Infrared sauna, pool, special art, stunning rooms
Explore The City From The Back of A Bike
Be chauffeured on a Harley or hire bikes and tour with your friends
“I’m going to stabilise the bike, then you can get on, put your feet up, sit back and relax,” says Cape Bike Travel owner Jörg Vogel. Relax? Not so much. This is my first time on a motorbike, and I’m a little nervous, to put it lightly.
Cape Bike Travel is a company that arranges motorbike travel in Southern Africa. It rents out Harley Davidsons (there are 15 big-capacity cruiser bikes), BMWs (20 from the GS range of road-adventure bikes), and a broad range of adventure and modern classic Triumphs.
LIVE TO RIDE, RIDE TO LIVE
Jörg started Cape Bike Travel in April 2005 as a natural extension of his passion for motorcycles. “Why bikes? Why not? What else? I’ve been messing about with bikes from a very young age,” he says. “I got my license at 18, and I couldn’t afford a car, so I bought a bike. I’ve even transported a tumble dryer on the back of a motorbike.”
YOU CAN RIDE YOURSELF OR BE CHAUFFEURED
One of the services Cape Bike Travel offers is the chauffeured ride that Jörg is taking me on now. We’re on a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail – all the chauffeured options are on Harleys.
“We use Harley Davidson owner-drivers for the chauffeured trips,” says Jörg. This means that riders always get to journey with someone who has a passion for motorbikes and, because they’re local, will be able to show off Cape Town’s countless beautiful routes.
“It’s a completely different experience from a car,” says Jörg. “On a bike you feel a bit more vulnerable, but at the same time you have a different connection to everything on the road. If you stop at a traffic light you can talk to the guy selling the Big Issue, and smell the perfume of the people walking in front of you.”
ONLY A BIKER KNOWS WHY A DOG STICKS ITS HEAD OUT OF A CAR WINDOW
“It usually takes about five minutes for people to relax,” Jorg tells me afterwards. Unsurprisingly then, it’s not until we leave the city centre and go roaring up Kloof Nek Road that I start to enjoy myself. I’ve driven this route a hundred times before, but this is a completely different experience.
When we get to the top of the hill, I don’t just see the ocean, I smell the pine trees too. Winding down the road to the beach is exhilarating, and I soon get used to leaning to go around corners. The people strolling along the sidewalk in Camps Bay are right next to us, and I catch snippets of their conversations as we speed past. We’re right in the middle of everything; there’s none of that separation from your surroundings that you feel in a car.
IT’S A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE, BEING ON A HARLEY
The Harley draws admiring glances from people, and I start to understand the attraction of driving such an iconic bike. There’s no waiting in traffic, as Jörg easily weaves around cars as we head back into town, and the stretches of empty road give him a chance to show me just how fast and smooth the bike rides. Along the way, he nods to and greets other bikers, demonstrating just how much of a community there is amongst petrol heads.
THESE RIDES MAKE A GREAT EXPERIENTIAL GIFT
I arrive back in town feeling windswept, happy and just a little bit high on adrenaline. Riding on a bike lets you experience your surroundings in a new way and going fast is really fun. Add the drama and scenery of Cape Town’s coastal roads and you have an absolutely amazing experience.
These chauffeured rides are a good idea for an anniversary gift, birthday present or even a corporate outing. “It’s for those people that always wanted a motorbike; this is their chance to be an outlaw for the day.”
FIND THE PERFECT RENTAL FOR YOU
There are one-, two-, four- and eight-hour Harley Davidson rides. Prices start at R800 for one hour, R1 200 for two hours, R1 600 for a half day, and R2 500 for a full day. There are other rental options, from one- to multi-day rentals, and prices vary according to the number of days booked.
The lowest daily rate is R1 600, including insurance. You get the bike with a full tank, and must return it with the same. You’ll need to hire jacket and gloves for R200, but Capetownmagazine.com readers will get it for free. Drivers need a valid Class A licence.
FOR FURTHER READING:
Have a glass of wine and an epic day out with Scootours.
Explore the promenade with Up Cycles.
There are some fabulous routes to travel around Cape Town and the Western Cape. Find them here.
You might want things to do on a multi-day trip. Have a look at our Western Cape bucket-list.
Or if you need some ideas for unusual accommodation, look here.
If you’re keen on visiting some game parks, here are some more recommendations.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.