Hired a scooter or motorcycle in South Africa? Tell us where, when and how it went! SA Blog links follow.
Scooter hire in Cape Town is a rich wilderness, but elsewhere in the country, along with motorcycle hire, it’s a not-quite-endlessly-barren desert.
To drive either form of two-wheeled transport, your driver’s license must be coded for motorcycles.
We’ll hack through the wilderness first. Cape Town has about a dozen outlets for scooter hire; the little putt-putts are terrific for daily dalliances with cafes and corner stores and girlfriends. But with a top speed under 100kph, they are not meant for that 4-hour trip down the coast. South Africans tend not to grant scooters full motorized-vehicle status, and this prejudice deepens on highways, where scooters enjoy the same respect as gnats.
One of SA Blog’s favorite places to hire a scooter is African Buzz: call +27 (0) 21 433 1244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By far the coolest place to get your two wheels in the city, however, is Cafe Vespa, which rents out the real Italian scooting deal (4-stroke Vespa automatics), and doubles up as chi-chi tapas bar.
When hiring a scooter, expect to pay between R200 and R250 per day, and to leave a hefty deposit (about R2000) to cover the insurance excess.
Now we move into the barren desert. In other parts of the country, scooter hire outlets are far and few between.
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In Jo’burg, you can hire a scooter from MotoBerlin, though why anyone would want to court hot death by doing so is beyond Your Correspondent. Jo’burg’s roads were made for big engines, not putt-putts.
Durban appears to be a scooter-hire-free zone, but you can scoot around to your heart’s delight on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast by calling a certain Raymond on his cell phone: +27 (0) 82 467 4450. Raymond operates ScootersXtreme, which is xtremely lacking in an office or a website, but which will get you a little 125cc job anywhere on the N2/R61 from Port Edward to Hibberdene.
SA Blog has now run out of scooter hire tips. Please, if you have some of your own (particularly for the Eastern Cape), send them in!
Continuing our trek, we find a few more oases in this section of the desert.
The first thing to know about biking on our roads is that the paint used for road markings becomes very slick when wet – like ice, in fact – so take extra caution when saddling up after a rainstorm. (I know of a few spills caused by nothing more than changing lanes in wet conditions.)
Next, for tips on where to take your bike, go to Flamesonmytank.co.za, a 180-proof toast to life on the open road.
The concept of a motorcycle safari certainly gets the blood racing, so SA Blog’s first stop for motorbike hire is Superbike Safaris. 1600cc engines will certainly outrun lions, but not cheetahs if they get the jump, so be careful out there. (That was a joke, don’t actually worry about the cheetahs.) You can also look into Bushtracker Africa’s motorcycle tours.
The aforementioned MotoBerlin rents out BMW motorcycles in both Cape Town and Jo’burg. Bonus: you get unlimited mileage. (I wonder if this is wise of MotoBerlin? Beemer enthusiasts ride their bikes long ‘n hard!)
A final relevant link: Le Cap Motorcycle Hire (Cape Town). Their website is in French, but they speak German.
Clearly, SA Blog needs additional vroom in its motorcycle hire section: please send links if you’ve got them.