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Author Topic: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe  (Read 19041 times)

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Offline windswept

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #100 on: October 07, 2016, 10:46:48 pm »
What a lekker trip china. That jol on the island looked like a trippy pozzie with the colours in your photos and trees and the laid back vibe.
 

Offline landieman

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #101 on: October 08, 2016, 09:09:04 am »
Fantastic!!!must have been an awesome jol on the island for the eclipse
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Offline shanti

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #102 on: October 08, 2016, 09:40:24 am »
Thank you for all the positive comments - It was a great ride up and down .

A little bit about the bike - a 2016 DCT Africa twin

I liked.......

The DCT gearbox - it made for a very pleasurable ride and helped alot with constant riding on un-familiar terrain .
Without having to think of what gear I was in made for a very relaxed ride . I could focus on the terrain around me more especially at the end of the day with fatigue had set in .
The DCT gearbox and sand - wow - due to the low revving nature of the engine and the gearbox doing alot of the intuitive thinking I could pilot my heavily laden bike with ease through deep sand , I did have to 'correct' gearing a few times approaching sand hills as the gearbox only responds to these obstacles when the hill sensor actively 'knows' you are on an incline - the corrections were simple and fun - just a press of your thumb and no jerk in the gear changing that could affect your line in the sand .
Piloting the bike up rocky / sandy hills the bike did ' hunt ' a little and I changed the set up to manual allowing me to keep in a low gear longer by choice - one could change the set up to sports mode 3 and achieve the same result but I guess time will allow that level of trust .
Given my style of riding and that I was in a very relaxed head space while travelling I seldom went out of D mode and found it perfect for overland travelling .
There is something amazing about twisting the handle hard to accelerate and overtake and the bike just jumps forward changing down seamlessly - just hang on ..
The DCT gearbox was great for the few heavily congested towns that I encountered , I live in the garden route so they were my first experience of heavy traffic and it made for a very easy experience again allowing me to concentrate on the traffic and dodging obstacles .
Riding on pothole infested roads again the DCT gearbox was a pleasure doing all the constant gear changes that are necessary for this slow down go style of riding .
To be honest I never really felt the difference using the G button but it gave an added level of confidence somehow when getting to a tricky dirt section to press in the G button - kind of a ' lets do it ' button .
I believe the DCT gearbox also extended my tyre range as there was no sudden jerks in my gear changes that could cause wear but I think also the traction control also had its part to play here .
Two up my wife loved the DCT gearbox as the gear changes are smooth and we seldom bashed helmets .
Over all bloody brilliant and only time will tell the reliability of this gear box , I had no issues ...

The traction control I enjoyed the different settings and there is a marked difference between them . I found traction control 1 was best for deep sand as the bike didn't 'dig' in and rose to the top of the sand easy with out getting stuck . I had to turn the traction control off when going over long stretches of corrugations as there was a jerky-ness with it on .

The ABS brakes turn off the rear when descending difficult off road terrain . Not being able to turn off the front didn't affect me or make any difference - for me I enjoyed not locking up the front in ALL conditions - at very low speeds - sub 20kmph ( not sure the threshold ) the front does lock up .

The adjustable head lights This was a bit of a surprise and I only found out about it when riding two up on a dark road for the first time . It was so easy to reach your hand down behind the light cowl and use the big turn dial to adjust up and down to suit . When I needed maximum lighting on a busy pot-holed filled road instead of constantly turning my brights on and off for oncoming traffic I just turned the lights to look more down and rode with my brights on allowing me to see more of the road and the oncoming traffic didn't bright me for blinding them - a very good feature . Otherwise on normal setting for brights and normal lights the strength of the lights was great and I never felt the need for additional lighting even on moonless nights with bad road conditions .

The fuel consumption and range of the bike The bike is very good and frugal if you ride it conservatively - this is especially easy to do on the roads of Zimbabwe Malawi and Mozambique with strictly enforced traffic speeds - I was getting between 23.5km/l and 19km/l pretty consistently . I started to think seriously about fuel round the 300km mark as the distances between fuel stops can be far though never further than 100km apart on average . My range was +/- 390km when riding conservatively . The bike accepts container fuel and mixed fuels ( biofuel ) and performance doesn't seem to be effected . I did carry my own pre-filter for pouring fuel through and I would advise the same as my filter showed some dirt from the containers

The engine   Well its a new bike so it was faultless . The low revving engine was great for sand , rough terrain and the overall fuel consumption . It has lots of poke if needed and can quickly get you up to very fast speeds when required . The bike started easy in the cold and the engine is very confidence inspiring with no noises , misfiring and changes in idle with different fuels - again its a new bike so one would not expect any different . The bikes engine never got hot and only a few times  in deep sand and going up Livingstonia pass did the fan come on , the temps stayed in the middle for my whole journey .

The dash I enjoyed the various functions and information that I could get from the dash and flicking between the two trip meters , checking fuel consumption real time , average fuel consumption , temperatures etc - I liked the km or litre count down on the reserve . I did have the dash turned up to max lighting and didn't feel that I couldn't read the dash at anytime even when covered with dust . I loved the lighting at night and it has a real spaceship feel to it . Coming from a KLR all these functions were a pleasure so I am not the one to compare really with other bikes - just having a fuel gauge was amazing ;)

The suspension Out of the box perfect for me but I am no Dakar racer - even two up on the rocks and whoops I didn't bottom out . They handled the corrugations with ease and I didnt feel that my teeth were rattling out . I did make some adjustments to the rear when two up and it was easy to do so on the side of the road - bring your little book with you if you are unfamiliar with what adjusts what .

The rockfox lower and upper front crashbars Very sturdy design without feeling you have a trellis work of thick piping attached to the bike . The few times they were needed they performed as they should and I received no damage to my bike on my few low speed falls . Good product . They also formed a good attachment to my two leather bags that a friend made -

Leatherwise leather front pannier bags Beautifully made bespoke leather bags . I wanted bags that would be robust and be able to fit exactly a 5 litre container inside to extend my range if needs be . I found these two bags my most handy accessory and were used to store food that I found , beer , water , fuel , jacket linings and other various items on my journey . Its a pain to have to open soft rear bags that are strapped down to get some needed item while on the road  , I would anticipate my requirements for the day - eg air-pump when doing mixed terrain and I would pack it in the front bags for ease of access . Shopping was made easy with these bags and having 'free' space was great . They also performed well alongside the rockfox crashbars to be a cushion to land the bike on ..

The DCT parking brake The few times I did tip over it was great to lock the rear wheel which made picking the bike up easier on irregular/ hilly terrain . Its also handy for leaving the bike unattended as I don't think anyone could figure out why the rear is not moving ( just a theory )

Barkbusters hand-guards they speak for themselves and are a great product - sturdy

Tyres TKC80 front and Mitas E07 rear - a great combination for mixed road riding for me , they lasted the distance 12500km and I didn't get any punctures - a plus in any bikers book . I also had UHD tubes which may have helped the puncture reality .

ATG rear saddle bags a really good product and robust - I liked the additional waterproof bags that fit inside , I could separate things that I didn't want to mix up in my bags like I could keep my clothing and sleeping bag in the water proof bag and keep my petrol stove and pot in the outer bag without stinking up my clothing . They wear well and mine still look new . The attachment method is great especially the wide velcro  for loading in the morning , my wife did complain a little about having to sit on this bit but fair due I cant think of another way . The additional straps for pulling up the bags once the velcro is attached are really good and that combined with a strap to hold the bags onto the rack made for a very secure and strong attachment

was ok .....

The seat was reasonably comfortable and I didn't have much to complain about , again not knowing the various planks and couches out there other than the KLR , DR , XT500 and a few other border-line planks I don't have much to go by . My wife loved the seat but some days for me I was riding on one butt cheek at a time - distance will do that .

The bad

Aftermarket pegs I got some after market pegs that proved to be very wide , it made paddling and moving the bike around in tight areas very difficult - my shins kept bashing into them . The AT is very wide at the bottom and the cast peg holders further make it wider . The pegs bent right out of shape when my bike toppled over while being pushed backwards out of a tricky area - I had to get them ' fixed ' along the way and when my wife flew out to meet me in Lilongwe she brought me the originals - I am very happy with the originals and currently wouldn't change them .  My personal opinion on any after market if you really feel you need them is to look for ones that are possibly wider but not longer than the originals and make sure that they are either cast or thick stock steel .

Fuel consumption and range mentioned as part of my good and now mentioned as part of my bad - riding with a big grin can drastically effect your fuel consumption and blasting through the Tete I made on average 13.5km/L and this wasn't with my hand at end stop - oh well fun costs ..

The plastics Although I didn't do them any damage I did find them flimsy and I gave up getting too the inline fuse for the power outlet - kept waiting for a rest/non activity day to deconstruct the front - never did .. The rear grab handles have paint that is gone from my soft rear tog bag rubbing and any used AT will bear the same results - this bike will age quickly on the aesthetic front for those that want a concourse machine - for the rest of us its just stories to tell .

The OEM dash power outlet This thing is useless for anything more than charging electronic items - I blew the fuse with my air-compressor early in my journey and didn't have the energy to dig amongst the plastics to find the fuse - please Honda change the fuse size or make the fuse accessible under the seat . Luckily I had another cigarette charger point on the bike that I had installed so I just used that instead

The weight No marketing can hide the fact that this bike is heavy .. Yes it does carry its weight down low and unloaded has a wide tipping point but when it reaches that point there is no stopping it going down , loaded this gets worse . I am a fit 45 year old - by no means a body builder and at 72kg reasonably strong with a chosen vocation of a blacksmith .. On a perfect tip over in perfect terrain - flat , good grip in the surface and balmy weather conditions the bike is relatively easy to pick up and I  achieved this easily on my field with the bike loaded up ( I had to do this for ease of mind ) - mix into this real world situations - inclines , slippery surfaces and the reality gets a whole lot worse . I ride solo and returned home so yes it can be done but doing it at the end of a day while tired takes will power and the tedium of having to unload your baggage each time - trick is not to fall I guess which as stated above the DCT gearbox helps . I had the opportunity of riding in the Reserva do Gili in Mozambique but had to turn it down due to many river crossings and the possibility due to riding solo of getting compromised seriously .. But that's another kind of traveling or adventuring and I guess if you were doing a long journey or a RTW trip on this bike you wouldn't be seeking

will write a bit more on my various camping navigation and travelling things  if anyone is interested ...
As to GPS routes - my old gps had a daily function but didnt save my entire route - next time I willl try better :)


 








« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 11:09:33 am by shanti »
 

Offline SchalkL

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #103 on: October 08, 2016, 10:07:07 am »
WOW, what a great write-up to end this ride. I wish (myself included) will give a summary at the end of the ride.
Your info on the AT in a real life "Africa" trip with real people (not Chris Birch) is invaluable. [Calling bike mags ! - you should publish this trip  ;) ]
Tx again and looking forward to your next post as mentioned.........
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Offline DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #104 on: October 08, 2016, 11:08:25 am »
Everyone with a DS bike should have the time and money for such a trip. :deal:
I am still dreaming.
Thanks for the time taking posting Shanti. :thumleft:
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Offline Skolla

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #105 on: October 08, 2016, 11:16:06 am »
That was a very nice read with very good technical information,mooi man,lekker gelees
 

Online Nimmo

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #106 on: October 09, 2016, 06:24:21 pm »
What an epic RR - great to meet you  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
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Offline Morne 1200gs

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2016, 08:19:19 pm »
Baie mooi RR :thumleft:

Baie geniet, proe soos nog....
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #108 on: October 11, 2016, 10:14:37 am »
Great report, and the first real time RR on an AT, very interesting info indeed. Thanks for sharing this epic trip of yours!

Roll on tomorra!

 8)
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Offline Archangel

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #109 on: October 14, 2016, 02:48:41 pm »
Lekker man, nou's ek jaloers!!!

Ek verlang terug na Mozambique...  :-\

Offline Bernt

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #110 on: October 15, 2016, 09:15:34 am »
Stunning report, thanks for taking the time to put it together.
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Offline Clockwork Orange

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #111 on: October 18, 2016, 08:58:20 am »
Fantastic trip and report.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline shanti

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #112 on: October 26, 2016, 07:05:33 am »
Thank you for all the positive comments ...
Safe biking and have fun

Offline Flash

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #113 on: October 28, 2016, 08:23:01 am »
Great report, it stirs my soul to the point that I just want to leave my job and get out there to the bush again. there is nothing better for the soul than raw Africa, despite all its short Cummings.
Enjoyed the read over the last 3 days
 

Offline Oubones

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #114 on: October 29, 2016, 04:16:03 am »
It is reports like these that make me get naughty thoughts of just going!
Thanks for a good read even if I cannot see a trip like that in my foreseeable future!
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Offline RrP

Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #115 on: October 29, 2016, 08:53:57 am »
Well that report hit the spot thank you for sharing. :thumleft:
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #116 on: November 02, 2016, 12:40:57 pm »
Shanti you write really well and your photos are also very good. Thank you for a great read. Top ride report. :thumleft:

So were you able to convince Oscar's son (?) to make the long journey south?
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Offline shanti

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #117 on: March 16, 2017, 10:28:13 am »
Shanti you write really well and your photos are also very good. Thank you for a great read. Top ride report. :thumleft:

So were you able to convince Oscar's son (?) to make the long journey south?

Hi BlueBull - geez sorry the very late reply - got caught up in other ventures annd only re-reading my report to build up the momentum for another through Africa bike ride - answer to your question - no - sadly his father cannot see a way to bring his boy back here to SA - he feels it is safer for him in Malawi especially with the violence in the townships here . He will grow up barefooted in the middle of no-where with not much opportunity for schooling - he stays far away from the nearest mission station where a chance of an education can be had .  On a bright side he is with a very happy smiley family 

Offline big oil

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #118 on: April 05, 2017, 06:45:22 pm »
Excellent RR and pictures, Shanti.  I can't imagine being in a country where an armed convoy is necessary, what was your mindset when you learned of these convoys, or is that something you've dealt with on prior trips?
 

Offline shanti

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Re: Off to see the wizard - Mozambique , Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe
« Reply #119 on: April 06, 2017, 07:21:58 pm »
Excellent RR and pictures, Shanti.  I can't imagine being in a country where an armed convoy is necessary, what was your mindset when you learned of these convoys, or is that something you've dealt with on prior trips?

Thanks big oil and welcome to wilddogs :) , I had heard that there would be a possibility of the armed convoys prior to leaving . I guess i just accepted it as part of the journey initially - as I got closer to the first convoy there was lots of conflicting stories coming from the guest houses I stayed in etc - I took all the stories and tried to make an informed picture to base my decision on - one was backtracking a good 1000km ( back to SA and up through Zim ) or going forward - I guess I chose the experience over the wisdom somewhat but that's adventure riding   - it was a bit of a nerve wracking day but having done the convoy it made the beer late that night so much sweeter - I have dealt with corrupt policeman on the take , non existent roads , sparse fuel , reckless drivers etc but never before having to ride in an armed convoy - I guess its just another African experience - didn't detract from the fact that Africa is an amazing country to ride in  .