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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 17:31 
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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 17:32 
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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 21:14 
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Is that the Kriek motorcycle?

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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 21:33 
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H1017412 wrote:
Is that the Kriek motorcycle?

Looks like a Honda XR to me.
Kriek was the name the Army gave it, they had to do stuff like that to hide the real origin of a lot of their equipment during sanctions.

Back then I met even officers who did not know that the R1 is a copy of the Belgian FN FAL. :shock:


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 22:28 
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I never heared the name kriek at berede but always thought kwevoel was strange for the huge horse transport lorry. Strange sense of humour.


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2014, 22:52 
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Yes bike ops had honda xr500s and we also had some Suzuki dr400s for road work


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2014, 01:03 
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If I cast my mind back to when I last read South African Arms and Armour I seem to recall that the Kriek motorcycle was made of aircraft grade steel (or something)... I'm just curious to know if it was as RtD says, just what the army called it or whether in fact it was a newly designed and manufactured frame with a sourced engine (e.g. Honda)?

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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2014, 07:39 
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The ones at Berede in 1983 were bog standard.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2014, 15:45 
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jacques3 wrote:
The ones at Berede in 1983 were bog standard.

Bog standard what? Hondas?


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2014, 23:22 
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Yes bog standard Honda XR500R's.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2014, 23:31 
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By the way, does this bikes and horses unit still exist?
IIRC there was a news story a few years ago about the SPCA confiscating their horses due to severe neglect.


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2014, 14:55 
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Jacques3
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Yes bike ops had honda xr500s and we also had some Suzuki dr400s for road work


I see the 1979`Armour Action' Magazine has a full article on the Suzuki sp370 and states therein that the SA army acquired a number of Suzuki 370 scramblers and published a spec sheet on same and says the fuel tank was too small and the handlebars not robust enough. Price then R2099 #-o


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 09:49 
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Oh the memories ! :P

Served my second year at SWASPES at Otavi, "South West Africa" in the eighties. We had the bikes, horses, dogs, and trackers up there. Anyone serving in SWA in those days should remember the big white foot against the mountain heading north to the operational area.

Excellent, thanks for posting!

Pierre


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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2015, 05:29 
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Those are stock Honda XR500R's. Single-shock "C" models ie. 1981 were numbered R101xxx, R103xxx were 1982 "D" models. Only difference, the front fender. The first batch of about 70 C's and D's was delivered to SWASPES in May 1982. The XR500 "B" also known as the "bigwheel XR" had been the standard ops bike since 1980. The earlier versions had a 23-inch front wheel as opposed to standard 21-inchers, and twin shocks. BTW the photos in "Soldier of Fortune" are old, from 77/78, and show the old Honda XL350's which were not tough enough for the bush. Not to mention unpleasant to ride anywhere but on a tar road.

The "Kriek" was a prototype bike designed by an American flattrack bike builder whose bikes won numerous flattrack championships in the US. Watch "On Any Sunday" if you don't know what flattrack is. It was built from one of Ron's frames, had a 600cc Rotax engine and both wheels were 19-inchers. Rear wheels, if you must. The Kriek was a tough bike, but difficult to ride. Only two were built, and rumours are afloat that they are still in SA somewhere. In early 1983 an extensive testing programme took place at GEROTEK near Hartbeespoort Dam and Riemvasmaak at 8 SAI at Upington, to determine which bike would be used for ops. A dozen or so different bikes were tested including the two Krieks, Honda XR 500's including one with two rear wheels like the Kriek, a Suzuki DR, Yamaha XT 550, a Montessa "military" bike (2 stroke, didn't last long) and a few others. They were all ridden till they broke down. The Krieks never broke, but they had some maintenance done in between. In the end the Honda XR 500 was chosen, for reliability, price, and availability.

There were no "secret names" for the XR500 or anything that silly. Webboard BS =D>

SWASPES was disbanded later, it was a SWATF unit. "Home base" ie. Equestrian Centre outside Potch later became part of 12 SAI, which afaik was the new and very much UNimproved 3 SAI. 3 SAI had a proud history going back to Delville Wood in WW1, but that has been dragged through the mud most comprehensively.

The bike and horse mounted unit was shut down, rumours surfaced 2 or 3 years ago that bikes were to be re-established but I'll eat my hat if that happens. With the "western concept" of maintenance being anathema to Africa, it would be a fiasco anyways :lol:

The photos at top look like they were taken at SWASPES at Otavi judging by the terrain, and I have a photo somewhere of 101244 in a previous life.

I know this because I was one of the dozen-odd people who ever rode the Kriek, and still have contact with Ron the designer.


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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2015, 08:18 
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The Bike squad has been reestablished. If you google the military tattoo of 2014 you see pictures of them preforming stunts. Also when I visited oudshoorn about two or three years ago, you could see them going out into the veld about 25+ troops on white bikes. The distance was to far to guess at make, but the mil tattoo it looks like Yamaha.

Rgds


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