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Sun City as a Dirt Bike Playground

Sun City have released their latest video campaign featuring two lucky dirt bike riders given full rein of the resort grounds. Having the time of their lives transforming the Valley of Waves’ beach, super-tubes and Temple of Courage, the Palace Tower viewing deck, and the Lost City golf course into their riding playground. A once in a lifetime experience for sure, and every dirt bike rider’s dream.

We caught up with said riders, KTM’s Louwrens Mahoney and Charan Moore to get their take on the project and the experience…

Give us some insight into how this project came about?
Louwrens: I got a call from Sun City’s Brett Hoppe during lockdown, telling me that they were working on a marketing campaign and they wanted to make use of bikes to showcase the resort, and to see if KTM be interested.
Charan: It all started with a phone call from Louwrens asking if I had any plans for that upcoming weekend. I told him things are pretty quiet currently so I was free for anything. He then asked if I was keen for a weekend at Sun City and I was like “hell yeah!”

What were your first thoughts when you found out about the project and that you’d be allowed free rein of the Sun City grounds?
Louwrens: We chatted for long, throwing ideas around about what we could do, after the call I then thought it sounded too good to be true. I thought we would only be allowed to ride in certain areas, boy was I wrong.
Charan: Once I got more information on what the plans were I honestly couldn’t believe it. First thoughts were definitely railing around the golf courses, every motorbike riders dream. But, also then started to think about all the possibilities, Valley of the Waves, carving through an empty resort, finding all the hidden gems of the resort and also the single trails connecting everything. The excitement was real.

How long did filming take, and how much time did you have ride the various locations?
Louwrens: I first thought we would need a week to cover all the sections and ideas we had. The team was so professional and sufficient, that we shot for three days solid and we were done. If I had it my way though, I would have stayed for a week [laughs].
Charan: We had three full days of filming. Splitting the shoots into a morning and afternoon shoot, spending about 1 – 3 hours at each location. But, it was hard to stay focused and not get distracted by all the possible sections to ride.

Which part of Sun City was the most fun to ride, and which was the most challenging?
Louwrens: The most fun part of Sun City was… I can’t really point one thing out, Everything we did was just so cool and mind blowing, from riding down all the slides and the super-tubes, to blasting berms on the beach, to jumping the golf course, to riding the bikes in the Palace and up to the Palace tower, to racing the streets of Sun City. Everything was just an experience of a lifetime.
Charan: Riding around the Palace was pretty epic. The architecture and magnitude of everything made it feel somewhat surreal riding there. Also we found a few really cool jumps on the Lost City golf course where we spent more time than we should of. The most challenging part was the Valley of the Waves and riding the slides, it was really hectic and intimidating to drop down them.

Every dirt bike rider’s dream is to ride a Golf Course. Please tell us it’s as good as we all imagine?
Louwrens: The first thing I thought to myself is how cool it will be to ride on the golf course, and let me tell you, when we got to the golf course to start planning, the crew had a hard time stopping us. We were jumping everything that we can find and trying to see what big doubles we can find. Finding rhythm sections and just going mental like kids on a sugar high. Eventually one of the camera crew guys came and stopped us so that we could start shooting.
Charan: Riding a Golf course isn’t as good as you thought, it’s better than you can even imagine! Especially those two courses at Sun City. It’s like riding a track that has been perfectly manicured by hand. The possibilities are endless and you are only restricted by your imagination.

What part of this project was your favourite?
Louwrens: Apart from being so blessed to have this amazing opportunity and being part of this amazing KTM brand, and riding places that no one ever will be able ride, I would say my favourite part of this project was on the last day of shooting – at the end of the day, sitting on this hill on the golf course chatting and watching the sun go down, just appreciating the moment and the time spent together shooting this lifetime experience.
Charan: Riding in the Palace and getting the bikes up to the viewing deck at the Palace was definitely the high point for me of this project. I don’t think it will ever happen again, a definite once in a lifetime opportunity. Also dropping into the Temple of Courage in the Valley of the Waves was another high point for the same reason.

If you could do it all over again, what would you do that you didn’t have the chance to do?
Louwrens: I must say we did it all, we really made the best of the opportunity. But, if I can go back, I would like to take a KTM 450 SX-F and go jump some bigger gaps on the golf course!
Charan: Honestly I think we ticked all the boxes. Only thing I would of changed is that I would have liked the Valley of the Waves to have been operational for us to have the park all to ourselves for the day, unfortunately it was undergoing repairs and had no water in it.

What were the machines of choice, and how did they cope with the tasks at hand?
Louwrens: The idea of the project was to cover all the adventures that Sun City has to offer, so we did an off-road bike video with the off-road bikes and an adventure video with the adventure bikes. The bikes that we took to Sun City were the KTM 300 EXC TPI, KTM 250 EXC TPI, KTM 1290 ADVENTURE R, KTM 790 ADVENTURE R and the KTM 390 ADVENTURE. It was a perfect selection of bikes and made it possible for us to go from riding super-tubes and slides to adventure riding in the nature reserve park in Sun City.
Charan: We had the best of both worlds for this shoot. We had the enduro element with the 2020 KTM 300 EXC TPI and 2020 KTM 250 EXC TPI which was incredible. Everywhere we wanted to go the bikes were more than willing to comply. Seriously race ready machines! Then for the second element of the shoot was the adventure bike range. We had a 1290, 790 and the all-new 390 Adventure bikes to explore the resort with. With the extra bike we were able to have Brett Hoppe, the brains behind the entire project, join in on the adventure. I don’t have too much experience on the adventure bikes and was really impressed with the capabilities of all three.

What are your thoughts of the final video?
Louwrens: A big well done to the Sun City team for putting it all together, from Brett Hoppe coming up with this idea, to the shooting and editing and then the final video World class, well done.
Charan: The final videos are incredible. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to have free rein over the resort and to now have that experience. A once in a lifetime time opportunity that I would never have been exposed to if it wasn’t for KTM.

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