I twist the throttle in my hand, and the powerful motorbike growls beneath me. The response is instantaneous, and I lean into the twists and turns of Clarence Drive beyond Gordon’s Bay, as breathtaking scenery fills my helmet visor. This, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, and to do it on a motorbike is a dream sequence you don’t want to end.
An adventure like this is even better shared, when there’s someone along for the ride. Up ahead my brother has fallen head over heals for his on-loan Victory Hammer S – a 1 740 cc cruiser which feeds almost every sense: its looks turns heads on the Camps Bay strip, its throttle note would quiet a pride of marauding Serengeti lions, and it has an undeniable X-factor. When you see it, you want it.
My steed is no less eye-catching: a gleaming Indian Chief Classic, 1 820 cc of purring power, exquisitely tucked behind a mirage of chrome and ‘Springfield Blue’ finishes. We are two boys in heaven!
Clarence Drive, also known as the R44, is a route every Cape Town local and visitor must explore. Mostly hugging the coast – often precariously alongside the azure Atlantic – civilisation is quickly forgotten in a fusion of grand ocean and mountain vistas. And depending on the time of year, views are punctuated with southern right whales close inshore.
If you can’t borrow, test drive or rent a motorcycle for the ride, a car is by no means a disappointing way to navigate the route, which continues all the way to Hermanus and Gansbaai, where more adventures await. Just be sure to stop frequently to soak it all in. This is definitely a ride (or drive) you’ll be reliving at dinner parties when your holiday or weekend is long over.
Follow Mark Samuel on Twitter @MarkSamuel_ZA
Who Test bikes borrowed from Mad Mac’s Motorcycles in Somerset West
Where R44 starts beyond Gordon’s Bay, and hugs the coast
When Driving it in daylight will (naturally) offer the best views
Cost Buy, rent or borrow a motorcycle (assuming you’re licensed to ride) or hire a car
Contact Mad Mac’s Motorcycles +27 21 852 4851, www.madmacs.co.za
Photography Mark Samuel