Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: JAmBer on October 28, 2009, 08:31:48 am

Title: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 28, 2009, 08:31:48 am
No Experience? No Problem!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16%20at%2017-09-10.jpg)

The plan was to head all the way north, to Van Zyl's pass just south of the Angolan border. Then we'd work our way back down along the west coast. In 15 days. The trip was almost two years in the making and during that time, a dozen people expressed interest in joining. But when it came to crunch time, only four committed. Representing South Africa are myself and Hugo, with Mark and Alex flying-in from America.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2010-04-04%20at%2017-19-37.jpg)

The night before the big departure we had to cram everything onto our bikes. Needless to say, some things had to stay behind. Fortunately, since we were all packing together, loads could be distributed.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-08%20at%2022-57-41.jpg)


The next morning spirits were high and we were eager to depart, but Carolyn managed to get us to stand still long enough to take a picture. Carolyn is You-Go's wife. He's second from the right. Alex is on the left, Mark's between 'em and I'm the idiot on the right with a Leatt (guess who's the only one to have had a serious accident on a bike).

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2007-35-55.jpg)

A bit of background:
Mark's never been offroad on a bike before, but bought a 1970's Honda 550 roadie in California earlier this year. Alex bought a KLR a few months ago to prepare himself, but had less than 10 tanks of riding experience total, of which only 2 days were on dirt. Hugo and myself aren't much better. Although we've had a little more experience offroad, only a couple of hours were in the sand. And we were told to expect plenty sand in Namibia. Also, we were trying to do this trip on a student's budget. It was bound to be interesting. And Namibia didn't dissapoint.

Not being completely reckless, we thought it a good idea to get Mark and Alex accustomed to their bikes before entering big, bad Namibia so we did a little warm-up pre-trip through Baviaans a week earlier.  With disastrous consequences. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri7gghMp9Bw) But that's a whole other story. Let's just say there was some question as to Mark's bike's reliability after it flew off one of the cliffs in the Baviaans. But the bike and rider survived to ride another day and both were ready for Namibia the next week.

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 28, 2009, 08:34:56 am
Day 1: Cape Town to Felix Unite campsite in Namibia.
705km, all tar along N7. Fuel stops at Van Rhynsdorp and Springbok. 12hr day.

After departing Cape Town early on Wednesday morning, we didn't even make it out of town before having to stop. I was low on fuel and my gear lever was loose. Dunno why it was loose, but it was a bad start to the trip. It wasn't going to be the last thing that rattled loose on our bikes though.

We headed straight up the N7 with the goal of crossing the border before nightfall. Not two hours later and we were lus for a snack.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2010-52-00.jpg)

Their ginger-beer is awesome.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2012-23-41.jpg)

The dam was full, the sun was shining and we were on holiday for 2 weeks. Life was good. It was spring and the entire valley was full of the scent of orange blosoms. It was awesome.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2017-55-28.jpg)
The ride up the N7 turned into a bit of a pleasure cruise and we were running out of daylight hours to make it to our scheduled campsite in Namibia. We'd decided before we left that riding at night was a bad idea. That didn't prevent us from stopping for a bite in Springbok before the final push to the border though.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2020-10-54.jpg)

We crossed the border without any trouble. They didn't check our licenses or bike registrations, merely stamped our passports and gave us vehicle permits. We spent that evening at Felix Unite campsite not 20km on the Namibian side of the border. We arrived as the sun set and were fortunate to get the last campsite. The German tour group in the adjacent campsite had just finished a tour of Namibia and revelled 'till the wee hours of the morning. There was no keeping me awake though.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2020-27-23.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-09%20at%2020-21-36.jpg)

The campsite itself was beautiful and was a gentle introduction to our two weeks of rought-it-up camping. We got our own lapa with running water and the camp had communal hot showers.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Crossed-up on October 28, 2009, 08:46:17 am
Good stuff, JAmBer.  I look forward to the next installment.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Diesel & Dust on October 28, 2009, 09:04:04 am
I'm in - looks like fun

Remember your seperate RR on Baviaans :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 28, 2009, 09:25:28 am
Im waiting........
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on October 28, 2009, 10:00:35 am
 8) I am waiting ......... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Scrat on October 28, 2009, 10:37:11 am
LEKKKE!!!

More more!!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: cloudgazer on October 28, 2009, 10:40:31 am
Yup, this looks like another good Nam adventure...

keep it coming.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on October 28, 2009, 11:45:24 am
IT HAS BEGUN!!

To start with, a big thanks to Alex and Jason (AFAIK mostly Jason) for planning the trip. 
Fixit-Jason started nagging  me (i.e. he mentioned a trip) about joining quite a while ago, and it was touch and go up until about 2 months before departure. I shall return to Nam!

In JAmBer's description of riding experience he neglected to mention that my total offroad experience included one day of running out of fuel on a WD ride and one day of falling over a million times in Atlantis. This trip has thus multiplied my offroad mileage by at least 20, if not more. It was good. Needless to say, being mainly a commuter on my bike, this first day of tar was a rude awakening to the lack of love and luxury built into a KLR seat. I think I have mastered all the possible twists and turns i can contort my body into to try and shake the feeling of having my pelvis split in half (evil eye towards the Dakar riders...)

Day 1 saw the start of a few trends to endure all the way through the trip.
1. Late starting - life happens and things take longer than what you think (some also enjoy their sleep more than others!  :amazon:  ;) )
2. Alex debugging his camera lens and electronics (photos of this at some later point)
2. Fast food and snacks on the road, wors and potatoes at night
3. JAmBer hitting the sack first, Mark and myself alternatively last (Mark especially when there was a bar around)
4. Sleeping on the floor! (almost every night)
5. Long days in the saddle



Their ginger-beer is awesome.


Unfortunately no photos as evidence, but Mark experience this in quite a rush. After being told MANY times to open the ginger beer carefully (he has been shaking it a tad too much) he proceded in showing us he's a real man who doesn’t take ages to open his beer cracking the lid in a second, just to be greeted by truely home-made ginger beer. This followed by a polite waitress attempting to supress her laughter whilst offering him a cloth for "the guy who got ginger beer all over his face"


The campsite itself was beautiful and was a gentle introduction to our two weeks of rought-it-up camping. We got our own lapa with running water and the camp had communal hot showers.


Not to forget the giant Rottweiler who came and gave the wors that we left on the table a sniff. Dubious SA wors did not meet his Namibian standards, so he left it for us for breakfast.

I will tag some more photos in, they are however not on me today
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: rubiblue on October 28, 2009, 12:28:34 pm
nice so far! more, more, more...
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on October 28, 2009, 03:21:05 pm
nice going jamber and u-go. can't wait for the next episode (and for baviaans)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: lemac on October 28, 2009, 03:54:45 pm
This one is going to be fun!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Johnnie Bok on October 29, 2009, 06:52:11 am
Gaan 'n lekker RR wees!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 29, 2009, 07:39:32 am
Day 2: Felix Unite campsite to quiver tree forest and Mesosaurus Fossil bushcamp.
378km, 90% gravel with short tar stint at Keetmanshoop. 8hr day.

Felix Unite is located on the border of the Orange river and the sunrise the following morning provided a beautiful photo oportunity.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2007-04-44.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2007-00-54.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2007-56-15.jpg)

After a quick breakfast, we were onto the dirt proper. The plan was to head west and make our way to the Ais-Ais national park.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2008-35-45.jpg)

The roads in Namibia are endless.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2008-36-36.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2008-41-23.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2008-41-36.jpg)

By the time we got to Ais-Ais, we were all ready for a snack. Be weary though, these places hit the tourists hard. I paid R20 for a litre of water (Spar/PnP sell 5 litres for R15). I left the store a little annoyed at having to pay so much, and almost choked when Hugo pointed out the free drinking fountain right outside the door that I'd rushed past in my haste to find sustenance.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2010-59-08.jpg)

Ais-Ais is beautiful, but deadly hot. A trio of Indians came strolling along. They'd just completed the 3 day hike through the canyon. We were struggling sitting still in the shade from all the heat; I couldn't imagine hiking in and out of the canyon for 3 days. These guys looked spent, but they were all smiles.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-06-22.jpg)

Then it was back on our trusty steeds, heading north towards Keetmanshoop along Namibia's dirt highways.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-14-56.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-22-20.jpg)

We spotted something interesting on the side of the road and decided to turn to have a closer look. Alex didn't make the turn and I believe now holds the dubious honour of the first drop of the trip. There would be many more.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-37-54.jpg)


Let's go for a spin!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-39-53.jpg)

Hey look! Champion spark plugs!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2011-40-23.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2012-07-30.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2013-52-47.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2013-53-05.jpg)
  Hugo.  Like a boss. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2015-24-50.jpg)
There was so much wildlife to see in Namibia.

We made our way through Keetmanshoop towards the Quiver tree forest and Giants playground. Both of these turned out to be tourist traps and after my experience at Ais-Ais, I wasn't about to fall prey again. A little further down the road we found accomodation on a farm which had its own unofficial Quiver tree forest. Better still, we were offered an exclusive bushcamp with hot showers and flushing toilets by Giel at the Mesosaurus Fossil Campsites. The only problem was that we had to ride 3km in sand to get there.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2016-06-29.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2016-06-39.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2016-14-02.jpg)

Of course, we didn't all make it through the sand without mishap and there was another cloud of dust as one of us went down. It was well worth the struggle though. We camped under (later: beside) a huge camelthorn tree with the biggest weaver-birds' nest I've ever seen. They're cool to look at, but beware the poop when all the birds become active at dusk.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2017-38-56.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-05-17.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-05-55.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-06-16.jpg)

We spent a couple of hours doing minor repairs. Hugo's auxilliary socket wasn't working (blown fuse) and he'd lost half his numberplate. Mark's bike was rattling to pieces and the boiling/hissing sound told me his radiator fan had stopped working (another blown fuse). Fortunately it hadn't boiled dry and there was no damage to the engine. Alex's forks were also starting to develop an ugly oil leak. We cleaned out the crud with a few sheets of paper and some carefull inserting and twisting. The seals were definitely finished though.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2017-38-39.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2017-44-52.jpg)

This is probably a good time to put in a word about bike choice and preparation. We chose the 650 class because we're all reasonably small, inexperienced guys on student budgets (ie can't handle the cruiseliner 1200s or deathly fast 990s, nor can we afford them!) But we still wanted to be able to cruise effortlessly at over 100km/h all day and the smaller 250 and 400s feel a little strained at those speeds. Then we wanted to keep the number of different models of bikes down to a minimum so we didn't need to carry lots of different types of tools. We considered a lot of different bikes. KTMs, Kawasakis, Suzukis, Hondas, Yamahas and BMWs were all on the table. Eventually we settled on the KLR650 and F650GS Dakar. The others were eliminated on grounds of reliability, cost, availability/popularity. Our chosen steeds performed very well considering what we put them through and I would probably make the same choice again given the option.

I already owned a Dakar, so when I purchased Alex's one on his behalf, I knew to check for the problematic front fork oil seals and they were fine (water pump and steering bearings are some of the other common faults on the Dak). But it seems these seals can fail pretty quickly and with very little warning. Alex's bike was in mint condition before the trip and he didn't want to ruin it with the inevitable fall(s). So we fitted second-hand plastics (from a pre-facelift model, hence the multicolours on his bike) and crashbars. His original plastics are still hanging in the garage, to be refitted when the bike is sold one day. In retrospect, those crashbars are worth their weight in gold. They saved the radiator on at least one occasion and his plastics still look good too.

In the dying afternoon light we went for a bit of a walk to take some pictures...
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-11-45.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-07-11.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-17-31.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-18-39.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-30-44.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2018-32-13.jpg)

Nightime around the fire is a special time to reflect on the past day. But I was too tired for long stories and went to bed early :D
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-10%20at%2021-10-53.jpg)




Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: madmike999 on October 29, 2009, 07:46:06 am
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: funacide on October 29, 2009, 01:29:54 pm
Nice... Keep it coming
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Would I? on October 29, 2009, 08:00:47 pm
nice pictures!!! keep it comming!

I want to know how the KLR's went for reliability and what your common problems were as my wife and I also want to do this trip on 2 KLR's.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Oetie on October 29, 2009, 08:05:55 pm
Lekker, keep it coming :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: bradleys on October 30, 2009, 08:15:47 am
Nice ,more please, just love Nam  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Winston on October 30, 2009, 08:16:49 am
Sitting behind my office desk, reading your stories and looking at your pictures messed up my working day. My rearend is itching like mad for a saddle and dirt roads. What are you waiting for ??? send some more.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 30, 2009, 08:29:02 am
Day 3: Bushcamp to Windhoek.
549km, all along tar B1. 10hr day. Refuel at Keetmanshoop and another stop for lunch and refuel at Mariental.

U-go was always first up in the morning.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-11%20at%2006-17-15.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-11%20at%2006-24-35.jpg)

I awoke a reluctant second. To a freezing morning. The plan was to head straight up the B1 (tar) to Windhoek and see what we could do about Alex's forks. But we had to make some repairs to Mark's KLR in Keetmanshoop first. He'd lost his radiator guard and we were nervous that with all of the gravel riding we're doing, a stone might get kicked-up into the radiator by the front wheel. Windhoek's Kawasaki dealer didn't have stock of a replacement gaurd anyway. Fortunately, we stumbled into another KLR rider at a metalworking & engineering shop in Keetmans and he sold us the one off his bike. What a hero! He said he'd get another one from the dealer at a later date, but that we should take his since we needed it more desperately.

We spent the night at Arebbusch in Windhoek. It was expensive and unpleasant. But that was probably due in part to the fact that there was a matric dance going on in their hall. The students were loud and obnoxious after our silent nights in Namibia's tranquil wild. Still, it was nice to sleep in an actual bed.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 30, 2009, 08:31:37 am
Day 4: Windhoek to roadside camp at S22 23.302, E15 50.339
240km, along Khomas Hotchland rd (C28) and then turn north onto C32 towards Karibib. 8hr day.

It was at this stage that we decided to change our planned route a little. U-go had made contact with a local who had some up-to-date knowledge of the northern stretches, specifically the lesser-travelled routes. The original plan was to head all the way to Van Zyl's pass. But this is a technical bit of riding and it became apparent quite early in the tour that it was an unrealistic goal for a group with our experience level.

So we left U-go to plan a new route while the rest of us struggled with Alex's Dakar's forks. I'd fitted fork boots before we left, but dirt found its way into the seals. The BMW dealer didn't have stock of the replacement seals either. And it was a saturday morning, so places wouldn't be open long. We had to make a plan soon. The picture was looking bleak. But after some advice from Dad back in PE, we headed to Midas and topped-up the forks with engine-oil stop-leak. That solved the problem, though the stop-leak is somewhat thicker than the normal forkoil, so the damping was all wrong. Alex didn't seem to notice and was still the fastest rider of us all.

Then we made a beeline out of Windhoek. But not before R2D2 (my GPS) got very upset with me for missing a bunch of turns and leading the group in circles around Windhoek. We turned west towards the coast along the famous Khomas Hotchland road. What a fantastic ride!  The road starts in terrible condition. We were struggling to make even 80km/h as the loose stuff had us fish-tailing all over the road. There were plenty of huge whoops too, which kept things interesting 'cos sometimes there's soft sand waiting for you at the bottom.

After taking a bit of a rest and dropping tire pressures, the road seemed to get much better. But it was rather hot and the road was very dusty. There were frequent stops. We didn't have a thermometer, but it felt into the 40s. Here we took a break next under a rarely-found large tree and discovered after we pulled under it that it was a camelthorn tree. They have big thorns. Luckily we emerged without any punctures, cos fixing 'em in the heat is no fun.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-12%20at%2014-04-34.jpg)

The Khomas Hotchland road is not without its dangers though...
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-12%20at%2014-44-53.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-12%20at%2017-54-51.jpg)
We were getting a little tired and after some near-serious incidents (I'll leave that story to Mark and U-go), we decided to stop for the day.

Although we didn't quite make our scheduled distance for the day, it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. But it did create some discord in the group as opinions differed as to how we could make it up the next day, or even if we should. U-go likes to start early and take it easy. Alex likes to sleep late and ride hard. Mark was nervous about speed as it was his first time offroad on a bike. Group dynamics!

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2007-09-33.jpg)

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on October 30, 2009, 08:56:07 am
I want to know how the KLR's went for reliability and what your common problems were as my wife and I also want to do this trip on 2 KLR's.
 :thumleft: :thumleft:

The KLRs performed quite well. I wouldn't hesitate to take a KLR on an extended trip. But beware, there are some minor issues and it does require a lot more finessing than some other bikes (notably the Dakar).

It floods easily and then you have to crank and crank, risking flat battery in the middle of nowhere.

The sidestand and clutch cutout switches on both our KLRs were failing, preventing 'em from starting reliably. Bypass them before you depart.

I highly recommend a centerstand for puncture repairs. But choose it carefully.  You'll have to wait for the next day's report to hear more about this.

Also, be sure to loctite everything before you leave. We did this on Hugo's bike and he didn't lose a single bolt or have to retighten anything. Mark's bike though... many bolts were lost, panels rattled loose. The entire rear luggage rack rattled off (though this could in part be due to the monstrous fall the bike had the previous week).

Keep an eye on the water temp. The KLRs' thermostat doesn't regulate too well (notice how on cold days / slow riding the temp reads low) and the radiator's fan has a tendancy to blow fuses (which aren't under the seat like the others, but rather under the fuel tank on the right behind the water bottle).

Be sure to check oil levels regularly. It drops pretty quickly if you're riding hard. We did some flat-out stints on the tar sections and used over a litre of oil.

I'm sure U-go and Mark can add more.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on October 30, 2009, 08:57:39 am
J, this great ride report is spoiling my Friday. A whole 8 hours before the weekend starts.

Namibia seems awesome for pic-taking, the sky seems to be so clear, deep blue...I can't take this no more...booking off sick now.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Would I? on October 30, 2009, 10:56:21 am
I want to know how the KLR's went for reliability and what your common problems were as my wife and I also want to do this trip on 2 KLR's.
 :thumleft: :thumleft:

The KLRs performed quite well. I wouldn't hesitate to take a KLR on an extended trip. But beware, there are some minor issues and it does require a lot more finessing than some other bikes (notably the Dakar).

It floods easily and then you have to crank and crank, risking flat battery in the middle of nowhere.

The sidestand and clutch cutout switches on both our KLRs were failing, preventing 'em from starting reliably. Bypass them before you depart.

I highly recommend a centerstand for puncture repairs. But choose it carefully.  You'll have to wait for the next day's report to hear more about this.

Also, be sure to loctite everything before you leave. We did this on Hugo's bike and he didn't lose a single bolt or have to retighten anything. Mark's bike though... many bolts were lost, panels rattled loose. The entire rear luggage rack rattled off (though this could in part be due to the monstrous fall the bike had the previous week).

Keep an eye on the water temp. The KLRs' thermostat doesn't regulate too well (notice how on cold days / slow riding the temp reads low) and the radiator's fan has a tendancy to blow fuses (which aren't under the seat like the others, but rather under the fuel tank on the right behind the water bottle).

Be sure to check oil levels regularly. It drops pretty quickly if you're riding hard. We did some flat-out stints on the tar sections and used over a litre of oil.

I'm sure U-go and Mark can add more.


Thanks this is all useful and i appreciate any advice/ help as new to this sport :) :)

great report so far.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on October 30, 2009, 12:07:02 pm

I highly recommend a centerstand for puncture repairs. But choose it carefully.  You'll have to wait for the next day's report to hear more about this.


drumrolllll....

besides this, the fact that the whealbearing are not sealed almost caused tragedy (avoided, thanks to Fixit-Jason). And then an echo on the LocTite - besides loosing my rear wheal R-clip (probly my fault) not a thing rattled loose.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on October 30, 2009, 12:10:57 pm
I am having trouble uploading pics to a pic site. hopefully things will start working at some point. I will then make a bit of an update post for the last two days. Not that the ride to Windhoek had any photos, besides my early morning shots.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on October 30, 2009, 01:29:52 pm
Well, alex's debugging... this is not the lens type. you cant really see what happening, but he's playing with some electronics. He did this fairly often. Probly more often that what he needed to a break for anything else. Care to elaborate Alex?  >:D

(http://imgur.com/RWiWfl.jpg)


Which bring me to another two things that became part of the daily schedule:

6. Packing the tooltubes (by the end we were either getting really good, or some bits were missing...)

This is Alex's first time of doing it. I think it was around 4 tries when he gave up.
(http://imgur.com/gqiK1l.jpg)

7. Talking about Alex, now is probably time to introduce his bikes Vertically Challenged Syndrom status. (see the pic J posted)
In his defense, this was mostly due to the fact that he rode the sand really hard, as apposed to the happy paddlers (Mark and myself). It was pretty much garaunteed that he will find some deep sand to plow down in. plenty more of this to come!


I love kokerbome

(http://imgur.com/92QgF.jpg)

(http://imgur.com/hRTghl.jpg)


Well, what more to say, she was hungry, so I cant complain if she decides to nibble a little

(http://imgur.com/7TgSk.jpg)



U-go was always first up in the morning.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-11 at 06-17-15.jpg)


It was pretty darn freezing. And there i was hopping around in my sleeping bag (I hate doing this but it was too cold to get out) setting up a photo. This took several tries of jumping on the bike with nothing but undies and a helmet,  (edit: i see i had a warm top on as well - it was still very cold though)  and then running back to see if it came out fine. Worth it in the end. Furthermore the day only held the long tar section. This was to be day one of my eyes messing me around, but not too bad though, tar is a very different colour from grass.

The next day was a bit of a very late start, as J has already explained. Thanks a lot to Chrisna Greef, who supplied us with the ideas of routes. Although all did not work as planned, I will go travel all of em, one day. Good to know why we rode around Windhoek for so long - I forgot to ask. Thought we were doing the scenic tour of the protest march (celebrations? i dont know what it was, but the CBD was insane). There were also a few near-misses in town. Firstly a guy getting really agro with the four of us not knowing where we are going  (it didnt hep that we had each taken off one of the rearview mirrors, some on the left, other on the right, so there was constant confusion as to where the guy was coming from). Then secondly I pulled a Moegoe and confused a flashing traffic light as one going from red to green (in my defense most of the bulbs were dead, and the working ones are terrible) and did a textbook slam anchors, push left veer right swerve to not plow into Alex. Yeah, life happens, but this time I got lucky. (some say i have used up all my luck on my scooter in undergrad days, but see, it continues!)

After we left the tar things were going a bit better, for some time. This was day two of my eyes messing me arouhnd. at times differentiating between the road and the bush was tricky, making riding at 70 unpleasant. My held until i misjudged a corner and went flying over the side, at around 4km/h. Yes, looking back i know i should have stood up and gassed it to get round, but you live and learn. Don damage beyond a bent radiator grip (thank you cable ties!) In the process Mark saw me go down and decided to come help... and then needed help himself, in the middle of the road. Dont think there are any pics of this though (does that mean i didnt fall? there is no proof of it, after all)

Here the sand patches started getting bigger. The transition from hardpack to soft was a first for me, and although i know that the sand should be hit nice and hard, my mind has not yet conquered the fear. Eyes were also buggering around a lot. At one point the road dropped a bit, but the sandbank on the side carried on for a while. I caught a wobble (sand) and wanted to put my foot down, just to find it digging into sand at about footpegheight. this almost casue a superman 101, which is when we called it quits for the day.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: roxenz on October 30, 2009, 02:44:05 pm
Great trip guys!  Really enjoying this!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Baches on October 31, 2009, 07:29:26 am
Need to do a trip a.s.a.p.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on October 31, 2009, 10:22:46 am
I'll def go for a ride 2DAY!... :ricky: 8). Alex I might use your Dak. The KLR is still recovering from shock.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: fat b on November 02, 2009, 10:51:54 am
Hey man , finish the RR already !  :eek7:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on November 02, 2009, 12:51:10 pm
Day 5: Roadside camp to other roadside camp outside Uis.

U-go and Mark left early the next morning and Alex and I followed later to Karibib where we refueled, regrouped and then headed West to Spitzkuppe.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2010-41-38.jpg)

It was here where we got our first puncture of the trip. We had prepared quite well. All the bikes had new tires and heavy duty tubes. We'd opted not to put "Fuggit" or "Slime" or other sealants in there because this can make it difficult to get patches to stick should you need to repair a puncture. But U-go got unlucky and picked-up a huge shard of metal in his rear tire somewhere along Spitzkuppe's sandy roads. We'd fitted centerstands to all the bikes, 'cos Murphy says your punctures will be in the rear wheel. U-go had his custom machined. Unfortunately, the springs weren't up to spec and so after using it a few times they stretched and the centerstand started dragging lower and lower...

But the other problem was that the SW Motec stands (on which U-go's was based) didn't lift the KLR high enough to get the rear wheel off the ground. So we had to dig a little trench under the rear wheel to get it off the bike. This also resulted in some comedy every night as U-go and Mark lubed their chains. One would push the bike while the other ran behind with a can of lube aimed at the rear sprocket. I think more lube ended up on the wheel than the chain, but it was entertaining to watch.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2011-25-19.jpg)

Alex went touring the towering Spitzkuppe while U-go sweated around his KLR, Mark smoked a ciggie and I "supervised". From the shade of a tree. With a drink. ;D

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2011-47-52.jpg)

This was U-go's first puncture repair on a bike. Eventually Mark and I were recruited to help. But the tube was pinched while re-assembling and the whole exercise had to be repeated.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2012-20-44.jpg)

Meanwhile, Alex found some wildlife.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2013-55-45.jpg)

Nearly four hours later (yes, 4 hours for a flat!) the wheel was back on the bike.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2014-06-07.jpg)

We left the Spitzkuppe behind us and continued north.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2012-09-16.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2014-55-01.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2015-53-56.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2015-56-01.jpg)

Back on the dirt, everyone was in high spirits. Until we came to a wide dried-up riverbed. Here was deep sand. Sand on any bike is not easy. When you're heavily loaded and have a total of 4 hours sand riding experience, it's downright scary.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2016-21-00.jpg)

We had an eventful afternoon. Even the locals were laughing at us.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2016-26-13.jpg)


We arrived at Uis at 17h30 low on fuel and had no fresh food. All the shops were closed and even the local filling station was deserted. But the Namibian folk are very accomodating, and the petrol station on the outskirts of town was opend 'specially for us. We decided to camp outside the town that night.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2019-00-14.jpg)

It was then we noticed all of U-go's numberplate was gone. And that his registration disc was also missing. Since we hadn't seen a single traffic cop in days, we figured this wouldn't be a big problem. But the border crossing could be interesting. Fortunately we made it through all the towns and the border crossing back into SA without a numberplate or registration disc without any trouble.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2007-25-33.jpg)

In fact, we were very lucky to have met the owner at that petrol station, Piet. This is not the Engen in the town proper, but a newly-revamped garage next to the Tseiseb Conservancy Office. He and his wife rode past our camp that evening and stopped for a chat. 30 minutes later he arrived back with braaiwood and wors from his own freezer, refusing to accept any form of payment for it. That meal was delicous!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-13%20at%2019-25-58.jpg)



Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on November 02, 2009, 03:16:51 pm
As far as I can remember this was off number 2 for me. Will blame it on lack of experience in keeping the bike in existing tracks. Need to go play at Atlantis in the afternoon when the kwats have dug the place up. Looking at the photo and the general proximity of my zorst to my leg I am loving my boots that much more!

I have a few extra photos, but nothing much from the day - tire changing was frustrating enough to keep the camera at bay. As mentioned in my previous note on KLRs, replace the bearings with sealed units. It is simply too easy to put the wheel down on some dirt when in the middle of nowhere. The center stand issue is still bothering me. I must still maek a better plan with it, at some point...

Spitzkoppe is great. Will return with some rope one day to the top. Alex also almost discovered on the hard way that biking boots do not make great climbing shoes. Fortunately his doesnt have the metal tips or he would most likely have joined us at the bottom in a less than optimal state of health.

Gasvryheid (I prefer that over the English - hospitality sounds so institutionalised) is something amazing in these small towns. For the life of me I cannot remember the guy's name, but that wors was wonderful!


It was then we noticed all of U-go's numberplate was gone. And that his registration disc was also missing. Since we hadn't seen a single traffic cop in days, we figured this wouldn't be a big problem. But the border crossing could be interesting. Fortunately we made it through all the towns and the border crossing back into SA without a numberplate or registration disc without any trouble.


well, not completely the case. I had the original disc in my jacket pocket with my passport. I am king at losing things, but there i knew it would be as safe as can be. Later on (somewhere on the N7 on the way back I think) the rest of the numberplate bracket came loose. The new one is now sitting under the tail light.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on November 02, 2009, 03:46:17 pm
As mentioned in my previous note on KLRs, replace the bearings with sealed units. It is simply too easy to put the wheel down on some dirt when in the middle of nowhere.

Do KLRs really not ship with sealed bearings? Maybe it's just your bike.

I had the original disc in my jacket pocket with my passport. I am king at losing things...

Ja, this was a good idea. Put colour copies on the bike (laminated, of course - you can't tell the difference behind the disc holder's plastic), and keep the original in a safe place. Same thing with drivers license and passports.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Baches on November 02, 2009, 06:48:34 pm
Next day ???
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Andy660 on November 02, 2009, 10:18:06 pm
After reading Metal Jockeys report and now yours , I would really like to go to Namibia some day , it is really a beautifull country.
Keep the report coming.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on November 03, 2009, 08:54:56 am
Day 6: Uis to middle of nowhere


I had decided to camp without a tent last night. Bad move. I have a down-feather sleeping bag which got wet from the dew. It stank like a wet dog the next morning, so I rigged a make-shift washing line to try'n dry it out in the morning sun. It still stank a week later.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2007-25-50.jpg)

I travelled fairly lightly. But there was no way I was going to go without my electric toothbrush. Or a razor of some form. An electric shaver is easier than a dry-shave with an old-school razor when you don't have water to spare.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2008-15-50.jpg)

Today we were going to pass SW of the Brandberg and then turn north along the new route that we'd planned in Windhoek. The plan was to slowly make our way up to Purros.

The road west the next day was horribly corregated. Mark's footpegs and my front mudgaurd rattled loose. The KLR lost a plastic radiator cover insert and some bolts too. Fun times were had by all.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2013-32-49.jpg)

We'd spent some while researching our original route, and I was confident about it. I had seen pictures or Youtube videos of most of our route. I knew what the roads would look like, where the major landmarks were to be found, potential camping spots etc. But this new route was completely unknown territory for all of us. It suggested we turn off the D2303 gravel road onto paths that T4A said were "Not recommended" and "4x4 Only". We were a little apprehensive upon entering the Tsiseb Conservancy, but this section turned out to be a highlight of the trip. In retrospect, it wouldn't have been a real adventure without at least doing a little exploring.

It wasn't long and we were falling like flies. "Ah, not this shit again!"
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2014-06-39.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2014-07-56.jpgg)

There were the strangest rock formations...
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2014-31-48.jpg)

The new route wound its way through a dried-up riverbed in a canyon as the GPS brought up warnings of flash floods and agressive elephants.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2014-03-36.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2014-15-45.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2015-18-11.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2015-22-49.jpg)

It was rather hot and riding in the sand is hard work. But there was no shade to be found. At midday the sun turned the canyon into a furnace. We were supposed to meet the Ugab somewhere up ahead.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2016-44-59.jpg)

But before we could get there, the proverbial shit hit the fan. The riverbed had some very loose sandy sections and Alex fell into one. This was nothing new, we'd fallen a dozen times already just this morning. But this time was different. A hidden rock broke the Dakar's clutch lever. We were half a day's ride from any town, at the bottom of a canyon with a 200kg bike without a clutch. How the #$@ were we going to get out?

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2017-07-12.jpg)


While I worked on a plan to repair the bike, Mark and U-go went exploring in search of cellphone coverage to see if we could try'n source a replacement lever. There was no cellphone coverage to be found. Getting out of the tough stuff without a clutch would be really hard. The crime of it was that I actually had a spare one at home. The plan was to take the spare with us, but then we'd opted to purchase 2-finger levers which are unlikely to break. Unfortunately we couldn't get a set manufactured for Alex in time for our departure and I'd forgotten to pack the spare levers, in the back of my mind still thinking that they wouldn't be necessary.

Normally, if you're stuck without a clutch, you can just push the bike for a while to build up some speed and drop it into first gear. Then after you've gotten started, you can change gears without a lever if you're careful. The ride out was fairly technical, but I was confident that I could do it in 1st gear without a clutch as long as I could get started. But if you've ever tried to push a bike in the sand, you'll have some idea of how hard it was going to be to push the loaded Dakar through the riverbed long enough to build up enough speed to change into first. So I needed something to get me started.

It was after 17h00, with about 90 minutes of daylight remaining. There was no way we were going to get out tonight. We decided to stop for the evening to regroup and figure out our next step. In the middle of the flash-flood prone riverbed.

I offered my 2-finger clutch lever to Alex (we were both on Dakars) to use the next morning, while I would try'n ride out without a clutch. We had a fairly extensive toolkit and repairkit with us and so I sat down to try'n cobble together a repair. This actually worked out rather well, using excessive amounts of Qbond and Pratley steel epoxy, a 5mm bolt and two cable ties. It took over an hour to scrape the lever clean and do a proper glue job. I left it overnight to cure. It just had to hold for one pull on the clutch; enough to get me going in the sand.

So we started a fire and settled in for the evening. I spent the whole night straining to hear the smallest sound of water. The slightest trickle, the first drop of rain. Flash-floods. They say it sounds like thunder in the distance, but gets closer very quickly. My mind was racing with evacuation options should the water arrive. I kept hearing what I thought was distant flowing water and so didn't get much sleep that evening, even though not a single drop fell and the next morning the riverbed was still bone-dry.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2016-36-44%20%281%29.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2020-16-26.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14%20at%2020-19-13.jpg)

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on November 03, 2009, 10:11:25 am

I had decided to camp without a tent last night. Bad move. I have a down-feather sleeping bag which got wet from the dew. It stank like a wet dog the next morning, so I rigged a make-shift washing line to try'n dry it out in the morning sun. It still stank a week later.


I thought we decided that it was you that was causing it to stink so much?  :lamer:  I actually like the fact that J slept outside - it meant I had no mozzies at all - they were bugging him instead.

Funny enough there were only three tents on the trip The one evening when I thought dew may be a problem i mad a bit of a shelter, the rest of the time it was open starts. Would have regretted it if it actually rained, but they said the rainy season was still coming. That said, I was also constantly under the impression that it had started raining that evening. Most likely just all the bugs crawling over me. Once again i have forgotten my photos.... I walked down the canyon to the Ugab, and then up it for some time. I decided to take a bit of a shortcut over the mountain on the way back, not knowing where it would come out at all. Funny how the desire to explore normally overcomes the fear of messing it up. Photos tomorrow, i promise....


(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-14 at 20-16-26.jpg)

Damn that seat was comfy - a perfectly scuplted marble sleeper with built in heating. Pity i was sitting on it the wrong way round that evening - only discovered the next morning that there was even a better way of doing it. Ah well, maybe for the best otherwise I would have fallen asleep on it to roll over into the coles.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Would I? on November 03, 2009, 03:00:28 pm
Reminder to self, spare leavers.  :) :) :) check bearings on KLR as well.

Great report guys. I really want to do Namibia after seeing all the different RR Photo's.

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Maverick on November 03, 2009, 03:36:44 pm
Cool report so far guys keep it coming. Broken clutch levers, fallen bikes - you know what they say it ain't an Adventure until shit starts to break  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Hondsekierie on November 03, 2009, 04:45:35 pm
Love it :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: tankgirl on November 03, 2009, 06:10:40 pm
damn i'm jealous... :D great pics!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JAmBer on November 04, 2009, 07:19:23 am
Day 7: Somewhere in a canyon to Swakopmund

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2006-43-13.jpg)

The next morning I got going first with the repaired clutch. And rode straight into a rock and stalled it. This was going to be harder than I thought. Fortunately, the clutch lever held for a second pull and I managed to get out the canyon without trouble. This track is hardly ever used (we hadn't seen a car in over 24 hours) and could count the number of vehicle tracks in the sand on one hand. An entire herd of gemsbok and two herds of springbok ran alongside me as I rode out. I saw some cat prints too, but didn't spot the leopard itself.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2009-03-15.jpg)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2010-26-34.jpg)

We made straight for Henties to see if we can source a replacement lever. But first I had to wait where the trail meets the gravel for the other guys. They were a long time coming and I started getting worried. The road to the coast was decent gravel, with large undulations that kept things entertaining. The wind was howling and I was being blown all over the road.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2011-35-12.jpg)

As we got to the coast to turn south, we stopped to put on some warm clothing. The sea air was freezing cold. And then Mark's KLR wouldn't start. But I was half expecting this and went straight to the sidestand cut-out switch. Problem solved. U-go had cleverly overridded his before we left Cape Town.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2012-02-44.jpg)

Ah, some real food at an actual restaurant. This made for a great change after our impromptu camp the previous night. Fresh seafood warmed us up after the freezing ride down the coast from ~Mile100 to Henties. Meanwhile, I made some calls.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2014-18-53.jpg)

The only BMW Motorrad dealer in Namibia that I could find was in Windhoek. No stock, 2 days to order, R900. A two day wait would've killed any chance of a push into northern Koakoland. We all had to be back in Cape Town for various reasons in a week. The roads to the south were mostly easy and I was willing to risk it without a clutch. So the decision was made to take a leisurely ride back to Cape Town.

In retrospect, we could've continued on our trip northwards at this point, but I was nervous that I'd be going along a cliff edge and the lever would snap while changing gears, sending me wheelie-ing off a cliff. But in fact, the lever held for the whole day, and the following, and the one after that... Two months later, and the repairjob is still holding!

So then on to the salt road down to Swakopmund.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-15%20at%2015-56-30.jpg)

Our plan was to spend the night at the "Municipal Chalets", but we had no idea where this was. After a lot of asking around, we got general directions that led to the south west corner of the town. From there it wasn't hard to spot what Garmin lists simply as Swakopmund Rest Camp. We got a chalet that sleeps four for R220. Good value. There was even a laundromat/bar/casino/games room/cafe/pool hall down the road...
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~jmanley/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16%20at%2006-59-36.jpg)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: >Herman< on November 04, 2009, 07:48:36 am
 :thumleft: Lekker manne  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: funacide on November 04, 2009, 09:38:03 am
You guys must have camped out very close to where we had bike problems in 2008 as well.....

Very nice guys respect
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on November 05, 2009, 03:57:17 pm
A day later than promised but here they are.

Our campsite just outside of Uis

(http://img2.pict.com/67/24/b6/1919057/0/img2550.jpg)

heading down the canyon

(http://img2.pict.com/c6/00/88/1919059/0/800/img2601.jpg)

Alex decided he wanted to pick his bike up himself. We found the biggest problem in sand to be the fact that the bike keeps sliding away as you lift it. Being an engineer he made a plan to stop this. Unfortunately the riding has taken its toll and only after expending most of his reserves in getting the rocks there did he find out the hard way that the initial pivot point has now been shifted to the tires instead of the crashbards. The tires being high also didnt help. this was the fall which claimed the clutch lever.

(http://img2.pict.com/ef/5c/a9/1919060/0/img2630.jpg)

Also an appropriate time to mention that J was the only to not fall. He once performed a super flying off dive from standstill in order to help Mark, just to hear "ah, no worries, im ok"

Some random pics from my walk

(http://img2.pict.com/71/31/5b/1919061/0/800/img2639.jpg)

interesting contrast where our canyon meets the Ugab
(http://img2.pict.com/47/62/12/1919064/0/800/img2644.jpg)

(http://img2.pict.com/86/41/ad/1919067/0/800/img2647.jpg)

Turns out there was quite a bit of fun to be missed. I was quietly relieved, although it would have been a very interesting challenge. On another trip...

(http://img2.pict.com/58/06/d5/1919070/0/img2659.jpg)

(http://img2.pict.com/a5/02/3e/1919072/0/800/img2667.jpg)

(http://img2.pict.com/c0/7a/bc/1919076/0/800/img2700.jpg)

Just in case anyone forgot that it was cold on the west coast:

(http://img2.pict.com/0b/bc/8f/1919084/0/800/img2726.jpg)

The face of a happy man. and why may you ask is he so happy.

(http://img2.pict.com/48/cf/c1/1919101/0/800/img2731.jpg)

Simple answer:

(http://img2.pict.com/96/b2/66/1919107/0/800/img2734.jpg)

It was most likely the best plate of fish i have yet had. Mark was unable to finish off his calamri, so J and myself piled in.

That evening in our chalet: mmm, smelly boots!

(http://img2.pict.com/9c/cf/97/1919119/0/800/img2745.jpg)

More whenever JAmBer adds the next day
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: PinkGoat on November 06, 2009, 03:33:52 pm
Great RR guys!!  :thumleft: Fell in love with Nam at the beginning of the year! Seeing the pics of the place just awesome!!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on November 06, 2009, 05:19:30 pm
to be continued.... 

yes, even students need to work from time to time. Once either J or myself has some free time we will resume.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on November 11, 2009, 11:48:57 am
Mark and Alex, we are waiting for your input here :pot:
Or will Mark be doing the Baviaans RR
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on November 11, 2009, 12:28:00 pm
No finger pointing Melville, I haven't seen you and Jason's Baviaans trip on here either!  :deal:  :pot: I hear it was a good trip - lots of bottoming out. What are you planning with the KLR suspension?

Hijack off

Life should be less insane by next week when I will take over the last bit of writing of the Nam trip. But then again if Mark can drag himself away from writing C or Alex away from encrypting data it would be jolly good. I do believe they have some personal input in into the next few days, especially day 9...
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on November 14, 2009, 12:54:35 pm
U and J, I'll meet you guys in Oudtshoorn and we do "Diehel".

melfromhel
 >:D
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Tubeless on November 18, 2009, 09:57:53 am
 ??? ??? ??? ::) ::) ::) ::) >:( >:( >:( :xxbah: :deal:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on November 23, 2009, 05:01:08 pm
Hi Tubeless,
Diehel is another name for Gamkaskloof north of Oudtshoorn. I'm not sure if that was what you're questioning. I'm hoping to get U-go and jamber to join me on a ride there.  8)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Tubeless on November 23, 2009, 11:12:52 pm
NO not really  - what do these guys think this is TEASERS. Finish the @%^$^@^ report.  :dousing:   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Would I? on December 15, 2009, 05:03:36 pm
Student time is over now....... finish this report!!!  :) :) :)

 :happy1: :happy1: :happy1:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: OliveOil on December 16, 2009, 10:19:47 pm
Sounds/looks like an awesome trip! Wow!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 22, 2010, 11:50:22 am
This post is an attempt to save face, even if just a little bit. To start with I will just post all the pictures so that the site will not stop hosting them, and then either Jamber or myself will fill in some more details.

Day 8 was B2 south to Walvis bay. Then on to C14 eastwards.
that took us to solitaire
274KM for the day

I had quite a bit written for this day, but cannot find it. Highlights included, as can be seen, walking up Dune 7, and can not be seen, my rear tube letting rip, literally, and thus another puncture stop under the only tree in sight somewhere on the C14

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 10-43-23.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 10-52-12.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 10-56-44.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 11-01-10.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 11-02-19.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at-11-05-44.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 11-10-55.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 11-13-17.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 13-52-34.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 16-38-00.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 17-09-10.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 18-49-10.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 18-55-25.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-16 at 19-01-06.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 06-45-14.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 07-04-31.jpg)

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: wayneh on January 24, 2010, 09:20:28 pm
Awesome pics & a great story.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: BlueBull2007 on January 25, 2010, 05:42:33 am
Great story, even if its late, we want to read the rest. :hello2:

Come on Guys!

Your camera skills are exceptional! What camera were you using?

(http://img2.pict.com/0d/9d/ef/1849980/0/800/20090913at135545.jpg)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 08:40:39 am
Camera: Ask Mr Jamber. The photos here are from the four of us. All the really good looking ones are his, or at least taken with his camera.

The rest will come. WD server issues (i presume) meant the rest did not happen on Friday. Hopefully by this friday
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 01:44:02 pm
Day 9: Solitaire to Sosusvlei: 9hrs on the bike, 225km

C19 south
then turned off onto D826 westwards to sosusvlei

Again not much done in distance, but lots to tell. The usual slightly too late “uit die vere” (literally) and some apple pie for breakfast

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17%20at%2007-11-16.jpg)

The view of the others sleeping

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 06-45-23 (1).jpg)

The view from my little afdakkie. I was expecting some dew. This was the first time that i bothered making a roof. Cant say i got wet once.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 06-45-37.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics//2009-09-17 at 07-05-54.jpg)

Heading toward the vlei on the tar road. That Dakar looks loaded. And lookie look, see what's coming...

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 12-04-00.jpg)

This stuff is not fun on a loaded bike. There was some general misunderstanding and confusion, and in the process we  made an attempt at proceeding to the vlei. I had one off and a lot of paddling. I think both Mark and Alex has some time in the sand too. After some time and some more confusing reports from various people in bakkies we realise that we are not suppose to be here on our bikes. Oops. So we pull in under a shade tree and have a break. Mark and Alex, please give a blurb about the beauty of Sosusvlei, and the wonders of modern GPS units

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 13-33-17.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 13-34-00.jpg)


On their adventure to find the vlei they take some great pics with Jamber’s camera, and also manage to drop Alex’s one in the sand, so now the debugging procedure also involves shaking the camera until the lens withdraws to the correct position.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 14-29-12.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 14-34-10.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 14-36-49.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 14-44-07.jpg)

Jamber and myself called in lazy and said that we better guard the bikes against all the thieving ants, antelope and who knows what not.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 15-22-40.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 15-23-06.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 15-30-38.jpg)

They’re nogal serious about it too. I can honestly say that not one of us saw the sign – we were focussing on the hell ahead of us.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17 at 17-01-36.jpg)

Finally back on terra firma (this sand does not count as solid ground). Alex and Mark swears to never ride any dirt ever again... ja right, whatever!

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18 at 08-24-34.jpg)

After a bit of umming and ahhing we call in at the absolute ripoff campsite. I had a pie and coke from across the road for supper, and Jamber had his freeze-dried breakfast stolen by a jackal – hope the bugger found a well of water to drown his thirst/sorrow
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 01:45:06 pm
forgot to add - Mark and Alex went to the restaurant - apparently the food is not bad
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 01:48:50 pm
And i forgot to add this one. Silly buggers almost got away without carrying water. This is the return from the outing. I sometimes wish i went with - crazy as it was, still good memories  ;D

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-17%20at%2016-41-38.jpg)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 01:58:21 pm
Day 10: C27 south
through betta, continue on C27 then turn SW onto D707
join C13 south to Aus
347km
7hrs

Very few photos taken. This was the first time that the sand patches in the road stopped bothering me. Everything was red so i had no idea when they were coming up – so much better. Every now and then the bike would just float a little more. Twist the ear a bit and through. I think i was the only one who really enjoyed the sand patches.

Cool chair in Betta

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18%20at%2012-28-43.jpg)

This is where i decided that i need to shave. The young lady at the coffee shop, i guess her around 20, called me oom. This name was further reinforced when Jamber found that i had the most tread left on my tires, so clearly I qualify for the more sedate state of being Oom Hugo

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18 at 11-08-18.jpg)

Maybe Alex was enjoying the sand as well. He was the only one who enjoyed them all along, except for Sosos

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18%20at%2013-55-01.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18 at 15-02-12jpg)

Ahh, my Fugly with the Poorahtech
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-18%20at%2015-02-12%20%281%29.jpg)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 02:17:55 pm
Day 11 C13 south
through Rosh Pinah and onto D212 to border at Sendelingsdrif
onto gravel road with no name heading south
through lekkersing
onto R382 eastwards
spend night at steinkopf
425km
10 hours

Look at those stallions - they're so wild someone even put a warning sign up for them.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2007-12-39.jpg)

Some more ghettofixing of the camera
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2009-06-33.jpg)

Jamber almost ready for action!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19 at 09-08-39.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19 at 08-42-52.jpg)

First view of good old SA
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2013-09-50.jpg)

“We’re on a boat!” (Added just for you Alex)
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2013-35-57.jpg)

Richtersveld – this was a fun bit of riding. My bike also turned 50 somewhere in between the diamond areas.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2015-24-08.jpg)

Here somewhere we crossed paths with a herd of horses. j was up i front and got to ride next to them for a while. I came in next was in the act of taking the camera out of my jacket pocket when the leaders suddenly decided it is a good idea to cross the road. What followed was a bit of a dusty nightmare . It was a juggle between dropping the camera (equals death when i get home) braking with one hand on the handle bars (death from coming pip at speed) or not breaking (death from stampeding horses). I chose the correct combination and somehow manage to survive. it took a while for the dust to clear and the others to realise that i was not lying in the ditch. All in all it was one of my best experiences of the entire trip, just such a pity that there are no photos to show.

Hiding in the only shade there is
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2016-02-03.jpg)

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2016-08-19.jpg)

Unpacking for the second last time!
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2018-38-43.jpg)

Half finished rondawel made for two or not, we all crashed, somewhere. Alex was the lucky one to draw the straw for the bed, the rest of us crashed here there and everywhere – literally – the place was FULL once we settled down. Watched The Green Mile that evening.
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-19%20at%2018-40-57.jpg)
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: u-go on January 25, 2010, 02:28:34 pm
Day 12 HOME!

N7

To start the day, we got going late. I have around 20 minutes of video footage of alex trying to get his camera to work "because the N7 looks very different going back than what it does going up"

It was fun though.

(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-20%20at%2007-52-12.jpg)


Some crazy caterpillar. this dude could move!
 
(http://croc.qip.co.za/~j/nam_tour_pics/2009-09-20%20at%2008-35-35.jpg)

The ride home was rather uneventful. The citrusdal area was wonderful - all the trees were in blossom, so a very fragrant ride. The downside to this is that my grey gear looked rather camouflaged by the time we left the valley. It was also a mission to keep the visors clean.


We did not get to where we planned, but regardless of that, it was an amazing trip, especially since it was the first one for all of us. Another big thanks to Jamber for all the effort that went into it, and to Mark and Alex for providing endless entertainment and good company, and also to all the Wilddogs who have posted RRs - they all served as inspiration and motivation for making this trip happen!

over and out
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Diesel & Dust on January 25, 2010, 04:56:12 pm
Well done - great report :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: wino on January 25, 2010, 07:32:38 pm
well done guys, excellent  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: JMOL on January 25, 2010, 09:16:40 pm
Thanks for sharing!!

Well done.
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: BlueBull2007 on January 26, 2010, 02:40:56 am
Great stuff, and more great photos! :hello2:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: bonova on January 26, 2010, 04:25:37 am
Cool one guys! respect!
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: keithk on January 26, 2010, 06:24:15 am
INSPIRING STUFF ! Well done  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Hoofseun on January 26, 2010, 08:58:21 am
Thnxs for a nice "blue print" for one of our next rides!!

Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: Martin-DR650 on January 28, 2010, 12:07:52 pm
Very Nice! :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam
Post by: melvman on February 02, 2010, 10:55:39 am
Nice pics. Was Jamber "bekruiping" a Gemsbok?
Title: Re: Noobs in Nam [Now with vids]
Post by: JAmBer on December 13, 2011, 04:59:02 pm
So you may have noticed in some of the pics (and comments) that Alex had a camera strapped to the front of his bike for the entire trip. It took photos as we rode along, every few seconds. We've finally gotten 'round to processing these pics and have created a timelapse video of the entire trip. It's sped up about 180 times.

This might be useful for those of you planning your first trip into Namibia to see what the roads are really like.

Apologies for the gimpy background music. I had some troubles uploading to YouTube; it kept whining about copyright for my Super Awesome (tm) backtracks, which I took from the actual playlists of music I was listening to on this ride, and so disabled the videos or audio tracks. After a lot of annoying fiddling, I've resorted to just using YouTube provided songs. But they're of the wrong length and don't always suit the mood of the road section. Better than nothing.

Without further ado, in full HD glory, here's Namibia like you've never seen it before!

day1:
http://www.youtube.com/v/YKgMuFbFs1s

day2:
http://www.youtube.com/v/FbO1M-m5LaI

day3:
http://www.youtube.com/v/GooPloRiAkQ

day4:
http://www.youtube.com/v/xkMiglYKIvU

day5:
http://www.youtube.com/v/Y-JFjXwRPow

day6:
http://www.youtube.com/v/scp-WJYVKis

day7:
http://www.youtube.com/v/a4YooEpcHcw

day8:
http://www.youtube.com/v/qESY6GrIr8Q

day9:
http://www.youtube.com/v/AcXsbqbOwWw

day10:
http://www.youtube.com/v/bOTrryqVjUU

day11:
http://www.youtube.com/v/kIl3USjJcmc

day12:
Didn't bother to post boring ride back down N7. Just watch day1 in reverse!