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Rimba Raid


25 - 29 September 2024



The world’s largest big capacity adventure motorcycle race outside a circuit race, GIVI Rimba Raid, held this year at Kuala Tahan, Pahang, saw the domination by Thai racers in three of the four categories of competition, including capturing the overall fastest time among the 223 competitors who started the race.

Operating under the #offroadtakbolehpurapura (“off-roading is not for posers”) slogan, a scenic albeit punishing 158km trail was carefully selected and prepared through the jungle of Central Pahang. The competitors had to navigate over every imaginable and unimaginable obstacle meant to challenge their physical and mental fortitude that includes (but not limited to) deep red clay mud, deep ruts, exposed boulders, slippery trails, an especially steep climb up a 752m hill, narrow trails framed by elephant grass, deep streams with large boulder beds, seven river crossings, and a river sandbank with extra soft and deep sand as the final challenge.

Some of these areas were named affectionately as Bukit Taubat (Repentance Hill), Jurassic Park, Green Hell, Moonwalk, Gunung Dulang (Tray Mountain), Slope of Hope, Mars Valley, and so forth.

Multiple recce trips on this trail on different machines showed an average of 3h:30m completion time and this was set as the bar.

The Class C – Enduro Rally category for single-cylinder enduro motorcycles between 250cc to 800cc was the first to be flagged off to open proceedings. Fuel mileage had been of great concern to the riders given the total distance and nature of the trail, thus the motorcycles had to be scrutineered to pass special rules and regulations on extra fuel carriage. Malaysian rider, Mohd Zulkarnain Tahir was first out of the jungle in 3h:4m:37.312s to capture the win on his KTM 300 EX/C, ahead of Thai rider Chaipuek Sangaroon on his KTM 350 EX/C-F who in turn recorded a time of 3h:14m:39.634s. The pattern of Thai riders on the podium was beginning to emerge. Closing out the Top 3 was Kelvin Chia from Singapore, who conquered the trial in 3h:19m:10.801s.

Over to Class C – DP Rally which consists of single-cylinder adventure motorcycles between 250cc to 800cc, this was the second category to be let loose. Thailand’s Traiphop Boonthang also posted a stupendous time of 2h:55m:20.980s on his Honda CRF250L. And to strengthen that pattern, his compatriot Manop Abdulkaree reached the end zone in 3h:11m:44.030s. Canadian Dustin Richardson completed the podium in 3h:20m:40.660s.

The third category out of the gate was Class B for multi-cylinder adventure motorcycles between 250cc to 999cc. And this was where the Thais produced a clean sweep in the Top 5, with Saphon Somroop stamping his authority with an unimaginable overall time of just 2h:51m:28.300s, Suradet Taweelap following him home 30 seconds behind with another mind-blowing final time of 2h:51m:58.77s, while Charod Khumchat passed the chequered flag with a time of 3h:9m:38.573s to round up the Top 3 positions. Their weapon of choice was the Yamaha T7 Ténéré.

The organizers had revised the start sequence to allow the lighter bikes to leave first, to reduce the risk of fallen large capacity motorcycles of blocking the trail. As such, competitors in the premier Class A for multi-cylinder adventure motorcycles above 1000cc was the last to head into the jungle. Theera Putthai from Thailand and riding a Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin was first to cross the line with a time of 3h:8m:43.710s. Following him home was his countryman Pisanu Chimma, also riding a Honda CRF1100L African Twin, with a time of 3h:21m:3.815s. Third and salving some pride for Malaysia was Alan Ng on his brand-new Honda CRF1100L African Twin with a time of 3h:53m:56.100s.

Overall, the time posted by Saphon in Class B was the quickest by a resounding margin. Additionally, the times recorded by Suradet (2nd place, Class B) and Traiphop (winner, Class C – DP Rally) were also mind-blowing, placing them squarely on the overall winners’ podium.

The most impressive feat of both Saphon and Suradet was overtaking more than 100 riders who had started ahead of them, hence were faster than even dedicated enduro motorcycles. Just as significant, there were 8 Thais among the Top 10 in Class A, another 8 among the Top 10 in Class B, and three among the Top 5 in Class C – DP Rally. That meant the Thais had achieved an almost complete whitewash of the results, with at least one rider on the podium in all four categories. Their success was the result of a comprehensive qualifying program called “Road to Rimba Raid” held in Thailand, therefore the 35 racers were the “Top Gun”.

Speaking to the local racers, they vowed to do harder next year to salvage national and personal glory. The social media threads are already abuzz with the prospect of Malaysia vs. Thailand vs. the world at the next GIVI Rimba Raid!

Only 99 of the 223 riders who started managed to be classified as completing the race before the last gate closed. Bukit Taubat proved to be the deciding factor as it as where some 60 motorcycles stuck there by 8pm, sending the recovery crew into a frenzied overtime.

The event was flagged off by Royal Patron Yang Amat Mulia Tengku Arif Bendahara Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah Ibni Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. His Highness also led a tree planting ceremony at Bukit Awan, planting 10 timber saplings.

Significant Milestones
  • This year’s event was the largest ever since the inception of Rimba Raid back in 2015. It saw the registration of 241 racers from 15 countries such as Canada, the United States of America, Colombia, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and of course, Malaysia.
  • This number of participants makes GIVI Rimba Raid Taman Negara 2022 as the largest international motorsports event in Malaysia only next to the Malaysian MotoGP, while being the largest large displacement adventure motorcycle off-road event in the world.
  • The final entry list according to classes were:
    1. Class A – 67
    2. Class B – 62
    3. Class C Enduro Rally – 38
    4. Class C DP Rally – 60
Although 241 had registered, 223 had made the start on the early morning of 24th September 2022.
  • The level of rider skills displayed showed a dramatic improvement over the last GIVI Rimba Raid in 2019.
  • First time participation of several new motorcycle models including the Aprilia Tuareg 660, Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, KTM 390 Adventure, Husqvarna 901 Norden, Fantic Caballero 500, Moto Morini X-Cape 650, WMoto SX300.
  • Total domination by the Yamaha T7 Ténéré in Class B, and the Honda CRF1100L African Twin in Class A.
  • There were several surprises, as usual in GIVI Rimba Raid. For example, the Harley-Davidson Pan America arrived 2 hours earlier than the first BMW R 1200 GS/R 1250 GS. In the end, only 2 GS were classified.
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