Johannesburg – Every bike show these days features stunt riders, pulling off incredible feats of balance and spinning expensive rear tyres to destruction (often at the same time!) but the organisers of the 2017 South Africa Bike Festival at Kyalami, together with Monster Energy, will be taking the concept to a whole new level with the aptly named Flight Night show.

Every evening for the three days of the show (Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May), the stunt crews will close the main straight of the circuit at 6pm and pull the ramps into place for a mash-up of aerial freestyle motocross, fiery pyrotechnics (that’s fireworks in bikespeak, bro) dazzling lighting effects, trials stunting, smoke machines Monster Trucks, Monster Girls, loud rock music and an MC who really knows what he’s talking about.

Leading the pack will be international freestyle motocrosser Jimmy Hill, backed up by local riders Alastair Sayle and Dallan Goldman. These three frequently compete against each other at contests such as Masters for Dirt, the X Games and the Nitro Games; at Bike Fest, however, they’ll be working as a team, each showcasing his signature stunt.

Expect Hill to attempt his infamous ‘Can-Flip’, while Sayle will show off his ‘Double Grab Indy Flip’.

Then things will get quieter and even more intense as brothers Brent and Bruce Le Riche bring out their brand new trials stunt rig for some astonishing feats of riding skill at little more than walking pace.

Traditional trials is the art of riding over impossible terrain on a motorcycle without putting your feet down on the ground. It’s OK to stop, bunny-hop the bike in one place and even ride backwards to find a way over the obstacles – as long as your feet don’t touch the ground.

Brent “One Wheel” and Bruce “One Hip Wonder” Le Riche have more than 15 South African Trials titles between them; now they’ve turned their sport into a spectacle by building a truck that unfolds into a set of theoretically unrideable man-made obstacles, including a 3.5 metre high undercut ledge – that’s the equivalent of riding your bike up the side of a single-story house, out over the overhanging gutters and onto the roof. Unbelieveable? Believe it.

Leading the pack will be international freestyle motocrosser Jimmy Hill.

After the Le Riches have shown gravity who’s boss, it will be the turn of the country’s top skaters and BMX riders, in the first South African Ramp Rodeo Invitational, as invited athletes from all over South Africa go head to head in a jam-style format, competing for hard cash prizes and the ‘Ramp Champ’ and ‘Best Trick’ titles on a specially built mini ramp with added features for progression and creativity.

This will be a three-part event, with practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the finals and best trick decider during the Sunday Flight Night show.

Already confirmed to compete are local action-sports heroes Malcolm Peters and Khule Ngubane, which sets the bar at a very high level even before a wheel is turned.

And on the mike throughout will be Tricky Nicky – better known as Canadian Pro-Freestyle mountain biker Nick Clarke, who’ll be entertaining, explaining and educating you on just what these guys are doing and how they do it.

Special ticket offer

But what about those of us who have to work – or study – during the day, and don’t want to buy a day ticket to use for just a few hours in the evening?

For just these show-goers, the organisers are offering a Flight Night ticket that’s valid from 3pm until the show closes. You get three for R600, with a fourth ticket thrown in free – that’s R150 each for you and three friends, a R50 saving on the online day-ticket price.

In addition to Flight Night every evening, the second annual South Africa Bike Festival will include SuperGP racing, a custom bike championship, live music, a charity ride on Sunday a nearly-new bike shop, as well as new models and test rides on the circuit with Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Suzuki, Yamaha and more.

For more details and to buy tickets, visit the South Africa Bike Festival website .

IOL Motoring

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