Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Tank Slap on December 31, 2018, 12:20:31 pm

Title: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on December 31, 2018, 12:20:31 pm
I tried the touring thing a few years ago and it never really stuck as I had a 990 and always felt it was a bit big for what I wanted to do so continued with my enduro racing on my plastic bikes. 8 years later the bug bit again and I decided to try again but this time on my preferred weapon of choice a KTM 500. I purchased one of the last remaining 2018 models out the box, added a long range tank, soft luggage and a rally screen. I had been needing some time away so set aside 3 weeks to head off on a journey with no real destination. I planned the first 4 days more or less with the help of Xpat as he had been this way before. I wanted to head north west but took my laptop along so I had the flexibility to change my route at any time. I never booked any accommodation as I didn't want the pressure of having to make any destinations on time, so basically I rode until I wanted to stop and then stayed over. Sometimes my scheduled stop wasn't what I expected so carried on till I hit a town worth staying in. It was one of the most amazing trips of my life and I got to see places and things I probably would never have dared to see in a car, the beauty of traveling on a motorcycle is that you can go at great speeds comfortably over rough terrain and cover greater distances than you could ever in a car or 4x4. I will post my experiences and photos in the next coming days.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: JonW on December 31, 2018, 12:34:25 pm
Lovely looking bike  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: CUZZY on December 31, 2018, 01:16:42 pm
Sweet ride!! Who makes that sceen?
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Highsider on December 31, 2018, 01:51:53 pm
Looking forward to this RR.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: aka.Goliath on December 31, 2018, 03:20:21 pm
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: exkdx on December 31, 2018, 05:53:59 pm
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?
Ditto :lamer:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: boland on December 31, 2018, 06:59:37 pm
Dang thatís one sweet bike
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: evansv on January 01, 2019, 06:43:23 am
Very nice looking bike!
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Casting from Turd on January 01, 2019, 07:20:56 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 01, 2019, 08:25:02 am
Day 1 BSR - Mahikeng 388KM

Monday 9am set off and its official I'm on my way. It had been a frantic two weeks getting the bike built and ready in time, also being my first real adventure trip I needed to make sure I had planned for every eventuality. One great thing that I had was the Spot Gen3 gps tracker that enabled my loved ones to track me at any point in my ride to see where I was and put their minds at rest. It also has the added benefit of been able to send emergency sms's over satellite should there be no cellphone reception.  The wind was blowing crazy today and proved to be a real challenge sometimes having to lean the bike sideways into the wind just to keep heading straight. It proved a bit nerve-racking especially when it would blow me off line into thick sand on the dirt roads ending up in some pretty severe head shake. With a bit of throttle control managed to save the day. The stock suspension on the 2018 model is really lacking, just before the trip I changed the springs to cater for the extra weight back and front but there is almost 0 dampening force on the front fork. This is unfortunately due to a very poor valve design by WP. On the positive side I got to learn a whole lot about suspension during the trip and managed to eventually get the bike handling very well. There was some really nice riding between Fochville and Ventersburg, all dirt through farmlands and very scenic. Found a Black Steer in Lichtenburg and stopped for a delicious burger and coke then hit the road to Mahikeng. I spotted this little shortcut on T4A which looked and was actually quite fun, only problem is it lead to a farmers fence which I could not fined my way around and eventually had to head back to the main road and go around. Was fun never the less. I stayed at Sedikwa Lodge in a comfortable room, no drinks or food available there but decided I was good and will top up no the road in the morning. Nothing like some macadamia nuts and cranberries to fill the gap.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 01, 2019, 08:29:30 am
Sweet ride!! Who makes that sceen?

I imported the Kit from the Netherlands for testing, its a product I plan to distribute in the new year. It is the original KTM rally screen with a custom built tower, fairings and lights. I also added a 17L IMS tank to increase my range.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 01, 2019, 08:31:42 am
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?

It worked out very well, the wind deflection from the screen is a great help at higher speeds allowing you to sit comfortably at 140km/h. The 17L tank can give me a range of up to 340KM which is sufficient for most rides.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 03, 2019, 02:25:28 pm
Day 2 Mahikeng - Van Zylsrus 590KM

It was kind of unsettled nights rest, kept on waking up and hoping it was time to start, obviously eager to get the show in the road. Got up and took a walk outside only to find a small puddle of fuel under my bike, not a good sign. Removed the tank to look where the leak was and found it to be where the fuel pump flange meets the long range tank. The tank is distorted and doesnít allow the o-ring to seal. As I was in the middle of nowhere I used the only tool I had for the job which was Pratley's plastic steel and a few minutes later the problem was solved. I will check again in the following morning but the repair seems to be holding up. I headed out of Mahikeng and decided to skip breakfast as there were sure to be some 5 star restaurants en-route  ;D. About 40km outside town the fun began, miles and miles of dirt roads just waiting to be shred. On the gas I quickly knocked off the KM making short work of the route. By lunchtime I was at my scheduled stop which was the Molopo Nature Reserve. I headed through the unmanned gate only to raise that the park was closed and no chances of camping there. Seen as it was early in the day I decided to make my way to the next town as accommodation was seemingly impossible to find. The next 230km to Van Zylsrus was a Jol. Lots of thick sand to plane over and spectacular bush veld either side. The sand was thick but by now I was loving it, feeling confident and on the throttle. I didnít realize how hard I was riding until my fuel range went from the usual 300 to 250km. I made it to my destination with 1L to spare. Booked into the Zan Vylsrus Hotel which is a must see, it has beautiful decor a pub and a restaurant that made the most incredible lamb shank and veggies. Would recommend it to anyone. I got a good tip from the owner to go explore the salt pans so tomorrows route will be a bit different but no doubt breathtaking.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 03, 2019, 02:27:20 pm
 :ricky:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: MillionMiles on January 03, 2019, 04:02:23 pm
my kind of stuff...
keep it rolling  :pot:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Black_Hawk on January 03, 2019, 04:07:05 pm
And I must also say it... Very nice looking bike  :drif:

Looks like a awesome trip, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:

Looking forward to see the rest.

Subscribed  :sip:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: sackett on January 03, 2019, 05:38:47 pm
Good one Tank Slap - Naaais Baahik!!!  I would appreciate some comments on how the Great Basin (?) bag held up and how practical it was to use?
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 04, 2019, 06:42:57 am
Good one Tank Slap - Naaais Baahik!!!  I would appreciate some comments on how the Great Basin (?) bag held up and how practical it was to use?

The Giant Loop Coyote worked really well, I covered some very rough terrain with lots of bouncing around and all the straps and mounts held up well. It comes with 3 convenient dry bags inside which remove quite easily to take all your clothes and gear in each night. The exhaust heat shield also worked well and nothing melted.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 04, 2019, 06:58:03 am
Day 3 Vanzyls Rus - Loch Maree 334KM

Woke up nice and early to a cool morning, had time to lube my chain and do a quick check of the bike. Not a drop of oil used thus far bike still running like a dream. Tyreís needed a bit of air including the Tubeliss inner tube. I had a chilled breakfast and hit the road. The road to Askam was scenic with hints of the red dunes either side. I made quick work of the ride, refueled and headed out towards Klein Mier and Groot Mier and hopefully the large pan. After Groot Mier I headed left on my track which was set to take me straight across Hakskeenpan. I approached the first pan and followed tracks across through a gate that a local farmer had erected. I proceded up and got my first taste of dunes and put the bike down at the crest, I suppose the right was is to make sure you have enough momentum to get over the crest, lesson learned.  Got a bit lost behind the fence then headed back through the gate. Carried a bit further on along the track only to find a locked gate. A few KM on was the Hakskeenpan. I had no choice but to head back to Klein Mier and hit the road around. I ended up heading towards Rietfontein as I knew would find fuel there. After the refuel I managed to cut back into my original planned loop taking me to Philandersbron, across the Koppieskraal pan and eventually to Loch Maree Camp. I just rocked up unannounced but the hosts were welcoming and soon got me settled. I had a nap and then headed out to a lookout point for sunset passing eland, zebra and giraffe on the way. The view was breathtaking ontop of a dune overlooking Sout Pan. The lodge is another beautiful find, would highly recommend it.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 04, 2019, 06:59:40 am
 :ricky:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Xpat on January 04, 2019, 07:26:12 am
Yes that Loch Maree guest farm is great place.  :thumleft:

Did you do the whole 50 km loop in the dunes on the farm next day? That is heaven, especially on 500 - I battled there a bit on heavy 690.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4253/35498026395_4edb9bd762_b.jpg)
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Black_Hawk on January 04, 2019, 07:57:51 am
Awesome photo's
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: I&horse on January 04, 2019, 08:28:18 am
Awesome bike that 500!!!!
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Pom17 on January 04, 2019, 08:51:42 am
Awesome setup
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Dwerg on January 04, 2019, 09:12:32 am
 :sip:

Nice RR. Good to know it's possible to go ride those sand routes. I did them as part of an event. I'd love to go back
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: m0lt3n on January 04, 2019, 11:01:48 am
awesomeness!

Can you maybe share the route for day 3 so we have a better idea of where not to go (against fence)?

Bike looks great!
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: m0lt3n on January 04, 2019, 11:02:35 am
Oh, these loved ones of you...how did you convince them to take 3 weeks off?
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 06:16:46 am
Yes that Loch Maree guest farm is great place.  :thumleft:

Did you do the whole 50 km loop in the dunes on the farm next day? That is heaven, especially on 500 - I battled there a bit on heavy 690.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4253/35498026395_4edb9bd762_b.jpg)

Yes I did it the following morning, such beautiful riding. Thanks so much for the heads up, it was one of the highlights of my trip. The 500 was the perfect bike, didn't struggle at all.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 06:33:17 am
awesomeness!

Can you maybe share the route for day 3 so we have a better idea of where not to go (against fence)?

Bike looks great!

Sorry about the small file but only allowed 700KB Max
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 06:36:14 am
Oh, these loved ones of you...how did you convince them to take 3 weeks off?

Easy, divorce the wife, ask mom to help with kids and tell work you need to take all your leave at once  ;D
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 06:42:16 am
Yes that Loch Maree guest farm is great place.  :thumleft:

Did you do the whole 50 km loop in the dunes on the farm next day? That is heaven, especially on 500 - I battled there a bit on heavy 690.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4253/35498026395_4edb9bd762_b.jpg)

I have never ridden a 690 and don't feel the need to, for me the 500 can do everything the 690 can and better. There is more than enough power to have serious fun. The only downfalls are the short service intervals and it was quite expensive to get it ready to adventure spec but I will discuss more of that later.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: punisher on January 05, 2019, 08:36:46 am
 O0 :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Straatkat on January 05, 2019, 09:26:28 am
TS I am with you on that one, the 500 does everything you ask of it, your bike looks really nice, but I am afraid for the riding (and crashing) I do regularly that screen will become a casualty in no time.
There is nothing on my bike that is not absolutely essential, bare bones if you like. That Giant loop Coyote is ace, love mine. Minimalist all the way! Enjoy the rest of your ride. Not many people get that much time off.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 10:19:20 am
TS I am with you on that one, the 500 does everything you ask of it, your bike looks really nice, but I am afraid for the riding (and crashing) I do regularly that screen will become a casualty in no time.
There is nothing on my bike that is not absolutely essential, bare bones if you like. That Giant loop Coyote is ace, love mine. Minimalist all the way! Enjoy the rest of your ride. Not many people get that much time off.

Yes crashing can be a problem  :'( The nice thing about this screen is it comes off the 450 rally bike so should be available from your local KTM Dealer. Price Im not sure though.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 05, 2019, 10:44:08 am
Day 4 Loch Maree - Kakamas 290KM + 50KM Dune Trail

I had some unfinished business from the previous day, but first had a proper farmhouse breakfast from my host Retha then I kitted up and hit the 4x4 trail. It was a 50km route across a few farms consisting of sandy jeep tracks and nice soft red dunes. It was loads of fun although opening and closing the farm gates became a pain. I have some great video on the GoPro, once i have it converted I will upload it. I got to do the 1/4 Mile sprint on the active salt pan on the far side of the farm which could have been fun if there was somebody to race against.
After the track I went back to the farm loaded up all my luggage and headed off to a pretty bland days ride. There wasnít much in terms of scenery from there but I did traverse the thickest sand I had encountered thus far on the trip. I hit the green oasis of the orange river and the town Kakamas. I passed large grape farms covered by some form of shade netting, due to the arid conditions there is lots of dust and the dust apparently kills the grapes so all of them are covered. The massive, lush greenery was a welcome change to the arid conditions of the last two days. I checked into the Vergelegen Hotel the headed into town to service my bike. The guys at ďFit ItĒ we really accommodating and allowed me to do the service in their shop. I also had a small puncture in the front wheel that the slime was slightly oozing out of. I plugged the hole and headed back to have a rest and a swim. The following days route takes me through the Augrabies park and Riemsvasmak and finally to Klein Pella camp.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: XT JOE on January 06, 2019, 08:12:19 pm
thanks for sharing- awesome  bike and pics :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 07, 2019, 11:16:02 am
Day 5 Kakamas - Klein Pella 280KM

I left Kakamas around 8am, headed past Augrabies and Riemvasmaak. I took a quick ride down to the natural hot springs in Riemvasmaak, nobody was around and I came across two man made pools obviously fed from the hot spring. It was baking hot already so decided just to take a few photos and left. There was a nice little challenge on the way up which the 500 handled with no problems at all. I passed a bakkie making its way down and he mentioned that the natural rock pools were just a little further on so unfortunately I must have missed them, oh well next time ;)
The riding from there was very pretty, narrow sandy jeep tracks curving their way through the rock formations, from there I crossed over the river and ride some long stretches of gravel roads with the occasional farm gate. Somewhere in the process I lost my tent so I guess iím now confined to guest houses (not a bad thing).I had planned to camp a few nights on the trip but after long hot days sometimes its just better to have some comforts, another problem with being solo and in very remote places is that if I had camped I would have probably been the only person in the campsite which wasn't the most appealing idea.  Once I made the left turn on the road down to Pofadder, I had 26Km of the thickest sand Iíve encountered on the whole trip, I had to stand and stay on the throttle the entire time to prevent my front wheel from getting sucked in, after that my arms and legs were finished. I refueled in Pofadder and headed to camp. Klein Pella is another gem of a find, nestled in rocky outcrops, its the largest date farm in the southern hemisphere or so I'm told. It was so hot that I had a swim and retreated to the air-conditioned room and ended up napping most of the afternoon. It was so unbearable outside that even sitting on the shaded patio was not an option. I hydrated and got as much rest as possible as I knew the next day would be demanding as I would be doing the Namaqua 4x4 route as well as the Road To Hell.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 11:22:34 am
Good progress so far.  :thumleft:

Pitty you didn't try those sand dunes on Bots side north of Molopo river, but at least you have something to come back for.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: m0lt3n on January 07, 2019, 02:40:18 pm
and please continue to share some routes? Its nice to put a map to the story :)
(would like to know where is the 26km of sand around Pofadder?)
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 08, 2019, 12:03:52 am
and please continue to share some routes? Its nice to put a map to the story :)
(would like to know where is the 26km of sand around Pofadder?)
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 08, 2019, 12:05:52 am
Good progress so far.  :thumleft:

Pitty you didn't try those sand dunes on Bots side north of Molopo river, but at least you have something to come back for.

Yes I plan to be more adventurous next time, wasn't too keen on Bots first time around but definitely plan to go back in that direction as I really enjoyed the riding there.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 08, 2019, 12:22:50 am
Day 6 Klein Pella - Port Nolloth 568KM

Knowing that it was going to be a long hard day in the heat I was up and on the road by 5:15am, it was such a beautiful time of the day as the sun had not come up yet and there were all these beautiful shades of color in the sky.  My plan was to get through the first portion of the Namaqua 4x4 trail and reach the road to hell by 8am while it was still relatively cool. The Namakwa trail is by far the best riding Iíve done so far on the trip, narrow sandy jeep tracks all the way with sandy rocky riverbeds and the most spectacular scenery, if one thing would bring me back this way it would be this trail. It was only 7am and things were already getting hot, I made my way to the road to hell and started the infamous pass. The pass was quite tricky in some places but not unridable, there was lots of loose rock on the downhill section where I had to take it slow but all in all made it to the rivers edge unscathed. I sat under a bush for some shade to catch my breath then made the return stretch back up and over. By this time I had managed to attach my enduro jacket to my luggage to try cool off a bit. The road up took a bit more effort going up the loose rock but in about 10-15min I was done and on my way to Vioolsdrift. My GPS was playing up and kept on wanting to take me direct to Port Nolloth and not through the Richtersveld to Alexander Bay. In hind sight this was not a bad option  :P
I found my way up to Vioolsdrift and had to cross the boarder into Namibia to get fuel as there was nothing on the South African side. The boarder was pretty painless but still a lot of admin just for fuel. I stopped at an engine and had a wimpy breakfast and sorted out my GPS to take me on the originally planned route. Headed back through the border and along the orange river to the Helskloof/Nababiep nature reserve. This is were things got testing. I finished my water in my hydro pack as I entered and there was nowhere to top up, It was hot as hell and no shade in sight, of course the worst scenarios were running through my head, what happens if I break down?
I just pushed on knowing that the trail will end eventually.  The track was very demanding and with lots of thick sandy riverbeds to navigate and rocky sections, eventually i made it through and entered the Richtersveld. The scenery changed almost instantly but still no water in sight. I saw a water tank on the right but didnít want to chance it and get a stomach bug. To my luck a Toyota Fortuner was heading my way. I waved them down and it was four guys sipping on beer on their way to watch rugby in Vioolsdrift. I asked for water and they kept trying to feed me beer, but eventually managed to get 1liter of ice cold water to put in my hydropak and a piece of dried wors. This at least put my mind a peace and I carried on. I was riding along the boarder of the Richtersveld as it is a world heritage site and Iím sure well protected. The roads were long and windy with every blind rise having a bend on the other side meaning if I didn't slow down I would end up going straight off the road. Halfway in I could feel this cool ocean air, I knew I was getting close to my destination. Once I exited the heritage area the landscape began to change to sandy desert dunes, I made my way to Alexander bay and eventually arrived at 14:00. I refueled rode around and quickly realized its not a place I would like to spend the night, its more like an old mining town. I checked and Port Nolloth was only 80KM on so I headed down the main road to a lovely beach cottage named Voetbaai Guesthouse. I was exhausted, went out to have quick meal then passed out for the night.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 08, 2019, 12:28:49 am
Once again I took great Gopro footage of the day but please bare with me as I do the editing.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Ross Riddle on January 08, 2019, 07:26:46 am
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: ROOI on January 08, 2019, 08:10:54 am
SUB  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 12, 2019, 07:29:50 am
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(

Hi Ross, glad you enjoying the posts. You can still get the kit direct from https://www.nomad-adv.com/2017-19-exc-models.html
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 12, 2019, 07:33:16 am
Day 7 Rest Day

Finally some time for some R&R. After 6 days of long hard riding had a chance to wash all my gear and bike. The bike is still in gear shape, just struggling at the rear as the support bracket broke under the weight of the rear bag. I removed the bracket and sent it home with Time Freight along with all the other extra items I no longer required. Rode around and found the only restaurant open on a Sunday was at the hotel, enjoyed a nice vegetarian meal then called it a night. Why I opted for vegetarian, who knows but it was delicious.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 12, 2019, 07:42:08 am
Day 8 Port Nolloth - Lamberts Bay 472KM

Hit the road around 9, It was a long stretch today as I was putting 2 x 3/4 days riding into one. The planned route was all along the coastline as much gravel as possible. The first town was Kleinsee where I was supposed to get onto a gravel road along the coast, this area is owned by De Beers and not necessarily open to the public. I couldnít understand why the town was so sleepy but I soon realized where everybody was, just outside Kleinsee there is an area where almost the whole town seems to be busy digging in the hope that they will find diamonds. It looked like some kind of diamond rush from the mid 19th century. I entered the De Beers area but soon ran into a locked gate that I couldnít pass so turned around and headed back to the tar. I imagined that this was going to be a long boring day on tar as I thought the whole coast would be shut off to bikes. I arrived at hondelklip bay but decided not to tour as I had still far to go so just carried on with my trip to the entrance of the Namaqua National Coastal Park. There was nobody manning the gate so wasnít sure if I could enter. I found an intercom and managed to chat to a ranger, I was very crackly and I could hardly hear but somewhere between him explaining tyre pressures and him saying thats a positive I knew I was good to go. I rode along what seemed a never ending coastline which was so beautiful and untouched by man. The riding was challenging with lots of thick soft beach sand but enjoyable at the same time. After I exited the park I carried on along the coastal road with similar terrain and then started hitting a series of gates. They were all unlocked but I must have opened and closed about 12 gates in a 25km stretch, by the end I had only lost a small part of my personality. The road then turned up to Lutzville where I refueled and hit the last stretch. I took a shortcut along the spoornet  service road which prevented me making a big loop around and saved me lots of time. The guard at the end gave me a bit of uphill as I didnít have a permit so I just played dumb and he let me go. I enjoyed a great dinner and the port and headed to my accommodation at Kookfontein Farm where I was greeted with a bathtub fire pit and a bottle of their sauvignon blanc.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 12, 2019, 07:47:03 am
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(

Funny you should mention Dakar, It's one of those races where I never miss an episode, Im amazed at the toughness, complexity and speeds of the race. It's something I have always assumed is only for the riding elite but after this trip the bug has definitely bitten. I think if I really put my mind to it, it is something that I could achieve but for now no major plans.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Beethoven on January 13, 2019, 07:41:06 am
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 15, 2019, 09:01:32 am
Day 9 Lamberts Bay - KTM Cape Town 350km

I found it very difficult to leave, the accommodation was so comfy that I easily could have stayed. I had made a booking for my service at KTM so packed up and hit the road, The majority of the route was tar unfortunately but the scenery was great and loads of twists and turns in the road to keep things exciting. I  rode one of my most enjoyable passes named Bainskloof Pass between Ceres and Wellington, there were non stop sharp corners for 26km, probably the most fun you can have on a motorcycle on tar. I made it to KTM and booked in the bike for an oil change and a new rear tyre as the Michelin was starting to look like a slick.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 15, 2019, 09:05:33 am
Day 10 Cape Town - Franschhoek

I picked up my bike at 10am and headed off on my planned route to Riversdale. I ended up taking the wrong route through town and got delayed for some time. By the time i got to Franschhoek it was lunchtime so a pizza and a beer sounded like a far better idea than carrying on so it ended up being a very short day. I checked into a lovely farm cottage where I got to relax and do some work on the bike. The indicators have stopped working as the wires got pulled out at the rear by the tyre. I traced all the wires and all seem fine only thing it can be is the flasher unit which I wont find easily so I'm stuck with hand signals.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 15, 2019, 09:10:25 am
Day 11 - Franschhoek - Riversdale

I tried to stay another night but my room was booked so by the time I was all packed up I decided to carry on, it was a beautiful days ride through the farmlands which were rural but no electric fences or other security devices which you see on some of the farms in KZN, It seems really peaceful there. I had lunch at Dassiefontein which is a small restaurant / shop where they sell anything from antiques to books and light fittings. Interesting place and worth a visit. Riversdale had little cottage with great hosts where I spent the night.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Ross Riddle on January 15, 2019, 09:42:29 am
Keep it coming! A awesome ride report so far😁😁
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Jacobsroodt on January 15, 2019, 10:16:59 am
 :sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: m0lt3n on January 15, 2019, 12:29:42 pm
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

Waiting for the day a 500 owner will ask back 'how long is a piece of string'


I am disappointed that Road to hell wasn't worth more of your time. 15min vs 15hrs we took is depressing.
Nice RR, you are actually doing a lot of open road highway type of riding as well, how does your backside take it?

Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 16, 2019, 11:19:06 am
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

At this point it's trial and error for me. (More trial and hopefully no error) There is no definite answer so to start I was changing every 1500KM to be safe and checking the oil quality when I drain. My last service I stretched to 3300KM but using a very high quality Motul synthetic oil, when I drained the oil was still perfect so would have happily stretched it to 4000KM without worrying about damage to the motor. With the nature of adventure/rally riding there isn't lots of clutch slipping and wear so intervals can be stretched. If the ride turned technical I would change more often.

See pic attached of oil after 3300KM
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 16, 2019, 11:26:13 am
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

Waiting for the day a 500 owner will ask back 'how long is a piece of string'


I am disappointed that Road to hell wasn't worth more of your time. 15min vs 15hrs we took is depressing.
Nice RR, you are actually doing a lot of open road highway type of riding as well, how does your backside take it?

Road to hell was great but yes on a 500 didn't offer too much pain. I did struggle a bit on the return and got stuck for a few minutes but other than that very rideable on a small bike. If I was on a bigger bike there is no way I would have chanced it alone.

As for the backside, it's not the most comfortable especially on the longer stretches sitting. I just moved sitting position from time to time, sometimes sitting upright and others moved back and hiding behind the screen. Mostly on the dirt I opted to stand. I do want to purchase a comfort seat but they are darn expensive and the way I see it, If I've made it this far on the standard seat then why change.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Jacobsroodt on January 16, 2019, 11:39:39 am
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

At this point it's trial and error for me. (More trial and hopefully no error) There is no definite answer so to start I was changing every 1500KM to be safe and checking the oil quality when I drain. My last service I stretched to 3300KM but using a very high quality Motul synthetic oil, when I drained the oil was still perfect so would have happily stretched it to 4000KM without worrying about damage to the motor. With the nature of adventure/rally riding there isn't lots of clutch slipping and wear so intervals can be stretched. If the ride turned technical I would change more often.

See pic attached of oil after 3300KM
Thanks Tank Slap, for a good technical answer☺
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 16, 2019, 11:43:26 am
Day 12 Riversdale - Knysna

Fisrt stop was Mossel Bay where I took a quick drive through, looked like just a regular costal town, nothing really stood out for me. Groot Brackrivier is a little town just outside of Mossel Bay and defiantly a place I could spend a day in next time around. I went through some farmlands on the way to George then quickly passed through George on the way to Knysna. My planned route was through a nature reserve but when I got to the gate it was SAN Parks and clearly stated no bikes allowed. You could see the place had been recently burnt by the forest fires. Turned around and headed on the Seven Passes road which was magical riding, alternating between gravel and tar with twists and bends all the way through the forest. At places you could still see small smoldering fires as they were not completely extinguished. I hit such a luck with accommodation in Knysna and stayed right on the lagoon on Leisure Isle for relatively cheap at Amanzi Island lodge. Also tried to book a second night but they were fully booked.

Day 12 R&R

Had to be out by 10:30 so packed up and went into town. Had laundry to do so dropped that off and went walking around. Found the Motorcycle Museum which had so many rare and classic bikes including lots of old dirt bikes. It's all owned by one guy. I feel really sorry for him. ;) Unfortunately I couldnít stay long as had to get back to pick up laundry before they closed. I checked into Under Milkwood chalets and had a nice lunch at the coffee shop down the road. Had a nap then went to Tapas to watch the rugby.

Day 13 R&R

Decided to stay another day in Knysna, fortunately this time I donít have to change accommodation. I only woke up a 9 so too late to do my planned route which is quite long so had a good recharge time setting me up for Baviaans.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 17, 2019, 09:12:42 am
Day 14 Knysna - Cape St Francis 405KM

Off at 7:15 couldnít pay the lodge as reception was closed. Hope they arenít too upset that I settle late. Went up the hill, through an informal settlement and then straight onto the forests roads. I passed through the state forest reserve and then onto Prince Alfreds Pass. Very scenic riding although the roads are in bad shape due to all the trucks transporting wood from the saw mills and plantations. A big hole must have dislodged my GPS which I only noticed a few KM down the road. I turned around and headed back slowly scanning both dips on either side of the road worried that I would have to navigate without it. Fortunately I came across it laying in the middle of the road, a little scared and shaken up but still working. Further up the road I passed the area where the recent fires had passed, the forest and plantations were destroyed as far as I could see, I imagine the farmers must have lost fortunes in relatively newly planted trees. At the bottom of Prince Alfreds pass was a little restaurant called Angies G-Spot. I pulled in and sat down for a breakfast along the river. I was filled in about how the municipality had torn down their building as it hadnít met some flood-line requirement. Refueled in Uniondale and headed into Baviaanskloof. It is the home to the biggest wilderness area in South Africa stretching 200km long. It has in the region of 50 river crossings but with no rain it was in reality about 10. It was a very hot day but the reserve was still beautiful and offered great riding. The last 28km offered lots of rocky jeep tracks and steep mountain passes. As I exited the last gate I came across a stretch of the forest still on fire and by the looks of things it was going strong with huge flames across the top of one of the peaks. A few more KM of dirt to Patensie and then tar all the way to Cape St Francis where I checked into Seals Backpackers.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: wilfwalk on January 17, 2019, 09:47:21 am
Thanks for your great effort inputting this RR together and the super photos. Appreciated greatly - getting to see the country almost in a flash. Envious !
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tiger8 on January 17, 2019, 09:56:31 am
Awesome RR, thanks for taking the time to share. Makes me want to get out and ride, although I am not as fond of sand as you appear to be  :lol8:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: m0lt3n on January 17, 2019, 10:05:36 am
So far I know the routes and all, really looking forward to the rest of the RR now, still have to explore the Transkei by bike. Great work

Are you stull riding or just updating as work allows? (I cant remember now what your intro said....)
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 18, 2019, 06:18:24 pm
I finished the trip in November, so updating as I can. Done another 2000KM loop to PMB and back since and still loving the bike.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 18, 2019, 06:35:20 pm
Day 15 Cape St Francis - Queenstown 490KM

Early start in windy conditions, it was overcast and looked like I was in for some rain. I fought a strong crosswind to Humansdorp where my heading changed and gave me some wind relief. I took the old road to Jeffrys Bay and then to Uitenhage, It was a pleasant surprise when the majority of the route was pretty scenic also passing the bottom of the Van Stadens bridge. By the time I was in Uitenhage things had heated up, I found some dirt tracks through to the Addo Elephant park. The scenery was great heading up the mountain pass with relatively good roads. On the back end the roads deteriorated badly and it was a mix of loose rocks and wash aways. It was a great place but glad I wasnít in a car. From there I headed up to Somerset East and then to the Winterberg Conservancy which runs along the Baviaans river. This was the gem of the day, over 100km of riding through a reserve that consists of old farmhouses and beautiful landscapes, it appears to be trapped in trapped time. I thoroughly enjoyed this leg of the trip, the roads were in bad shape but no match for my KTM. After exiting the conservancy a few nice gravel roads into Queenstown. I was due for an oil change and with a bit of luck I found a very helpful motorcycle store that had the correct oil filter and fully synthetic Motul oil. They changed it for me right away and I headed off to my accommodation. Next is the Ben 10 mountain challenge, still not sure how to do the route as the passes are all over the place but looks like ill be heading to Lady Grey then Maclear and its raining.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Ross Riddle on January 18, 2019, 09:02:06 pm
Awesome, loving the RR.
Man I would give my right nut to do this. It would be great if you could show the route on a map???
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: eKKKe on January 18, 2019, 10:51:34 pm
Or just the gps file, awesome RR btw, keen on seeing the next part of the route!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 21, 2019, 11:03:06 am
Awesome, loving the RR.
Man I would give my right nut to do this. It would be great if you could show the route on a map???
Do It  :ricky:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 21, 2019, 01:47:48 pm
Day 16 - Queenstown - Elliot 375 KM - Ben 10

Rain 1 Tank Slap 0. This was the first rain I encountered on the trip, it was drizzling when I left and pouring all the way to Dordrecht. I had a poncho rain jacket which did little to keep me dry and warm, I was frozen when I arrived at the small town. I went to the co-op and managed to get a real rain suit which I continued to fit in the isle. When I walked out I was bright yellow but prepared for anything. I had a quick coffee to warm me from the inside then continued to lady grey. Murphys law I had passed the rain and it was dry for some time after that but at least my yellow suit kept the wind out and kept me warm. The road from Dordrecht to Lady Grey was 100KM of scenic gravel with lots of twists and turns, the road was in bad condition but the 500 made quick work of it. I turned into Joubertís Pass which was a 50KM pass that the farmers built in the 1920ís to get from Lady Grey to Barkley. It made great scenic riding and not much of a challenge but loads of fun. The pass ended in Lady Grey, I had the option of a long tar road around to the next pass or to go back over the same pass again. Naturally I chose the pass as riding tar is about as fun as kissing your sister (Sorry Sis). Took me 40 min to complete this time which included some low flying in some sections, from there it was off to Otto Du Plessis Pass which was through the farmlands of Barkley. I passed the finishing point from the first Sea To Ski which brought back some drunken memories of barn racing. Heading up the next pass there was steam rising up off the road and all the rocks and hills. The temp must have dropped rather suddenly. The rain started up again making thinks a little slick but nothing too serious until the way down. The road was supper slippery with some mud patches almost catching me out. I had to reduce my speed to one third of my usual pace. Made my way out onto a short tar stretch where it started bucketing down, I hit Eliot and decided this is where I will have to spend the night. I saw a sign saying The Guardians Lodge and Restaurant and followed it 5KM outside town. I was lucky enough to get the last available room. Had a shower and a good meal at their restaurant where the weather changed for the best and the sun came out  ::) Retired for a nap as I had the other 8 passes lined up for the next day if conditions were good. It was doable as the distance is around 350KM.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 21, 2019, 01:49:17 pm
 :deal:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on January 22, 2019, 01:54:50 pm
Day 17 Eliot - Rhodes 360KM

Quick, early Breakfast in my room and was on the road by 7:15. The first pass for the day was Barkley Pass which was the only tar pass in the challenge, and the only one I somehow managed to delete the photo after I took it. It's a great twisty pass with magic views and an around fun ride.
From there I headed off to Bastervoetpad Pass which was a little rocky in places and possibly a challenge for the bigger bikes but nothing crazy, I imagine a 4x4 would spend a bit of time on this pass. When you get to the top you are met with magic scenery of rolling green hills, I spent quite some time there to soak up all the scenery. From there it was great riding down through to Ugie and Maclear where I refuel and had a quick time out. From there I rode up Naudeís Nek Pass where you have never-ending views. Then off to Tenahead Traverse, with is a trail along the top of a mountain range, much of it boarding Lesotho. I stoped at the Tenahead hotel briefly to have a look around, from what I can see its a great place to take you other half for some quiet bonding time, Luxurious and in the middle of nowhere. I reached Tiffindell and had a coke in the coffee shop and them proceeded up Ben McDhui Pass, it was a little intimidating towards the top where if you didnít carry your momentum you could end up in trouble but made it up unscathed. Took some time to enjoy the views and then headed down to the Wartrail. This took me down Volunteershoek Pass which was a pretty steep decent, the local farmers seem to put a lot of work into the pass to keep it rideable, there are lots of old tyres laid out and bolted together in the washed away sections. Reached the town on the bottom and then went up Lundeanís Nek, from the top your can see the typical bare limestone rock peaking through the mountain range. At this point I turned around and headed back down as I had not yet done Carlieshoekspruit Pass so decided to head back up Volunteershoek Pass and then down Carleishoekspruit. At the top of Volunteershoek pass I was doing some low flying as I was almost done for the day, I hit a really sharp bend and overshot the turn. My skid mark was a good 30m long before I was headed straight into some large rocks, somehow I managed to miss them at the last minute and got away with no damage to myself or the bike. Three meters further was debris of a car that wasnít as fortunate as me. Later I heard from the Tiffindell manager who lives in Rhodes that it was an Amarok driver that went out searching for his lost son, in the rain at last years Sea To Ski event. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the boy was found. After the near miss, I went down Carlieshoekspruit Pass into Rhodes. I found bikers friendly accommodation at the Rubicon and had the most amazing meal at their restaurant and got to sleep in an old classroom. The Ben 10 is a fantastic challenge and I would recommend to all.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: XT JOE on January 27, 2019, 06:36:50 pm
excellent stuff- I've done a few stretches you've done over last few years and enjoy you experience it especially the Somerset east time travel. Would love to do those EC passes-What a trip  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Orangeswifty on January 28, 2019, 08:18:38 am
awesomeness!

Can you maybe share the route for day 3 so we have a better idea of where not to go (against fence)?

Bike looks great!

Sorry about the small file but only allowed 700KB Max
Next time you are at van Zyls on the way to Molopo it would be worth your while to try the river border road just north of the dirt road :thumleft: 260km of winding riverbed!

Great report
awesome to do from desert to coast to mountains!
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 02, 2019, 06:14:32 pm
excellent stuff- I've done a few stretches you've done over last few years and enjoy you experience it especially the Somerset east time travel. Would love to do those EC passes-What a trip  :thumleft:
The Ben 10 is a fantastic challenge, would recommend it to anyone
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 02, 2019, 06:30:25 pm
Day 18-19 Rhodes - Clarens & Home

I set off from Rhodes heading back up Lundean's Nek, down the other side out towards Zastron. From there I headed up along the Lesotho boarder to Clarens. Not the most enjoyable route but was keen to get home so opted out of traversing Lesotho. I overnighted in Clarens then headed off early to make the final stretch home. As Murphy would have it my gate wasn't working on my return and I had to make use of my tools to remove the spike barrier on the top of my gate in order to climb over and make my entry. My tyres were completely shot by the time I got home and I was bouncing around the tarmac. This was most likely due to the fact that I was running Tubliss and didn't balance the rims before I left. You can see this by the uneven tread wear on the front.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 02, 2019, 07:01:29 pm
For all the 500 lovers out there and the 690 riders sitting on the fence, below are my views and experience on the trip as well as sub-sequential upgrades.

I believe this is the ultimate travel bike especially if traveling alone. I fortunately managed to stay upright the whole way except for one little drop in the dunes, where the bike was naturally very easy to pick up. I was able to travel at comfortably high speeds in sandy and rocky terrain and with the few sharp bends that caught me out I was mostly able to stop in time or maneuver out of tricky situations. The bike has more than enough power to have load of fun and thrills.

The rally screen is a must if traveling long distance, It sheltered me from the wind and allowed me to travel faster more comfortably. The 17L long range tank seemed to do the job between fuel stops but where it was sketchy I filled my 3L Desert Fox as a backup. On 17L I mostly managed around 300-320KM of range except for one sandy stretch I only got 260KM where I believe it was due to poor quality fuel as this was the only time it didn't make 300KM.

I ran 14-48 gearing which was great for all situations including Road to Hell. I have now changed to 15-48 in order to keep my revs down at highway speeds, the bike now sits easily at 140KM/H without working too hard.

I sent the suspension into Justin at Shok Logic where it was re-valved back and front. I also replaced the fork valves with aftermarket as the KTM ones are really crap. It's now a different bike soaking up anything in its path.

I replaced the tyres and had both rims balanced. They had to use a lot of weights to counter act the weight of the Tubeliss rim-lock but now the bike runs super smooth on the tarmac and makes it much more stable when hanging cable.

On 93Hrs / 7200KM I checked the valve clearance and they were all perfectly in spec, with the tappet cover off every thing was clean and still looked brand new inside. I replaced the chain guide which was shot and spark plug as a precaution.

After inspecting oil quality on all of my services I have decided to to push the interval to 3000-4000km which for Rally/Adventure riding I feel is more than sufficient.

The Giant loop coyote saddle bag worked a treat and was big enough to cater for all my luggage.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 02, 2019, 07:08:34 pm
Oh the seat  :-\

It's hard as hell. Not fun when sitting for too long, fortunately the terrain I rode enabled me to stand a lot. I am considering the seat concepts comfort seat but it is very expensive and the way I see it is, if I made it this far I may as well stick with the standard seat.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Straatkat on February 02, 2019, 09:36:22 pm
Hi TS, we met a few weeks ago on top of Breedtsnek, thanks for sharing your rides with us, I know it is a lot of time and effort, just know it is appreciated. I love my 500 as do you, great bikes and very interesting to listen to your comments and hopefully we can learn from your experience. You mentioned you nearly bought a 690, judging by the way you sprinted down Breedtsnek I think the 500 is a much better choice.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 04, 2019, 09:53:22 am
Hi TS, we met a few weeks ago on top of Breedtsnek, thanks for sharing your rides with us, I know it is a lot of time and effort, just know it is appreciated. I love my 500 as do you, great bikes and very interesting to listen to your comments and hopefully we can learn from your experience. You mentioned you nearly bought a 690, judging by the way you sprinted down Breedtsnek I think the 500 is a much better choice.
Yes very happy with my choice, light = fun. Do you have any nice routes around Breedtnek? We ended up doing lots of tar from there which wasn't great.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: cocky on February 04, 2019, 10:09:59 am
TS super RR and a great read, thank for sharing :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Straatkat on February 04, 2019, 11:58:49 pm
Yeah there are a few routes that I ride around there as I stay quite close to Magaliesburg and there are  a stack of dirt roads around where I stay too. maybe we should ride them someday.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 05, 2019, 07:11:14 am
Yeah there are a few routes that I ride around there as I stay quite close to Magaliesburg and there are  a stack of dirt roads around where I stay too. maybe we should ride them someday.
That would be awesome, Iím off to Knysna on another adventure, when Iím back I will get in contact


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Carrots on February 05, 2019, 07:33:20 am
Very enjoyable read. Thanks for taking the time to share.  :thumleft: :3some:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: DikZol on February 05, 2019, 02:03:19 pm
Very enjoyable read. Thanks for taking the time to share.  :thumleft: :3some:

Absolute agree!  Really enjoyed it!
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: mtr89 on February 05, 2019, 07:07:38 pm
Fantastic read!!
Oh and that bike... :drif: :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: MonkeyNot on February 07, 2019, 02:24:37 pm
For all the 500 lovers out there and the 690 riders sitting on the fence, below are my views and experience on the trip as well as sub-sequential upgrades.

I believe this is the ultimate travel bike especially if traveling alone. I fortunately managed to stay upright the whole way except for one little drop in the dunes, where the bike was naturally very easy to pick up. I was able to travel at comfortably high speeds in sandy and rocky terrain and with the few sharp bends that caught me out I was mostly able to stop in time or maneuver out of tricky situations. The bike has more than enough power to have load of fun and thrills.

The rally screen is a must if traveling long distance, It sheltered me from the wind and allowed me to travel faster more comfortably. The 17L long range tank seemed to do the job between fuel stops but where it was sketchy I filled my 3L Desert Fox as a backup. On 17L I mostly managed around 300-320KM of range except for one sandy stretch I only got 260KM where I believe it was due to poor quality fuel as this was the only time it didn't make 300KM.

I ran 14-48 gearing which was great for all situations including Road to Hell. I have now changed to 15-48 in order to keep my revs down at highway speeds, the bike now sits easily at 140KM/H without working too hard.

I sent the suspension into Justin at Shok Logic where it was re-valved back and front. I also replaced the fork valves with aftermarket as the KTM ones are really crap. It's now a different bike soaking up anything in its path.

I replaced the tyres and had both rims balanced. They had to use a lot of weights to counter act the weight of the Tubeliss rim-lock but now the bike runs super smooth on the tarmac and makes it much more stable when hanging cable.

On 93Hrs / 7200KM I checked the valve clearance and they were all perfectly in spec, with the tappet cover off every thing was clean and still looked brand new inside. I replaced the chain guide which was shot and spark plug as a precaution.

After inspecting oil quality on all of my services I have decided to to push the interval to 3000-4000km which for Rally/Adventure riding I feel is more than sufficient.

The Giant loop coyote saddle bag worked a treat and was big enough to cater for all my luggage.

Awesome report @Tank Slap
Really enjoying my 500, currently got 14-50 gearing, won't advise it for a trip like this. 14-48 seems to be the common "middle-ground" 
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Straatkat on February 07, 2019, 11:22:50 pm
I am also running 14/50 but constantly looking for another gear. Used 13/50 in Lesotho, that is just stupidly low. Thinking of going taller, especially with Kaokoland coming up.
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: MonkeyNot on February 08, 2019, 07:03:48 am
I am also running 14/50 but constantly looking for another gear. Used 13/50 in Lesotho, that is just stupidly low. Thinking of going taller, especially with Kaokoland coming up.

Kan seker power wheelie in 6de met daai gearing  :imaposer:
Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: Tank Slap on February 09, 2019, 06:00:55 am
For all the 500 lovers out there and the 690 riders sitting on the fence, below are my views and experience on the trip as well as sub-sequential upgrades.

I believe this is the ultimate travel bike especially if traveling alone. I fortunately managed to stay upright the whole way except for one little drop in the dunes, where the bike was naturally very easy to pick up. I was able to travel at comfortably high speeds in sandy and rocky terrain and with the few sharp bends that caught me out I was mostly able to stop in time or maneuver out of tricky situations. The bike has more than enough power to have load of fun and thrills.

The rally screen is a must if traveling long distance, It sheltered me from the wind and allowed me to travel faster more comfortably. The 17L long range tank seemed to do the job between fuel stops but where it was sketchy I filled my 3L Desert Fox as a backup. On 17L I mostly managed around 300-320KM of range except for one sandy stretch I only got 260KM where I believe it was due to poor quality fuel as this was the only time it didn't make 300KM.

I ran 14-48 gearing which was great for all situations including Road to Hell. I have now changed to 15-48 in order to keep my revs down at highway speeds, the bike now sits easily at 140KM/H without working too hard.

I sent the suspension into Justin at Shok Logic where it was re-valved back and front. I also replaced the fork valves with aftermarket as the KTM ones are really crap. It's now a different bike soaking up anything in its path.

I replaced the tyres and had both rims balanced. They had to use a lot of weights to counter act the weight of the Tubeliss rim-lock but now the bike runs super smooth on the tarmac and makes it much more stable when hanging cable.

On 93Hrs / 7200KM I checked the valve clearance and they were all perfectly in spec, with the tappet cover off every thing was clean and still looked brand new inside. I replaced the chain guide which was shot and spark plug as a precaution.

After inspecting oil quality on all of my services I have decided to to push the interval to 3000-4000km which for Rally/Adventure riding I feel is more than sufficient.

The Giant loop coyote saddle bag worked a treat and was big enough to cater for all my luggage.

Awesome report @Tank Slap
Really enjoying my 500, currently got 14-50 gearing, won't advise it for a trip like this. 14-48 seems to be the common "middle-ground"
Yes 14-48 is great all round, I find with the 15-48 the bike loses a bit of grunt in 6th but still goes well. Do you have any issues with your top chain guide melting? Mine is not lasting but Iím not sure if itís the lube or friction at high speed. I will look for Teflon aftermarket or try make one.


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Title: Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
Post by: MonkeyNot on February 14, 2019, 05:35:52 pm
For all the 500 lovers out there and the 690 riders sitting on the fence, below are my views and experience on the trip as well as sub-sequential upgrades.

I believe this is the ultimate travel bike especially if traveling alone. I fortunately managed to stay upright the whole way except for one little drop in the dunes, where the bike was naturally very easy to pick up. I was able to travel at comfortably high speeds in sandy and rocky terrain and with the few sharp bends that caught me out I was mostly able to stop in time or maneuver out of tricky situations. The bike has more than enough power to have load of fun and thrills.

The rally screen is a must if traveling long distance, It sheltered me from the wind and allowed me to travel faster more comfortably. The 17L long range tank seemed to do the job between fuel stops but where it was sketchy I filled my 3L Desert Fox as a backup. On 17L I mostly managed around 300-320KM of range except for one sandy stretch I only got 260KM where I believe it was due to poor quality fuel as this was the only time it didn't make 300KM.

I ran 14-48 gearing which was great for all situations including Road to Hell. I have now changed to 15-48 in order to keep my revs down at highway speeds, the bike now sits easily at 140KM/H without working too hard.

I sent the suspension into Justin at Shok Logic where it was re-valved back and front. I also replaced the fork valves with aftermarket as the KTM ones are really crap. It's now a different bike soaking up anything in its path.

I replaced the tyres and had both rims balanced. They had to use a lot of weights to counter act the weight of the Tubeliss rim-lock but now the bike runs super smooth on the tarmac and makes it much more stable when hanging cable.

On 93Hrs / 7200KM I checked the valve clearance and they were all perfectly in spec, with the tappet cover off every thing was clean and still looked brand new inside. I replaced the chain guide which was shot and spark plug as a precaution.

After inspecting oil quality on all of my services I have decided to to push the interval to 3000-4000km which for Rally/Adventure riding I feel is more than sufficient.

The Giant loop coyote saddle bag worked a treat and was big enough to cater for all my luggage.

Awesome report @Tank Slap
Really enjoying my 500, currently got 14-50 gearing, won't advise it for a trip like this. 14-48 seems to be the common "middle-ground"
Yes 14-48 is great all round, I find with the 15-48 the bike loses a bit of grunt in 6th but still goes well. Do you have any issues with your top chain guide melting? Mine is not lasting but Iím not sure if itís the lube or friction at high speed. I will look for Teflon aftermarket or try make one.


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Must be honest I never checked. Should have my 500 back soon, will have a look and let you know

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