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GAVIN WALTON WINS FIFTH DJ RALLY FOR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES

Brad Binder – 2022 DJ

Gavin Walton scored his fifth overall win on the DJ Rally for pre-1937 motorcycles on March 11-12. This year’s win follows victories in 2009, 2017, 2018, and 2019.


This was the 51st regularity trial for motorcycles that would have been eligible for the road race between Durban and Johannesburg, which was staged between 1913 and 1936. Riders are required to stick as closely as possible to average speeds set by the organisers and are penalised for early or late arrival at the control points, with the data being collected by the electronic loggers carried by each rider.


The 2022 edition of the DJ had attracted an entry of more than 100 riders. The 700 km course from the start in Hillcrest, outside Durban, on the Friday to the finish at the Benoni Northern Club the next day followed the general route of the original road race. The 2022 rally took its usual toll on the old machinery with only 58 of the 84 starters being classified as official finishers of the two-day event.


Walton, who says this year’s win was the toughest of his five, rode to victory on his trusty 1936 500cc AJS once again. He has only ridden one other motorcycle on the DJ and that was a 1929 500cc OHV Ariel loaned to him by Hew Hollard for this first DJ in 2005. Walton not only won overall, with 228 penalty points, but also had the lowest score on Day 1, from Durban to Newcastle, and the third lowest score on the second day, from the overnight stop to the finish in Benoni.


Walton, who retired from the synthetic diamond manufacturing industry in 2015, now concentrates on restoring classic motorcycles and running his business in Springs retailing replacement parts for British motorcycles.


Gavin Walton’s brother, Kevin, also kept the family flag flying high with a fine fourth overall on a 1931 500cc BSA. Kevin was also fourth on Day 1 and fifth on Day 2 as well as winning his class in his BSA’s age category.


Second overall was Mike Ward on a 1935 500cc Velocette, who had won the DJ in 2004 and is usually at the sharp end of an extremely competitive field. Martin Kaiser took third place on a 1935 500cc Sunbeam. Competition was tight with only 238 seconds separating Walton in first place from Neville Nicolau and Samantha Anderson who share ninth position.


The entry of South Africa’s two MotoGP riders, brothers Brad and Darryn Binder, attracted a great deal of public interest. This was the second successive year that they have competed in the DJ Rally, and they have completed the course on each occasion. This year Darryn finished 21st on a 1936 500cc Ariel, with Brad taking 45th spot on a 1935 500cc Sunbeam.


Their father, Trevor, a DJ Rally regular, had to retire during the first day due to a problem with the rear brake of his 1925 600cc Indian, Repairs were carried out in Newcastle, and he rode the second day with his sons, putting up an impressive performance, collecting only 357 penalty points on Day 2.


Unfortunately for the large crowd at the finish in Benoni the Moto GP duo made a fairly quick exit after reaching the final control as they did not want undue exposure to possible Covid-19 infection before flying out to their next race in Indonesia. They did manage to meet and greet some fans and signed memorabilia for them before leaving.


Wayne Harley, curator of the Franschhoek Motor Museum, was a very happy man at the finish in Benoni as he completed the demanding route riding the museum’s 1926 350cc AJS that was the winner of the 1936 Durban-Johannesburg handicap road race, ridden on that occasion by Cranley Jarman, of Nigel, This was the last year that these races were staged before the authorities deemed this type of racing dangerous for both the competitors and other road users as traffic between the two cities increased over the years. The last time this motorcycle took part in DJ Rally was in 2002 when restorer Hew Hollard rode it.


“The bike performed faultlessly, and it was a privilege to have had the opportunity to ride this piece of South African motorcycle history on yet another DJ Rally after a 20-year absence,” commented Wayne Harley.


“The 2022 DJ Rally proved a tough test of man and machine, as it has over the years,” commented Hylton Allison, the Clerk of the Course who headed up a committee with members from various clubs to organise this prestigious international event on behalf of the Vintage and Veteran Club of South Africa.
“One problem we have each year is the deteriorating condition of the roads, which are tough on these old bikes, while this year we also had to contend with a civic protest in Pietermaritzburg which required competitors to deviate from the planned route to avoid the blocked roads. Thankfully, there were no accidents.”


RESULTS
Overall: 1, Gavin Walton (1936 500cc AJS), 228 penalty points; 2, Mike Ward (1935 500cc Velocette), 258; 3, Martin Kaiser (1935 500cc Sunbeam), 271; 4, Kevin Walton (1931 500cc BSA), 277; 5, Ralph Pitchford (1934 500cc Norton), 324; 6, Ryan Duncan (1934 500cc Norton), 357; 7, Ryan van Heerden (1936 350cc Velocette), 436; 8, Allan Cunninghame (1936 500cc Velocette), 439; 9, Neville Nicolau (1935 500cc Norton) tied with Samantha Anderson (1929 350cc AJS), 466.
Day 1: 1, Gavin Walton, 132; 2, Martin Kaiser, 134; 3, Mike Ward, 151; 4, Kevin Walton, 170; 5, Ryan Duncan, 197.


Day 2: 1, Ryan van Heerden, 87; 2, Ralph Pitchford, 93; 3, Gavin Walton, 96; 4, Rikki Maizey (1935 500cc Velocette), 99; 5, Kevin Walton tied with Neville Nicolau 500(107).


Other awards: Best performance by a pre-1926 motorcycle: Bill Lance (1925 600cc Indian). Best performance by pre-1930 motorcycles: Up to 350cc: Samantha Anderson (350cc AJS); 350-500cc: Tony Lyons-Lewis (1928 500cc Norton); Over 501cc: Howard Marks (Ariel); Sidecar combination: Brian Lange (1928 1000cc AJS). Best performance by pre-1936 motorcycles: Up to 350cc: Ryan van Heerden (1936 350cc Velocette); 350-500cc: Kevin Walton (1931 500cc BSA); Over 501cc: Gawie Nienaber (1935 750cc BMW); Sidecar combination: Adrian Hollis (1936 600cc Sunbeam). Best performance by a lady rider: Samantha Anderson. Best performance by a first-time rider: Achim Bergmann (200 cc DKW). Best Ariel: Grant Vacy-Lyall (1931 500cc). Best Norton: Ralph Pitchford (1934 500cc); Best Velocette: Mike Ward (1935 500cc); Best Triumph: Kevin Kohler (1934 350cc; Best BMW: Gawie Nienaber (1935 750cc); Best Sunbeam: Martin Kaiser (1935 500cc). Oldest motorcycle to complete the course: Hans Coertse (1924 1000cc Harley Davidson). Oldest rider to complete the course. Rod Thomas (82 years old riding a 1928 350cc OK Supreme. Youngest rider to compete the course: Darryn Binder (24 years old riding a 1936 500cc Ariel). Club team: Vintage Motorcycle Club (Mike Ward, Ralph Pitchford, Ryan Duncan). Most DJs completed: Tony Lyons-Lewis (38 DJs and this year he rode a 1928 500cc Norton CS1).

Published by: Roger Houghton

1936 DJ RACE WINNING MOTORCYCLE ENTERS 2022 DJ RALLY

Wayne Harley, the curator of the Franschhoek Motor Museum,  astride the 1926 AJS 350 he will ride in the 2022 DJ Rally between Durban and Johannesburg on March 11-12. This is the machine that was ridden to victory in the 1936 DJ road race by Cranley Jarman, of Nigel

The 1926 350cc AJS that was ridden to victory in the last Durban to Johannesburg (DJ) road race on public roads in 1936 will return to the commemorative DJ regularity rally this year after a 20 year absence. The rider in 1936 was Cranley Jarman, of lived on a farm near Nigel and had bought the AJS originally for £4.10 as a commuter

This famous motorcycle, which is now part of the Franschhoek Motor Museum collection, will be ridden by Wayne Harley, the museum’s curator in this year’s 700km event which starts in Hillcrest, near Durban, on the morning of March 11 and finishes in Benoni the following afternoon. This will be the third time that Harley has ridden the DJ and the first time that he will ride a “flat-tanker.”

Jarman had worked at a garage in Delmas where the proprietor was a keen motorcycle racer which fired the youngster’s interest in becoming a racer himself. He took part in his first race – the Durban to Johannesburg classic – in 1932 on a 500cc AJS. He finished 20th despite “tyre trouble”. He entered this event again the next year and had engine trouble that forced him to retire.

He had earlier been very satisfied with a 1926 350cc side valve AJS which he sold in a weak moment. He was able to buy a similar machine which required a lot of work to get it running. He rebuilt it and saw it as a potential race bike, even though its main use was as a commuter with more than 10 000 miles covered in the previous 18 months.

A friend rode it in the 1935 DJ race, and it performed well so Jarman decided to enter the 10-year-old machine in the 1936 race, which turned out to be the last of these events to be held on public roads due to growing traffic volumes.

This famous road race was a handicap event which saw Jarman start from Durban 1 hr. 20 min. before the scratch rider. He had a relatively trouble-free ride, except for a tumble between Ladysmith and Newcastle and was first at the finish at City Deep, Johannesburg.

He kept the AJS – compete with race number panel on the side – in a corner of one of the rooms in his house on the farm near Nigel for many years. It later ended up in the Heidelberg Museum and subsequently became part of the display at the Franschhoek Museum in the Cape.

Jarman also built a replica of his race-winning AJS for his then-apprentice, Fred de Beer. Coincidentally, Hylton Allison, the Clerk of the Course for the 2022 DJ Rally bought this machine from De Beer. It had last been on eh road in 1956 and required a full restoration which Allison undertook, subsequently selling it to another enthusiast about 20 years ago.

Jarman retained his interest in motorcycle racing by working in the 1950’s as a mechanic for his friend, Borro “Beppe” Castellani, who was virtually unbeatable in local races on a Manx Norton.

Wayne Harley says the museum has kept the AJS running on a regular basis, but for the upcoming DJ Rally he has done a lot of maintenance to the wheel hubs and brakes while learning to operate a machine with a total loss lubrication system using an adjustable drip-feed Pilgrim pump.

“Firstly, I wish to pay tribute to Hew Hollard for his commitment and enthusiasm for the restoration project he undertook involving this very special motorcycle. The restoration was carried out for the Heidelberg Museum and Hew rode the bike in two DJ Runs after completing his work and was a finisher on each occasion.

“The ownership of the AJS was later transferred to the Franschhoek Motor Museum where it is in my care. My aim in the 2022 DJ Rally is build further on the history of this famous, 96-year-old AJS by getting it to the finish in Benoni, so I won’t be pushing too hard,” commented Harley.

Published by:  Roger Houghton

MORE THAN 100 ENTRIES FOR 2022 DJ RALLY FOR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES

Tony Lyons-Lewis, well known in the classic car and motorcycle world, is aiming for another top 10 finish in the 2022 DJ Rally, which will be his 38th. He will again ride his 1928 Norton CS1 (standing for Cam Shaft 1, Norton’s first OHC engine, with the shaft and bevel drive to the overhead camshaft prominent in this photograph).

This year’s annual Durban-Johannesburg regularity rally for motorcycles made before 1936 has attracted an entry of more than 100 riders. The event will start at 06:00 on Friday, 11 March from the Hillcrest Corner Shopping Mall, outside Durban, and finish at the Benoni Northern Sports Club, Northmead, Benoni the following afternoon after an overnight stop in Newcastle.


The route of 700km from Durban to the Witwatersrand is similar to that followed when this event was a road race on public roads between 1913 and 1936. The authorities refused to give permission for the event in 1937 due to growing traffic volumes on these roads and following the death of 25-year-old Jock Leishman during the 1936 race. This is why the cut-off date for competing motorcycles is 1936.


The big drawcards for DJ Rally spectators this year – as it was in 2020 – will be the participation of the Binder brothers, Brad and Darryn, who are both riding in the world championship MotoGP this year. They will ride with their father, Trevor, a keen classic motorcyclist and regular on the DJ Rally. He will ride his favourite 1925 600cc Indian, while Brad will be mounted on a 1935 500cc Sunbeam and Darryn on a 1936 500cc Ariel. The three of them took part in the 2020 DJ Rally, just before the COVID-19 lockdown and all three finished the route which went from Johannesburg to Durban on that occasion.


This year the Binder brothers are fitting in the DJ Rally between the opening round of the MotoGP championship in Qatar on March 6 and the next round in Indonesia two weeks later.


There are only two entries from outside South Africa in this year’s big field, being Anthony Weber, from Zambia, who will ride a 1930 250cc Sunbeam, and Les Youngman, from the United Kingdom who will ride a 1934 250cc New Imperial. Youngman, who has brothers living in Cape Town who will supply him with the New Imperial, will be riding his third DJ Rally


There are only three women on the entry list this year, being Stephanie Meyer, who will ride a 1932 250cc Royal Enfield, Bev Jacobs, a regular entrant, on a 1935 250cc Triumph, and Annel Hertog, who has entered a 1934 500cc Norton.


Fifteen riders will be competing in the famous international event for the first time, which is good news for the sustainability of an event of this nature.


Neville Smith, who is 87, will once again be the oldest rider in the field. His competition number is 35 (he was born in 1935) and his motorcycle, a 250cc Rudge, is also a 1935 model making it the same age as its rider!


Another special number allocation is 39, which will be on the 1933 500cc AJS of Trevor Jones to signify the fact this this year’s DJ Rally will be his 39th.


Tony Lyons-Lewis is another rider with considerable experience on the DJ and the 2022 event will be his 38th. He started riding the DJ on an uncompetitive 350cc OK Supreme, but then switched to Nortons, first a Model 18 and latterly a 500cc overhead CS1 (Cam Shaft 1).. He says winning the event continues to elude him, but he has finished in the top 10 many times, but has never finished either first or sixth, but in all the other positions. Tony’s brother, Jon, is not riding the DJ this year but will be his second on the event.


Three of the riders will be on sidecar combinations, with one of them – Nicholas Chapman on a 1936 550cc Triumph – electing to run without a passenger, while Brian Lange (1928 1000cc AJS) and Adrian Hollis (1936 600cc Sunbeam) will have passengers in their sidecars.


Several previous winners will be in the field this year, headed up by Gavin Walton, who has won four events (2009, 2017, 2018, 2019), Martin Davis with three wins (2006, 2007, 2011), Mike Ward (2004) and Ralph Pitchford (2016) each with one victory. Mark Broady, who won in 2020, has emigrated from South Africa.


Gavin Walton, who is one of the favourites to win again, made a good start to his preparations for the 2022 DJ Rally by winning the Pre-DJ Rally on February 20, with an error of only 89 penalty points. Stewart MacGregor was second with 131 penalty points and he was followed by Ralph Pitchford (137), Mike Ward (205) and Niel Stander (221).


“We, as the organising team, are delighted with the good response we have had from competitors, making this one of the biggest fields in recent years and this enthusiastic support is a fitting tribute to the 50-year history of the DJ Rally which commemorates the annual road races between Durban and Johannesburg between 1913 and 1936,” commented Hylton Allison, who is Clerk of the Course for the first time this year, although a seasoned DJ rider. (The DJ Rally is organised by a team from several car and motorcycle clubs on behalf of the Vintage and Veteran Club of South Africa).

For more information on the event, including the entry list, go to http://www.djrally.co.za

Published by: Roger Houghton

NEW CLERK OF THE COURSE FOR DURBAN-JOHANNESBURG RALLY FOR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES


Hylton Allison, a long-time motorcycle enthusiast, has been appointed clerk of the course for the annual DJ Run, a regularity trial for motorcycles made before the end of 1936 that runs between Durban and Johannesburg. The 2022 event will take place on 11 and 12 March, starting at Hillcrest, outside Durban, and finishing at the Benoni Northern Sports Club after an overnight stop in Newcastle.


Allison heads a committee made up of members of various motorcycle clubs which organises this event on behalf of the Vintage and Veteran Club of South Africa. He is a seasoned DJ competitor, having competed in 20 of these rallies, beginning in 1997. He also has extensive rally organising experience including acting as Assistant Clerk of Course for the DJ Run in 2010 and 2011.


Hylton Allison’s brother, Gavin, who is a seasoned Clerk of the Course of the Fairest Cape Rally, will be an assistant on the 2022 DJ Run, along with Durbanite Cobus Grobbelaar, who will also be a scorer. Other members of the 2022 organising committee are Gwyneth Cronje and Elaine Cusdin (secretaries and administrators), Bert Lopes (treasurer), Liz Addison (trophy officer), Peter Aneck-Hahn (SAVVA Steward) and Eric McQuillan (Club Steward).


This annual regularity trial involves competitors riding as close as possible to set average speeds for their class, with marshals no longer employed to record a competitor’s progress manually, with electronic data loggers having taken the place of human intervention.


“Entries have opened already and will close on 31 January 2022,” said Allison. “There is already great interest, particularly as this year’s event had to be cancelled. We are aiming to get a field of about 100 riders. They will ride much of the traditional route used when the DJ was a road race between the two cities between 1923 and 1936. This will include riding from Newcastle to Volksrust, Standerton, Balfour, and Heidelberg before finishing in Benoni on the second day. Total distance will be about 700 kilometres.”


Hylton Allison’s love of vehicles goes back many years, having trained originally as a diesel technician. Allison retired from the position of Technical General Manager at the Imperial Group, where he was responsible for a fleet of more than 3 000 vehicles. His involvement with classic motorcycles is also a long-running affair and his collection of four motorcycles includes three that are eligible for the DJ, meaning they were made before the end of 1936.


He takes pride in doing the restoration and maintenance of his machines himself. An AJS is his usual choice for riding in the DJ, but he has also ridden a couple for Triumphs in this two-day event.


For more information and to find an entry form go to the DJ Run website, http://www.djrally.co.za. Hylton Allison can be contacted on 078-234-7144 or coc@djrally.co.za

Hylton Allison

DYED-IN-THE-WOOL MOTORCYCLIST MARK BROADY SCORES FIRST WIN IN DJ CLASSIC RALLY

Binder family at the start

By Roger Houghton

Mark Broady (43), a mechanical engineer living in Randburg, surprised many experienced motorcycle rallyists when he won the 50th commemorative Durban-Johannesburg (DJ) regularity trial for classic motorcycles on March 14. He accumulated an error of only 146 seconds at the time check points on the 596 km route (241 km on Day 1 and 355 km on day 2).

Mark, who had the second best score on Day 1 (behind three-time winner Gavin Walton) and best score on Day 2, is a lifelong motorcyclists, both as a commuter and competitor in all forms of two-wheel motor sport.

This was only Mark’s third DJ Run, having finished 40th in 2018 and 6th last year. The 1935 Velocette MAC he rode is the same motorcycle on which his father, Barry, had been running a close second in the inaugural commemorative DJ Rally in 1970 when a timing gear stripped and he had to retire about 20 km from the finish at City Deep in Johannesburg.

Father Barry Broady was also well known for winning the inaugural Roof of Africa in 1969 and following up with another win in 1970, both times riding a Honda. His son, Mark, is now restoring the Honda he rode in 1970.

This annual DJ Run celebrates the 50th anniversary of the staging of the first of these rallies that commemorated the original, annual Durban-Johannesburg road race for motorcycles which took place between the two cities from 1913 until 1936 when the authorities banned this type of motor sport event due to safety concerns.

The 2020 DJ Run which started from the Heidelberg Museum on Friday, March 13 and finished at the Shongweni Equestrian Centre the following day, attracted an entry of 106 riders, with nine non-starters and 73 finishers. The finishing rate was still impressive considering the “youngest” competing motorcycle was 84 years old and the oldest was the centenarian ABC Sopwith of Peter Gillespie.

Gillespie is a real fan of this little-known British motorcycle brand, which only produced motorcycles from 1914 – 1923. Gillespie’s 1920 machine, which he restored himself, using many specially made parts, finished a creditable 52nd. However, his team-mate, 80-year-old Paul Button, of Britain, who is also an ABC owner and worldwide registrar of the marque, was forced to retire with a broken tappet adjuster. Button still managed to cover more than 400 km on his loaned ABC and thoroughly enjoyed the DJ Run experience.

Second overall this year was Ralph Pitchford on a 1936 BSA Blue Star with an error of 173 seconds. Pitchford, an experienced off-road racer and Dakar competitor, is a preparer of immaculate motorcycles and won the DJ in 2016.

Third place was filled by Keegan Ward (32), who runs a tyre business in Randburg and is another rider with fairly limited experience in regularity rallying on a motorcycle. His error was 188 seconds.

A keen motorcyclist his whole life and son of Mike Ward, a regular DJ Run participant and winner of the 2004 event, Keegan has competed in only four DJ rallies, with the last time being 2018 when he finished 15th. He did much of the work restoring his 1936 Norton himself. He says his rally navigating skills have benefitted not only from advice from his father, Mike, but also from two other experienced rallyists, Stuart Cunninghame, and Martin Davis.

This year’s event was certainly not easy for the big field, although the weather played along on Day 1 and most of Day 2. The exception was a heavy squall of rain and hail which passed over the route on Saturday afternoon and affected the performance of several competitors, including drowning the electrics of some of the motorcycles. The secondary roads that make up most of the route were also rutted and potholed, while many speed humps also put a heavy strain on riders and their machines. On the second day they were in the saddle for almost 11 hours!

The Binder family trio of father, Trevor, and his famous road racing sons, Brad and Darryn, all qualified as finishers. Darryn (23) fared best, placing 43rd on a 1928 BMW R52, and collecting the award for the youngest rider to finish the event. He had previously ridden the DJ on a 98cc Francis Barnett when he was 16 and not permitted to ride a larger capacity motorcycle. He was forced to retire after a number of punctures on that occasion.

His brother, former Moto3 world champion and now a KTM rider in MotoGP, Brad, finished 54th on a 1935 Sunbeam. He had problems with a broken rear mudguard bracket which required lots of cable ties to try and secure it. He also had a bolt come loose in the clutch assembly. However, the big thing is that he finished, as did his father, Trevor, who came 44th on his 1925 Indian Scout.

Six of the seven riders from outside South Africa also qualified as finishers: the Youngman trio from the United Kingdom, Dorian Radue from Australia, Paul Button from the UK, and Anthony Weber from Zambia, while Andy Kaindl, of Germany, was forced to withdraw at the end of Day 1.

Samantha Anderson, who rode a 1918 Harley Davidson, which was the oldest motorcycle entered in the event, had to retire near the finish with a lack of spark for the 1 000cc V-twin engine.

The results on the DJ Run are calculated on arrival times at various checkpoints on the route as the riders try to stick as closely as possible to the set speeds, with them being able to choose to run in one of three speed groups: 50, 60 or 70 km/h. The arrival times were at check points were logged electronically by an instrument carried by the rider and downloaded at the end of each day. The rider with the lowest time penalty was the winner.

The annual, international DJ Run is run under the auspices of the Vintage and Veteran Club of South Africa (VVC), and organised by a committee with members from several local classic motorcycle clubs under the leadership of Clerk of the Course Larina MacGregor, who was doing this arduous task for the third consecutive year.

RESULTS

Overall results: 1, Mark Broady (1935 Velocette MAC), 146 penalty points; 2, Ralph Pitchford (1933 BSA Blue Star), 173; 3, Keegan Ward (1936 Norton Model 18), 188; 4, Gavin Walton (1936 AJS 9), 206; 5, Kevin Walton (1931 BSA Sloper), 219; 6, Martin Davis (1930 Sunbeam 9), 228; 7, Allan Cunningham (1936 Velocette MSS), 237; 8, JC van Rooyen (1936 Ariel NH 350), 255; 9, Adrian and Gerald Hollis (1935 Sunbeam Lion sidecar combination), 257); 10, Mike Ward (1936 Velocette MSS), 259.

Awards: Best performance by a woman rider – Bev Jacobs (1935 Triumph 21); Best performance by a first time rider: Kevin Kohler (1934 Triumph 350); Lowest score on Day 1 – Gavin Walton (1936 AJS 9); Lowest score on Day 2 – Mark Broady (1935 Velocette MAC); Oldest motorcycle to complete the course – 1920 ABC Sopwith ridden by Peter Gillespie; Oldest rider to complete the course – Neville Smith (1936 Ariel Red Hunter) who is 84; Youngest ride to complete the course – Darry Binder (1928 BMW R52) who is 23; Nominated team –  Team Prado (Martin Davis, Keegan Ward and Mike Ward); Club team – Vintage Motorcycle Club (Mark Broady, Ralph Pitchford and Keegan Ward); Most DJ Runs completed – Kevin Robertson (28 out of 30)