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Offline Nicolas2312

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South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« on: May 18, 2016, 04:00:24 pm »
Hello fellow bikers,

Here again after introducing myself to this forum in the section “new member” where I have to say I felt welcome!

So this is the plan, my girlfriend (who is a journalist - 26 years old)) and I (32) are going to travel from Cape town to Dar es Salam. (well if possible even to Kigali afterwards but let’s see about that!)

We should land in Cape town around the 1st of October 2016.

We want to buy 2 Honda ace 125 in Cape town - https://honda.co.za/en/products/motorcycles/street/ace-125/#/model-overview/features/

As we are foreigners with a tourist Visa it might be difficult to purchase a motorbike in South Africa  but some nice biker made a guide on how to do it :
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sub-saharan-africa/foreigners-guide-purchasing-motorcycle-south-80508
Most challenging part is to obtain a TRN,
First question, what is your opinion about this “how to” guide, will it work? Is it Up to date?

We have around 4-6 month to travel from Cape town to Dar es Salam. We have to make reports for a Belgian newspaper about every country we are crossing (so South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania)
Our road plan (roughly made using google maps) : https://imgur.com/iRqAMKS - most of the info we will get will be in those cities so we cannot avoid cities basically.

Please let me know what do you think about it? If you have some tips for the roads to take and not to take? How safe it is (especially that I am traveling with a woman)? Any contact we could have to help us along the way?

Any tip is welcome basically..

The reports we have been hired to make will be around this subject : Situation of women, law vs custom.


My non professional blog : http://no-guts-no-glory.weebly.com/
and last video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmmkwsWvkE4.

Thanks in advance!

Take care,

Nico.
 

Offline Steekvlieg

Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 04:07:35 pm »
Why Not Malawi?
 

Offline Moon

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2016, 04:21:44 pm »
Why an Ace and not an XL
 

Offline IDR

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 04:25:28 pm »
Hi Nico - and welcome here :)

This trip -


... on 125s will be murderous.  Even on a 650cc this is a long, long way - Cape Town to Pretoria is about 1500 km, and it's a long, straight, boring road with many cars and trucks on it.

You could do worse than avoiding the N1 altogether.  Especially considering your subject, you would do well to visit the more remote parts of the country, as well as the cities, as there is a stark contrast between those two in that regard.

I would tour up the coast heading East from Cape Town.  It will add days, nay, weeks to your trip, but will be well worthwhile.
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Einstein

Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 04:44:22 pm »
Hi Nico - and welcome here :)

This trip -

... on 125s will be murderous.  Even on a 650cc this is a long, long way - Cape Town to Pretoria is about 1500 km, and it's a long, straight, boring road with many cars and trucks on it.

You could do worse than avoiding the N1 altogether.  Especially considering your subject, you would do well to visit the more remote parts of the country, as well as the cities, as there is a stark contrast between those two in that regard.

I would tour up the coast heading East from Cape Town.  It will add days, nay, weeks to your trip, but will be well worthwhile.

Je suis d'accord!

Shit, Durban to Joburg is murderous on a 650.. That long straight road is terrible..

Luckily the road doesn't include that Nata road through Botswana.. Suicidal!

But that's just my opinion..
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 04:47:06 pm »
Yeah, much better roads from Cape town to Pretoria!!

Also, I would avoid the road you show from Lusaka to Tanzania, it is a big tar road which means endless amounts of buses and MASSIVE Trucks as it is the main route to bring goods into Lusaka and Copperbelt from Dar. I would much rather head east from Lusaka to Chipata, then into Malawi, then north next to Lake Malawi and then enter Tanzania from Malawi.

 :thumleft:


Offline Nicolas2312

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 04:54:35 pm »
Hi Guys,

Well the choice went on small ace 125 because they are small , light and can go pretty much everywhere (you would be surprised how much offroad you can do with those kind of bikes) . Did 21 000 km in South America on suzuki's gn 125cc  and it went great (although a bit boring in some parts).

I am thinking about maybe buying some Yamaha Sr 250 instead. My girlfriend is only 1m60 and cannot drive a much bigger bike than that.

We have time so we can do 150-250km a day and still arrive on time in Dar es Salam.

Took good notes of your advice about the roads though.. It makes a lot of sense, and indeed the data is not only in cities.
 

Offline RobbieJZW

Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 05:47:29 pm »
 :laughing4: :laughing4: :laughing4: :laughing4: :laughing4:

I did 26,000km on my Honda Ace, with no more needed than a new chain & sprockets, and a good oil change.
Then I broke it.
Now I'm fixing it and it should be back with me soon, on the road! :) Thus, I wish you all the best!
However, top speed unloaded is really only about 85-90km/h, and at that speed the ride isn't terribly fun. You may want to install a windscreen of sorts, to save your neck.
Also, some improved grips/handholds. The OEM ones transfer every vibration straight into your palms.
Also, make better use of the extensive carrier racks. They're built for a small family but could be far better used to hold baggage/extra fuel.
Not that you'll need to carry any - I got about 35-40km/l, unloaded.
They also only have 4-speed gearboxes. This could be good or bad, depending. I guess it's good for build price.

Hope this random assortment of info helps, I will add more as I think about it!

All the best on your trip, I hope you will post updates which I will follow with great excitement!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 08:47:09 pm »
Hi Nico,

Why not Namibia?
Last year I rode from Cape Town to Windhoek, and then Maun, over the course of 3 days on a 650cc. The first day a friend rode with me, and for the other two I was solo. I found it to be a nice route, and I think it might be better than the N1 to Johannesburg.

Namibia and Botswana are both safe countries, and the roads are quite good.
In Botswana, obey the speed limit (shouldn't be a problem on 125/250cc's). Always respect the people there; say "Hello, how are you?" before anything else. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, do not assume a bribe will work. The Batswana are proud people, and some will be offended at the thought of someone trying to bribe them.

If you do stick to your original route, I would look at going via Orapa when travelling from Gaborone to Maun.
I have never taken the Ghanzi route to/from Gaborone, but I have done the Orapa route by car 4 times. It's a relatively quiet road with few trucks during the day, the road is in decent condition, I have slept on the side of the road (in the car) and not had to worry about safety, and there are a few places to stay along the way (the Khama Rhino Sanctuary should be worth a visit- I haven't had time to go there yet).

I am based in Maun, shout if you need help when you're in the area.

Best of luck!

Offline Nicolas2312

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 10:59:22 am »
Hi Nico,

Why not Namibia?
Last year I rode from Cape Town to Windhoek, and then Maun, over the course of 3 days on a 650cc. The first day a friend rode with me, and for the other two I was solo. I found it to be a nice route, and I think it might be better than the N1 to Johannesburg.

Namibia and Botswana are both safe countries, and the roads are quite good.
In Botswana, obey the speed limit (shouldn't be a problem on 125/250cc's). Always respect the people there; say "Hello, how are you?" before anything else. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, do not assume a bribe will work. The Batswana are proud people, and some will be offended at the thought of someone trying to bribe them.

If you do stick to your original route, I would look at going via Orapa when travelling from Gaborone to Maun.
I have never taken the Ghanzi route to/from Gaborone, but I have done the Orapa route by car 4 times. It's a relatively quiet road with few trucks during the day, the road is in decent condition, I have slept on the side of the road (in the car) and not had to worry about safety, and there are a few places to stay along the way (the Khama Rhino Sanctuary should be worth a visit- I haven't had time to go there yet).

I am based in Maun, shout if you need help when you're in the area.

Best of luck!

Hi Sardine,

Indeed Namibia is a must see but we have to meet lawyers/organizations in Jo-burg and Pretoria.. So as I have seen the N1 should be avoided, but how? thanks for the tips on Botswana, good to know :)
 

Offline imo

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 11:23:50 am »
hi, we did this trip a few years ago, it is epic.  check out our blog www.two2zanzibar.blogspot.com

be very careful of the busses and trucks (especially the busses) in Zambia and Tanzania.

enjoy!!
www.two2zanzibar.blogspot.com

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KTM 250 EXC-F
 

Offline Herklaas

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 11:28:13 am »
 :sip: My biggest concern, for the sake of the two of you is the fact that you will be riding on bikes that struggle to to do 80 kph loaded, that places you at a high risk on the roads where vehicles are constantly passing you, by drivers with a different discipline of road use to what you are used to in Europe.
I am not going to go into detail about this, but, please believe me, you need bikes that at least keep you in sync with the traffic. Your girl friend can learn to ride something bigger, anyway I feel you'll be better off on bigger bikes that can cope with the load and do a better average speed. Your biggest concern should be buses and trucks, have you heard about our mini-buses, well, that is another story.
But that is just my opinion, enjoy your stay.
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Now 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 Xcx.and.. my favorite... 1996 Yamaha Tenere 660 5 valve single.
 

Offline Herklaas

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 11:31:30 am »
 :sip: Ja, IMO and friend did that trip on seriously capable bikes.
Yamaha 50, Yamaha 400, 2 x Yamaha DR 350 LC, Honda CBX 550 F2, Honda TransAlp 650, Triumph Tiger 800 Xc,
Now 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 Xcx.and.. my favorite... 1996 Yamaha Tenere 660 5 valve single.
 

Offline Nicolas2312

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 12:29:10 pm »
:sip: Ja, IMO and friend did that trip on seriously capable bikes.

I totally agree that you need to be able to keep up with Traffic, and it is good to have this info from locals!

My brother owned a Yamaha SR 250 - it goes quite quickly to top speed 130 KPH and is very reliable. For a total weight of only 20 kgs more than the ace 125 and same seat height.. I think we will go for that model, if we find any in good condition in cape town (or nearby)
 

Offline Steekvlieg

Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2016, 01:16:31 pm »

Hi Sardine,

Indeed Namibia is a must see but we have to meet lawyers/organizations in Jo-burg and Pretoria.. So as I have seen the N1 should be avoided, but how? thanks for the tips on Botswana, good to know :)

[/quote]

Since you have alot of time maybe up the East coast as suggested or even vie the Northern Cape? Even if you do follow a direct route there are many smaller roads parallel to the N1
 

Offline Karambisi

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2016, 11:18:48 am »
I have recently done a very similar trip, CT east to KZN up Sani pass into Lesotho , via Vaal dam to Gauteng. Botswana via Groblers bridge then many boring km to Nata into Zim at pandamatenga. Vic falls and across to Lusaka, east to lake Malawi, up into Tz. On a 125 you would make it.... but difficult and dangerous... Buses in tz do not take notice of m\cycles and will push you off the road if they need the space, you really need some speed in reserve, especially taking the main roads. Other than the traffic its safe and easy traveling with many cheap places to stay along the way. A pity you cannot go the west coast - Namibia route however.
You can still get the bike in your name I believe, but it takes time... I made a plan with the seller, kept in his name and traveled up without issues with TIP's. I did have a letter from him and a police clearance which was never asked for until Tz, but only then because I was going to import it into Tz. Good luck and safe travels... If you get to Tz pm me if you head north of Dar.
 

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2016, 12:34:13 pm »
Hello fellow bikers,

........

Please let me know what do you think about it? If you have some tips for the roads to take and not to take? How safe it is (especially that I am traveling with a woman)? Any contact we could have to help us along the way?

Any tip is welcome basically..

The reports we have been hired to make will be around this subject : Situation of women, law vs custom.


My non professional blog : http://no-guts-no-glory.weebly.com/
and last video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmmkwsWvkE4.

Thanks in advance!

Take care,

Nico.

Hi Nico, and welcome!

We have fitted out quite a few 'small' (125cc and 250cc bikes, for up-Africa travel, and where we helped was mostly with pannier racks for small bikes where little, or even nothing, was available, and then planning a BUILT-IN fuel solution to these very racks, since the bikes own tanks are small, and the distances are ... LARGE.

These racks were LOCALLY made (ie: Cape Town), and were affordable, esp given the lowish size/price of the bikes, etc.
( the first picture is the same fabricator making rack + fuel solution for an old Airhead...)

If I remember correctly, we fitted out FIVE small bikes, two couples, and one solo-traveler.
All their bikes worked more or less flawlessly!

More info on request, pictures attached - we would like to have a shot at outfitting your bike(s), as well as just giving you info, so pop in to the Store when you are in Cape Town!
Cheers
Chris & Team
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 01:48:37 pm by zebra - Flying Brick »
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Offline zawillow

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 05:06:54 pm »
Hi Nico

I followed a blog a few years ago where a couple took 200cc Motomias from Cape Town to Cairo. I'd recommend having a read to get an understanding of some of the challenges they faced on these smaller bikes, as well as some of the routes they took to avoid too heavy traffic. 
The link is: http://c200c.typepad.com/c200c/

All the best on the adventure.
 

Offline oldmannorman

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2016, 08:46:54 am »
 :sip:
 

Offline Nicolas2312

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Re: South Africa to Tanzania on Honda ace 125
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2016, 01:38:58 pm »
Hello fellow bikers,

........

Please let me know what do you think about it? If you have some tips for the roads to take and not to take? How safe it is (especially that I am traveling with a woman)? Any contact we could have to help us along the way?

Any tip is welcome basically..

The reports we have been hired to make will be around this subject : Situation of women, law vs custom.


My non professional blog : http://no-guts-no-glory.weebly.com/
and last video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmmkwsWvkE4.

Thanks in advance!

Take care,

Nico.

Hi Nico, and welcome!

We have fitted out quite a few 'small' (125cc and 250cc bikes, for up-Africa travel, and where we helped was mostly with pannier racks for small bikes where little, or even nothing, was available, and then planning a BUILT-IN fuel solution to these very racks, since the bikes own tanks are small, and the distances are ... LARGE.

These racks were LOCALLY made (ie: Cape Town), and were affordable, esp given the size/price of the bikes, etc.
( the first picture is the same fabricator making rack + fuel solution for an old Airhead...)

If I remember correctly, we fitted out FIVE small bikes, two couples, and one solo-traveler.
All their bikes worked more or less flawlessly!

More info on request, pictures attached - we would like to have a shot at outfitting your bike(s), as well as just giving you info, so pop in to the Store when you are in Cape Town!
Cheers
Chris & Team

Hi Chris,

This is exactly what we need, I know how flimsy a top case can be.. I will contact you when in Cape town.

Cheers.

Nico