OFM News reports how a pair of homeless men in Bloemfontein, Marius and Martin, consider their beloved superbike a gift from above after Marius was hit by a motorist and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) later paid out.
“A car struck him. He waited a long time,” says Martin in Afrikaans. “I’m not going to swear … I’m just going to swallow my words and say he waited a long time. Then one day we sat hand in hand and said: ‘Lord, do You know what? You know how this man is struggling. You know I’m living on the street.’ Then God answered: ‘Martin, I know how long you’ve lived on the street. I’m going to help him.’ The next morning his money was paid in.”
Marius says when a bakkie hit him he suffered several injuries. He spent eight months in hospital and six in a wheelchair.
After the first payment arrived from the RAF, he walked into a motorcycle dealer and immediately saw his dream motorcycle.
“First thing when I walked in, I saw this baby. I said: ‘It’s mine.'”
The 2005 R6 Valentino Rossi replica Yamaha is considered a collectors’ item.
Marius insists he won’t sell the bike despite receiving numerous offers.
“It’s in my blood, it’s in my heartbeat. It’s my everything. I am a biker in my heart and this was a dream for years.”
After the payout, Marius also bought a Suzuki motorbike, a bakkie and tools.
“I’m a boilermaker, but I’m not finding work right now.”
Bloemfonteiners are used to these two “brothers” with the blue eyes in Second Avenue. Apart from the odd person who wonders how “a hobo can buy such a bike”, the city’s people are good to them. A friendly woman in the city whose five sons run a big business brings a plate of cooked food to them every week. Then there’s the lawyer who gives them a parcel of meat and R400 once a month with the words: “Enjoy your weekend.”
They sleep on a red stoep.
They planned to visit Marius’ brother in Cape Town, since he’d last seen him in 2011, but they were robbed of a helmet and their jackets.
They prefer to, for now, be known as Bloem’s Biker Boys, and not Bloem’s Homeless Boys.
“If I climb on a bike, I’m free of this world,” says Martin.
After OFM News reported over the weekend on the theft of their geqr, Barend Andries, a local mechanic read the story and was so inspired that he offered to help care for the bike by servicing it and fixing its scratched side panel.
He even donated two helmets to them.
Yamaha released a limited edition of the R6 Valentino Rossi replica in 2005. This collector’s item is thought to be one of only 50 in South Africa. Usually, according to Bennetts, linking Rossi’s name to anything guarantees success.
Flushed with pride, having tempted Honda’s golden boy away and then winning their first MotoGP title in their debut year together, Yamaha decided to celebrate this partnership by launching the limited-edition model.