Moto Media

from ... Chris Power

Both Karl and I travelled to Johannesburg on November 14, not knowing what was really in-store.

After 16 hours in the air, we were met at the Airport by Zac Botha, from Shimwells Yamaha. Shimwells is a Yamaha dealer in Springs, a suburb about 30 minutes from down-town Jo-Berg. The Botha family own the shop with Zac one of the head mechanics and his father, Andre, a salesman. Also on the roster is Zac’s uncle Braham, also a mechanic is the guys who keeps everyone in line. Old mates a little fiery at times.

Shimwells kitted us out with brand new YZ250 two-strokes for the event, which were expertly prepared by Zac himself. Zac, having done many Roof’s knows what is required and had everything prepared before we even landed. They have also organised accommodation and a Bukkie (ute) to use whilst here.

It’s pretty good what these guys (Shimwells) have done for myself and Karl. The bikes are better prepared than we could have imagined and its a basically no expense spared kind of deal. They have even gone to the extent of fitting WR gear boxes into the YZs for a better gearing ratio – shorter first and second for the steep climbs and a taller fourth and fifth for the open stuff. What these guys don’t know about Yamaha Roof setups isn’t worth knowing.

Karl and Chris - if you don't know, they are first cousins

We spent a week in and around the Springs area riding and tuning the bikes, ready for some roof action. We also spent a morning riding with UK rider Paul Bolton who gave Karl a few tips whilst climbing some pretty gnarly stuff.

"He’s a bloody good rider” Karl commented on Paul after the ride. "He’s pretty loose though but also pretty good through the really technical bits. He gave me a few tips which should bode well for the race.”

We meet up with Chris Birch and the other Kiwi’s Mitchell Nield, Mike Skinner and Phil Cheater in Lesotho today for a quick ride before Round the Houses starts on Thursday morning.

The boys have also made a YouTube video of what they have been up to before The Roof and some of the riding South Africa has to offer.


Also keep an eye on the Roof of Africa website:

Power Racing facebook page: PowerRacingNZ

Thanks in advance
Chris Power