Riaz Lottering runs his own business called Ramin Holdings, which specialises in aluminum ceilings, glass, partitions, and office renovations. He started riding in the early 1980s. His first bike was a Honda MT50. This was a 50cc off-road style motorcycle. He used this to commute to school. He eventually moved on to a Honda GL500. This was in the mid-1980s. His family then moved to Johannesburg, where he did not have a bike. He would occasionally ride friends’ bikes, though. He stopped riding more when he got married and started a family. At this point, he had to have a car. The logistical and financial implications of family life did not permit him to have a bike. However, he did buy a quad in 2003, and entered his first Toyota 1000 Desert race in 2004. He raced for a few years, self sponsored. After this he rode the quad socially. When his daughters were grown up, and his finances were less strained, he came back into the biking world via a Suzuki SV1000. He rode this for a few months before selling it. He then bought what his heart truly desired – A Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle 1250. This is a cruiser. He bought this in 2014. He later purchased BMW K1600. He became interested in the BMW because his friend Luis Santana had one. Riaz realised that this was a comfortable bike that he could enjoy riding with his now late wife, who he liked to include in his riding activities as much as he could. He says that sitting on the pillion seat of the BMW felt “like a couch” for his late wife. He also has a Honda CB1000. Riaz rides socially with his club Ullyses Botswana on Sundays whenever he can. He also commutes around town on the V-Rod during the week. Because a lot of people do not ride on Saturdays, he enjoys the space this gives him to do so. He rides “from coffee shop to coffee shop”, as he says, on such days. When he does long distance rides, such as rallies, he prefers to use the BMW as it is a “grand tourer” – built for comfort on long rides. “Super luxury” is how he describes the BMW. He does long distance rides with his club. His first biker rally was the Eland Rally in Swartruggens in South Africa, which he attended with a few friends in 2015. This was a small rally and more of an eye opener than anything else.
In July 2016 he rode to Sabie in Mpumalanga with the club. He describes this as having been “an awesome trip”. As it was winter, the mornings were cold. However, the roads were beautiful. He used the BMW for this trip. The roads were twisty and attracted a lot of bikers. He also attended the Buffalo Rally at Mossel Bay in South Africa early this year with his club. Originally, Riaz had not planned on attending the Buffalo Rally but then his two daughters encouraged him to do so and with hindsight he is grateful for this. The bike that he spends the most time on is the V-Rod. It has a 2 cylinder 1250 cc engine. Riding a Harley was a longtime dream for Riaz. It is something that he had discussed with his late wife for many years. He fell in love with the V-Rod when he first laid eyes on it. It has a big rear tyre. He also loves the sound that it makes with the added Vance and Hines exhaust system. It is a very powerful bike. Riaz says that a friend of his even commented on how quickly the bike accelerates. He admits that it is not very comfortable over long distances because of the seating position, but in town he finds it very enjoyable. Riaz emphasizes that he rides within the limits of his capabilities. He never feels pressure to keep up with the pace of faster riders. He also believes in continuously learning and improving his skills. He will be attending a track day with his club later this month. Riaz says his next bike will be a BMW K1300S, which is a sport tourer. He intends to buy it later this year. Riaz says that his dream bike is an Indian. I was surprised to hear that because not many people mention Indian motorcycles. Although Indian motorcycles are not well known locally, this is an expensive and exclusive brand of American motorcycles with a rich heritage. He says “it’s something very different”. He cannot specify a model but says “it would be something that I can use for touring” – and then emphasizes that it would be “the biggest tourer”.