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Author Topic: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure  (Read 14812 times)

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Offline Rotten

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #80 on: August 08, 2015, 04:41:42 pm »
Awesome trip. Inspiring. Great RR. Can't wait for the next episode.
Many thanks
 

Offline Wooly Bugger

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #81 on: August 10, 2015, 09:08:36 am »
great RR and awesome pics!
 

Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #82 on: August 11, 2015, 09:47:59 pm »
We spent some time at Norma Jeane's with a couple of New Zealand girls who were touring around in a 4x4.  They had come through Beitbridge and had been royally fleeced.  They were nice girls, but perhaps not the most, er, worldly.  Anyway, we were heading down that way, overnighting at the Lion and Elephant.   It was noticable as we got closer to the border how much crap there was everywhere along the road and all the seats and tables in the rest areas were bust up, but I suppose it is a very busy road that takes some hammering.  There were a vast number of massively overloaded bakkies and trailers heading north, and lots of packed busses thundering along.  Blimey, and this lot goes through Beitbridge, no wonder it has a fearsome reputation...

Saddo that I am, I collect pictures of my bike at old petrol stations- this at The Lion and Elephant.



In the bar of the L&E we talked to a Zim couple who had been robbed at gunpoint nearby when they were heading south to see family in SA.  They stopped in a layby for a pee, probably a mistake.  Sounded scary, but they seemed pretty relaxed about it.  Funny thing was, they said that as a result there were loads of roadblocks between the L&E and the border, but we saw none.  I can't believe that they were making it up, but...

So in the morning we headed off to Beitbridge, ready for the worst.  Well, bit of an anti climax in a way- no roadblocks, no problems, no nothing.  We got through both sides in under two hours.  Easy peasy, although on the other side it looked a bit mad.  Entering SA was like stepping in an instant from the third to the first world, an amazing difference.  Ran into this Aussie guy (Mark) who had been travelling for some time and was heading to Livingstone to work for a while.



At a gas station we ran into a father and daughter on an F800 who knew of a biker friendly place to stay in Polokwane- The Devenish Guest House.  Better still, they were heading down there and would take us right to the door.  Thanks Skul, it was a great recommendation. 

We'd decided to head down to Dullstroom for the next night, and the owner of the Devenish (who had a Goldwing, I think) recommended we headed down through the Verwoerd tunnels which was a great runthrough some beautiful scenery.  I know we were near the Blyde River canyon, but we have ridden that before.



I like Dullstroom, it reminds me of a place called Tekapo in New Zealand.  We found a shop with a massive selection of rare malts (I mean epic, and I live in Scotland!) while we were looking for somewhere to stay, but they were so snotty we didn't bother.  Much better was a place off the main street- you'd want to be because of the trucks going through using their engine brakes- which was recommended by a the owner of a nice looking restaurant called the Art of Food.  Anglers Court - super secure parking, quiet and dead central.  Oh, and The Art of Food was very good, although don't go there if you want a kilo of steak and a mountain of fries...

Anyway, by now we'd decided to cut across country rather than go down the coast- pity, as I would have liked to go back to Warner Beach which is near where I used to live in Kingsburgh (sp?)  We stopped again at Little Switzerland, which was a bit quiet compared to last time, and the awesome buffet (7 courses!) was closed which was a damn shame, but the views of the Drakensburg were as magnificent as we remembered.  And the zebras are still there...








Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #83 on: August 14, 2015, 07:04:22 pm »
Right, time to wrap this up.  From Little Switzerland we backtracked a little and then headed down through The Golden Gate Park to Zastron.  There was no internet at Little Switzerland so we were relying on finding something along the way using the GPS.  It showed up a place called The Highlands Guest House in Zastron that was quite pleasant and offered up a good steak dinner.  It was really starting to get cold by now, even felt like a little snow was on the way.

Our luggage load was lightened a bit as we zipped in the linings for our jackets that we hadn't needed for the rest of the trip and pushed on to Graaf Rienet where we stayed with a woman who had once been engaged to PW Botha.  She broke it off, but there were newspaper cuttings all over the place with pictures of the happy couple!  I wanted to have one last decent gravel ride and reckoned the Swartberg Pass near Oudshoorn would be just the job.  We stopped in a village called Willowmore at a cafe cum antiques shop.  Great cheesecake there.





Arriving in Oudshoorn we found a decent place near the town centre - Gumtree Lodge- for a couple of nights, and rode the Swartberg Pass the following day.  What a lovely ride that was.  We had lunch in Prince Albert and then looped back round via the Meiringspoort and De Rust.









The owners of the Gumtree recommended that we took the back road to Calitzdorp the next day en route to Montague.  What a lovely road that is.  You go up towards the Swartberg pass and then turn off onto a beautiful gravel road that leads straight to the centre of Calitzdorp.  Sad to be on the last bit of gravel, but a good way to go out, I suppose.





Naturally we had to make a stop here, although I seem to remember getting a free drink at The Country Pumpkin just down the road last time we passed through...



Oh Lord, I wish we hadn't stayed in Montague for two nights.  Nothing wrong with the place at all, but when we set off for Cape Town we could see something really nasty in the way of weather coming our way.  Now I've ridden through some shite in my time, but the rain was just biblical and the wind was howling, so everything sprayed up by the trucks went straight at us like insult being added to injury.  It was properly scary, and I wished the Hugenot tunnel went all the way to Camps bay.  If we'd got there a day earlier we could have just sat out the storm in comfort.  Still, nearly 10 weeks without rain I suppose we can't complain- if you manage 10 hours up here in the Highlands you're doing well.

 Ah, Camps Bay.  I love it there, and the manager of the place (who owned a GPZ1100) we stayed upgraded us, so we basically had the entire top floor of the building to ourselves.  For all of fifty quid, which wouldn't buy you anything here in the UK.  It was a great place to swig a bottle of bubbly with Altus and Simone who schlepped all the way from Durbanville to help us celebrate the end of the journey.

50..!  A tank of fuel for a GS is about 25 quid.



Slap up meal with Altus and Simone.



The next day we picked went down to Paarden Eiland to drop the bike off with Econo Trans.  Had to take a few bits off and drain the tank, but they took care of everything else.



And that was it, next stop Edinburgh and my brother's place in the Scottish Borders.   :(

About 5 weeks later the bike was delivered direct to my door.  An oil and filter change, check the valves (still fine) and the balance of the throttle bodies (ditto) and she's good to go again.  In fact, with very close to 50000 miles on the clock I would say it's running better than ever.  What a machine- at 18 years old it's still utterly reliable and feels like it will run forever.



I don't suppose this trip would amount to a hill of beans in some circles, but I think it shows that it is possible to travel around Africa on a bike and still do normal African holiday things like game watching.  The camping (29 days) was great fun- apart from the commie ants- and all the gear, especially the Mosko panniers and the Mitas E-07 tyres which worked a treat.  At no point was anyone less than friendly (although one or two pissed up lodge owners need to take a good look at themselves),  we met loads of great people, including all the Dogs at the Oasis spitbraai, the borders were a laugh and most of the lodges and camp sites were very pleasant indeed.  I have no problems with the driving (although GP drivers in SUVs are a bit of a menace ::)) and I think I may even have learned a thing or two about riding in sand.  I wish we could have done the whole trip we planned- right around Lake Victoria- but maybe that will be our next trip.

Question is, why isn't everyone doing it?  Africa?  It's a bit mad, but it's definitely brilliant. :biggrin:

Total distance (in Africa) 13200km.  Breakdowns: 0.  Spills: 2 minor, 2 that hurt (but no bones broken).  Problems and annoyances: 0.

PS Kevin (Alfie Cox's brother in law) who we met at Kunene has got himself a bike now.  A KTM perhaps? ;)

PPS  Pooratech/KLR alert- very useful (near essential actually)  'accessory' - an ice hockey puck attached to a string loop to put under the side stand.  Stopped the bike trying to flip itself over every time I got off it...









« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 07:20:30 pm by Three Dawg »
 

Offline Carnivore

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2015, 07:57:09 pm »
Thanks, Laddie, and lang may yer lum reek.
Old, grey, crafty...

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters. They have fortitude. They have staying qualities. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis.
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Offline Optimusprime

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #85 on: August 16, 2015, 10:27:12 am »
Awesome read. Thanks for the wonderful memories. See you soon.
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #86 on: August 16, 2015, 12:28:11 pm »
Great RR!! :thumleft:

Why is the heel of your right boot built up?

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Offline BMBob

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #87 on: August 16, 2015, 01:59:09 pm »
Great RR! Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #88 on: August 16, 2015, 02:24:49 pm »
Quote
Why is the heel of your right boot built up?

Blimey, what sharp eyes you have, Mr Wolf!  It's built up because I lost about 25mm off the length of my already meagre inseam buy crashing my lovely restored Z650 head on into a car. ::)  My thigh bone (along with quite a few others) was pretty mashed.  Apparently I'm lucky still to have a right leg at all, so mustn't grumble, but it means that all my right hand shoes have to be altered.  With my bike boots I just get the heel done (10mm inside and 10mm out) which makes walking in them OK.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 02:27:05 pm by Three Dawg »
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #89 on: August 16, 2015, 02:29:09 pm »
Quote
Why is the heel of your right boot built up?

Blimey, what sharp eyes you have, Mr Wolf!  It's built up because I lost about 25mm off the length of my already meagre inseam buy crashing my lovely restored Z650 head on into a car. ::)  My thigh bone (along with quite a few others) was pretty mashed.  Apparently I'm lucky still to have a right leg at all, so mustn't grumble, but it means that all my right hand shoes have to be altered.  With my bike boots I just get the heel done (10mm inside and 10mm out) which makes walking in them OK.
Me wife says I see a pimple on her butt before it's even there!! :imaposer:
Well done and lucky dog to still ride with that leg. :thumleft:
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Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #90 on: August 16, 2015, 03:26:04 pm »
Quote
Well done and lucky dog to still ride with that leg.

Not riding was never an option.  Once I could get around without crutches I bought a bust up Laverda 180 to restore while I healed.  >:D  I'd always wanted one, and I figured that with the option of a left or right foot gearshift I'd be able to ride it come what may.  Turned out to be a nice bike in the end, but I sold it eventually as it only had two speeds: flat out and stop.  I bought the GS with the proceeds and had enough left over to do things like change the suspension and put silly lights on it.  I couldn't quite give up the Laverda thing though, and eventually scraped together enough to buy an ex South African RGS which I've restored over the last four years.

Good bike for a bloke with a gammy leg... :biggrin:

« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 03:31:33 pm by Three Dawg »
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #91 on: August 16, 2015, 04:02:53 pm »
Quote
Well done and lucky dog to still ride with that leg.

Not riding was never an option.  Once I could get around without crutches I bought a bust up Laverda 180 to restore while I healed.  >:D  I'd always wanted one, and I figured that with the option of a left or right foot gearshift I'd be able to ride it come what may.  Turned out to be a nice bike in the end, but I sold it eventually as it only had two speeds: flat out and stop.  I bought the GS with the proceeds and had enough left over to do things like change the suspension and put silly lights on it.  I couldn't quite give up the Laverda thing though, and eventually scraped together enough to buy an ex South African RGS which I've restored over the last four years.

Good bike for a bloke with a gammy leg... :biggrin:



3 Dog I have a need for one of those old 180's it goes back to a day in 1980 on the North Circular on the way to the Transatlantic Trophy at Brands Hatch with my modified GS750B (820 big bore etc), chasing two Jota's through the roundabouts, the howl of those flat crank triples on song still sends shivers up my neck... :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #92 on: August 16, 2015, 04:24:34 pm »
those flat crank
Explain that ol wise one?
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Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #93 on: August 16, 2015, 05:38:29 pm »
Aye, they sure do sound nice on song.  BUT if you want them to sound absolutely right you need chrome steel pipes (these are available new) not stainless.  Wierd, innit?

My one had GSXR1100 wheels and brakes, RGS swingingarm, radial tyres, Brembo 4 pots, shortened forks with Racetech Gold Emulator valves, JE forged pistons, F1 (RGS) cams, Mikuni RS36 flatslides and an IIS ignition.  Made it a whole lot nicer to ride, but I'm still not sure that a wire wheel 3C isn't a better (softer?) overall package.  And you still get that glorious sound... ;D
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 05:47:52 pm by Three Dawg »
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #94 on: August 16, 2015, 06:44:18 pm »
those flat crank
Explain that ol wise one?

The engine it was based on was the 750S I think, it was a 750cc vertical twin, very pretty, so flat crank (two up) one up on firing stroke one up on exhaust, then some boys (importers) in the UK decided they wanted to race it so "we need a 1000cc" ok add one on so 2 up one down, the crank can still be forged in one plane, not like a 120 degree crank,(120 degree much more engineering), BUT the off tune 180 degree flat cranks make a noise that is totally different... it wails like a banshee  :biggrin: :biggrin:  

http://www.motorstown.com/images/laverda-750-formula-s-01.jpg
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 06:47:42 pm by Welsh »
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Offline Three Dawg

Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #95 on: August 16, 2015, 07:45:17 pm »
Yeah, the first triple was partly based on the existing 750 twins- it had a SOHC and a 120 degree crank- but initial tests were disappointing so they went back to the drawing board and came up with a DOHC engine with a 180 (two up and one down) flat crank.  The flat crank was to get round the problem of the 120 crank's 'rocking couple' which made it shake like a bastard.  The 180 is actually quite smooth considering it's mounted direct in the frame, but the later 120s all have big rubber isloation bobbins to keep the vibes down.

The original 3C was a good bike, but the UK importers (Slater Bros.) immediately started tweaking the engine to give us the faster 3CE (E for England) and when the 3CL (L for leggera as in light [alloy wheels]) came out, a bigger collector box, straight through pipes, high compression pistons and lumpy cams gave us delirious punters the Jota.  They did the same for the 1200 to give us the Mirage, and they also engineered the Montjuic from the 500 twin.

And then Laverda messed it all up with dodgy cylinder heads and crappy cranks, but that is another story...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 08:04:10 pm by Three Dawg »
 

Offline Gbags

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #96 on: December 10, 2015, 09:14:44 pm »
Wow 3D,

Cracking ride and report.

 

Offline MOGGIE

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Re: Mr and Mrs Three Dawg's African Adventure
« Reply #97 on: December 15, 2015, 04:00:16 pm »
My goodness. Just got this RR just today.nice trip.
Unfortunately my wife is a Phisio and I will have to do it alone.
My 1200GSA WIL BE DELIVERED tomorrow, so nog net een slapie.