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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I was looking for some info on wheels and came across your forum. I thought you might like to stay a little more up to date on the competition that will start 1st November.

Currently, the regionals have already been held and I am part of the crew on Day 2 of 3 of the Semi-finalists Bootcamp to select from 28 the 14 lucky adventurers that will take a brand new DCT 2021 Africa Twin through the seriously rugged and remote world of the Northern and Western Capes of South Africa. I was a finalist in 2017 and have been on the 2 subsequent ones. This will be my 4th Quest.

It’s a testament to the power of Honda Quest that in a world of restrictions to our freedoms as a result of Covid and the challenges of shrinking economies, that 28 adventurous souls have been invited to try out for the 14 seats to an adventure of a lifetime.

Not just any adventure, but a 10 day massive life changing ride aboard the latest version of the iconic Africa Twin through arguably the best riding in Southern Africa; the trails of the Northern and Western Cape.

This now is the 4th edition of Honda Quest, but first, there’s the little matter of Bootcamp; A formal testing of attitudes and general skills needed for such an event. Given that this year’s edition will be run through the Richtersveld in November, traditionally when the deserts become their most impressive yet challenging, only the best will do.

This year, the format was given a little additional boost with regional qualifiers. Quite a large percentage of those here had been at those 3 events.

This morning at 9 sharp, the gates to Kaleo Farm opened to welcome the semi-finalists. Riaan Fourie, Honda Motor Southern Africa welcomed all and officially opened Bootcamp. He spoke passionately of his own experience last year riding Quest and recognised that this year will be very challenging, adding “But most of all, I invite you really step into this adventure and have fun aboard our flagship adventure bike, The CRF 1100 Honda Africa Twin!”

Some have come from afar as Limpopo and Pietermaritzburg with a good number representing the Western & Eastern Cape. All have high degrees of anticipation, “I’ve not been sleeping well, and my wife is finally happy I am out of the house! I’ve been packing and re-packing for a week!”

This morning the bikes and livery to be used on Quest was revealed; All the bikes will be DCT, Honda’s outstanding Dual Clutch Transmission that has proven its worth on previous Quests. The livery is a nod to the Repsol Honda Motorsport colours.

Just a few have had any experience with the DCT, the rest will not only have to navigate the technical courses that have been laid out, but they will be doing it aboard an unfamiliar technology.

Hardy de Kock and his team from Specialised Adventures’ are once again the hosts of this magnificent event.

Fire questions if you have.

Will update more as we go along...

28 hopefuls
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The bikes will be 2021 CRF Honda Africa Twins all DCT's kitted with crash protection and rally tires.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
DAY 2 & 3 Honda Quest Bootcamp
This was the meat of the process of putting the contestants through their paces. For all but a handful, few had ever ridden a Dual Clutch Transmission bike. Though it has huge advantages to adventure riders, it does require some getting to know it more intimately. 2 ex-contestants from previous years had joined the group last night to help share hard won knowledge of just what the bike can do and how to extract the most from it.

The morning started before light getting familiar with the bike and then spending the day in rotations of equal measures of training and putting the bike and themselves though ever increasing levels of difficulty. Nothing competitive, more a thorough measure of what each persons strengths, and challenges are.

The point of a boot camp is to find adventurers at heart who are capable of handling themselves in ways more than just being able to ride a bike. Will they become the ingredients for everyone else’s memories of a wonderous time to little travelled places? Can they make the most of the times and be handy, helpful and supportive when things inevitably become spicy.

Even if they have all this, there is one challenge that all have to show above average ability; do they have what it takes to handle a big Adventure machine in long twisty thick sand? The remote deserts of the Richtersveld are not the place to be lacking in this skill.

Long after a great day and the sun had set, the contestants headed off to bed with just the final sting in the tail personal interview before they head off home on day 3.

It will be a short nervous wait before they know if they will be one of the few.
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Thanks for sharing, this looks epic and look forward to seeing and reading more on this. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I still have a wonderment about the utter fun and adventure that Honda are willing to put on. To put their money where their mouth is. Jeez, I get Goosebumps!

 

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I still have a wonderment about the utter fun and adventure that Honda are willing to put on. To put their money where their mouth is. Jeez, I get Goosebumps!

What better place than in Africa.

(it ain't the Canadian Twin!) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the Boot camp semi-finalists posted his thoughts on receiving the quoted message from the organiser of Honda Quest, on a local forum...

"Final Countdown ... I'm sure there is 27 other riders out there sharing a sleepless night with me, I wish you all the best of luck.

Myself, I have been re-visiting the boot camp experience, reliving the highs and lows - Boot camp does not leave you untouched, the experience is intense and leads to self contemplation.

Gaining an inkling of the extent of the endeavor by the seriousness which the instructors took their job, not only to evaluate us as possible finalists but also to equip us for the journey ahead, sent shivers down my spine.
I have a tingling of delicious anticipation.

One can only imagine what the 10 day quest will be like, it is shaping to be so much more than a trip or a competition, it promises to be a life changing event.

I leave you with some words from Hardy, words I can only echo as every rider impressed me in an individual way.

Dear semi- finalists

Thank you all for attending this year’s Quest boot camp. I think I speak for every staff member when I say that even though I enjoy boot camp, I hate the arduous process of eliminating some of you.

Unfortunately it is something we have to do in order for us to get to the final 14. Some of you are going through and some of you will be left disappointed. Please do not make the mistake of second guessing yourself. If you were not selected, it simply means that it was not your time. One of our instructors only made it to boot camp after his third attempt. The secret is to never give up.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with each and every contestant we had this year, and I certainly learned a lot from you. Each and every one of you made an impression on me that will stay with me for a very long time.

Support the guys that goes through and please keep your phone close by, as Quest always delivers a curveball. Out of the last four Quest events we had to call in reserves three times. Out of these three times the reserves ended up in the winning team twice.

Enter again next year if you did not make it through.

You will never know what will happen if you don’t try.

Thank you again
Hardy
"
 

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Thanks for sharing Andrew! Need to rearrange my 2022 diary so that I can get to the regionals!......Congrats to the finalists - looking forward to the warstories - Richtersveld in November!! (almost peak summertime in the desert).....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The lucky 14.


Can you imagine what conflicting thoughts the guy on reserve must be feeling?! (Historically, for the last 3 on two occasions the reserve guy won it!)
 
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