platkar, but this September while I was on tour with a few mates on our scooters.... and no not a Bigboy or moto mai or even honda will be seen with us these are real scooters, Bromponies, Vespa's and not these new push button to start tupperware but the real monoquoc steel frame 4 speed OLD vespas and Lambretta's.

    Our tour took a total of 13 of us on scooters with the oldest from 1959 and the newest 1980 took a ride from Durban on as many of the Alternate routes as we could find round past Port Edward via Pennington and Leaisurebay then to the underburg followed by howick Umdloti and finally back to Durban. the majority of the tour kept to route and when at destination mostly stayed near the braai BUT 4 of us made the most of our scooters in these absolutly awesome condtions and sweeping roads and toured as much as we could.

    so when we found out we would be in the Underberg for a total of 2 nights and this is where it all went wrong... the adventurer in us decided a trip up Sani pass is compulsary. the morning of the sani the trip arrived. fueled up and ready to go, only to realise one of the guys did not bring his passport. no Matter we will take the ride at least to the SA border then then we will come back. With the knowledge that we may verywell break the scooters we decided although we stay with mates on breakdowns this tour would be different we want to get as far as possible (manhood competition).

    we got to the trail with 6 scooters all vespa oldest 1963 newest 1980 the road althought dirt was not difficult, it was all smooth sailing until my exhaust fell off lucky for me I was able to sort out this issue with in a few minutes to get me back on the scooter and riding chasing after the other 5 boys when I got to the others 2 had deciede they would not try conquer the summit and would be returning to Himeville. 4 of us now soldiered on toward the border, when we got to the border the border control were very nice and had to take photos on the scooters in exchange for ignoring the fact that 1 of the 4 of us did not have a passport with. through the SA side all 4 of us still going.

    Now as we were spending most of our time on the coast and lower altitudes we had rejetted to accomodate the higher oxygen levels but as we acended the pass and my lungs could tell the oxygen was diminishing so could my scooter but we can not stop now. keep pushing forward and upward. Blue skys green pastures and grey rock surround the 4 of us as we take our old ladies higher and higher up the pass. passing Land Rovers and Land Cruisers alike going both up and down with bewildered occupants in all vehicles as we pass.

    only 500m to go the scooters are suffacating terribly with the lack of oxygen and the extra work we are doing to keep these bikes going is also straining us sadly at this point our first mechanical casuilty dragging a clutch tends to burn out wet clutches and not 100m more sees a second clutch die. lucky no more mechanical faulures for now and myself and one other makes it over the rise to see the border in site.

    while we are again trying to persuade the border authorities that we only going for a lunch and beer at the bar and that Ricardo is not going to absconder into Lesotho to never be seen again, one of the 2 guys that broke down had wisely paid herdsmen to assist pushing his bike the 400m to say it made it to the summit. sadly the other bike was left in limbo so close to the finish but not quite there. but bike rider walks up and over to meet with us and at least go for a beer.

    as the 4 of us sit down for lunch we get onto the phones calling home arrangeing in any way we can 2 sets of clutch plates to repair our bikes 3 phonecalls and a very helpfull brother get our spares packed and on a courier for delivery for the very next day, we will not be left limping we are determined to be back on the road and riding. all of us so busy in our phones looking for spares we didn not notice a group of about 20 BMW Adventure biker pull into the parking lead by the infamous Charly Boorman once in and we see that it is Mr. Boorman who better to get a photo with than a motorcycle legend like that on our scooters up ontop of the Sani pass, when he see's or ladies in the parking he stops stares at them for a moment then at us and then in a dry british manner says "Really! you lads are F^%$ing crazy", while we chatting with Charly and some of the guys in his tour the weather rolls in thick and fast, with his tour already packed and going we are left alone again to decent the mighty Sani pass with 2 running and 2 limping scooters. a mere 200m into the pass reveals the extent of the weather that we were looking down on from the restaurant the ground getting wetter and the rocks becoming extreamly slippery for our 10" road tread tires.

    soon we realised the burnt out clutches are able to roll start and at least keep the bikes putting along flat sections as well as down hills we also realise that like with 4x4 decent that stalling on steep slippery stuff is better than disengauging clutch this keeps us prety much safe for the decent with only 2 light falls both caused by front wheel wash out on slippery rocks we finally make it down to the SA border post slow trip down but rather safe than sorry. once we pass the border we realis that the clutches were not working well enough to get these scooters up any of the rolling hills so we took turns in pushing them to get them to a place we could get our back up trailer to fetch us, this althought was already back at almost Joburg altitude the jeans and leather jackets made this task disgustingly difficult. but once again luck is in our side about 3km still to thetar road Mr. Borman's backup crew pull up and offer us assistance on their trailer and would gladly take the 2 injured scooters to our accomodation at the himeville arms.

    That was the most fun I have ever had on a 4x4 trail, we walked into our hotel (The Himeville Arms) greeted by cheers at that point I realiesd our manhood was properly tested on that day and right there and then it was HUGE.

    SANI PASS the vesparados made it

    Scooter models as seen in Sani Pass - Pevensy photo
    Left to right
    72 Rally 200, 80 PX200e, 78 P200e, 71 Sprint 150, 68 Rally 180
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    Last edited by Scooter King; 2017/10/23 at 12:38 PM.
    98' Defender Hardtop 110 (300tdi)
    54' Moto Rumi Formichino (project in progress)
    58' Vespa GS150
    62' Vespa GS160
    66' Vespa SS180
    69' Vespa Rally 180
    69' Lambretta LI150

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Pretoria
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    Default Re: Sani Pass by the Vesparados

    Awesome!!

    Im tackling the pass in a Hilux next week. Looking forward to it!!
    Toyota Hilux 2.4 GD6 D/Cab 4x4

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    West Rand
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    Default Re: Sani Pass by the Vesparados

    Awesome man , I follow you guys on facebook as well , We have the west rand Classic Vespa CLub the chicken runners , Been to Capetown , Swazi land , Durban , All over on the scooters

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: Sani Pass by the Vesparados

    That seriously looks like a awesome memory! WOW
    2010 Daihatsu Terios 4wd Manual.
    1999 Discovery II XS V8 Autobox.
    2016 Campmaster Compact 100 trailer.

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