Article from The Motor Cycle July 3rd 1924

DJ Run from The Motor Cycle July 3rd 1924

Averaging 43.9 m.p.h. for 396½ miles, A. Long (492 Sunbeam) won the Durban-Johannesburg race in the record time of 9h. 3m. 6s. He made fastest time over the course – a record for any vehicle – and was over two minutes faster than E. G. Murray (Harley-Davidson), the scratch, man, who finished 13th. Long-had one hour’s start.

The event was in two sections – Durban to Newcastle and Newcastle to Johannesburg. Long covered the 211 miles of the first section in 4h. 51m. 19s., beating the existing record by 32m. He finished the ride of. nearly 400 miles over very bad roads comparatively fresh, and had no trouble beyond a snapped petrol pipe, which was quickly repaired. He is a member of the Rand M.C.C.

Fifty-two competitors were sent off from Durban, the limit man starting before daylight, at 6 a.m., and the scratch man at. 10.30.

R. L. Evans (Sunbeam), who finished third in 11h. 20m. 3s., broke two fork springs during the race. Like Long, he is a member of the Rand M.C.C.

There were .few mishaps during the-race. W. R. Harris (344 Royal Enfield), the fourth man home, had a bad fall through taking a dip in the road at high speed and dented his crash helmet. D. Brink (348 Cotton) lashed up his burst tank outside Maritzburg with his puttees. P. Flook (Douglas) was reported to have retired at this point with a broken chain. P. Wrighton broke his frame before Ladysmith, where V. Ressell also retired, with broken handle-bars. L. Walsh is said to have broken his connecting rod in the Durban-Newcastle section.

The winner, Long, gains the Schlesinger Vase, also a silver replica of the trophy, a gold medal, and £100 cash prize. For fastest time he is awarded a replica of the Sir Charles Wakefield Cup, which trophy he already holds with a previous record time put up in 1922, which has not since been equalled.

Thirty-two riders finished, a crowd of 10,000 people watching them come in.

Following are the first sixteen to arrive home, with their times:

1, A. Long (492 Sunbeam) 9h. 3m. 6s.
2, E. G. Bagley (490 Norton). 10h. 12m. 32s.
3, R. L. Evans (492 Sunbeam) 11h. 20m. 3s.
4, W. R. Harris (344 Royal Enfield), 11h. 5m. 13s.
5, B. E. Scott (Chater-Lea)
6, C. W. Scott (Chater-Lea)
7, D. Brink (Cotton)
8, R. S. Long (Sunbeam)
9, P. van der Walt (Sunbeam)
10, D. A. Scott (Chater-Lea)
11, C. du Plooy
12, N. Taylor (Harley-Davidson)
13, E. G. Murray (Harley-Davidson)
14, W. A. F. Mills
15, E. H. Gibson (Harley-Davidson)
16, G. Taylor

WINNING TEAM: Sunbeam: A. Long, R. L. Evans, R. S. Long, and P. van der Walt.
SECOND TEAM: Chater-Lea: B. E. Scott, C. W. Scott, and D. A. Scott.


Inset: A. Long, who won on a 492 c.c. Sunbeam.
Left: E. G. Bagley (490 Norton) second.
Right: R. L. Evans (492 Sunbeam) third.

The report below is copied verbatim from a small publication by Ken Macleod entitled Through the Dust Barrier, Part Two, 1924-1927 – The history of S.A. Motorcycle Sport. (Part Two was the final issue in the series)

The handicaps for this year’s Deejay were adjusted in Durban which made for a boring start. E. Jacobie (175 cc Francis Barnett) led the field away at 6.00 a.m. on May 30. Several riders did fast times to Pietermaritzburg and Blyth led at Estcourt but retired with broken forks. Flook was also in trouble and Jacobie led at Ladysmith from Brink and Evans who took over the lead at Newcastle from Clarrie Scott and Chick Harris. Ressell had retired with broken handlebars.

Alf Long proved the sensation of the race. He set a record 3 hours 20 minutes to Ladysmith and another record of 4 hours 51 minutes 19 seconds to Newcastle in spite of being delayed with a broken petrol pipe just outside the town. His progress was evident at Curry’s Post when he took a donga which slowed everybody else down, flat out and remained in the saddle to everybody’s surprise.

He continued in this manner the following day, holding his bike at 70 m/h for long stretches to set record times. He broke the race record by 59 minutes and his own distance record by 44 minutes.


1. A. Long (500 cc Sunbeam) 9 hours 2 minutes, average speed 43,70 m/h;
2. E. G. Bagley (500 cc Norton);
3. R. L. Evans (350 cc Sunbeam).