Heels & Horsepower Magazine

BMW Motorrad presents the new Ride & Style Collection 2023

When it comes to motorcycling, there is no such thing as weather that is too wet, too cold or too hot, it all depends on having the right outfit.

BMW was the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to present its own complete rider equipment. At that time the gear was made of impregnated cowhide, but was equipped with protective zones as well as safety reflectors to increase visibility at night. This proved to be the starting signal for an unprecedented success story.

The world’s largest range of motorcycle rider equipment.

In the following decades, BMW Motorrad consistently followed its goal to make motorcycling as safe and as comfortable as possible as well as fashionably attractive and stylish.

Today it offers an unparalleled range of rider equipment surpassing all motorcycle manufacturers – always driven by the developers’ urge to make existing products even better and to develop new innovative solutions to make motorcycle riding even more fun and carefree.

More than 100 new rider equipment products for the 2023 motorcycling season.

For the coming season, BMW Motorrad presents the Gear & Garment Collection 2023 with more than 100 new products ranging from helmets, gloves and boots to rider suits, jackets, trousers, casual wear, functional wear and accessories. Developed by motorcyclists for motorcyclists, with enthusiasm, passion and a lot of love for functional details and stylish design. 

BMW Motorrad Presents A Fred Kodlin Customized R 18 B HEAVY DUTY

Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, and now, for the first time, Kodlin has customized a BMW R 18 B.

Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, from radically modified creations to sophisticated new designs. He was the very first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame; and now, for the first time, Fred Kodlin has set about customizing a BMW R 18 B.

BMW R 18 B: The perfect bike for customizing.

Featured at the 2023 Daytona Bike Week in Florida recently, the customized R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is a spectacular work of functional ‘art’.

Viewed from the side, the fly-line drops sharply to the rear from the chopped windshield taken from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range and finally runs harmoniously into the side cases made by Kodlin out of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the low rear end.

From the top the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is characterised by a strong waistline in the seat area and a flowing connection to the side cases.

Finally, the technical chassis highlight is an air suspension system at the front and rear, supported by a compressor placed barely visibly behind the left side case. This allows the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY to be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second.

A front spoiler including a 3-colour underfloor lighting system and a front mudguard, are also made of sheet metal, with the mudguard fitting snugly around the 21-inch front wheel.

Kodlin also created a corresponding counterpart for the rear wheel from two R 18 B rear mudguards joined together, in which the rear and side indicator lights are integrated in a very discreet manner.

R 18 B boasts loudspeakers by Marshall and has an amplifier fitted inside.

The customizing job is rounded off by a seat made by Kodlin and an instrument cover with covers made of Alcantara and imitation leather, as well as specially made handlebars and a self-created exhaust system.

Elaborate paintwork by tattoo artist Marcel Sinnwell

Marcel Sinnwell has painted other Kodlin showbikes in the past.

For this project, the colour gradients were completely airbrushed with translucent paint. The inspiration for this was the mixing of colour pigments in the paint and especially the way they form streaks in the milky basecoat when first stirred. The result goes along very well with the Daytona Bike Week, where complex and colourful paint schemes are more than just good form.

Additional design touches on the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY are provided by hand-painted pinstripes and an airbrushed pattern on the rear mudguard that combines Kodlin and “100 years of BMW Motorrad”.

The brake callipers, gearshift and foot brake levers and footrests, however, are BMW Motorrad standard components that have been colour-matched.

Tried & Test: 5 Things I Like About My GS Trophy Helmet

By Bongiwe Didiza

Wearing a helmet is one of the safest things motorcyclists can do;  and they really don’t come much better than the GS Carbon helmet range. 

I’ve spent the better part of 2021 riding off-road largely due to my participating in the GS Trophy 2022 qualifiers.  During that time my head gear of choice has been my GS Trophy inspired helmet, from the GS Carbon helmet edition.  Sleek and athletically designed, the GS Trophy helmet, looks ready for action both on tarmac as well as on gravel.  Here are 5 things I like about the GS Trophy helmet.

Lightweight, Comfy & Safe

Apart from its design, the first thing I noticed about the GS Trophy helmet was that it is quite lightweight, thanks to its 100% carbon-fibre reinforced plastic shell.  It weighs 1,450grams (with shield and dual visor) and is extremely comfy.  

I didn’t put its ability to absorb impact to the test as that would mean I would have taken a nasty fall. Rather, I believed BMW Motorrad when they offered that the GS Trophy helmet’s inner layer is made of multi-segmented expanded polystyrene which makes the helmet’s ability to absorb impact quite outstanding.  

Removeable Head And Cheek Pads

The GS Trophy helmet, (as with all the helmets in the GS Carbon collection), has removeable and washable head & cheek pads.  These are easy to detach and reinstall making cleaning the shell a breeze.  Plus, we live in an age where cleanliness is the key to good health so the removeable inner pads are quite reassuring.  

Three Dimensionally Curved Visor 

There are two visors fitted to the GS Trophy helmet.  The inner visor has anti-fog material which many riders will appreciate, while the outer visor has anti-scratch coating on both sides.  Best of all, the visor is very wide and helps immensely with peripheral vision.  Unlike with my other adventure helmets, I found that I didn’t have to turn my head very much to see what has happening around me.  

Removeable Chin Vent Flap

The GS Trophy helmet has an integrated dust filter and removeable chin vent flap both of which were handy in off-road and hot-weather riding.  I also found that the flap worked as a highly effective ventilation system.   Due to low-speeds used when riding off-road I often unfastened the flap so I could feel the welcome breeze on my parched face. Once on the tarmac, and because travelling speeds are much higher, I kept the flap in place to reduce the amount of wind from getting in and around my neck.

Removeable Peak

I’ve saved the best feature for last and you are probably surprised that the peak of the GS Trophy helmet gets special mention.  The thing is, after years of riding I have had more than my fair share of damaged peaks. Some simply couldn’t be screwed back on well enough to be as effective while others were damaged riding on treacherously rocky and slippery gravel.  As a result, I own more than one helmet and have learnt to use those without a peak for on-road riding and not to tamper with the peak on my adventure helmets.  Fortunately, the removeable peak means it can be replaced without incurring the cost of replacing the entire helmet. 

I later learned that the GS Trophy helmet is put through its paces in a wind tunnel to test how well it holds up in various riding scenarios such as wind and rain.  Having worn it over long distance rides, I can attest that my GS Trophy helmet has been aerodynamically designed to increase rider safety.  Even the integrated neck straps are scrutinised!  

Without a doubt the GS carbon helmet edition offers maximum rider safety and I absolutely enjoy it.  With all that riders have to contend with on the roads wearing the correct gear means one less thing to worry about.

Tried & Tested: BMW GS Pro Boots

By Bongiwe Didiza

When I first laid eyes on the GS Pro boots my thoughts immediately went to images of Autobots and Decepticons from the Transformers movie franchise.

In truth, I absolutely love the GS Pro boots!  Of course, there are a few things I am not crazy about but on the whole, I love the colours and the look of my ‘Robocop Boots’ as I like to call them.  Initially, I was intimidated by the size and weight of the boots when I first held them…..  

I am aware that my love for the GS Pro boots doesn’t extend beyond a handful of off-road riders. Those I have interacted with, who aren’t fans of the sci-fi-looking footwear, cite weight and difficulty in maneuverability when wearing them, as their main areas of contention.  

Having worn the GS Pro boots in many different riding conditions over the past few months, (including participating in the GS Trophy try-outs); I hope my opinions on these beefy adventure boots will benefit those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience them as extensively as I have.

Soft and Plush On The Inside

The inside of the GS Pro is nice and soft because it’s made from 100% calf leather.  As a vegetarian, I would ordinarily protest at the thought of an animal’s coat being used to adorn my feet but when it comes to materials used to enhance my riding safety and comfort I don’t have any quibbles with animal skin!

A Bootie In A Boot

Once I had gotten past the look and weight of the GS Pro boots, the next thought that invaded my mind was that I  would get the most painful blisters of my life.  This notion was based on the fact that the GS Pros are made from hard-wearing materials which make them sturdy and inflexible.  Only when I slipped one on, did I discover that they have an inner shoe or as I call it, a ‘bootie’, which in fact, is what you wear.  

Think of it as a two-layered Russian Doll; you wear the bootie inside the boot so that your foot is not directly in contact with the GS Pro itself.   The comforting thing about this is that the bootie protects you from the hard outer shell of the GS Pro boot. This swiftly resolved my concerns about the possibility of getting agonizing blisters.

The bootie is comfortable and made of durable yet breathable material.  It is removable, making it easy to wash and dry.   Designed with gel ankle cushions, the booties aids mobility within the GS Pro boots which are pretty unbending especially when brand new. Thanks to the inclusion of the bootie, you are able to move your ankle as freely as you ordinarily would when wearing any other type of shoe, the only exception being that your feet are clad in protective armour. 

A Cuff To Keep The Dirt Off Your Pants

A lot of detail has gone into the production of the GS Pro boot and in as much as that’s something all motorcycle boots have in common, one unmistakable standout highlight that I picked up on, become my all-time favorite feature; being the cuff at the top of the opening of the boots.

Located at the top of GS Pro boot, at its opening, is a cuff designed to reduce small stones and other debris from getting in between your pants, boot and possibly underfoot.  It’s not 100% foolproof but over the course of the many months I have worn these boots, I can honestly say the cuff is impressively effective.  

Here’s an example; imagine you are on an off-road adventure, where your focus is fixed on remaining upright on your motorcycle as you bounce over stony terrain.  Suddenly, you feel the prick of something sharp in your shin and, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, the unrelenting stab in your shin threatens to divert your attention from the gravel track.   The cuff on the GS Pro boot helps minimise the occurrence of such instances; something you’d only appreciate when you are riding between a mountain-side and a sheer drop. 

Strangely Not Water Proof

The cuff also helps minimise the amount of water that would otherwise splash into your boot but in spite of its plastic-clad look, the GS Pro boots are not waterproof.   I learned this the hard way having ridden in the rain for the better part of a particular excursion.  On the bright side though, as soon as you remove the bootie and boot to dry out, they do so fairly quickly.  Perhaps the hot summer sun helps in that regard; I didn’t try it in winter.

Awkward To Walk In 

In a nutshell, let’s just say these boots weren’t made for strolling around in! 

With hard protective reinforcements all around, the GS Pro boots proved quite difficult to walk in.  Being rather heavy, the weight of the boots felt as if you’ve set your feet in blocks of cement.  Coupled with the tall stable shaft, form-fitting calf & shin protector and plastic reinforcements at the heel and toes, I found myself mechanically stomping around like an angry toddler, much to the astonishment of onlookers.  

On a serious note though, the protective materials used to manufacture the GS Pro boots hold your lower limbs in place, so that there is minimal risk of you twisting your ankle or leg.

As with all new gear, it was critical that I wore my GS Boots as often as possible before riding in them. This allowed me to get a better feel for them, as by wearing them, I was breaking them in.  After becoming comfortable in the boot, my next step was to start riding in them.  This felt strange because the dynamics between walking and riding in them will be vastly different.  

Even though I had worn my boots for quite a while, riding in them felt like a completely new experience and once again the GS Pros felt rigid.  As any rider would know, it is critical that your ankle can flex comfortably when using the rear brakes and changing gears.  Being unable to do so when I first started riding in my boots was my most pressing worry. 

Initially, I made rookie mistakes such as putting too much pressure on the rear brakes simply because I couldn’t  “feel” the brakes.   At times I was too soft on them and at other times too hard.  I was in a constant state of either wondering why the bike wasn’t slowing down or at risk of going over the handlebars.

Equally embarrassing was my changing into the wrong gear every so often purely because I couldn’t feel which gear I was in.  Granted, my motorcycle has a gear change indicator, but with 11 years riding to my name (a lot longer than the gear change indicator technology has been on the market),  I intuitively listen to my bike rather than rely on technology – as good as it is.   

In spite of all their good qualities, I found the GS Pros to be quite slippery on-road.  Granted, they are off-road boots but one often has to ride on the tarmac in order to get to the gravel roads.  Although I had spent quite a long time wearing them, I eventually realised that being slippery wasn’t a result of the boots not being sufficiently broken in, rather, I think it’s the material used on the sole.  

The steel toe caps give the GS Pro boots a sense of ‘bling’, but these also proved to be dangerously slippery.  At my height, my idea of tippy-toeing is actually me being on the balls of my feet. However, if you are not blessed with the gift of height and you tiptoe in these boots, chances are you will have a disgraceful dismount of mammoth proportions.   

Off-road though, the sole and steel toe caps have magnificent gripping ability.  Perhaps the solution would be to ride in different boots on road with the GS Boots in your top box!

GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa – Day 3. Team SA is announced!

Saturday’s events at the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa culminated in the announcement of Team South Africa, destined to compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania

After the activity of the first full day of Qualifier action on Friday, the competitors were keen to catch up on some sleep ahead of another busy schedule on the final day. Just after midnight, though, the night air was pierced by sirens summoning the competitors from their tents to their motorcycles for two more night-time exercises.

They were back in their tents two hours later, only to be woken again at 05:00 for a skills test in the bush. This proved to the warm-up exercise before a hearty breakfast, whereafter the competitors continued with several sand exercises, and tackled challenges to test their resilience on steep hills and corners. One of the exercises played out at the dreaded Wall of Life at the CountryTRAX facility, a deep circular pit set at an angle of about 60 degrees that tested the competitors’ nerves, while battling gravity and a tricky entry and exit point – keeping their motorcycles upright.

The competitors were kept busy until the late afternoon, after which time it was the turn of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa marshals to tally the day’s scores.

Saturday evening’s dinner was followed by the final points ceremony and the announcement of Team South Africa that will compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania.

Team South Africa for the 2022 competition is: Gerrit du Toit (Limpopo), Dalton de Bruin (Free State), and Warren Venter (Gauteng).

Christelle van der Meulen and Hanneli Zondagh were the highest-ranking ladies after the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa. The International GS Trophy 2022 organisers now have the task of determining who will compete in the final women’s teams, based on the global entries received. The announcement of the official ladies’ teams to compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania will follow.

All-in-all, the weekend’s activities near Amersfoort in Mpumalanga again demonstrated the breadth of skill held by GS riders in South Africa. Once the weekend celebrations taper off, preparations will begin in earnest in the hunt for a fourth consecutive International GS Trophy win.   

GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa – Day 2. Fine riding despite tough competition

The search for members of the South African team headed to Albania 2022 continues!

It was a busy day at the Country TRAX Enduro Park, the site of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa on Friday, 10 September. Everyone had had a good rest after the navigation ride the night before, and the day’s action started immediately after breakfast.

A static exercise on the lawn was followed by various tests of riding skill, teamwork, endurance, and technical know-how. The competitors again treated the organisers and marshals to an awesome display of the finest technical riding despite the tough competition.

After dinner, the scores were announced, and the rankings are as follows:


Gerrit du ToitLIM1
Dalton de BruinFS2
JP BoerNW3
Corzel SchoemanFS4
Gerrit CoetzeeEC5
Ruhan de VilliersWC6
Johan HarmseMP7
Warren VenterGP8
Mark Van Rensburg JnrNW9
Tyrall CosbyEC10
Cliff VD  WesthuizenGP11
Mark Van Rensburg SnrWC12
Johan ThiartMP13
Braam EsterhuizenEC14
Chris JonkerMP15
Dishen ValjeeKZN16
James KennedyWC17
Tony Mc CreeKZN18
Bruwer NelFS19
Andrèas van HeerdenNW20
Herman NiemandLIM21
Mishan ValjeeKZN22
Jurie SnymanGP23
Herman du BruynLIM24


Christelle van der Meulen1
Charine Botha2
Hanneli Zondagh3
Liesl Geyser4
Di McLean5
Celeste Diener6
Bongiwe Didiza7

Another full day of challenges will be undertaken on Saturday ahead of the announcement later that evening of the five-person Team South Africa to tackle the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania!

Meet The New R 1250 GS And R 1250 GS Adventure: The Expert Partners For Travelling On-Road And Adventure Riding

The new BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure have been designed to emphasize their more precise nature and universal talents. Now available in South Africa, here’s what we know about the latest 2-wheelers from BMW Motorrad.

The newest additions to BMW Motorrad’s GS range – the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure – has arrived in South Africa and our motorcycle contributor Bongiwe Didiza is in attendance at the launch in the Western Cape.  We’ll share her first impressions of the new adventure motorcycles soon.  

Highlights of the new BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure:

  • Original boxer engine with BMW ShiftCam technology for varying the valve control times and the valve lift on the intake side.
  • Powerful acceleration, exemplary consumption and emission values.
  • Power and torque: 100 kW at 7 750 rpm and 143 Nm at 6,250 rpm.
  • Knock sensor system for optimised touring capability.
  • New BMW Motorrad Integral ABS Pro as standard.
  • Three riding modes as standard.
  • New “Eco” riding mode for particularly economical driving as standard.
  • Pro riding modes with additional riding modes and new riding mode preselection as well as dynamic engine brake control as optional equipment ex works.
  • Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) as standard.
  • Electronic Dynamic ESA “Next Generation” chassis with fully automatic load compensation.
  • Vehicle voltage and USB sockets as standard.
  • Seat heating for rider and passenger for increased travelling and touring capability as optional equipment ex works.
  • Handlebar risers by 30 mm as optional equipment ex works.
  • In addition to the standard seat height adjustability, a wide range of seat height options ex works.
  • Connectivity: Multifunctional instrument cluster with 6.5-inch full-colour TFT display and numerous features as standard on the R 1250 GS.
  • Intelligent emergency call as optional equipment ex works.
  • “40 Years GS” anniversary edition.
  • Extended range of optional equipment and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories.
  • Hill Start Control Pro (HSC Pro) with advanced function as optional equipment ex works.
  • New full-LED adaptive headlight as optional equipment ex works.
  • New lighting functions, cruising light and function-integrated turn indicator bulbs as optional equipment ex works.
  • One attractive basic colour each and the two triple black and Rallye style variants ex works as optional equipment.


Light White R 322 900.00
Triple Black R 333 400.00
Style Rallye Package (HP) R 336 400.00
Special Edition 40 Years of GS R 350 400.00


Ice Grey R 343 700.00
Triple Black R 352 200.00
Style Rallye Package (HP) R 354 300.00
Special Edition 40 Years of GS R 368 700.00


Bike Review: Bongiwe Didiza ticks the BMW R NineT Pure off her bucket list at the 15th International Female Ride Day

Motorcyclist journalist Bongiwe Didiza took part in the 15th International Female Ride Day astride a bike she had long wanted to ride.

I had marked the 1stof May on my calendar as International Female Ride Day (IFRD), the only day in the year which celebrates women motorcyclists from all walks of life. For me, the 2021 Ride was going to be particularly exciting because the motorbike I would be riding, the BMW R nineT Pure, is one I have been drawn to for quite a while.

First introduced in 2013, the R nineT range has grown to include the R nineT Urban G/S, the R nineT Scrambler, and the R nineT Pure.  Sporting a combination of classic design meets modern technological invention, the R nine T derivatives carry the signature BMW roadster styling cues, reminiscent of early BMW Motorrad days. 

Also fetching their rides at the same time were Zanele McMurray and Crescentia Ndimande

– Bongiwe Didiza, motorcycle journalist, DRIVING IN HEELS

I collected my loan motorbike from BMW Motorrad Fourways, two days prior to the Ride.  I wanted a bit of time to get used to its features ahead of the big day. Looking at it, I was struck by its stylish vintage design, which complement its seemingly playful look. 

At first glance, the air/oil-cooled, 1170Cc boxer engine of the R nineT Pure didn’t look like much, which made it all the more difficult to believe it could produce 81kW of power and 116 Nm of torque.   

Also ferching their rides at the same time were Zanele McMurray who would be riding the BMW R 18, and Crescentia Ndimande who had chosen the the BMW F 900 XR.

Following a brief meeting with the dealer principal – Rodney Serfontein,  and a bike orientation, we took possession of the keys for our respective bikes and rode out of the dealership. 


As usual when I am on a bike, I have a gigantic smile under my helmet but while I was cheerfully enjoying my ride home a warning light came up on the circular instrument cluster.

When I arrived at home, I gave it a quick check, hoping I might spot the problem.  Satisfied that everything looked fine to me, but opting to err on the safe side, I made arrangements to take it back for an assessment the following day.

I had not known that the R nineT Pure did not have a fuel gauge indicator.


Arriving at Motorrad Fourways, Sales Executive Gift Gumbi whisked the motorbike into the workshop but returned almost immediately.  He was in stitches, laughing hysterically and between bursts of fresh laughter he spluttered that the warning light was the fuel light indicator and that the bike was very low on fuel. 



When he had calmed down reasonably enough to hear me, I tried – with little success – to explain why I had misinterpreted the fuel icon.  Of course I know what a low fuel icon light looks like but the R nineT Pure does not have the standard icon we are familiar with in a car.  

Added to that, I had not known that the R nineT Pure did not have a fuel gauge indicator; instead, its warning light is a simple triangular orange light.  

The more I tried to explain my rationale to Gift, the more he laughed and teased me


If there was a fuel guage I would probably have noticed that the fuel was low and may have made a connection between the warning light and the low fuel indicator.  

The more I tried to explain my rationale to Gift, the more he laughed and teased me.  Suffice to say, the experience taught me 2 things; the first being just how basic the R nine T Pure is and the other being that I will probably never live down this ‘oopsie’.

On a positive note, the blunder taught me that the R nineT Pure has a 17-litre tank and consumes 5-litres per 100kms. As I rode home, still chuckling to myself in disbelief, I was immensely grateful that the bike had not completely run out of fuel, leaving me stranded and bewildered at the side of the road.

Arriving at our meeting venue, I couldn’t help but notice how stunning the ladies looked, most of whom wore gear matching their rides.


From then on, I became acutely aware of just how basic the R nineT Pure is and soon realised it does not come standard with my favourtie creature comforts being riding modes, heated grips, and cruise control. That said, heated grips and cruise control are available as optional extras which customers can fit at will. 

Putting the humbling moment firmly behind me, I eagerly awaited IFRD.  Organized by The Lithas , the 2021 Ride comprised of two routes, on an on-road.  Had I not chosen to ride the sexy little roadster, I would have elected to ride on gravel.

The long anticipated day arrived, uncharacteristically accompanied by light winds and drizzle.  Undettered, I  headed out and arrived at Triumph Motocycles, Sandton, our meeting venue.  The ladies looked stunning on their machines, most wearing riding gear that matched their bikes.

Excited to be reunited with female riders I had not seen in a long time due to lockdown regulations, we mingled, enjoyed the delicious welcome refreshments, posed for photos, and signed the event day banner. 

The formalites and safety briefing dispensed with and the weather clearing up, the ladies got into formation and rode to our first stopover – Fire it Up in Randburg, then onto ROC Harley Davidson in Alberton where we were received with excitement, refreshments and gifts.  

Even in the sea of other beautiful motorcycles, I was aware of motorists admiring my R nineT Pure as they drove past us.


The Ride was leisurely and the ladies maintained a steady pace.  I was amazed at how smooth my bike rode even at such low speeds.  It cornered beautifully and maintained its balance. 


Even in the sea of other beautiful motorcycles, I was aware of motorists admiring my R nineT as they drove past us. It had already caused a stir from the start of the day, and at each stopover.  My fellow lady Pure riders truly appreciated it, commenting on its unique and classical good-looks.  A few ladies who own more than one bike expressed a desire to add it to their existing motorbike collection because of its sassy beauty.

The R nineT Pure is a no-frills, “shut-up & ride” sort of bike.


At our final destination, Bikers Warehouse in Randburg, a stunning high tea had been setup for us to mark the close of a safe and successful Ride as well as recognize and celebrate the Biker Queens we all are. 


The R nineT Pure is as its name suggests a no-frills, “shut-up & ride” sort of bike. As basic as it is, it offers absolute riding pleasure and is aimed at anyone on the market looking for an uncomplicated motorbike. 

That said, it is a very capable machine and is suited for leisurely trips to scenic destinations or unhurried rides around suburbia for a coffee meeting with the girls.  It is the type of bike I ride to attend a vintage motorbike show.  Similarly, I would pack it onto a train for use to tour the Garden Route in summer.

The R nineT Pure I was riding is powered by a four-stroke, two-cylinder horizontally opposed boxer engine and is available at BMW Motorrad Fourways at R145 000. It is a 2018 model wrapped in Option 719 colors.  

If however, you are looking to buy a newer R nineT Pure, the 2021 derivatives come with the following standard features:

  • 80kW power, 116Nm of torque
  • Road and Rain riding modes
  • ABS Pro with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC)
  • LED headlight and white LED indicators
  • New suspension strut with travel-dependent damping (WAD)

Priced from R203 400-00

About Bongiwe Didiza

About Bongiwe Didiza Bongiwe Didiza is a motorcyclist with 10 years riding experience on various type of motorcycles; ranging from superbikes and cruisers to dual-purpose and adventure bikes.  She is the first Black female motorcycle journalist registered with the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists. Bongiwe is the  biking contributor for Driving In Heels where her test ride reviews and bike travel articles are published. She currently rides an R 1200 GSA but has owned a Suzuki GSX-R 750 and a BMW F 800 GS in the past.

Meet the ladies riding at the 2021 International Female Ride Day

With 35 years riding experience among them, Bongiwe Didiza, Crescentia Ndimande and Zanele McMurray look forward to riding motorcycles they’ve always dreamt of riding, thanks to BMW Motorrad Fourways

International Female Ride Day© (IFRD) celebrates women motorcycle riders and is not country, group or organizationally specific. It is a globally synchronized “JUST RIDE!”© day, for women.

Conceptualized by internationally recognised motorcycling instructor, road racer, Vicki Gray, the day has occurred for well over a decade and a half, with the first IFRD gatherings in 2007. 

“IFRD provides a platform for women motorcycle riders to bond with other women, to meet and find like-minded women who ride and develop friendships with which to enjoy and advance motorcycling!”
– Vicki Gray, Founder, International female ride day

As one of the most important ride days for women, International Female Ride Day (IFRD) aims to encourage women to take up motorcycling. It also raises awareness about women’s equality in motorsports while applauding women’s advancements in motor and powersports.

In South Africa, IFRD is spearheaded by Estelle Lotter, Founder of The Litas Johannesburg & Gauteng.  The Litas is a group of passionate kick-ass women focused on building local communities of women who share a love for two wheels.  With starting points in various parts of Gauteng, the 2021 IFRD will include both on and off-road routes, thereby catering for riders with different types of motorcycles. 

I am looking forward to experiencing all that the F 900 XR has to offer and of course, to reconnecting with lady bikers I haven’t seen in a long time


My heart is most at home when I ride off road on a GS so riding a cafe racer is going to be a different experience for me because for once, I won’t get dusty!


3 bikers from Driving in Heels will take part in the Ride being, Bongiwe Didiza, Crescentia Ndimande and Zanele McMurray.  With a collective 35 riding experience among them, our ladies are proudly supported by BMW Fourways Motorrad, which was recently awarded Dealership of the Year 2020.  

Bongiwe aka Bo Di, will be riding a BMW R nineT which is quite a departure from her much-loved GS adventure bike range. “I’m so used to riding off road and on much bigger bikes so the R nineT is going to be quite an experience for me. It’s going to be nice to ride and not get dusty for once,” she laughed.

I was envious when I saw Bongiwe riding this sexy beast at launch in 2020 but all is forgiven now because I get to ride it too!

– Zanele McMurray, 15 years motorcycle riding experience

Mother of 2, Crescentia settled on a BMW F 900XR mostly because it is a dual purpose and suits her height.  commenting on her choice of ride, she said, “I am excited to ride the model Vuyi used in the Pride of Africa Ride 2020 to Durban. From what I can tell it is a comfortable and user-friendly machine and I am looking forward to experiencing all that it has to offer”. 

Zanele aka Lady Zee, opted for the R 18 cruiser.  “I was envious when I saw Bongiwe riding this sexy beast at launch in 2020 but all is forgiven now because I get to ride it too! And before you ask, no the R 18 is neither too big nor too heavy for me – it’s just right,” she said.

We wish all the women participating in the IFRD 2021 a safe and run ride! To share in the ride and excitement on the day, check out our social media pages.

Pride of Africa Ride 2020 perched upon a BMW R 1250 GS

To mark the end of a difficult 2020, my Editor (and sister), Vuyi Mpofu and I, put on our big girl drawers and set off on our annual Pride Of Africa Ride, aptly themed the “Mbokodo Edition”.

– Bongiwe Didiza, motorcycle journalist, driving in heels

Pride of Africa Ride (POAR) celebrates and highlights various historical, cultural and geographical elements in South Africa while focusing on societal values that embody the meaning of Ubuntu. Unlike the 2019 PAOR, the 2020 ride was an all female team, which served as a good platform to raise awareness for Gender-Based Violence.  


Riding out in style on the morning of our long-awaited departure day, Vuyi looked confident on her Racing Red BMW F 900 XR, while I perched upon a Black Storm metallic BMW R 1250 GS. We were ready for the trip ahead and determined to enjoy the adventure to Durban, KZN. Having already taken ownership of the bike a few days before the ride, I was looking forward to playing with the riding modes on my R 1250 GS, which comes standard with two riding modes (Road, Rain), Automatic Stability control, and Hill Start Control.

I was fortunate that the bike was still brand new, leaving it up to me to break in the stallion under my command.


I happily discovered that my bike was fitted with the Pro riding mode, an optional extra which features additional riding modes (Dynamic Pro, Enduro/Pro), ABS Pro, Hill Start Control Pro, Dynamic Traction Control, and Dynamic Brake Control. I felt assured about my safety on the 600km journey which lay ahead.

The BMW R 1250 GS’s 1254 cc engine produces a power output of 100kW and a max torque of 143 Nm, which made me want to open the throttle and just get going.

Prior to leaving Johannesburg I had adjusted the bike’s seat height to its lowest position, so as to experience the as the ride from a different angle from what would be my normal. The standard seat height of the 1250 GS can be adjusted between 850mm(low) and 870mm(high).

I was fortunate that the bike was still brand new, which left it up to me to break in the stallion under my command. That said, this meant we had to ride easy for the first 200-250kms so that I could wear the new tyres in. The pace of our gentle ride turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed us to have much more fun than anticipated. We frequently stopped to enjoy the scenery, take pictures and wave at passing truck drivers who tooted their foghorn-like horns at the sight of two women on motorcycles. 

At our last rest and refuel stop, I noted that the bike’s fuel consumption which was at about 4.5l/100km


We encountered many forced stops along the way because of road works and the ever changing weather. That said, we were fully prepared, thanks to the rain riding modes on each motorcycle and the protective riding gear we had on. I was kitted in a GS dry suit and GS Pro boots, while Vuyi wore a GS Rallye suit and BMW Venture Grip boots.

At our last rest and refuel stop, I calculated that the bike’s fuel consumption which was averaging 4.5l/100km. It differed to the estimated fuel consumption of 4.75l/100km, which was rather strange. I had expected the consumption rate to be higher or at least much closer to BMW Motorrad’s estimated consumption rate.

Then it me dawned on that the 4.5l/100km was on account of the moderate riding we had done over the first 200kms as well as the rain and road works which had required us to further adjust our riding speed.

After refueling, we headed back onto the main road and continued on our trip. Aware of the fading daylight, thinning traffic and improved weather, we picked up the pace and finally arrived safely our destination. Still in high spirits we settled into our lodgings for the next few days.

As I drifted off to sleep, I reflected on the superior build quality of BMW motorcycles which are well known for long-distance comfort; in this regard, the R 1250 GS had affirmed one of the German manufacture’s long standing brand promises.

One man admitted that we are putting the male gender to shame as most men are too afraid to ride motorbikes

Day 2

We spent our time riding in around Durban, visiting the many tourist attractions offered by the seaside city. This included riding along the Golden Mile – a bustling stretch of beachfront, and well-known holiday destination.

We also visited many other popular destinations, such as the Blue Lagoon, Moses Mabhida Stadium and uShaka Marine World and the beachfront markets which are always filled with a rows and rows of brightly colorful Zulu arts and crafts, some made on the spot by the cheerful and skilled vendors.

At one stall, we successfully negotiated an agreeable price with one of the vendor’s for Vuyi’s traditional Zulu skirt – something she had wanted since the beginning of the trip. She wore it immediately, hopped onto her motorbike and started the engine much to the surprise of the small crowd which had loosely gravitated towards the “Joburg girls on big motorcycles”.


We had caused quite a stir from the very start of our trip when leaving Joburg. Motorists and the public in general seemed bemused at the sight of 2 Black women riding unaccompanied. Not that people have never seen women on motorbikes before, but rather, that we were on dual purpose bikes which are not usually associated with our race and gender. Some on lookers gave us disapproving scowls while other greeted us with encouraging curiosity.

That said, we were generally met by more people who enthusiastically shared positives attitudes towards us. They were inspired by what they called our bravery and demonstration of fearlessly going against the customary grain of what is traditionally acceptable behaviour, from African women.

With our Pride Of Africa Ride, Mbokodo Edition nearing the end, we visited BMW Motorrad Umhlanga, where we had our bikes inspected in preparation for a safe trip back home.


At one rest stop, a man admitted that we are putting the male gender to shame as most men are too afraid to ride motorbikes. He added that the large majority of men were incredibly intimidated by women who rode motorcycles.

On the opposite end of the spectrum and at a different destination, a woman, accompanied by her husband, gushed about her secret desire to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Judging by the look of alarm on his face, he was hearing this for the first time. Undeterred she asked how we had gotten into the world of motorcycling, before asking how to climb onto a motorbike. As they drove away, Vuyi and I joked about the perceived mood in the car. 


On an afternoon when we felt too tired to leave the hotel, we opted to do a basic maintenance chain check (clean and lubbe) on Vuyi’s F 900 XR.

We did not need to check the R1250 GS since it has a drive-shaft. The drive-shaft however does need maintenance even though its maintenance frequency is less than that of a chain. If the drive-shaft is neglected and not maintained well, rust can get to the seals and cause damage to the bearings. 

Though not entirely surprising to me, I found the R 1250 GS suspension much harder in comparison to that of the R 1250 GS Adventure.


With our Pride Of Africa Ride, Mbokodo Edition nearing the end, we visited BMW Motorrad Umhlanga, where we had our bikes inspected, in preparation for a safe trip back home.

The inspection included the paramount checks which bikers should never ignore or bypass prior to any ride: tyre pressure, front & rear brake, throttle & clutch response, lights and turn signals, hooter, oil & other fluids, and checking if the engine power cuts when the side stand engages.

While at Umhlanga Motorrad, I decided to adjust the seat height to high for a different experience. The bike felt more comfortable riding with the high seat adjustment so I decided to use that seat level on our journey back home.  

We proudly raised our fists in salute to the man whose sacrifices had made it possible for us as Black women to enjoy the freedoms we now do

Journeying back home

Though I was not quite ready to head back home, the day finally came and the return journey back was greeted with an all-seasons type of weather conditions. Although accustomed to inclement weather, which tests both the rider’s skill & endurance and the bike’s handling & comfort capabilities, I always approach such a ride with caution and due respect.

Heading out of the city and onto the N3, our route back home first took us to Howick where we visited the Nelson Mandela capture site. Here we sealed the end of our 2020 Pride Of Africa Ride with raised our fists in salute to the man whose sacrifices had made it possible for us as Black women to enjoy the freedoms we now do.

Unlike superbikes, the GS is more forgiving in curves and bends.


The remainder of the ride was peppered with intermittent  downpours of rain and crosswinds, but my iron stallion held firmly to the road and I confidently darted between trucks and other slower moving traffic. The power of the 1250 GS never ceases to take my breath away.

As I opened the throttle and weaved my way through the delicious twists of Van Reenan’s Pass, I let loose a scream of delight then immediately heard myself laughing happily inside my helmet; if you are a biker, you’ll understand.

Another impressive thing about the 1250 GS is its leaning ability, which, if one is not accustomed to may feel daunting; but to a more seasoned rider feels as graceful as a professional ice-skater gliding effortless across the rink. Unlike superbikes, the GS is more forgiving in curves and bends. It allows you to adjust minor mistakes a rider may make as they enter the bend, making the 1250 GS a menace to superbikers on track day.


Though not entirely surprising to me, I found the 1250 GS suspension much harder in comparison to that of the 1250 GS Adventure. The dynamic pro riding mode made the bike even more responsive; the kick and the punch it produced, made me feel as though I was riding the 1250 GS.

The 1250 GS is in the adventure category, but in my opinion, informed by my 10 years riding experience and due to all the things it encompasses, the 1250 GS truly cannot be contained in just one specific category as it can be whatever you want it to be.

I can honestly say, and without hesitation that if one is looking for a versatile bike then the 1250 GS is the two-wheeler for you. That said, be warned, once you straddle this horse, there will be no coming back as you will most probably get hooked. 

The BMW R1250 GS is priced from: R 322 900.00