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Offline Wayne Duck

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Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:03:07 am »
When my son Bradley turned 16 and passed his learners I bought him an almost new Honda XR 250 Tornado and started teaching him how to ride.
He was a fast learner and soon we were able to leave the confines of the local soccer field and take on some longer rides away from home. As he was not 18 yet, and therefore illegal to ride anything larger than a 125cc, I had my local sign shop copy the XR250 artwork, replacing it with XR125 decals…none of the roadblocks we subsequently were stopped at ever picked up on this!

So, after about 1500 km’s of local day rides (and a few minor offs) I thought it was time for him to tackle a longer trip with me…I decided on taking him back to where he had been born, the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. When we had left there (for Namibia) Bradley had been just 4 years old so did not remember anything about the place.

I had some work colleagues that were keen to come along in their Hilux and Landy and, because this was to be Bradley’s first long ride, I welcomed them…great to have a backup vehicle for just in case!  They would meet us in Fouriesburg, as would my brother and his wife from Amanzimtoti (on their Dakar 650). Right, enough background, let’s ride!

Day one: Sun City to Parys 248 km’s

I had broken this journey into short, bite sized pieces as I wanted to minimize the risk of my son losing concentration and having an off! We rode a zig zag route trying to do as much gravel as we could to Parys where we stayed overnight in a B&B.
The XR can only maintain a steady 90 to 100 km/h on the tar but on gravel that is plenty fast enough…it is actually quite amazing on gravel and rougher dirt roads.

Ready to leave home


Day two: Parys to Fouriesburg 252 km’s

After breakfast we hit the road…a little to literally! We had only travelled a few kilometers and Bradley had his first off of this trip! As he turned into a street the front wheel washed out on the loose pebble stones that pile up at intersections. He was okay, just a bit of a roasty on his elbow and hand and a torn glove. The bike was starting to collect some character scratches. All patched up and motivated again we set off, again zig zag through the Free State gravel roads to Fouriesburg where we met up with the rest of the group.

Gravel and flowers in the Free State


Day three: Fouriesburg, Caledon Border, Ox Bow, Afri-Ski, Mokhotlong, Taung, Masai Lodge 270 km’s

Early up and through the border at Caledon we head up the mountainous route towards Mokhotlong. The XR250 managed really well up and over the high Khalo la Lithunya Pass, 3236 meters above sea level, quite remarkable.
Before Mokhotlong we turn right onto the Sani Top road and then right again onto the road that eventually would get you to Thaba Tseka, but we’re not going there yet. At Taung we take a left towards Sehonghong but stop before we get there to overnight at Masai Lodge.

Group pic at the Caledon Border


Lunch stop








Masai Lodge



Day four: Masai Lodge, Sehonghong, Matebeng Pass, Ramatsiliso’s gate, Matatiele, Mt Fletcher, Naude’s Nek, Rhodes 341 km’s

The route from Masai up, over and down the Matebeng Pass towards Sehlabathebe National Park and Ramatsiliso’s Gate is an amazing one. I recommend to everyone that has not done this, and who rides a DS bike, to put this on their list to do soon!

















Top of Matebeng Pass



After clearing the border back into S.A. Bradley had another lapse of talent and nearly went down the mountainside! Ah well, thankfully rider and bike were physically ok, but Bradley had got a huge fright and his confidence had taken a beating. I asked that the rest of the group go ahead and meet us in Matatiele so that I could ride slowly with Bradley to rebuild his confidence. For the next 20 to 30 km’s he was very slow but, after a KFC lunch in Matatiele, he was on top form again (o:



The sun had set before we had got to Rhodes…the twisty pass roads in the dark was another new experience and learning curve for my son!






Day five: Rhodes, Wartrail, Lundean’s Nek, Tele Bridge Border, Mohale’s Hoek, Malealea Lodge 222 km’s

This is another truly spectacular route enjoyed by all.

My son with his uncle on his right and dad on his left



Day six: Malealea, Roma (via the “back” route), Mohale Dam, Thaba Tseka, Katse Dam Lodge 291 km’s

The road leading up into and through the hills from Malealea to Roma is a bit of a track in places and not used by many vehicles, but easily done on a bike. The two four wheeled vehicles with us also managed without any problems. Roma to Thaba Tseka will be all tar soon, sad! But it is soooo much fun to “superbike” it along this brand new road…the twists and turns are highly addictive and you carry on for what seems like forever!



25 years ago - who won that year?!





Day seven: Katse Dam Lodge, Leribe, Fouriesburg 172 km’s

This all tar route is legend for its continuous twists and turns, I don’t think there a straight section of more than 500 meters! My son had a lot of fun chasing dad up and down all the passes!

Just before Buthe Buthe my son had his last fall (of this trip!)…and this was right at a Police roadblock! I’d come to a stop and then I heard a loud metal on tar scraping sound and he and his bike came sliding past me towards the policemen!!! These policemen all came running to help him up, asking if he was okay and all looking so worried and concerned…I was quite surprised but at the same time so impressed. I got the impression that they thought that it was their fault he had fallen! Anyway, apart from a bit of embarrassment Bradley was good to go and the bike, well it was quite characterful by now!








Day eight: Fouriesburg to Sun City 477 km’s

The friends in the Hilux and Landy and my brother and his wife had not stayed the night at Fouriesburg, opting to head for home the day before. Bradley and I enjoyed a slow and steady trip through the Free State’s gravel roads into the North West and arrived back home in the late afternoon.



2 250 km’s…quite a ride for a newbie!
My son had done me proud but, more importantly; he was full of pride in himself for completing this trip. Adventure rides are about travelling to and though wonderful, off-the-beaten-track places, but they’re also about getting yourself and your bike back from these places safely. Overcoming the odd mishap, and perhaps a bit of pain, but not giving up, builds character. As I have learnt in my life so far, there is absolutely no substitute for experience, and he sure got heaps of this during these eight days and 2 250 km’s!

Here are the links to my other ride reports:

Off to Mpumalanga and a bit of Swaziland
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=120446.0

Zimbabwe May 2012
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=102344.0

Rides with my son / daughter – A short collection
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=104992.0

A bit of Free State and Eastern Cape
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=117650.0

21 days through BotsNamZamZim two up May 2011
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=106761.0

Scooter ride around Sun City
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

…and then we got high! (21 passes through Eastern Cape and Lesotho)
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=125097.0
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 06:22:10 pm by Wayne Duck »
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Ras

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 06:03:40 am »
Ongelooflik. Hys gelukkig om 'n pa soos jy te he  :thumleft:
 

Offline Crispie

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 07:19:14 am »
Eina nou wens ek ek het n seun gehad!!

Mooi man dis nice om so Pa seun verhouding te sien!!
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 07:22:02 am »
Superb :thumright:

Bit of male bonding with the lad - he will never forget it - nice route and fantastic scenery over Lesotho and beyond. That's where the national bash is this year - Can't wait.
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Offline woody1

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 08:06:47 am »
Lekker man. Ek geniet my seun net so. Jammer dat ons moet werk en nie genoeg tyd het om saam te ry nie.

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


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Offline HANS BOORMAN

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 08:51:21 am »
Nice pics.Your son is very priviliged!!! :thumleft:
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Offline SGB

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 09:30:57 am »
Lekker Wayne.  Riding with my son is always memorable - he did his first Sani ride on a pit bike at age 8.  Every ride since has been a meaningful one.  Cannot wait for him to get his licence so that we can get past roadblocks in Lesotho wihout the lengthy "negotiations".....  Next year.....  Will the 125 sticker kit work on a 525??  :imaposer:
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Offline BMWPE

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 09:48:37 am »

great ride
and what an awesome trip for your son   :thumleft:     
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Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 01:21:31 pm »
Lekker Wayne.  Riding with my son is always memorable - he did his first Sani ride on a pit bike at age 8.  Every ride since has been a meaningful one.  Cannot wait for him to get his licence so that we can get past roadblocks in Lesotho wihout the lengthy "negotiations".....  Next year.....  Will the 125 sticker kit work on a 525??  :imaposer:

Ha ha...Mmm, without being derogatory to Policemen, I'm going to have to reserve my comment!  :mwink:

Wayne
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 04:36:02 pm »
It must be great to do a father and son trip. Well done young man. :thumleft:
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Offline MINZI

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 02:20:37 pm »
Wayne, as I have commented before. YOU are in a very fortunate position to share these wonderfull trips with your kids.  :thumleft:
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Offline Rodlau

Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 02:47:43 pm »
Nice RR  Enjoy this while you can as before you know it he will spread his wings and leave the nest.  Rides may happen in the future, and probably will, but it will not be the same.  I bet he enjoyed it all with his old toppie.
 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 06:30:02 pm »
Thanks for the comments guys, appreciated.

Wayne.
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Bokveld

Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2012, 06:50:59 pm »
      Ja swaer , hulle moet jonk begin.Ek plaas 2 fotos van my seun.Ons kry maar min tyd saam,maar dis ongelooflike tye .
 

Offline spoedvark

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 07:09:41 pm »
Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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Online 10Klr

Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2012, 11:08:44 am »
AWESOME RR!

Congrats to you and your son

Would you mind talking about his bike a bit more... for eg what was his fuel range?  Did the bike struggle anywhere?

 :thumleft:
Love the one you are with
 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2012, 03:26:08 pm »
AWESOME RR!
Congrats to you and your son
Would you mind talking about his bike a bit more... for eg what was his fuel range?  Did the bike struggle anywhere?
 :thumleft:

Thanks 10Klr.
Some stats and thoughts on the XR250 Tornado:
Fuel consumption varies significantly between open road and gravel road...
Trying to maintain 100km/hr on the open road means that the throttle is wide open the whole time. This obviously drinks fuel so open road consumption is between 4.5 to as bad as 5 l/100km's. On the 11 liter fuel tank this means a range of 220 to 240 km's.

On gravel roads one is only using part throttle openings, and speeds are much lower so the the consumption improves dramatically...but expect it to be around 4 l/100km's. Therefore the range on a tank full (11L) improves to around 270 km's.

In order to try get a little more top end speed from this little engine (for the long tar sections of a trip) I increased the size of the front sprocket by one tooth. This had no positive effect...but a few negative ones! The bike does not have the power to push itself through the air at over 110 km/hr in top gear so you get up to 115 in 5th, hook 6th and slowly your speed drops back to 100....you hook 5th again, build your speed back up to 115 and get into 6th....then you slowly drop back to 100!!
Obviously this means that you are thrashing the poor bike and it is drinking fuel at an alarming rate...so back to the standard sprocket.

I have also opened up the airbox a little by removing the "snorkel", just to get it to breathe better. Honda said this mod would not necessitate re-jetting as it normally runs a little rich in stock form.

Other than this, I think this is a magnificent little bike. The engine is silky smooth, idles like an electric sewing machine. Has enough power to carry my lightie (about 60kg's) over high altitude passes and the suspension soaks up everything that he's managed to throw at it so far. Oh yes...it also crashes well  :eek7:
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Bring It On

Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2013, 10:52:51 pm »
Thanks a lot for sharing this really nice RR with us. :thumleft: :thumleft:

Really something Special to see both Father & Son being able to enjoy this type of DS riding together.  ;) :thumleft:
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Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2013, 11:01:38 pm »
Thanks Bring it On...nice to see my past reports still being read!
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Bring It On

Re: Lesotho / Eastern Cape - My son's first long ride
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2013, 11:05:30 pm »
Thanks Bring it On...nice to see my past reports still being read!

They are really interesting & pretty much keep me "glued" to the screen ;D ;D

Also really like the idea of you placing a single link to all your RR's :thumleft: :thumleft: Very Good Idea ;)
"Always Believe In Yourself"

Quote: "Riding a Bike feeds something inside us, that Nothing else can"
Quote: "I Ride because it can turn the Worst Day into the BEST"