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Online KiLRoy

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #320 on: October 10, 2013, 06:04:58 pm »
You're much to laid back for the 'international ' style RRs dude.... What about your unique insight into the local riding scene?


Who am i kidding, i'm out of my element, any writing about riding will do O0 :thumleft:

Your friend that had to stay behind, - his story.  He strikes me as the real gentleman's gentleman  ;)
 

Offline Tiger8

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #321 on: October 10, 2013, 06:14:41 pm »
You're much to laid back for the 'international ' style RRs dude.... What about your unique insight into the local riding scene?


Who am i kidding, i'm out of my element, any writing about riding will do O0 :thumleft:

Your friend that had to stay behind, - his story.  He strikes me as the real gentleman's gentleman  ;)

You mean "Ghost".........................my earlier post  :biggrin:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #322 on: October 10, 2013, 06:35:58 pm »
I’d like to welcome all you bitches, pimps, ho’s, players, johns, tricks, marks, mark-ass tricks, trick-ass marks, scallywags and scallywops, to the first annual, Players’ Haters PANDA GEEK GEAR REVIEW 2013.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/tbBQsbd6R6o" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/tbBQsbd6R6o</a>

Here followeth the highly opinionated and obnoxious LOVES and HATES about the toys, tools and trickwick tittybits that went with us on our ride to Angola. There shall be no grey.


HATE: KTM 690



You already know that this dirty, slutty, well used whore of a 690 was an unmitigated disaster. Our Tom is not a purist when it comes to mechanical things. He once reported his car stolen when he’d just forgotten where he parked it. Actually, twice. But dear god he loves motorcycles. You haven’t heard from him on this report - despite his excessive linguistic flair - because he’s still hurting, deeply.

Except he’s better now. Look:



I'm gonna love on that DRZ. It's beautiful. Of course the blithering idiot went and bought ANOTHER bike over the phone. But he was in a spastic frenzy about DRZ’s after spending the entire two weeks while we were in Angola reading up on them. Dear god may it be good to him.


LOVE: KTM 690



She be beautiful. She goes like a demon. And she tried to kill me.

By the way - Rally Raid make seriously good stuff for this bike. Used their racks, did their petrol cap and tank bolt conversions (essential), and their rear tank. All faultless - going back for more.


HATE TO LOVE: DR



It's simple, reliable as a fridge, and totally gets the job done. Perfect for a luddite Midget. Welcome Buttercup, you boring-as-sin-good-for-nothing-half-pony. At this price, why why why, I ask you, why would anyone buy a KLR???*

*Hate on me, Silky Johnstone and your cronies.


LOVE, HATE, LOVE TO HATE, HATE TO LOVE: That Rack!



Nothing has brought us more amusement in the aftermath. Ugly as sin, built like a brick shithouse. You wanna dominate Africa you know who to call. In fact, I think I'm going to become an agent. Come find me at Cafe Caprice.


LOVE: Mitas E09 & XT644



I wanted Michelin deserts for this trip, but they're impossible to come by at the moment, it seems. Piston Pete hooked us up with some E09's - I had a reasonably new TKC on the front so I was the only one who didn't change fronts. Can't comment on the XT's, but they look pretty good and have a more aggressive tread pattern than the TKC. I had tyre envy. Zero punctures on any of the bikes, and I hammered that E09 and it handled and still looks good enough to take off and save for a future trip. Well impressed.

EDIT 11/10 - Made a discovery yesterday... I'd noticed that my swingarm chain guard is a bit chewed up and broken, and since the bike has been off the road since Angola, hadn't paid it all that much attention - assuming that it was from my accident, utterly illogical as that may be. Turns out, it's the E09. And here's a heads up. The 140/80/18 E09 doesn't fit on the 690! Apparently Mitas measure their tyres by the width of the carcass not the knobs, and it's too wide. Bit annoying.... I wonder what a new swingarm guard costs?


LOVE: Giant Loop & ATG Gear



Any piece of kit called a 'Fandango' deserved to be loved. I've never used a tank bag before - Tom had one and it was impossible to stand up properly, but this is genius. Had all my camera kit in, with power rigged for on-bike charging. I think they're worth the money - it's built by people who love to do just this kind of stuff with it, and it shows.



Hard cases on a trip this are a liability. Seriously, you’d have to have a hole in the head.

I’ve been using a homemade Giant Loop-style bag the last few years, but needed something bigger for this trip. ATG's soft bags are less than half the price of the international stuff - and Michnus, of this very forum - generously gave us a little discount on them, so we all bought them. Thanks Michnus!

Now, bearing in mind that we abused them well beyond their stated spec, I think they’re bloody good. Midget beat the shit out his, and they are seriously the worse for wear, but nothing a couple hundred rands at Rocksole won’t fix. All of us had burst seams and broken clips, but this is why:


Hmmm. HATE: Fuel Bladders

We needed 45-50 litres for the south west corner, which is a bit of a problem in anyone’s language. Somewhat fortuitously we popped into Flying Brick and discovered that these things fit perfectly into the ATG bags:



So we bought four each. 25kg a side is a smudge beyond the stated spec of the bags, so we bust them a bit. But honestly, 45 litres of fuel is a pain in anyone's ass, and I'm hating them fuel bags just for that reason. But they didn't break, did the job and I'm sure we'll use them again. Like around the Kaokoveld. Or a little illegal trip up the coast from Luderitz. Boys?


LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE: Rockstraps



Rockstraps ARE SERIOUSLY THE BEST BIT OF KIT FOR A BIKE. Period. How on earth did it take me so long to discover them? Replace every strap you've got on your luggage with them!


LOVE: Panasonic & Gopro



The camera kit was peerless. Stills and video on the Panasonic GH3 with 12-35 f2.8 stabilised zoom and a fast 20/1.7 prime I only put on a couple times. GH3 is currently the best gig in town for DSLR video, and the battery life is sensational. Significantly more compact than full size DSLR too.

GoPro Hero3 black - amazing but battery life is shocking. Real hate on that! Had 4 and was constantly recharging.


LOVE (AND THE REST LOVE TO HATE): The Afterlife



Made for starving children in Africa or something, full of nutrients and chocolate flavoured. Kept us alive for days. And regular. We took six sacks of it.


LOVE: Toms' custom bivvy tarp



Tents are for pussies. You're cosseted at home enough. Sleep out, cook on a fire, don't wash, get hot, get cold, kak in die bos.


LOVE: BBC podcasts

I now know about rats, the British tax system, the origins of the home, Mary Robinson's private life and a bunch of other utterly senseless, useless pieces of information. A great way to whittle away the time on a long journey, and much better than being forced by Midget to listen to Taylor Swift on repeat.


LOVE: Weapons



Have toys, will travel. The Midge is a marksman. Don't make him angry. Still regret not mounting a harpoon to the back of my bike.


LOVE: The beautiful, idiosyncratic, curious, warm, colourful, charming people of Angola. We will never forget you.




N'GOLA KINGDOM? Yeah baby!


Offline Professor sprocket

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #323 on: October 11, 2013, 01:26:21 am »
While I still feel sick to the core at my experience of this trip, it seems wrong to spoil this yarn by leaving my fat turd of silence at its exit.

This is Tom, the one that was left behind. I wont even try and describe how disappointed I was. Something like a falling feeling. Or rather being left on the runway somehow just as the plane takes off. 50 shades of sick. I’d made the whole of this year about the Angolan trip, it had shaped all my work contracts, my relationships, made me turn down a shed load more work. I’d flown up to Pretoria just to get a visa. I’d bought a new bike, all new gear… And done an unfathomable array of paper work despite being over-busy with other stuff. Not easy for an Englishmen to get an Angolan visa for a South African bike he has no licence for yet…

I could have been luckier. Millies motorcycles took 2 more weeks than they should have to deliver the bike from Joburg. KTM Cape Town could have had time to look at the bike in the week prior to leaving. The guy that did service the bike could have actually done what he was meant to. And really – what are the odds of that stone hitting that kick-stand switch at that moment? By the time the kick stand switch had gone, we’d already lost faith in the bike. And we weren’t really one hundred percent sure it was the kickstand switch that had my KTM 690 stopped. It wasnt running well before that. Im not mechanical enough, clearly, but from what I understand there’s a load of electrics in that bike, lots of sensors and spidery over-evolved bits of bike intelligence - one part stops working and the whole thing can just die. You need a computer and the toolkit from the Matrix to reset the whole thing. I know jack shit about bikes but I feel qualified, after 3 weeks of wasted leave, 6 days of wasted bike trailering, several bank vaults of cash for fuel and hotels, god knows how much guilt about delaying my friends and an even more biblical quantity of self loathing and sense of inadequacy, to say those bikes are a risk not worth taking. I actually have lost my capacity to even think straight about KTMs. You’ll either love them, or hate them. Just don’t buy an old untested one and take it out too far. That I can safely say. Buy a DR, and get a KTM for the weekends when you are close to help.

But its clear I was pretty silly here. Getting a fancy bike at such short notice, and leaving on a trip of a life-time without having it properly tested was just dumb. I live for adventures, and never think of them as a waste. But this one carried a bitter medicine, swallowed alone, without my mates, as I tried to understand what had happened to my trip. The lesson it gave me, well worth the price, and that is despite the gut wrenching heart-popping stupor as I watched them disappear without me, is never to be a passenger in the adventure. I should have owned it, as if I was going alone, but in a group. Like Clint Eastwood in that movie. He didn’t have to sit helplessly under a tree while his mates swore at each other about a voltmeter. At the risk of sounding too deep, travelling in a group brings a false sense of security. You hope to stay together, but you need to plan for self-sufficiency. There is a happy bantering collective bubble between good friends going on a good adventure – its seems like nothing can really go badly wrong - but you need to know that the bubble only lasts as long as you and the bike can keep moving. You need to wave the bubble goodbye if you’re delaying a trip which took as much admin and preparation as this (OK – so we didn’t do much preparation, but I remember photocopying some stuff). Once they all leave, and its just at the beginning of your rare holiday fortnight, you’re left to your own devices. And now you need your bike to not be a mystifying tangle of unpredictable complexity.

The three of them did all they could to help. The Panda thumbled with his voltmeter until he was blue in the face, cursing the gods. The Camel towed me back most of the way, kept his brother under control, and helped drag the bike back up the bits where my puny body gave way. The Midget came to find baby oil with me, and offered superb mechanical advice about which brand of oil smelt best after sunset. In the end, the guilt of keeping them back for a second day, outweighed my will to keep looking for solutions, and I sent them off to ride it on my behalf.

The two brothers are loving their KTMs, and no wonder. To ride them is to jam a monster power tool between your legs and penetrate the horizon over and over again. Their orange tricks make the skyline squeal with delight. Every half path and trail craves a little bit of KTM magic. And those bikes cant get enough of it, they bound hungrily, defying gravity across the maddest terrain, up the mountains to bang the sky yet again - and the day is yet truly begun. I experienced if for all of 2 hours before mine broke. I struggled to give up on the KTM club, those front forks, and back wheels have a truly sexual allure. But for anyone that’s had anything like the trouble I had with those bikes (and it seems like those bikes hand out a fair share of disappointment) there is no doubt about it. They are crap. KTMs were built in Europe, for riding around gentile country tracks, or for riding on expensive exotic holidays with geared-up back up crews. Or for weekends when it doesn’t matter if you are caught out. If you can afford to get rescued in style, and don’t mind the risk of failure, they are worth the thrill. My mates were lucky. Two of the three KTMs shone. You only have to read other ride reports to see that ratio is about the norm. For me, the skyline-tickling-rock-leaping-goodness are not worth those odds.

So what did I do once that sad little dust cloud had settled and I was alone near the Angolan border? I was so bleak I couldn’t even think straight. I just drove blindly and downtrodden out of Opuwo to Epupa Falls a few hours away, and went into a dark night of the soul. Or rather a couple of nights. A very dark time. Trying to pick myself up. The bats had me beaten. But then, in between the gut wrenching, self loathing torture of it, I started noticing I was in a pretty special place. So, because I was skint anyway by now, I managed to persuade my beautiful girlfriend to come have a holiday, and I flew up her up to be with me among the zebras and other various touristy delights. Then, while my friends were out wrestling their beasts out in the wilderness, I got to lie beneath fancy clean linen, tended by a wonderful feminine creature who nursed my wounded ego as I, only occasionally (well, maybe a bit more than occasionally) thought wistfully of where they were, or what they were doing. We actually had a terrific holiday together, once I’d accepted that it was holiday time, and let the adventure go.
 
Do I regret trying to do this trip? Not at all. Slightly different execution next time but I reckon an adventure like this is always worth it – however it turns out. And that route had been done before anyway. It was a bit soft, really.The boys needed to get some practice in before we go somewhere proper.

Camel, Midget, Panda – an awesome ride report. I now was there with you, kind of. Thanks for your kind words in the ride report, and for sharing the experience with all of us.  
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 08:46:41 am by Professor sprocket »
 

Online KiLRoy

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #324 on: October 11, 2013, 05:04:34 am »
As i said, Tom - the gentleman's gentleman.... ;D
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #325 on: October 11, 2013, 07:00:01 am »
See what we (and now you) were missing out on??

But... gentleman? He's more a filthy rogue with a splendid outlook, boundless energy and the devious charm and silvery tongue to make your grandmother (and every Himba maiden within a hundred miles) weak at the knees.

Offline adventure hunter1

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #326 on: October 11, 2013, 07:05:14 am »
I read this report every morning over my cup of coffee. Pity its come to the end.
Whens the next trip? Well done for the dedicated effort put into this RR.
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Offline Mikie

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #327 on: October 11, 2013, 10:24:39 am »
EPIC ride report!!
Thanks for sharing guys
:paw:

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #328 on: October 11, 2013, 12:22:15 pm »
What a great read :thumleft:
Please guys try and do the Luderitz trip legally.
Getting to Sossosvlei is already off limits to bikes.
Contact the guys that does the 4x4 trips from Luderitz. Hopefully in the future
they will open it for bikes and more of us can go ride there legally.
Looking forward to your RR if such a trip is possible. :thumleft:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #329 on: October 11, 2013, 12:25:26 pm »
What a great read :thumleft:
Please guys try and do the Luderitz trip legally.
Getting to Sossosvlei is already off limits to bikes.
Contact the guys that does the 4x4 trips from Luderitz. Hopefully in the future
they will open it for bikes and more of us can go ride there legally.
Looking forward to your RR if such a trip is possible. :thumleft:

Ya that Sossusvlei story is a bummer, isn't it. We were up there two years or so back and they'd closed it a month or two before http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=84846.0.

Disappointing when you see how the 4x4's drive on the tracks leading out there. Would be a blast on a DS bike, but I guess the MX and haai-speed-quad crew have probably wrecked it for everyone by riding all over the dunes.

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #330 on: October 11, 2013, 12:34:20 pm »
EPIC ride report!!
Thanks for sharing guys

I'm sorry, I missed that. Could you speak a little louder than your avatar??  8)

 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #331 on: October 11, 2013, 12:38:44 pm »
EPIC ride report!!
Thanks for sharing guys

I'm sorry, I missed that. Could you speak a little louder than your avatar??  8)


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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #332 on: October 11, 2013, 12:39:58 pm »
What a great read :thumleft:
Please guys try and do the Luderitz trip legally.
Getting to Sossosvlei is already off limits to bikes.
Contact the guys that does the 4x4 trips from Luderitz. Hopefully in the future
they will open it for bikes and more of us can go ride there legally.
Looking forward to your RR if such a trip is possible. :thumleft:

Ya that Sossusvlei story is a bummer, isn't it. We were up there two years or so back and they'd closed it a month or two before http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=84846.0.

Disappointing when you see how the 4x4's drive on the tracks leading out there. Would be a blast on a DS bike, but I guess the MX and haai-speed-quad crew have probably wrecked it for everyone by riding all over the dunes.
That is why I'm all for contacting the guys in Luderitz that does the 4x4 trips up
along the coast and let them know there is a need for bikes to go do that trip and
they could make money.
No way a group of bikes can make more damage to the dunes than a group
of 4x4's. They still do the catering and cart along ecstra fuel like they do with
the 4x4 trips. I think it would be very popular.
Give the bikes GPS waypoints at the start of each day. Regroup at lunch, eat and refuel
and then ride to where one sleeps at night. Would then give the rider a sence of freedom
but still safe knowing if something happens he will be picked up. All kit loaded on the 4x4's
leading the trip.
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #333 on: October 11, 2013, 12:43:53 pm »
I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Even more so if the route involved heading into the dunes at some point.

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #334 on: October 11, 2013, 01:29:20 pm »
I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Even more so if the route involved heading into the dunes at some point.
Remember a few years ago you and your brother got food from us in Brand se Baai
thinking there was a shop of sorts in Groenriviermond?
Well that section from Griviermond to Hondeklipbaai was closed until Sparks Esterhuizen
begged De Beers to open it for him only to do tours.
When he stopped his tours the route stayed open for all. :thumleft:
Downside of that is the amount of garbage seen on the beaches there nowdays.

I think there is only two guys that has the consession to do 4x4 trips from Luderitz
into the Namib. Think one of the guys is a biker too.
One can only ask and keep on asking. I know for a fact Kamanya would also love
to do that trip.

http://www.westcoast4x4.co.za/web/index.php/westcoast-4x4-tours-and-packages/westcoast-4x4-luderitz-to-walvis-bay

Day 5 Luderitz to Walvisbay adventure - Coastways Tours
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Offline Mikie

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #335 on: October 11, 2013, 01:41:42 pm »
EPIC ride report!!
Thanks for sharing guys

I'm sorry, I missed that. Could you speak a little louder than your avatar??  8)



I hate repeating myself, focus  :thumleft:

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #336 on: October 11, 2013, 01:58:40 pm »
I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Even more so if the route involved heading into the dunes at some point.
Remember a few years ago you and your brother got food from us in Brand se Baai
thinking there was a shop of sorts in Groenriviermond?
Well that section from Griviermond to Hondeklipbaai was closed until Sparks Esterhuizen
begged De Beers to open it for him only to do tours.
When he stopped his tours the route stayed open for all. :thumleft:
Downside of that is the amount of garbage seen on the beaches there nowdays.

I think there is only two guys that has the consession to do 4x4 trips from Luderitz
into the Namib. Think one of the guys is a biker too.
One can only ask and keep on asking. I know for a fact Kamanya would also love
to do that trip.

http://www.westcoast4x4.co.za/web/index.php/westcoast-4x4-tours-and-packages/westcoast-4x4-luderitz-to-walvis-bay

Day 5 Luderitz to Walvisbay adventure - Coastways Tours

I did that trip up to Saddle Hill and back. Those soft dunes will make you sweat, day in and day out :)
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Offline ALLEN I

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #337 on: October 13, 2013, 01:52:46 pm »
awesome awesome bloody spectacular RR. only regret is that its finished. do a follow up. place a short version with a few more pics and so. think we would all enjoy it
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #338 on: October 13, 2013, 10:03:20 pm »
I only saw this report about 3 hours ago.

Brilliantly told, filmed and photo'd.

Bravo!
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

You want to have a stable Picture & Video host?

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=7ovFBQhdrwnZw
 

Offline africanSky

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #339 on: October 13, 2013, 10:58:02 pm »
Awesome trip & RR!