2013 Safari

September 24. 10.23am Leg 3, the Ledge and the Legend




Image Ken Redwood

If you haven’t already seen here the unassuming legend Rod Colling drifted a little wide and hit a sharp ledge yesterday.

The result is a broken collar bone and a disappointingly early end to this years safari for Team Rooney Racing. It could have been worse, another rider hitting the same ledge left in a helicopter.

The Safari motorcycle fleet is severely dwindled and there appears to be no pre85 bikes left in the running (although the Rooney Machines were actually not accepted in that category).

But hey, Never mind, that is racing for you. Paul and Rod have been chatting about improvements to the 850 race machine that Rod believes is already a “great package ready to go”

And I understand that there is already talk of next year.

Well done Paul, Rod, Chris, Ken and Neil.

See you next year!

September 23. 9.39am LEG 2 RESULTS

I got sidetracked with family stuff yesterday so missed the update. Please accept this late submission. I haven’t been able to talk to Paul either so no detail to offer beyond that which can be found here in the results.

Yesterdays Leg 2, consisted of 450+km of Special Stages.  Rod has pushed the big 850 through to 25th place overall in the Moto’s. The race is taking out competitors at a steady pace so the field has dwindled markedly.

Anyway..check out this video interview with Rod at the end of leg 2 for some graphic footage of the Rooney Race team in action. Rod, how cool and collected can I guy be?!:

The leg summary videos too are pretty cool and do a good job of testifying to the difficulty of the race….for example…

September 21. 7.00pm. LEG 1 RESULTS

7 out of 43 Motorcycle division starters failed to finish leg 1 of the Safari, sure testimonial of the extreme conditions machine and competitors face.

Regretfully, Chris on the 650 bike was one of them. I have just spoken to Paul and it sounds as though the prolonged deep sand punished the 65o too badly and it is out of the running. You can see the results here.  A mammoth call out goes to Chris.  Sorry it ended early but well done! Everything I heard is that you are a great guy that was doing awesome.

Rod had a better day aboard the 850, At the end of 23.26km Special Section 1 he was 10 minutes behind the lead time and coming in at 34th overall. After the 104.8km Special Section 2 he came in 29th and brought his overall down to 31st position.  In the legs final 142.82km Section Rod came home 31st to retain his overall position. This last leg alone claimed 14 cars and 4 bikes, so…well done Rod !

Here is Rod Rocketing along in the special after having ditched the light and fairing obviously to save weight and gain more speed. Image courtesy of Ross Briggs.


NEWSFLASH, a further 17 minutes is expected to come off Rods time so that overall standing is set to improve.

But then…it’s only just begun really…tomorrows first Special Section is a big one at 230km. Go Rod you bloody legend!

September 20. 5.00pm PROLOGUE RESULTS

Look here. Off to a nice start. But just a taste of things to come.

image below courtesy Ross Briggs


September 18. 2.45pm

So I just spoke to Paul.

Western Australian motorcycle riding instructor Chris Hsi (pronounced ‘cee’) has taken to the saddle of number 38, the Rooney Racing r65 like a duck to water. The team has been out and about for the past two days getting the machines tuned in and race ready. Rod Colling aboard the mighty 850 (#25) is his usual composed self.


As I write the team are at the bustling metropolis of Wanaroo just north of Perth. Fresh from having photos taken they are just now heading over to scrutineering. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and reflection while the public is invited to view machinery and chat with competitors. Friday sees the bikes and team loaded up and transported two hours north to Jurien Bay for the Ceremonial Start and prologue. The next day the fun really begins with the race setting off from Norseman.

Phone reception is going to be hit and miss but I’ll tell you what I know when I know it. Otherwise keep an eye on the thread over here on adventure rider.

September 11. 4pm.

Seems the anticipation was too much for Neil Grime who while out practicing for the Safari practiced the crashing with a little too much enthusiasm. Neils knee is nailed.

So Rod is not out there talking to himself another rider will be doing some speed dating with the race bike in WA. Let’s hope they hit it off.

Ross Briggs (rbimages) has kicked off a thread on the race over here on the Adventure Rider forum. There you can expect his usual contribution of brilliant photography. It’s probably also the best place to keep up with the ongoing discussion, that and the Australasian Safari page itself for up to date results. I’ll try and keep up with any insights I get through Paul.

So as it stands we have both bikes in category 3.3 of the MOTO division. Rod Colling is riding the 850 as number 25 and TBA will be piloting the 650, number 38. Go TBA! The full entry list can be found here.

Sheesh, the drama and the team isn’t even in WA yet!

photo racespecialrear racespecialfront

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