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Author Topic: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya  (Read 10747 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2017, 07:01:11 pm »
Oooooooohhh... another ride is in the making  :snorting:


Have fun working, chumps, I mean, amigos... we're off at dawn tomorrow!
 

Offline NovaT

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2017, 09:03:47 pm »
Oooooooohhh... another ride is in the making  :snorting:


Have fun working, chumps, I mean, amigos... we're off at dawn tomorrow!

Enjoy chump!  :ricky:


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Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2017, 06:04:11 pm »
Hey Osablahblah, haul the XT out of storage and do a report

Sent from my TECNO L6 using Tapatalk

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Offline saklx650c

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2017, 11:37:14 am »
If you keeping laughing at us desk jockeys we will have to stop reading your RR's. :patch: .... don't know what else there will be to do - maybe the for sale thread. :lamer:   
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Offline Osadabwa

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Shompole and the bad break...
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2017, 01:40:27 pm »
Right out of the gate, I saw my ass. Fully loaded with around 20-25kg of kit in back and 26L of fuel up front, I came skidding happily to a stop at our usual place and went down like sack of spuds. It had rained and left a wee layer of mud just under the dry top layer. No harm done, though I couldn’t help wonder if it was an omen of what was to come… (in showbiz, that’s what they call foreshadowing).


Above: I pose with my fully loaded, muddy little piggy

I was psyched up. The plan was for 3 days out, exploring a heretofore unknown link between Torosei, a village on the very border of Tanzania, with Shompole, the nearest settlement to Lake Natron on the Kenyan side. If that worked out, we’d decide what to do, where to camp, and where to explore further. But first we needed to make our way 120km south, so the plan was to hit it non-stop to Mile 46. The road as usual was great, largely due to the plush ride of the XRR which makes the stony surface feel silk knickers. We were taking turns on point, stopping to take a pic or a snippit of video as we went. All was going well until I came into one dip a little too hot considering I was fully loaded. Near the bottom, I gassed it and leaned back, but came down hard on the other side, hitting the bash plate with the full force of a lifetime of bad decisions. It made an awful sound and lifted me off my seat. Miraculously, I landed on the rubber with only a whack to the balls to show for it… or so I thought.






Above: Red arrow shows impact zone, yellow arrow shows region of pain!


Above: Perhaps overdoing the drama a bit, it was nevertheless a serious hit. I left some skid plate in the dirt, shearing off one of the bolts and pushing the whole thing back 2 inches. Fortunately, nothing else seemed out of order, so after I caught my breath we hit the road again!


Above: Skid plate looking a bit twisted under as Panic blasts past

Arriving in Mile 46, I made my entrance as usual by jumping over the railroad tracks and skidding up to the Oasis restaurant. That’s when I noticed my headlamp assembly was staring at my fender. Both of the Baja Designs metal brackets had broken. Frankly, I’m not surprised. That system is sorely under engineered (especially for the money, BD, and yeah I’m still sore that the battery pack you sent me was dead on arrival). So, while Panic ordered chai and chapo, I set to work improving the design with heavy duty cable ties.


Above: Fixed it with zip ties. A modern-day MacGyver

With a serious sugar high from the tea, we ripped out of Mi-46 for Torosei. Another brilliant road. As the crow flies, about 50 km due south. It felt like we got there in a heartbeat. Here’s some video from the morning:



In Torosei, we bargained with some bodaboda guys to show us the track to Shompole. One guy finally agreed to take us to where “there is no other trail” and we were off. Riding slowly behind him was a challenge as the track was prime for little throttle blips and drifts, but he soon deposited us on a dry, stony spot with a whiff of a track vanishing into the distance. We bid him farewell and toodled down the track. It was fantastic. It played along through trees awhile, over rolling rocks and coarse white earth before turning toward what I’d identified on Google Earth as a formidable mountain. The track sliced right through it, following a rocky riverbed before emerging on the other side on the floodplains East of Shompole Mountian. Fantastic stuff!


























to be continued...
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 08:06:15 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Shompole and the bad break continued...
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2017, 01:46:36 pm »
The Magadi-Shompole track we emerged upon was a mud-puddled mess. Much of the area is just a giant fesh-fesh field that thankfully had been subdued by recent rains. The water doesn’t sink in, however, and the fesh is seriously slick stuff when wet, so it was a good idea to avoid heroics and ride around the larger pools. We arrived in Shompole town where, while sweating profusely, sipping a warm soda and hanging with my newest best friend, I noticed that my rack was loose… somehow not surprising given the tracks. I torqued the bolt down and off we went.








Above: My newest bestest friend. He actually agreed to be put in the panniers as long as we took him with us. His mom said no. What a hag.


Above: Shompole mountain selfie on the one metal bridge



Out in the salt flats West of Shompole, I was feeling ornery and gave the Pig a big squirt of throttle thinking she’d dig in nicely to what I thought was soft ground. Instead, she slipped like a fat lady on roller skates and left me tumbling around in the dirt again. It was hilarious and Mr. Panic got to see the whole thing. I was fine, but when I went to pick up the bike I noticed the carrier rack seemed loose again. So, I again I tightened up the bolts and we set out. The open plains were amazing, flanked on one side by Shompole and the other by the Nguruman Escarpment. We turned North at the village of Mpakase and immediately ended up in a mudslick that on my GPS turned out to be Lake Shompole. We slid around awhile, found the track and cruised through the deserted wildlife area to the campsite, with plenty of giraffe and zebra around despite there not being a blade of grass anywhere.


Above: Panic on the salt pan


Above: The error of my ways









At the campsite, I made a sad discovery: my subframe was broken. Not cracked either, broken through. That meant that there were only 3 points holding my ass and all of my kit off the rear wheel. It was with a heavy heart that we decided to abort the rest of the ride, which meant we worked our way through two days’ worth of Black Label to compensate (and to lighten the load…). The following morning was beautiful, birds chirping all around us. The river, so muddy we didn’t even wade in it let alone swim, had receded in the night and sandbars were showing. Loading the bikes, we bid the place farewell (all the while being watched by two Maasai herdsmen 20 feet away) and rode carefully toward Magadi and the horrendous tarmac road home.







Back in Nairobi (even cautiously riding and with a stop in Magadi, it only took 3 hours) we cleaned up, ate some food and hit the garage. By afternoon, we had the subframe out and I’d organized an aircraft welder to meet me to discuss repairs. TIG welding aluminium isn’t for sissies, so we’re hoping for the best. All works out, the Pig’ll be back on her hooves in no time… if I can get the sump guard bent back in shape that is… bloody thing is all kinds of messed up.



All told, still a brilliant ride.  :snorting:

« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 06:01:06 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline bud500

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2017, 09:07:56 am »
Agreed, still a great read!  :thumleft:

Leka video clip too.
May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline DeeCeeBee

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2017, 11:43:18 am »
Fantastic riding and writing style there!
That kind of terrain is what I have to look forward to here in Australia.
My pig is itching to go and explore.
Thanks for sharing and for tagging me on fb.
Darryn.
BRP...now joined by Africa Twin Adv Sport
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2017, 12:28:26 pm »
Excellent ride sorry about the sub frame on the photos it looks as if this is not the first repair  :thumleft: :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Busted
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2017, 05:37:21 pm »
Thanks for the feedback Darryn, @Bud500 and @ROOI,

ROOI, well spotted. As you know, that spot has a threaded rivet insert which acts as a mounting point for the rack (at least the rack I have). When we got the bikes, my rivet insert was spinning around inside, so we thought we'd just drill it out and put a nut on the other side. Problem solved... temporarily as it turns out. It would seem that we weakened the structure with our modification, leading to the break.  So, the aircraft welder I found to make the repair has replaced our mess with a solid chunk of aluminium complete with a heli-coil insert and extra gusset in the corner. I just got it back and it looks great but we may have to grind some of the gusset away to make room for the airbox. Anyway, if all goes well, the Pig will be back on her wheels tomorrow. Not half bad for Africa (if I were still in Tanzania, I wouldn't know where to begin).

 :snorting:
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2017, 10:43:02 am »
Any Pics of the repaired sub frame . :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2017, 12:31:17 pm »
Buy my spare sub-frame...... :biggrin:
#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
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Offline Osadabwa

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Subadub
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2017, 07:18:14 pm »
ROOI, I spent the better part of yesterday getting it back in place. The weld looks fantastic. The guy put a solid piece of aluminium in where the hole used to be and inserted a 6m heli coil. Of course, things didn't line up perfectly, but the frame was easily bent to shape. I also had to grind away a bit of the gusset and extra weld that he put on the outside of the subframe to make room for the airbox. I didn't take pics of the finished piece... kinda waiting for a test ride to make sure all's well.

Steve! If you have a spare, by god bring it up here! I'll buy it from you no problem. I give you five dolla!  :snorting:
 

Offline Xpat

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2017, 08:14:09 pm »
At least on my Italian 630 only subframe bolt breaks not the whole subframe. And that can be fixed with cable ties, which in Swaziland lasts longer than my leg.

Clearly way superior Italian design - I was always suspicious about the flimsy Japanese engineering  :peepwall: :pot:.

Joking aside, I really do not like you right now. But my leg will grow back eventually...

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2017, 07:57:26 am »
I ruv you rong time...
#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
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Offline ROOI

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Re: Subadub
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2017, 09:26:43 am »
ROOI, I spent the better part of yesterday getting it back in place. The weld looks fantastic. The guy put a solid piece of aluminium in where the hole used to be and inserted a 6m heli coil. Of course, things didn't line up perfectly, but the frame was easily bent to shape. I also had to grind away a bit of the gusset and extra weld that he put on the outside of the subframe to make room for the airbox. I didn't take pics of the finished piece... kinda waiting for a test ride to make sure all's well.

Steve! If you have a spare, by god bring it up here! I'll buy it from you no problem. I give you five dolla!  :snorting:
:thumleft: I broke mine but was overloaded and went through a series of hoops "jumps" and I weight a ton  :ricky:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Sub-frame test ride
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2017, 04:07:00 pm »
Having found a proper TIG welder at Wilson Airport (thanks Onesmas!), my Pig was back on her hooves after the subframe break, leaving me in the enviable position of needing to take a ride to test it out. Panic and I left early and blasted 250km, snaking our way out to Ewaso for tea and mandazi, past Mt. Suswa to Suswa Town, down into the canyon behind Hell’s Gate and back home via the West side of Mt. Suswa. It was a lot of splat and not much chat. Here are the pics… video of Panic at the end.






Above: A sharply dressed insurance salesman in Ewaso Kedong outside the Investment Hotel








Above: Down in the Hell’s Gate canyon





We were in and out of riverbeds all afternoon. The Pig is great in that stuff. Depending on the density of the soil, a big, steady squirt of throttle will drift you around every corner very reliably. We stopped in the shade of the riverbed, had 4 tins of fish and were observed at close quarters by three locals who had to come by to see the aliens. Fair enough.

Until next time! Braaap!

Oh yeah, here's the video:
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 :snorting:
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 04:11:20 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Sunday ride with Panic, Frogger and Kolobus
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2017, 08:36:41 pm »
Kenya is biking paradise...



We huddled in my garage watching the rain. What luck. First time in ages we get a group together for a ride and the heavens open up. It’s touch and go. Panic and Kolobus are making “I wanna go back to bed” noises. I couldn’t blame them really, it looked grim out there, but was going, hell or high water. Frogger too, he didn’t change that rear tyre yesterday in the heat for nothing. Technology to the rescue, I pulled up a weather satellite time series showing the offending clouds banking north out and away from us. It was the deciding factor. We would have to abandon our plan to ride up toward the Aberdares in favor of much drier and sandier locations, but no matter: The good old Great Rift Valley. She never disappoints. We set down the coffee cups and rolled out.


Above: Frogger and Kolobus. You see? It’s always better to ride!





With our new plan in motion, we slid down the escarpment and stopped at the overlook. After some discussion, it was agreed we would just splat. Nobody really wanted to be overly challenged, so we just screwed the throttles down and shot toward Ewaso Kedong for the objectively delicious mandazi and chai they serve up at the Investment Hotel. Then it was over the feshy and rocky link to Najile and down Oltepesi way, rocking hard over the stones and moving quick.


Above: Kolobus giving me the Peace sign! Hey, wait a minute…
 



Above: Frogger in the fesh, Panic (L) and Kolobus (  R) give a little blip for the camera

More than half way to Oltepesi, we pause to let Frogger practice some wheelies and shoot the shit with a very old Masai man who came by to say who knows what in that amazing and ancient language. Of course, having stopped for 10 minutes or so, the KTM wouldn’t start (corrosion on the fuses from an earlier life on the coast) and the old man got a good belly laugh when I said “Hii piki piki ni taka taka”… but I think Kolobus laughed hardest.


Above: Frogger giving the 690 a lift


Above: Beware low-flying pigs  :snorting:


Above: Frogger hasn’t the foggiest idea why the stupid bike won’t start (puta!), thank goodness for the Panic Mechanic!

I was so hoping for a pic or two of a XR650R towing the KTM, but alas, the Panic sorted it out and we were back on the road, sliding past the bluffs, through a small herd of zebra down to Oltepesi where Kolobus, ever the diligent one (though you’d never guess by the hair) peeled off for home to attend to urgent work matters. The rest of us skipped over the tar and hit the fesh for one more little loop before the traditional Olepolos Kuku Choma and beer stop. It was some of the best riding of the day. Fast and open, so dry there is no vegetation left, giving you free reign to pick your own line and soft enough to lean aggressively into every turn. At one point, we ran with three Eland across the plains... if you've never seen one run, it's something to behold. Large beasts, Elands. It was great, but the air was blast-furnace hot so were happy to hit the road up to Olepolos for lunch.
 






The kuku was juicy, the beers were cold, and we were talking sh*t. Panic had noticed that Frogger’s 690 was hopping around on little bumps like snow thrown on a hot stove. There and then it was decided to get home quickly and set up the stubborn (that’s a charitable adjective) Frenchman’s suspension once and for all. He’s never even set the bleeding sag! Doesn’t know what the clickers are for! Figured it was normal to nearly die every time you hit a rocky patch! So we blasted the usual track, only this time Panic decided he’d up the difficulty level by running squarely over a sheep at 80kph. His eyes were wide as he described the event, and it made my sphincter pucker. Hitting livestock is a serious concern for us, they’re really bloody everywhere, and sheep are the dumbest and least predictable of the lot. But apparently if you ride a Pig, a sheep strike is not necessarily a death sentence. Panic just clobbered him. Said it felt like riding over a speed bump. RIP sheep.


 Above: Left - A proper Kenyan Special at Olepolos. I bet that guy loves his bike like I love mine! Right - Our fancy-pants garage session complete with sandwiches, Double Black, and for Frogger, special loving from the workshop’s ovulating trio of ankle biting bitches.

Frogger’s sag was set woefully stiff for his weight. We softened it up, picked a starting point for the clickers and sent him on his way. By the time I got home and cleaned up I already had an ecstatic message from him saying how much better the bike rides! Just imagine  :o.

Looking forward to the next one, boys.
 :snorting:

« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 08:37:37 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2017, 12:24:04 pm »
Yep, I still don't like you. It's time to get more serious about my physio exercises...


Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2017, 12:12:43 am »
Great stuff OSDB :thumleft:

Please please keep it coming. :ricky:
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 12:13:09 am by BlueBull2007 »
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