Wednesday, April 04, 2007 1:19 PM
by Carl Talbot
To say that a
meeting of fellow Vmaxers from all over the country was an ideal
come true is putting it mildly. There is only one word to describe
It was this passion
for the original hot rod cruiser muscle bike that set the chain of
events that led to not only the historic first Vmax get
together, however also a dedicated web page for Vmaxers to share
everything Vmax related.
Prior to 1994 South
African bikers had little choice of motorcycles and in general you
either saddled an off-road or a road bike. Choices where
limited. Lately it is however very clear that in particular cruiser
bikes are becoming more and more popular. I was amazed at the growth
in numbers of cruiser bikers on our roads and particularly the
increase in numbers of the so called power cruisers. The Vmax was the
first power cruiser and arguably the standard by which performance
cruisers are measured, even 23 years after it was unveiled in 1984
in the USA.
BIKE SA LETTERS
During 2004 and 2005 I
wrote several letters (with specific Vmax content) to Bike SA for
publication. These letters gave historic information on the Vmax and
welcomed the newer kids on the block to the power cruiser arena
namely the HD Vrod and The Triumph Rocket III. Hans Knop also
responded to these letters via Bike SA. Len Graskie from Amanzimtoti
also added contributions.
made contact with Vmaxer Nico Venter in 2005 ,who himself has
informally organised rides with other Vmaxers on the
Witwatersrand. Nico put me in contact with another Vmaxer Jim Bramley
from the Johannesburg area to whom I also spoke too . There
clearly seemed a shared passion for the Vmax all over the country.
Hans published a
letter in Bike SA in 2005 advising that he was hosting a dedicated
web page for Vmax enthusiasts.
At that stage a Vmaxer
from PE, John van Nieuwenhuizen had also made contact with Hans. John
beat me to becoming the first member and I officially became the
What followed was
many months of e-mail and telephone conversations between the 3 of
us. As time passed more and more members joined and the web page
started to grow in size and stature. The next logical step was a get
together of Vmaxers. I was very intrigued about the prospect of
meeting the other Vmaxers.
2006 Vmax Odyssey
After Hans relocated
from Ermelo to Durban he single handedly proceeded to organise the
first Rally in October 2006. Hans jokingly refers to himself now as
officially middle aged now that he is 70 years old. It takes a big
man to saddle a Vmax at that age. Hans is a true Vmaxer.
An unfortunate turn
of events took place several days before the rally. While Hans was
riding with his mate Hans Vrolijk, he fell and was hospitalised
with broken ribs, shoulder-blade and collarbone. It clearly seemed that he would not
be able to attend the rally and the entire event seemed to hang in
the balance. Concerned Vmaxers like Guy Sheehan from Salt Rock, KZN
suggested that we take a mass ride to the hospital to see Hans which
was a good suggestion by Guy.
got himself discharged on the Friday and attended the event that he
had organised. Clearly Hans was in a lot of pain and his wounds
where still bleeding, however he remained present for the entire