It’s ironic that the biggest meeting of the year for the Western Cape’s motorcycle racers is also the last - although it’s been suggested (not entirely in jest) that the All Bike Race Day is a partly a thank-you from the circuit management to the two-wheeled brigade for putting up with the oil with which the tin-top racers seem to coat the Killarney circuit at every opportunity during the championship season.
Be that as it may, the Mike Hopkins All Bike Race Day is an appropriate Christmas present for bike-racing fans, with classes to suit every taste, from state-of-the-art superbikes battling it out at 275km/h to former champions on golden-age race bikes in the Historical Motorcycle Group Parade (and it’s astonishing how important it is to some of these pensioners to finish the parade before their former rivals) to eight-year-olds on Honda NSF100 singles - not pocket bikes, Cyril, but genuine 99cc racing machines.
It’s also the only time the Killarney faithful get to see litre-class superbikes making pit stops; the headline race of the day is a one-hour endurance race for motorcycles of 400cc and bigger, ridden by one or two riders - but even solo riders are not allowed to stay out for longer than 35 minutes (about 20 laps for a superbikes) without a compulsory two-minute splash-and-dash.
And see them you will - up close and personal.
The pits are open to spectators, as long as you stay behind the yellow line and don’t get in the way of the crews.
There are also races for the short-circuit CBR150 Challenge lightweights - which sound like a sound track for a Second World War air raid as they roar down the straights at full tilt boogie – as well Powersports and Classics, Super Karts, and a Triumph parade at lunch-time.
Got a Hinckley Triumph? Contact Mark Livings at 021-461-5167 and join the parade - it’s free.
But arguably the most unpredictable races on the day’s programme will be the two Breakfast Run Grands Prix, open only to riders who have never before held a competition licence. To enter you’ll need a one-event licence from Motorsport SA at a cost of R150, plus R250 for medical insurance – unless you can provide written proof of medical insurance cover by your medical aid.