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Author Topic: XT-treme XT 500 Pans- a Wildcat, a Straatkat and the cats from Kent.  (Read 2281 times)

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Offline Armpie

XT-reme fun on the pans.
Three days on the Botswana pans with vintage Yamaha XT500ís


It had to come.  The sequel of the Pannekatte 2014 trip to the pans.
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=150455.msg2862120#msg2862120
Martyn, the English enduro rider
By March I realized that the planners of the last year trip have different plans for this year.  The ride will not take place end of April- unless I arranged something myself.
My daughter is married to a Soutie of Ingeland, that came here to South Africa  to play some rugby. They said they would be visiting us from London by end of April.  There goes the trip!  But I have a plan.  Chris can ride a bit.  So can my son with his KLR.  So I suggested that we hire a bike for him prom Pierre van der Bol at Moriti Adventures in Botswana, and he goes with us.  He was keen.  Chris told his brother Martyn, who is an enduro fanatic in Ingeland.  So Matyn said he also wanted  to come.  They told their father, Peter.  Peter was never before on a bike but wanted to come along.  I phoned Pierre and arranged the bikes and the trip with him.  We would only use his bikes.

Pierre was some enduro, off road, rally, bush champion in Botswana in the 80ís, and Pierre and his father-in-law Andries Kruger buy Yamaha XT500ís up in South Africa.  They then restore them to roadworthiness and hire the bikes out on their adventure business in Botswana.

The plan was to drive 850km to Moriti wa Selemo, Andriesís Lodge just south of Sua Pan, then go north over the pans, past Nata up to Elephant Sands where we will end and set off for home.  Peter will drive the my Pajero behind us.  But the plan did not work.  The pans were to wet and my son injured his shoulder in  a Rugby match.  No biking for 6 weeks.  
The new plan is we would start at Moriti wa Selemo and end there.  We would ride to the pans and see what is up, then we decide where to camp and where to ride.  To accommodate Peter I would tow  along my trailer with  my Rusler 260 quad.


My Ingilse family arrived on the Friday afternoon.  They should have been here the morning but they first went to Full Throttle were they spend some  Great British Pound Sterling.  The next afternoon we left for my brotherís farm between Naboom and Vaalwater.  To shorten the ride the next day.  Here we walked to see the new zebraís.  But the zebraís were wild and except for walking the Ingilse family for two hours over rough mountain we did not see anything but spoor.  We ended with a traditional braai and a traditional brandy on the coke.

The old an the young- Peter and Juandre, Pierre's son.  For a 10 year old this boy can ride like a man
Early the next morning we left.  At Marken we took the first chips from the fying pan for breakfast.  Then onto the Groblersbrug borderpost and beyond into Botswana.
At Palapye we put in affordable Botswana fuel. 8 Pula per liter.(R9.60 per liter).  Then between Serowe and Lethlakane we decided to give first Peter and then Chris a chance to do the driving.  At the cattle checkpoint about 50km before Lethlakane, the only one where we were stopped.  Chris got a 200 Pula fine for not having his license with him.  We talked the policeman down from a 1000 Pula and settled for 200.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 10:35:02 am by Armpie »
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Offline Armpie


My Soutie son in law Chris


Peter- he has never been before on a quad.  He is in classic and old car.  His car in England is a 1964 Corsair.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 08:43:46 pm by Armpie »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Pan-tastic!!

Love the bikes! :ricky:
 

Offline Armpie

So we arrived late the afternoon at Seriti.  We were met by Pierre and Andries and after moving into the bugalows for the evening, we went to see the bikes.  Pierre had prepared five XT500's.  One for each and one spare.  We took the bikes for a short test run to the stone forest a few hundred meters from the lodge.  It was a new experience.  I am used to my KLR.  Not the newest technology, but bru, against this! Electric start, 21 inch frontwheel, broad(?) seat. Points no issue.  Here suddenly I was on a bike where the concept of "De-compression lever" came into play.  Where "burnt points" are a reality and the seat is so narrow it feels like a Marie biscuit.  No fairing, kickstart, no monoshock in the back.  Eissh!  But I immediately liked what we were doing.  This was how the "old men" were dualsport biking in the 80"s!  When ATGATT was a T-shirt, rugbyshorts and plakkies!

Before we got back to Moriti on the of the bike's gearbox went.  We were without a spare.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 08:40:52 pm by Armpie »
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Offline woody1

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Fun fun fun  :ricky:

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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Two extremes, an XT500 and a neckbrace......... :imaposer:
 

Offline adamktm

Looks like an awesome trip, looking forward to the rest!!!
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Offline Armpie

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Offline Armpie

To be continued
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 08:56:50 pm by Armpie »
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Offline Armpie

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Offline Armpie

So the story continues, nou waar was ons!?  OK, by die eerste dag! We moved off north towards the foot-and-mouth fence and then east.  Pierre has a concession on an Island opposite Khubu, but if there is water on the pan, you cannot get there.  On the 2 track road to there, Pierre, the champion looked around and went down.  The first fall of the trip.


Then just after that we had our first breakdown, when I stopped and could not get my bike going again.  There on the track the bike went on his side and the sand paper came out.  Points.  A few hundred meters and the same story.  Again the bike on its side and the cover off.  But something was not right.  I thought the one wire should connect to the condenser.

So we connect the short and the rest of the time the problem was solved . So we continued until we reached the mud.  There was no way forward.  So we turned back into the bush until we reached a bushman village.  I realized again, a donkey, a horse or a dog, you do not want to be.  At least if you were a chicken you knew you would be eaten, sooner than later.  But the poor dogs in Africa had it tough.

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Offline Armpie

So from the Bushman village we went west again, all on the northern edge of the pan. At the foot-and-mouth control there was a problem.  Thirst Jaundre's little KTM had a problem.  That Pierre sorted out.  Then Martyn's XT had a problem with the gearbox.  The machanic went to work there in the sun.  Then I moved to the control official where we was really grafting in the shade under a tree.  After a while Pierre also moved to the tree, Jaundre was also getting tired using the officials assistant tools.  So under the tree, while Pierre was sorting out the selectors, I made friends with a dog.


The gear problem was solved, and off we went.  The next problem was when the KTM ran out of petrol.  Two stroke was a problem.  So we loaded the KTM on the front of the quad and the tour continued.  At placed where I struggled in the sand with my KLR last year, the sand was now a breeze with the low center of gravity XT500.  At one place the quad and two bikes had to be lifted out of the mud.  Again the champion went down.  He was really embarrassed.  


A bit later Jaundre, myself and Peter took a wrong turn and in the bumps along the pans edge, the young rider went down.  



A little water and the tears was gone and he went on.  The a bit later Chris and myself went forward and waited.  No body came.  A land Cruiser came from the front, I did not realize it is friends of Pierre.  They asked where Pierre is, I send then in the direction and then went myself.  The British enduro man, Martyn took a tumble going through a muddy ditch.  When I came there, they were all ready to go.
  
We found  Elize with the F250 bakkie and the support on the edge of the pan.  With the Land Cruiser we went to Mmatsomu a village and waited there for Pierre and Cat (the Land Cruiser man) to get some water.  Pierre had only 20 liter of water on his truck.  here peter sat next to the Ford while I was opening the local Mmmatsumo joy ride charity. It was a hit and the children went from 3 boys to 200 in 5 minutes.


« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:24:24 am by Armpie »
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Offline Armpie

From Mmatsumo, we went back to the pans were we made camp on the pan.  To shower, Cat took his tent steps and we tied it to the front of the Cruiser.  So all had a 1 liter shower.  Then we went to bed.  On the open pans.  My Ingilse family Peter and Martyn had their first night in the African open.  I do not think my stories of wild haeynas helped much.  But they woke up the next morning all rested out.



« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:18:49 am by Armpie »
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Offline Armpie

On the last stage back to the pans, Martyn's XT's gearbox finally gave in.  Pierre tried but no more bush repairs on this XT.  


The next morning early Andries, Pierre's father-in-law arrived with his bakkie to collect the bike.  He also brought along his shotgun and 2 boxes of ammo.  So we did some clay pigeon shooting on the pans.

Pierre decided to bring along his land-shute but the wind was not stong enough for the shute so Chris and Martyn decided to pull the buggy with the quad.  About a kilometer from us Martyn went the wrong way and had a fairly hard fall.  Luckily they play rugby, so nothing they did not experience before.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:27:08 am by Armpie »
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Offline subie

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Wow! Special trip. Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
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Offline Armpie

After a nice breakfast, we loaded the broken bike on Andries's bakkie and we took the road.  We traveled for 40km on a 2-spoor track next to the F&M fence.  At stages the grass has over grown the path.  There was erdvark holes all over the place and in many cases it was a gamble, luckily we were guessing right.  In other places we crossed the inlets to the pan.  In many cases still muddy.
 
The 3 XT's, the quad, the F250 and the Cruiser down a narrow little road.

Then we entered the gate at the F&M crossing.  We were now on the road leading to Makgadikgadi adventure camp.  

But the road into the pans were well used and dusty.  And big holes.  Then we turned into a wbuh area again.  The narrow path wound through thorn and bush.  It was long weekend in South Africa and we encountered a number of 4x4 coming from the front.
But this is Pierre in his F250 coming past me.


Just before the last 3km to the camp, Martyn, now in Pierre's bike had a puncture.  I took his bike and rode the last few km on the soft edge of the pan.  Then we off loaded everything and pitched camp in the bush on a pan- the same place I was last year with the Pannekatte. Here me and Pierre pulled the bike onto a big tree stump and removed the front wheel.  We put the wheel next to the fire and 15 minutes later with 2 big plate screwdrivers the tude was removed.   But where was the patch and solution!?  There was none!  Pierre did not pack it in!  So I got hold of a patch but we did not have valgenizing glue.  Eventually we tried supper glue. It looked like it worked and again with the flat screw drivers we had the tire back and the wheel on the bike.





« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:33:12 am by Armpie »
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Offline Armpie

Nou eers weer bietjie werk.  Dag 3 en die laaste dag volg.
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Offline Armpie

The rest of the afternoon we went on the pans for a sunset view.  Only traditional AGATT.  Like in the 70's and 80's.  It was a beautiful afternoon and a very scenic sunset.

But while I came here to ride and to absorb the sunset, this Ingilse seuns came here to ride.  Stuff the big trees and sunset. I tried to show them the beauty of a baobab.  We did not get that picture.  So while I was taking picures of the sunset they were spinning up mud.
Different stroke for different oakes, I presume.

While going back we saw one of only two whild animals while in Botswana.  A jackal was checking us out on the edge of the pan about 100m from us.  The next day close to Khubu I saw a lonely springbok, running away like someone tries to kill it.

We went 200m into the bush to our camp and had a nice dinner and finished of the last few drops of our last Klipdrift.
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Offline Single Cylinder

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Great ride and pics. Nothing to beat a big single with a kicker.  :ricky:
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Offline Armpie

So that night we had a serious talk.  In Afrikaans.  The plan were running out of options.  The XT's were beyond the spare bikes.  One more malfunction and we were stuffed.  And I did not trust our makeshift tire repair. And my Ingilse family came far and paid lots of Pounds.  And then Peter's wife Tracey and the mother of Martyn and Chris died a few months earlier of breats cancer.  She was only 52.  She asked that here ashes be scattered between the elephants.  And there was no Elephant here.  So we decided Elize will set up two nights for us at Elephant Sands.

So the next morning we were of to Khubu Island for a site-seeing visit and then off to Moriti.  About 110-120km.  At Khubu we took a few photgraphs.  But to line these guys up were not easy.  They did not come here for ride reports, big trees and stuff, they came here to ride.
 
So with nobody in view I took a pic from Khubu over the front of a 1979 TT500
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