Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

Honda Quest 2021

11353 Views 57 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Africamike

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
Cloud Bicycle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Land vehicle Sky

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

Tire Wheel Motorcycle Helmet Automotive tire
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 4
41 - 58 of 58 Posts
Honda Quest Day 8

The penultimate day! This morning, for a change, it was cloudless and warm.

At the briefing, Hardy let the teams know that there was almost nothing between the top teams with everything to lose. All 7 teams this year are very strong. There are no passengers.

There is a great sense of team. They may very well be up against each other officially, but there’s a good bond that’s developed across all. Every morning so far, someone is presented with a large wooden spoon – it’s an honour to win it as it’s the “Spirit of Quest” according to the other riders. The other, a clown tie is a fun one, given for doing something silly or embarrassing.

Today’s route started as soon as we left Perdekloof with a tough navigation exercise; the Tankwa Karoo National Park is littered with trails, the ones we travelled on were vague and little visited. The Tankwa can be at times surreal with another worldliness to it. Dark shale fields between weathered red hued sedentary mountains with the pastel blue Cederberg Mountains beckoning us to join them off in the distance. In this harsh world, an Ostridge and Gemsbok raced across our path to add to the occasion. It’s a very special place.

Making the R355 we turned temporarily North to make our way to the Biedouw valley. We’d been warned that the Doring River was in flood and the crossing would not be navigable.

Considering that we’d just come through the furnaced shales of Tankwa Karoo, it was a bit surreal wading into the refreshing river not 40 minutes later, floating a bike across with a homemade pontoon just enough to carry one bike.
This is was an exercise in teamwork across the teams. At this late stage, sinking a bike would be a disaster as the team’s chances of winning will almost certainly be lost.

The Cedarberg is a craggy, rough, eminently picturesque backdrop to the final stretch to camp. The mood was high and despite a few more punctures, riding into camp was both high with accomplishment and a little sad that this would be the last evening together.

Tomorrow, in just over a 100km, Honda Quest winners will be announced. It’s been an absolute epic!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Phenomenal photography coverage.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Honda Quest Final Day

And so all good things must end… Possibly, if only to start the next good thing.

This morning, unlike every other, we have time. A very precious commodity that has been scarce since we left Cape Town. By design, the rhythm this morning has slowed to have those most important conversations before the outside world comes flooding back in. A decompression process of sorts.
As per tradition, the crew left the competitors to head to the prizegiving venue where it all started at Bootcamp just a month ago at the Kaleo Guest Farm. The three instructors stayed close for a while before stopping the group to say their words.

The group were then left on their own to privately say what needed to be said to each other to be complete with the journey. It’s a precious time.

Then, after a short 100km stage through the Southern End of the Cedarberg, they rolled dustily into Kaleo. Just 9 days previously they were relative strangers, polite and formal around each other. Now they were unrecognisable. It wasn’t the dust and travel grime that did that, it was on the inside; Their true adventure journey had irrevocably changed them.

After a heartfelt welcome back by Yuishi Fukuda, president of Honda Motor Southern Africa, Ruan Ueckermann & Neil Rieck were declared the deserved winners of Honda Quest 2021.

The final tally was so very close amongst this great group who really are the winners in this Grand Adventure. However, both men’s infectious energy, bringing a smile to everything they did and their consistency both on and off the bike saw them richly deserving of their prize of keeping and riding home on the very Honda Africa Twin that they competed on.

“Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing.” Soichiro Honda
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
And so it ends.........


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Sky Sports gear

Tire Sky Wheel Fuel tank Automotive tire

Sky Military uniform Wheel Vehicle Building

Sky Building Leisure Player Sport venue
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Thank you for the words and pictures, what an adventure! well done!
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Honda Quest 2021 - the full show. Enjoy!

  • Like
Reactions: 3
Thanks for posting the wrap-up Mike. Awesome adventure Awesome Motorcycle
  • Like
Reactions: 1
The production release is pretty awesome @Africamike. (y)
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Maybe it's a stupid question, or people ask these a lot, but I was wondering: Is there any way to get the decals used for the Quest?
Maybe it's a stupid question, or people ask these a lot, but I was wondering: Is there any way to get the decals used for the Quest?
Unfortunately not......not even here in South Africa
Road to Quest 2023 begins........

  • Like
Reactions: 4
41 - 58 of 58 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.