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Author Topic: Christmas Safari 2 - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)  (Read 45239 times)

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Offline Xpat

Christmas Safari 2 - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« on: February 15, 2015, 10:24:19 pm »
Introduction

Last Christmas (2013) Iíve done an impromptu trip through Botswana and Zimbabwe - documented here: Christmas Safari (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=151222.0).

Similarly to 2013, I was supposed to work through December 2014 to manage another go-live of a project Iíve been on forever. And as in 2013 the go-live got delayed at the last minute. Annoying as it was - I wanted to be done with the bloody thing, there was an upside: I once again found myself with three weeks off over Christmas to get some proper ride done.

In 2013 Iíve got ambitious and decided to squeeze into 3 weeks Richtersveld, Kaokoland and Damaraland & Okavango delta. Like so:



Then promptly I got lazy and farted away most of the first week at home and as a result ended up doing this:



For 2014 trip I initially decided to go for the original 2013 route - which I considered doable as long as I can get my ass out of bed on the planned departure day. Once the initial excitement wore off, I realized that I may need to do on average over 300 km a day - and that without any day off. Now on tar/dirt highways that wouldnít be a problem, but Iím not a fan of either of those and intended to spent as much time as possible off the beaten track. So I decided to skip once again Richtersveld and  focus on the southern Botswana, which I havenít ridden yet, followed by Kaokoland & Damaraland which Iíve ridden last time in December 2012, but as Iím sure everybody here would agree, not riding Hoanib and Hoarusib rivers for more than two years makes life not worth living. For the return trip I would cut straight east through Bushmanland in the east of Nam to the northern Bots and then do the usual ride back home via Makgadikgadi. Like so:



I had two weeks to prepare and went on a shopping spree. I normally hate shopping, but the looming trip usually provokes in me the need to increase my odds for survival by heading for fancy outdoor/offroad/hiking/adventure shops and  buying mindlessly lots of latest Gucci outdoor crap, most of which I end-up leaving at home. The few items that did end up going with me included:

  • New helmet camera: I bought new Drift Ghost S as my old camera - Drift Stealth, was starting to show its age, and these trips are far too few in between to not record them the best way possible.
  • Satellite phone: An official admission of me getting old and soft, but I donít care - after all the lucky breaks I had on the past trips I thought to better have one just in case - and it did come handy. For emergency recovery I subscribed to the Helivac service.
  • New helmet: I use open face helmets for the adventure trips, because they are the best for the purpose. On my last two trips I used cheap scooter helmets - one for each trip. They did the job, but by the end of the trip they were worn to the point of moving freely on my head. I found just the right helmet in a trial Airoh TRR helmet, which has very sturdy construction and huge vents at the top to keep you cool. Full Throttle sells them but as usually in SA the problem was availability - in Edenvale they had my size but in black, which kind of defeats the hot weather purpose. The sales guy was very helpful and promised to check in other stores for other colours, and even called back in two days (I donít think that ever happened to me in SA) - but obviously there was no other colour TRR in SA. I was resigned to go with the old ARC, but happened to stop by in the FT shop in Cresta and sure enough there was my size TRR in the poisonous green on display - makes you wonder how salespeople make living in SA. I would have prefered white, but figured better something than nothing and took it.
  • Pepper spray: I donít suffer from the usual South African anxiety regarding personal safety with other people. I know from experience that outside the major population centers like Joburg, Durban, Mthatha Iím perfectly safe . Especially in sparsely populated places like Botswana and Namibia (or the rest of Africa). I am however extreme coward when it comes to animals. So to get some peace of mind out in the sticks I was keen to get what Americans call bear spray, i.e. a big pepper spray that covers big area and reaches at least 10 meters away - Iím not keen to try to aim narrow stream at the charging lion and wait until its less than 3 meters away. Surprisingly this proved to be a problem in SA - while there are tons of pepper spray for sale, all of them only for personal defence against people with too short reach. After long search I eventually scored in Sandton City of all places something called Home Defence intended for a crowd control, with the range of about 10 meters.

Two days before departure planned for Saturday 13th of December, I went to see Conrad in Offroadcycles to get the bike (Tenere 660) sorted. To avoid any nasty surprises I got new sprockets and chain - they still looked good after about 15000 km, but they have already done  two big trips to Nam, Bots and Zim and number of weekend trips to Waterberg via De Wildt, so I decided to err on the safe side. I also got new tyres - T63 front and E09 Dakar for the back.

Lastly I asked Conrad to take the Power Commander out. On the last trip a year I had constant hassles with the fuelling which caused the bike to run as crap for the most of the trip. I believed it was caused by PC5 as it has a reputation for being unreliable. So after the last trip I had the Shimwells guys set-up my standard map (without PC5) properly to adjust for my open airbox and throttle body, but still kept the PC in place to make the bike run smoother (PC maps in more detail than standard ECU). And it seemed work fine throughout the year. But I did not want to have a risk of PC misbehaving again on the trip so I asked Conrad to take the PC out assuming that the bike will automatically revert to the adjusted standard map.

Well that backfired badly. After taking the PC out the bike was running like crap, with no power over 5000rpm. Conrad has the tool to adjust the mixture of the standard XTZ map, so we spent the rest of the day playing with the mixture, with me going repeatedly on quick runs around northern Pretoria to check the performance. We were eventually running ridiculously rich mixture - but the bike was only marginally better. As a last resort I called Shimwells to see if they can do an impromptu Dyno run for me, but they were fully booked for the week and could only accommodate me on Monday - two days after my planned departure. With no other option (except going for the trip with crappy running engine), I had to postpone the departure hoping that the bike will be sorted out on Monday morning allowing me to start the trip the same day.

This was a solo trip and mostly off the beaten track - so I do not have any pictures of riding a difficult section like a champ (which I did a lot of course), or swarms of locals being delighted at seeing me and offering exotic gifts. So get ready for lots of Tenere or tree pictures taken from different angles and locations.

Here are few teasers to whet the appetite:






« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 12:01:39 am by Xpat »
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 10:55:55 pm »
Been waiting for this one :drif:
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Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 11:35:12 pm »
Gooi mielies
Challenge = Innovation = Change
 

Offline TinusBez

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 06:26:29 am »
"something called Home Defence intended for a crowd control"  :)

look forward to this one. Which shop did you get the crowd control management spray?
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Offline JMOL

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 06:51:20 am »
I'm riding with  :sip:
Life is hard - even harder if you are stupid.
 

Offline heti

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 09:17:16 am »
 :drif:
 

Offline Hentie @ Riders

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2015, 09:38:09 am »
 :sip:

Offline BFG

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 09:53:42 am »
Sub :thumleft:
 

Offline lj111

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2015, 10:01:54 am »
 :sip: :thumleft:
Some people feel the rain and others just get wet...
 

Offline Fargo

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 10:38:07 am »
Sub

Offline Draadtang

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2015, 12:53:37 pm »
 :coffee2: :coffee2:
In the spirit of adventure,open to all riders and carrying a massage of friendship between all men(Thierry Sabine 1977 founder of the PARIS DAKAR)
Born in the 70,s grew up in the 80,s & got drunk in the 90,s
 

Offline ButtSlider

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2015, 01:03:33 pm »
 :sip: Sub  :sip:
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Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 01:04:25 pm »
Subscribe to another good RR  ................. :thumleft:
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Offline Jackol.

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 01:55:19 pm »
YOOOH!!! Dit lyk lekker!!! Sub...  :sip:  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:
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Offline Man from Nam

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2015, 02:07:15 pm »
 :happy1: :happy1: :sip:
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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2015, 02:28:45 pm »
gooi
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Offline Vossie72

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2015, 03:09:01 pm »
Sub
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Offline zetman

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2015, 03:31:08 pm »
 :ricky: Gooi
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Offline De Jager

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2015, 03:39:21 pm »
SUB  :ricky:
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