Linhai quads tick the right boxes for GZ Adventures
Having taken delivery of its first Linhai quad bikes some three years ago, GZ Adventures has over the years grown its fleet exponentially, probably becoming the owner of the largest single-brand fleet of quads in South Africa.
Quad biking has become one of the most sought after adventure activities in South Africa. Given the growing demand for this activity across its adventure venues in South Africa, GZ Adventures does not leave anything to chance when selecting the right quads for the job. Safety, stability, comfort and after sales support are some of the non-negotiables that have influenced the decision to stick to the Linhai Rustler product, supplied locally by Smith Power Equipment.
Founded some seven years ago by Graham Hall as Ground Zero Adventures, the company later rebranded to become GZ Adventures. Exponential growth has been the order of the day since day one. “The business started as a one-man band, operating from a single branch in Hartbeespoort. Fast forward to seven years later, we now have 13 venues across South Africa,” explains Ansa Marshall, MD of the GZ Adventures Group.
The 13 sites include Clarens (Free State), Dikhololo (Brits, Northwest), Dirt Ryders (Lanseria, Gauteng), Hazyview (Mpumalanga), Hunters Rest (Rustenburg), La Montagne (Hartbeespoort, Northwest), Mankele (Sudwala, Mpumalanga), Sundown (Pilanesberg, North West), Whiteriver (Mpumalanga), and 26 Degrees (Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng).
Adventure activities at these sites abound and include quad biking, archery, abseiling, bush games, fear factor, hiking, go-karting, horseback riding, river rafting, paintball, bungee catapult and geckoing, amongst others.
One of the prominent activities across GZ Adventures’ venues is quad biking. Testimony to this is the growth of the company’s fleet over the years. “We have grown our fleet exponentially over the years, from four when we started to 140 Linhai Rustler quads to date,” says Marshall.
“We have established a mutually beneficial relationship with Smith Power Equipment in the three years we have dealt with them. We have to order new units from them almost every month to keep up with the demand for quad biking across our sites.”
Marshall says during busy days, GZ Adventures can handle as much as 500 quad rides a day across sites. “Given this high demand, we need a product that is stable and safe for our customers. Customers need to feel safe and secure when riding these quads. The Linhai product has obviously ticked all these boxes for us,” she says.
Additionally, comfort is another key parameter of importance. The Linhai quads have also proved to be easy to operate and adventure seekers – who have to go through some first-level training with guides before riding – can quickly and easily grasp the functions of the bike,” says Marshall.
GZ bought its first ever Linhai some three years ago and never looked back. The fleet has since been standardised with Linhai Rustler units only. “We love the Linhai product. We have been approached by several other suppliers offering cheaper models, but we have stuck to this brand over the past three years,” says Marshall.
Mark Chittenden, GM at Smith Power Equipment, says the Linhai range of quads is SA’s best-selling brand, and it is easy to understand why – these units have proved to be reliable, well priced and above all, they have good parts and service backup.
“The bikes are well suited for GZ Adventures’ business. These utility bikes provide the required strength and reliability for the tough terrain they are deployed in. They are full-size quad bikes with large wheels, easy to ride, require little maintenance and offer lower running costs,” explains Chittenden.
GZ Adventures runs a mix of Linhai 170cc and 300 units. The smaller quad bike is ideally suited for children between nine and 12 years. The 170cc and 300cc models are more suitable for riders 13 and up, explains Marshall, and the workhorses are assigned to conquer the tough terrain found at some of GZ’s venues.
Smith Power Equipment has been the sole importer and distributor of Linhai ATVs and UTVs in South Africa since 2002. Armed with a determined marketing strategy and a distinguished aftersales support regime, SPE has made Linhai a force to be reckoned in the UTV and ATV market in South Africa.
“The support from Smith Power has been amazing,” says Marshall. “They go beyond the call of duty in assisting us with all our needs. They always have parts available to meet the regular servicing needs of our busy quads. On our part we also understand the need to buy genuine parts from them. We are well aware that fitting inferior aftermarket parts will compromise the safety of our customers.”
Smith Power Equipment has also provided training to GZ staff on how to look after the quads and keep then in top condition. “We have them on call if there are any issues,” says Marshall.
“We have established a close business relationship with GZ Adventures over the past three years. We have been able to supply them based on their forecasts, while providing quads and service parts,” concludes Chittenden.