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Author Topic: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya  (Read 10744 times)

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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2017, 07:46:34 am »
I camped on the Magadi Pans at the Golf Club in 1994 - we were on 2 x XT500's and a modified R100GS - brilliant time!

I will try find an old pic.....

Epic ride report - thank you for sharing!!

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Offline JonW

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2017, 08:11:51 am »
Awesome ride and great pics.

Very jealous of you guys  :thumleft:
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Offline Kortbroek

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2017, 09:58:20 am »
These rides are what the BRP is for  :thumleft:

Great report, love following this thread
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2017, 09:26:07 pm »
Very nice  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Goingnowherekwickly

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2017, 10:33:28 pm »
Aah, man, your reports are keeping me drooling...
you guys are doing it the right way..
Kzn has some great riding, its just much more civilized ...
I've been lusting after a set of Wolfman packs, had my own made up, but always running repairs.... ;)

 

 

Offline Osadabwa

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Ride on!
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2017, 05:08:24 pm »
Thanks guys!

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 08:30:15 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2017, 05:10:44 pm »
I've sent you PM about Google Photo.

Offline McSack

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2017, 08:45:21 pm »
Jeez...now that is riding "off the beaten track" . One day when I am big...

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Offline Osadabwa

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2017 05 - Aberdares on the XL
« Reply #68 on: May 20, 2017, 08:43:41 am »
It took a few days to want to even think about riding bikes after the long trip to Turkana over Easter, but when the urge hit, it was unbearable. The XRR was out of commission pending the replacement of some severely notched steering bearings, so I welded up the cracked frame on the 1985 XL600R, called up Clarke and went up the hills in search of some mud.


Above: This old girl, damn she’s ugly, but what a bike… I’ll take you anywhere baby! I rode down through the Rift Valley, banging over rocks and through ruts like they were nothing. Okay, she's not the XRR out in the desert, but she didn't really slow me down.

Over a couple of days, we explored a great swathe of the forest around Clarke’s Bamboo concession south of the Aberdares. The XL was happy as a clam, and I was too. She’s possibly more fun to ride than the XR on a mix of tarmac, dirt road and tight, winding trails. Squat little bike, low to the ground, plenty of grunt… I don’t know, I love her.


Above: Tracks in the forest were often blocked by downed trees. Clarke carries a foldable saw, though, so we were through it in no time.

Above: Not all tracks lead anywhere, but it was lovely being on red bikes surrounded by green for a change


Above: Up near the southern end of the Aberdare National Park lies a nearly abandoned government forestry camp.




Above: Clarke is into bamboo, really into bamboo. We stopped to admire some of the naturally occurring biomass on the hillside.



Above: The bamboo is home to elephant and all manner of antelope, including the endangered Bongo, but good luck seeing one in there… even my gawdaweful yellow and red XL appears camouflaged after only a few meters.



Above: The track Clarke took us on was once a road, but appears to never have 4 wheeled vehicles on it. Elephants were the last 4x4s that had been through, and they left deep potholes in the mud which the XL and I had some trouble navigating. My rear tire was a tad on the bald side, so I did a bit of spin therapy, sweating in the green… and was caught by surprise when I finally caught traction and nearly pitched her off the side into the bamboo!



Above: Clarke and his XRR on the track, looking down off the hillside



Above: Going down, we passed through colonial era cedar and eucalyptus plantations. The eucalyptus harvest site was amazing… the stumps there were big enough to comfortably park your bike on…


Above: Old eucalyptus stump… 2 meters high




Above: XL landing pad



Above: Clarke rides between the puddles. This was a dry, easy section, but there were many sections of red clay up here that were downright deadly to ride on. We were lucky it had been dry for at least 24 hours.

A day earlier, Clarke had taken me through the agricultural areas bordering the forest. Once upon a time, this area was a cluster of massive colonial farms stretching down the valley and looking up to the forest above. Now, of course, they’re all divvied up into little subsistence farms. We stopped at the ruins of one of the mansions up there. It would have been spectacular, but it was a crumbling dump now. Hard to decide how to feel about all of that. Guess it had to be.



Above: The great room… not so great. Solid hardwood beams and paneling still looked smart



Above: The watchman said the government had used the house briefly… looks about right… generate a lot of paper and dump it on the floor.


 :snorting:
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 08:45:02 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #69 on: May 20, 2017, 04:33:59 pm »
 looks about right… generate a lot of paper and dump it on the floor.

 :laughing4: :'( :(

I think customs in African countries does the most paperwork in the world that nothing is done with.

Osadabwa is it difficult getting spares for the old XRs in Kenya? How do you manage?
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Offline Osadabwa

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Parts
« Reply #70 on: May 20, 2017, 05:14:20 pm »
ChrisL,

There are no Honda parts in Kenya for our bikes. We can get tires, oil and some bearing sets locally but that's about it. We rely on internet shops and a steady stream of folks going on holiday in Europe/USA/RSA for stuff. It's not great, but we're used to it. And we always buy two of everything, so our group is usually never stranded for long.

 :snorting:
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Parts
« Reply #71 on: May 20, 2017, 05:17:13 pm »
ChrisL,

There are no Honda parts in Kenya for our bikes. We can get tires, oil and some bearing sets locally but that's about it. We rely on internet shops and a steady stream of folks going on holiday in Europe/USA/RSA for stuff. It's not great, but we're used to it. And we always buy two of everything, so our group is usually never stranded for long.

 :snorting:
Boer maak n plan - Farmer makes a plan :thumleft:
Biker already has one :lol8: ;)
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Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2017, 10:54:32 am »
Thanks again for sharing really nice riding area  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2017 06 - Solo rock riding... and the stupid sheep
« Reply #73 on: June 08, 2017, 04:46:25 pm »
My fabulous 10 day off-road April trip to Turkana taught me something: I’m not very good at riding on loose stones. That’s a problem of course, because Kenya has zillions of them, and some of the places I’m most keen to go are accessed only on tracks entirely composed of them. So, I have been thinking about beefing up my skills. I’ve been watching those Aussie YouTube enduro videos to try to learn a bit of technique from guys who admit they don’t know either, and today I set out into the valley to give it a go myself. Of course, those guys are riding proper lightweight enduro bikes (2 strokes many of them) and I’m on the Pig, so I chose to stick with rocks that are appropriate for my setup (baby-heads and bowling balls, not boulders). After all, I’m not actually interested in Hard Enduro, I just want to be able to tackle the roughest road sections without dying of exhaustion.

So, I set out with a plan: I would go to a rocky hill I have ridden in the past and practice proper technique on it. I’d lower air pressure in the tires, and keep my ass off the seat. It would have been wise to have a buddy along, but I do some of my best riding alone, and today was no different. Just off the Magadi road I found a place where a bulldozer had ploughed away the biggest rocks in weird rectangular patterns, as if somebody was delineating suburban housing, but on steep hills in the middle of nowhere. I dropped the PSI down to 20, stood up, gripped the bike with my knees and rode for half an hour up and down the rocks, happy as a clam! Man I wish I’d dropped the pressure in Logipi…



Above: The first rocky bulldozer track


Above: A rock… and a mushroom. I missed out on the flame lilies this year, so I guess this is as good as its going to get.

Back on the Magadi road, aiming for my original track, I got sidetracked by another similar road and thought I’d go for it. This time, I was too lazy to lower the pressure… big mistake. From 25 PSI to 20 PSI is noticeable, and I struggled to climb a steep section and nearly lost control coming down the other side. Still, I conquered, so on I pressed. The approach to my rocky hill is fast and brilliant, zipping between what’s left of the trees near Mt. Esakut. I found the track, dropped the PSI again, and tractored up and down it like a champ. I’ve done this section many times, but never as easily or confidently. Just imagine… practice helps… doing the right things helps…


Above: Two more steep rocky sections. The long one on the right took 5 minutes to climb and 5 minutes to descend, slow going all the way, but I felt confident and not in danger of dropping the bike, no foot dabs needed.

It’s amazing how I keep finding tracks out there. I considered my rock practice over, but on the way back to my usual fast, desert-race style track, I spotted another challenging section and went for it. Then I was distracted again and toodled off on another track for an hour. I was enjoying myself. Solo riding is the best.


Above: Don’t know when this track appeared… wasn’t there 2 years ago. It’s as if bulldozers get confused and just plough in a straight line until they run out of gas. The track doesn’t seem to go anywhere… maybe one day it’ll be a powerline


Above: I love this bike…

By noon or so, I was back on my fast tracks absolutely tearing them up. Because I’d had such a nice time on the really rough stone tracks all morning, I no longer hesitated to approach rocky patches in the road with confidence. Or should I say hubris? I realized I hadn’t put my tires back to my usual desert race pressures (25 psi at least for 100kph tracks with embedded stones) and paused to do so… for the front… for whatever reason, I left the rear alone, enjoying the extra grip you get out of 18psi. It was stupid of me. Within half a kilometer, I blasted over a horrible section of rutted rocks and hammered a thumb-sized hole in my new $30 HD tube.


Above: I am really good at roadside tire repair now… just wish the damn Masai would leave a few shadier trees for me to do it under (plundering charcoal burning dickheads… see the stump in the upper left hand corner? Shortsighted idiots.)


 :snorting:Above: My HD tube… what a mess. Kenya’s just too damn hard on stuff. In this case, it’s entirely my laziness though… I know you gotta have those pressures up, even if it does make cornering a bit exciting at times.

I had the tube out, checked for thorns, reinstalled and had ridden away from my handful of spectators in 30 minutes flat (pun intended). I told myself to slow down, now that I didn’t have a spare tube, but I never listen. I blasted up to Najile, hung a sharp right and went back toward the Ngongs without so much as a piss break. The ride would have ended without further incident except that school was letting out and there were a bunch of kids and sheep on one section of track. I slowed down to meander through the throng and was just accelerating away when a stick whacked me over the head (harmlessly, it must be said… I’m wearing armor after all). But, I saw red. If kids think they can throw stuff at me without repercussion, they’re wrong. I slammed the brakes, flipped my quickest U, and was into 3rd gear chasing after the buggar who hit me in nothing flat. He and his friend/accomplice were pissing themselves and running like mad through deep brush to get away from me. All the commotion confused the sheep who in any case aren’t that clever, and one of the big fluffy idiots ran right in front of me. I was gonna hit him, that much was for sure. I slammed the rear break and skidded a bit to the side, the sheep plowed right into my foot, head down, under the engine. I was now kind of sideways on top of my bike on top of a sheep, losing control and knowing it, still wanting to smack that kid with the stick. I was going down, no two ways about it… but I didn’t go down. The bike bucked, the sheep pooped out the back end, and after a violent correction of the handlebars I was still upright. I got damn lucky. Those kids got lucky too… but not the sheep. Collateral damage, as they say.

Oink

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 04:54:14 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #74 on: June 09, 2017, 10:23:10 am »
Eish!  I taught  you everything  I know and you still know fakall!  Move to the back of the class you bad boy. You already  there?  Go stand outside  then.

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Offline Osadabwa

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There's a new pig in town
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2017, 03:30:23 pm »
For the last year, Frogger rolled his eyes whenever Panic or I said how amazing the XR650R is for Kenya’s terrain. He swore his KTM 690 was twice the bike of any other, and he laughed at our love of an 18-year-old, out-of-production, carbureted, kick-start, standard-forked old race pig. But apparently, deep down in his heart, he was secretly covetous because on Friday he turned up at Panic’s garage with an XR of his very own, and we set off this weekend to give her a test ride.


Above: Frogger with his new favorite toy

On the road at 8 with a headache and riding in a daze. Off tar 20 minutes later. We hit the dirt and braap. Past the Ngongs, herds of cattle out for a graze, goats and sheep looking to get killed, over the escarpment past Olepolos and down toward Mile 46 on the fast, rocky screamer. Arrived in a pile of dust and put in an order for two milky teas with lots of sugar at a butchery/restaurant of sorts. Frogger topped up his tank and we devoured a brownie while the locals ogled the bikes.





Back on the bikes. Back on the throttle. Aiming due south on a collision course with Tanzania. The track to Torosei is fast and flowing. Hazy head had cleared and the day had come into its own. The pigs screamed down the road, trailing dust and scaring ostriches.



Narrowly avoiding the head-on with Tanzania, we drifted west and disappeared into the bush. Off the big road, the Pigs have to be more disciplined. It was rockier now, and slower; not much more than a wide cattle bypass with a bodaboda track sketched down the middle. We passed masai bomas and abandoned masai bomas, clattered down into a valley and gutted an ancient volcano; the pigs’ roar echoing off the rocks.











Spit out onto the Magadi plains, sweating in the mid-day sun, we opened up the throttles on the sandy flats. At the foot of the Nguruman escarpment, a half-dozen dust devils swirled and danced in the shimmering heat. Frogger and I looped around in the dust, drifting and raising hell as giraffes looked on. Hunger brought us to a stop under a shade tree and we carved up a hunk of Kolobus’ home-made biltong for a snack and greeted the lone, rail-thin masai who came to say hello. Frogger’s iPhone crapped out and he played the techno-idiot for half an hour poking it repeatedly and saying “putain de merde” and other harmless French colloquialisms.















Not quite ready to head for Magadi, we rode up to Nguruman town to see what’s new. Some poor schmuck managed to have all four wheels ganked off his ride out there, one has to wonder how. In the village, the bar had cold ones (a relative concept, “cold”) so we partook of one apiece while one friendly lad buttered us up in the hopes that we’d buy him a bottle of Konyagi. No dice. Afterward, we explored a bit and found several small irrigation canals with fresh water that were a welcomed oasis in all that heat and dust.

 





To be continued...
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Continued...
« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2017, 03:31:23 pm »

Afternoon was setting in, and the thirst for a properly cold beer was growing, so we hit the rocky road to the Lake Magadi overlook. Spectacular spot, 1000 feet above the soda lake. Flamingos honking and flapping around below, baboons playing on the cliffsides and us sweating in the sun.







Wanting a closer look at the crusty lake, we dropped down and inspected from the shoreline, XR exhaust sent the flamingos to the air, showing off the black undersides of their wings. The lake’s pink water and crusty, crystalline soda deposits were interesting but not doing much to quench our thirst.







The Magadi Sports Club served up some ice-cold beers and we were quizzed by some Sunday afternoon patrons about just how the hell it was possible to have ridden 280 km off road through the places we named in less than a day. Pigs, baby, pigs. After a shower, we were back at the bar for more beers and some stories in the perfect evening breeze.

In the morning, after shunning the absolutely vile scrambled eggs they’d tried to poison us with, we bid the Magadi Club adieu and hit the road. Needing to be back in Nairobi quick, we didn’t plan to explore much, but still had a lovely zip through some dusty plains just East of Mt Olorgesailie near the Butt Brothers’ Farm (not making that up). Steep cliffs stand high above the farm, the kind of formations that make crisscrossing this area so difficult but beautiful.










In the plains, after a flat-out session that sent gazelles running for the hills, Frogger hits reserve. We bee-line it for the tarmac, passing giraffes and digging deep into the local feshfesh. A moment’s lack of concentration plus general feeling of invincibility put me on ass in it. Guess it was my turn.






Back on the tar at Oltepesi, we put a few litres into the tanks out of plastic water bottles at the roadside shop and aimed for home. Frogger’s verdict: The XR650R is Fantastique! I feel an “I told you so” coming on… I TOLD YOU SO!

The XR650R-senal has grown in Nairobi to a stable of 6. That’s a half-dozen pigs, people!
Until next ride:
 :snorting:


 

Offline bud500

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #77 on: June 20, 2017, 08:46:49 am »
Lekker!  :ricky:
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Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #78 on: June 20, 2017, 12:02:57 pm »
Nice would be nice to see all 6 out and about  :thumleft: :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Half dozen
« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2017, 02:37:53 pm »
ROOI, it would be great to get all the pigs in one place, but it has proven very difficult. It seems herding pigs is a challenge... Coordinating bikers is an art and a science, and we don't hold the appropriate degrees.\
 :snorting: