Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola  (Read 52631 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 8,840
  • Thanked: 174 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2013, 11:48:49 pm »
Great read so far.. you really highlight the need to plan properly.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline KTMRICK

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 598
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • The fun begins where the long black snake ends
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2013, 11:59:00 pm »
 :thumleft: :ricky:
 

Offline J-dog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: United Kingdom
  • Posts: 3,130
  • Thanked: 78 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2013, 07:33:44 am »
 :sip: :sip: :sip: :sip: :sip:
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 138
  • 2 humps are better than 1
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2013, 09:22:17 pm »
Quote
That pesky switch needs a 2.2k ohm resister inline between two of the wires

Much later, when we got back home and discussed this with our more resourceful/competent friends, they looked at us in disbelief and said, "why didn't you just make one? Or nick one out a radio?"

I have to confess to feeling a little retarded at their response. With some foil from a ciggie packet you can make a resistor and just tear bits off it till you get to the right ohms right? Right? I'm going on coffee table wisdom here. Thing is, what would you all do? Would you head into the back of beyond on a trip where timing is tight already with only a cigarette packet keeping one of the bikes running?

In my books that's a pretty risky manoeuvre, but leaving one of your mates behind is no walk in the park either.

What's the court of public opinion say?


 
 

Offline zacapa

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XR650L
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 1,974
  • Thanked: 42 times
  • XR650L - 134.217kg lite weight special...
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2013, 10:31:35 pm »
Yay! the 2.2k ohm resistor straight out of a ZAR100 crappy radio run by PM9 batteries would have been my first port of call too. Probs is that if you havn't mucked with Ohm's before because let's face it - who ever has? - there is not much you can do. Next time you need a resistor though you will know where to find it.
Let's agree - the intricacies of biking in the unknown world have met with some resistance...
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2013, 07:21:34 pm »
Let's agree - the intricacies of biking in the unknown world have met with some resistance...

Hahaha. Brilliant.

Edit: Previous vid now with sound  :dousing:

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 8,840
  • Thanked: 174 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #66 on: September 14, 2013, 08:19:35 pm »
I have been on quite a few long distance cross country trips, on every occasion at some point you think to yourself ' if I had a mechanical or electrical failure now I would have to leave my bike here, hitchhike to the nearest town with an airport and catch a flight home' the cost and time required to recover the bike is probably not worth the value of the bike, ( well my bike at least ) ok maybe not that bad, but you know that in those instances you would be toast, as such I try not to take a bike into a remote place without feeling confident that it will get me out of the said place. You can plan for so many things, we take all sorts of bits of stuff with us for possible mechanical breakdowns but that doesn't mean I necessarily know how to use it. The Ohms thing would have had me stumped. On my last trip I took coolant for my radiator just in case.. all I did was carry a 500ml bottle around for 7 days before dumping it.

In this situation I am not sure I would have made a different decision.. it must have been a tough call.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Beserker

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 4,489
  • Thanked: 27 times
  • Agito ergo sum
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2013, 08:00:18 am »
On my last trip I took coolant for my radiator just in case..

Just before we went on our Angola trip, I went up Matroosberg, a small spill, broke my gearlever off.

Nearly fried my clutch, and it start slipping. Some 3rd gear roll ons got rid of the glazing, and it worked fine, but in case, I carried all the plates with, for the whole trip.

2 years later, they are still in their packaging  :P

I do not think planning could prevent what happened, and over planning is not my style either, there are 2 many variables. Mechanical prepping of your bike, and doing a substantial number of kilo's though is where it's at.

At least you recovered your friend to a position from where he could help himself (good), you did not leave him stranded in the middle of nowhere (bad).

Had I been the the rider on the broken bike, the only thing that would make feel worse about my situation would be if the rest of the group missed their trip as well.

From my perspective, you did exactly the right thing.

edit:

FWIW, Although I don't like the DR much (I hate the suspension), I think the DR is an ideal bike to do a trip like this. They last forever, they are light on fuel, you can pack it like a donkey.

Can't wait for the rest!!!

« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:07:22 am by Beserker »
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Tonteldoos

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XL1000V Varadero
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,589
  • Thanked: 1 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2013, 09:22:55 am »
Nice one!  gooi more  :deal:
Challenge = Innovation = Change
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #69 on: September 15, 2013, 11:01:03 am »
We were doing out best to get that stricken 690 back on the road, and Tom is very much of the "let's just set off and we'll solve it on the way" opinion. But newboy Gaza was paranoid and convinced we'd leave the bike there if it entered Angola.

Turns out he was right. The clutch slave cylinder seals were gone, and it wouldn't have made more than a few days at the most. By which time we'd really have been in the middle of nowhere. So the cards fell as they fell. I think we were lucky...

Offline MechanicalCamel

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 138
  • 2 humps are better than 1
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #70 on: September 15, 2013, 02:59:09 pm »
I think we may indeed have been lucky - but Captain Thomas certainly wouldn't have seen it that way...


How can it be so hard to leave a town as indescribably moose as Opuwo? It was holding us in it’s dark super-power vortex. We were the tennis ball that the over-eager Labrador kept on bringing back. Enough dammit! We’re leaving and this time we mean it… After 4 days of hacking this was hardly the triumphant, whistleblowing, 12-gun salute type departure that you'd hope for. Partly cause this was our second crack at leaving, but more so cause Captain Thomas wasn't with us. It was a twagedy of epic proportions. A gross injustice. I’m going to sob on my keyboard if I continue.

But the show must go on, so go on we did. This time it was the safe option in terms of route selection - we hammered it back to the main road (where we'd started out detour from 2 days before), pausing only to flirt with catastrophe at the police stop. Because our bikes were on the trailers when we came in to the country, we'd forgotten to pay road tax for them at the Namibian border. Well… that was the official line. The truth was closer to the following: The Midget was desperate for a poo at the border and demanded that we hustle post haste to the Engen a few kms further on. When the lady in the road tax office suggested that we would have to pay for the bikes we distracted her with cunning and slight of hand and by the time she got to filling in forms she had forgotten. Given the (by now physical) pressure that the Midge was under, and the fact that we're impossibly cheap and love  freebie, we scuttled out and claimed the victory. (The Engen didn’t.) The gods obviously didn't think this too severe a crime because back at the police checkpoint, the combination of friendly smiles and professed ignorance (not exactly a stretch for us) smoothed their concerns and we were bid a happy trip.

"Last stretch - a blast up this tar road for 60kms and we're there!"
Really? Unlikely. The 60kms turned out to be double that, and the tar road turned out to be a corrugated, rutted dirt one. Fairly tedious if you’re trundling through in a rented Atos, but a sweet pleasure if you’re on 2 wheels - game on!

Obviously it was dark before we made it to Ruacana town, let alone the border post, so plans for changing countries were shelved for nog a dag. We found a very sweet campsite and, rather pleased with ourselves for riding 180kms without trip-ending incident, treated ourselves to an army tent set up, complete with 2 beds. Such hard-core adventurers we are. Quick game of numbers and it was Max on a sleeping mat on the floor. Sorry for you.

Surely, SURELY, we’d make it to Angola tomorrow…
(and have more pictures...)
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 138
  • 2 humps are better than 1
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #71 on: September 15, 2013, 03:19:28 pm »
When waking up not more than 20kms from the country of your desired destination it would be reasonable to feel fairly confident of making it into said country. Given our immediate history though, a cautious view seemed prudent. Max spent the first few hours of sunlight studiously wiring in his GPS because this seemed like a good idea for 3 buffoons with no idea of where they were heading. I spent the time pacifying my desert-water-drought-panic by filling up every 2 litre coke bottle I could find with water. The Midget spent the time carefully brushing his teeth, standing in front of the basin on an upturned bucket, just able to see into the mirror. Dental hygiene is very important and should not be ignored just because you’re camping.

And then we were off! For the 312th time this trip we were finally leaving. Bom Dia Angola! Just a quick stop first at the gas station...

There were 2 things that turned this stop into a 3 hr pause. One of them we knew about: this was the first time I was figuring out how to fill up my bike (bear with me, this is slightly less moronic than it sounds. I hope.) I can't remember if I mentioned this already but I was unable to get into my petrol tank. I'd had a wee incident a year ago where I snapped off my key in the ignition. Most of the key was still inside so you could turn the bike on and off with anything screwdriver-shaped. Which is exactly what I’d been using for a year and why I hadn’t bothered fixing it. I’ve got a Safari tank on the bike so when I fill up I just put gas up front. All good and well until you need to make very, very sure that you are carrying absolutely all the petrol you possibly can, for example, when visiting Angola.  (I had only remembered about the no-key-for-the-petrol-cap thing somewhere near Windhoek and apart from needless release adrenaline into my system, there wasn't much I could do). Now, the seasoned among you will know that the safari tank drains back into the main tank. Slowly. Very slowly. So I could fill up the safari tank and wait for it to wander it's way backwards but it's pretty difficult to tell when it's full. Actually it’s not. You just fill the Safari tank until you see petrol pissing out the breather pipe of the main tank, all over the bikes electrics. Close the tap. Job done.



The midget fills up one of his 13 fuel bags:



We resisted the temptation to buy fishing rods at the garage…


Mostly cause we’d heard about how bad the crocodiles were…



Then the second reason for the delay…. Ready to go and... (you must all be getting soooooo bored of this fake-start-story by now). 2 of us pull out the station…
(note the Midget’s sit/stand combo)



…while the third creases his brow and confronts the fact that there’s not one milli-charge of juice on his bike. At this stage I must point out that Max is the brains of the group. Clearly from the story thus far that isn't too tricky - the average is somewhere on a par with an anteater - but he really is a smart dood. This time though his genius has presumably failed him and his GPS wiring splendifery had drained the battery. This likely scenario he refused to accept however and after a few failed push starts he set about with his trusty voltmeter.

This voltmeter is a bit of a laughing point between us. Max never leaves on a bike trip without it. I'm not aware that we've ever really needed it, but it gets pulled out at pretty much every time a bike stops for reasons other than petrol or puncture. Now I'm no electrician but I'm reasonably confident that when your bike is so dead it struggles to jump start when getting pulled down the main road by a bakkie, a voltmeter isn't going to help. Anxiety levels at this point though, were running sky high. Max had no idea why his bike had dumped it's charge and was, understandably, pretty concerned about heading into the back of beyond with a bike with dodgy battery and no kickstart. Max dived into the electrical bits while the midget and I ate roadside oranges, him sitting on one of those black rubbish bins, feet dangling a good foot off the floor.

Max pulling the fuses out with his teeth:


After studious volt-metering,  Max ripped out all but the essential fuses and declared that we were ready. Whistle, hoot, yawn, done-this-before and we were off to see the wizard.

I can see Angoooooooola!



Not to do outdone by my big brother, I had one last crack at derailing the departure process by getting arrested. As in, I had a crack at getting arrested, rather than actually getting arrested. I'm pretty sure the latter would be entirely successful in the "derailing departure' game. In fact, that would almost certainly be a gold medal victory-clincher, but I deftly spun around and rode out of the power station that I had accidentally ridden into post haste, having satisfied myself that there was no customs desk inside.


Correct road located, lots of scribbling on forms at a one horse Namibian border post (where the naughtiest of the naughty must get sent), and we were through. More scribbling at the half-horse-and-no-saddle post on the Angolan side and we were through!

"Hello Angola - nice to see you! Lets have a beer"
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 10:38:29 am by MechanicalCamel »
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #72 on: September 15, 2013, 03:49:34 pm »

FWIW, Although I don't like the DR much (I hate the suspension), I think the DR is an ideal bike to do a trip like this. They last forever, they are light on fuel, you can pack it like a donkey.


You are exactly, unquestionably, certainly and absolutely correct. The problem is that if you fancy yourself a racehorse rider, you might feel slightly down at the heel and disappointed riding a DR.

For several years I've considered arriving at Afrika Burn wearing a tuxedo and riding a mule. Without any luggage whatsoever. It would make for a fantastic week's experiment, and I may well do it one year. I consider riding a mule and riding a DR to be very closely related. Now don't start hating on me, DR riders! I, for one, consider a DR (sorry, a mule) to be a very fine animal indeed. I know several cowboys who would rather give away their eldest daughter than their best mule. And let's be honest, a 690 is not a very good motorcycle to be taking into the very far back of beyond, many many miles away from help, rescue or specialist tools or mechanics.

But the 690 is also a very exciting motorcycle. And when you are going to be riding the best motorcycle terrain known to God or man - or mule - you want to be riding the very most exciting motorcycle you can get your grubby little mitts on. It's terrible logic, it's bound to land me in trouble (I don't want to give away the story - but it already has got me into trouble) - but I can't say I wouldn't make the same decision all over again.

Each to their own, each to their own...

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 8,840
  • Thanked: 174 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #73 on: September 15, 2013, 04:26:36 pm »
I have to say, if you go to Africa Burn next time I hope to get an invite  :thumleft:
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 138
  • 2 humps are better than 1
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #74 on: September 15, 2013, 08:57:31 pm »
I have to say, if you go to Africa Burn next time I hope to get an invite  :thumleft:

But of course. Would you like to come in this?


Or would you prefer summa this action?


Sure Max could dig up some more pics with our improved efforts from this year...

« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:58:12 pm by MechanicalCamel »
 

Offline Bazinga

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Enduro
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 511
  • Nat-Su-Kow
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #75 on: September 16, 2013, 11:18:28 am »
Cant wait for the rest
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #76 on: September 16, 2013, 11:19:30 am »

Sure Max could dig up some more pics with our improved efforts from this year...


Don't tempt me.

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #77 on: September 16, 2013, 11:20:29 am »
Cant wait for the rest

C'mon Camel. Get off those lazy fat humps and do some postin for the people.

Offline MissM

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW G650 X-challenge
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,166
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #78 on: September 16, 2013, 01:34:00 pm »
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!

Can I come with next time?  :ricky: :ricky:
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
 

Offline Kaboef

  • Jedi Knight
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 4,998
  • Thanked: 153 times
Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #79 on: September 16, 2013, 01:47:25 pm »
Very funny report.

And hey - if everything went according to plan there would not have been a good story.

Adventure only really begins when things go wrong.



And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."