Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...  (Read 17434 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline frankmac

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Singer (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 1,872
  • Thanked: 136 times
  • You want my what??
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #80 on: July 05, 2017, 05:47:40 am »
Wow! I will never get anywhere near where you get to.

 :thumleft:

Too true for me.

I read earlier, you said you had broken your leg again whilst in Europe?
 

Offline Slim Jim

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #81 on: July 05, 2017, 07:55:41 am »
WOW :thumleft: :drif:
 

Online m0lt3n

  • Ervare noob
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Northern Cape
  • Posts: 5,783
  • Thanked: 188 times
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #82 on: July 05, 2017, 08:00:51 am »
Wow! I will never get anywhere near where you get to.

 :thumleft:

Too true for me.

I read earlier, you said you had broken your leg again whilst in Europe?
Ja, whats up?

Great trip, keen to hear the next dune instalment!
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Online MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,155
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #83 on: July 05, 2017, 08:01:43 am »
Day 9 - part 1




You just got unlucky! That downhill stretch is the worst on this road -  there's one other big descent coming down out of the mountains but not as technical. So you would have been fine - but kudos for trying it alone! That's some properly remote territory and if you'd got stuck you would have had a very long, lonely walk out. You're braver than I am!

Sorry to hear about the leg - what a bummer!!!

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #84 on: July 05, 2017, 10:53:46 am »
Thank you  :thumleft:

The leg is not broken - I just twisted it badly on a hike and the metal pin probably saved it. I have been out of commission though for the last 2 weeks hobbling around in my parents house waiting for it to mend itself.

Online sidetrack

  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: Yamaha XT 660 Z
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 13,460
  • Thanked: 379 times
  • T7 dreaminí ....
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #85 on: July 05, 2017, 11:16:26 am »
Day 9 - part 1




You just got unlucky! That downhill stretch is the worst on this road -  there's one other big descent coming down out of the mountains but not as technical. So you would have been fine - but kudos for trying it alone! That's some properly remote territory and if you'd got stuck you would have had a very long, lonely walk out. You're braver than I am!

Sorry to hear about the leg - what a bummer!!!
That is crazy, would even be a mission on the 500
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien

Help make the TSAT a reality
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241580.msg4325284#msg4325284
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #86 on: July 05, 2017, 12:30:08 pm »
Day 9 - part 2
 
I back-tracked taking much less time than going up and down on the plains connected to the main dirt road between Richtersveld village and Sendelingsdrif. The ride down the mountains with the setting sun was quite dandy, except for one scare when on a winding sandy double track clump of grass pulled my left foot off the footpeg and held onto it for a meter or two twisting it much like I twisted it when I broke my leg year ago. For a moment I thought I broke it again, but luckily it was just temporary shock and it returned to the normal. From then on I kept the toes tucked in at all times like a shy little virgin.
 
 




 
By the time I reached the main dirt road the sun was just about to disappear behind horizon and I still had about 60 km of badly corrugated sand roads to navigate to Sendelingsdrif. I set-off keen to get to the camp as soon as possible, but was distracted constantly by the stunning scenery colored beautifully by the setting sun. I had to stop few times to take pictures and as a result ended up riding last 30 or so km in the dark.




































 
I arrived at Sendelingsdrif in complete darkness with everything already shut. Guy at the checkpoint 20 before the town told me that the lodge is fully booked out so I went in search of campsite. The place is small and the campsite is about 150 meters from the main park office in the centre, yet it was so dark and quiet that it took me about half an hour of walking around before I found it - and it was actually pretty full, go figure.
 
I put up a tent for the first time on this trip and after breakfast of one can or another I dived in. The night in the tent was a miserable affair. It was bloody cold and my super-duper minimalist sleeping bag just couldnít cope. I was OK ish when laying at the back as my back was warm from the air mattress, but I canít sleep at the back and as soon as I turned the kidneys got unpleasantly cold very quickly. I put all the thermals and warm clothes on, but only to marginal improvement. The experience almost made me see the merit of booking decent human accommodation upfrontÖ
 
 
Route for the day:
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #87 on: July 05, 2017, 01:02:46 pm »
Wow! I will never get anywhere near where you get to.

 :thumleft:

I don't know about that Ian. Which section you are referring to?

I have seen your videos from Namibia, so I know that you can ride big heavy bike in tricky sand at speed. Now while I wouldn't recommend to attack Kalahari sand on big bike, I'm sure on a lighter 650 DS bike you would do just fine.

As for that Richtersveld track, it wasn't that technical (I will post later today some screenscraps from video which will give better idea about the terrain). Yes, there were rocks, but it was more tiring than leg/character breaking (apart from that section I chickened out - but then even I didn't ride it). I am pretty sure you would do just fine on 650 bike, there. I would venture a guess that you would make it up there even on AT, seeing that you are pretty tall (long legs help a lot in rock riding) and seeing what type of terrain Losper rides in Lesotho.

Ultimately I think in your case it is matter of choice, not skill. If this kind of riding is something you would like to do, just get yourself cheap 650 bike (doesn't need to be 690/701, DR 650 or XR 650 or TE610 would do just fine) and I'm pretty sure you can do anything I can - I'm genuinely very average rider at best.

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #88 on: July 05, 2017, 04:10:56 pm »
Day 9 - Video Screenshots


Here are few snapshots from the video to provide better feel for the terrain on Day 9.

Vioolsdrif to Eskteenfontein:
















South of Richtersveld past Eksteenfontein:







Mountain shortcut to Kuboes:













































































































































Offline P.K.

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Suzuki DR650
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 846
  • Thanked: 54 times
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #89 on: July 06, 2017, 09:01:38 am »
Very nice ride with your usual excellent pics.
How did the Mosko Moto gear perform?  ...I really rate that luggage system.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:02:37 am by P.K. »
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 376
  • Thanked: 146 times
  • Don't be surprised
Lekker
« Reply #90 on: July 06, 2017, 02:31:56 pm »
Man, if you just had somebody else there as an insurance policy, you'd have made it down that rocky section (and back up if need be). Smart move though, to back out while solo.

I don't get why you don't just take a thicker sleeping bag and bush camp in places like that. It's stunning scenery, and sitting there under the stars would be wonderful... if you can keep warm that is... and of course gourmet food is not likely to be on offer.

Sorry to hear about your hurt leg... just further proof that hiking, not biking, is dangerous.
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #91 on: July 06, 2017, 09:24:49 pm »
Day 10 - part 1

Next morning I slept in a bit  trying to catch up on the sleep I missed shivering in the cold of the night. By the time I got up, most of the campers were busy packing and leaving. So with an utmost urgency I went scavenging for a new front fairing bolt (I lost the broken one on corrugations night before and the radiator and subframe were just hanging in the air) and managed to bum one off a gentleman in 4x4 from Gauteng.

With that sorted I went shopping for a breakfast, broke the camp and went in search of somebody to hand over money to in the hope that they will fix the broken bolt - again. Yep, modern consumerism got the best of me long time ago. I managed to locate a National Park guide who claimed to be also a mechanic on the side, but he wasnít much of a help. Out of options I had to turn my attention from finding someone to make the problem go away, to fixing it myself - always the last option with me. I stripped the fairing and contemplated my line of attack.










I didnít have means (tools and more importantly ability) to drill the broken bolt out. So I came up with the following ingenuine solution: I put a bolt through the loose fairing frame and radiator holder (or whatever it is called) to fixate the radiator to the loose fairing frame. I couldnít screw the new bolt into the bike frame (thinking about it now I probably could use screw on the other side instead), so I fixated the new bolt in place using couple of cigarette butts and duct tape. I then weaved myself a new cable tie subframe connecting the loose end of the fairing frame to the bike frame. Like so:










Chuffed with the result I basked in the sun for a moment admiring results of my inner genius. Once I had my fill, I put the fairing back on, packed up and set-off - by that time it was almost 11:00 am.

Iím sure the mechanically perceptive among you can already see the problem, but I didnít. My first stop was the petrol station and as it happened getting there all the turns were left. I cruised nonchalantly past throngs of lycra clad cyclists (for some weird reason there was a cyclo race in the middle of the desert with the finish right next to the immigration post) to the garage, filled up, turned around (left), cruised back to the immigration post, turned right to parking and to the amusement of the lycra-ists and two officers hanging about (they all watched - I have Wings on my 690) almost face planted, barely saving the fall with my leg stretched way too far away exactly at the tipping point, so for a second or two it could have gone either way. Yes, the right fork snagged on the weave.

Anyway, I saved it and avoiding any eye contact walked briskly to the immigration office. I considered potential improvements to my design, but couldnít find any so decided to push on with my current fix. The fork didnít stop hard as the cable ties gave way under pressure so I could still turn right fine, the only problem being increased resistance from the cable ties. All I had to do was to recalibrate my expectations and I should be fine.

Once through the border I bought ticket for the ferry across Orange river and rode down to the river to wait for the operators to return from their lunch break.







On the Nam side I rode to their border post few km away, and dealt with the formalities. in the vehicle register I have noticed 4 bikes from Gauteng (2x 1190, 990, KLR) that have crossed earlier that morning heading for Ais Ais. Which is where I was going so I figured I may hook up with them for a little pow wow.

By the time I was done, it was about 1 pm SA time - i.e. 2 pm in Namibia (why that country with minimum change in the daylight throughout the year goes through the hassle of different summer and winter time eludes me completely). Ais Ais is about 140 - 160 km away so no big deal, but I rather start moving.

The road along the Orange river and northern flank of Richtersveld is one of the most scenic in the Southern Africa, so I had to stop quite a few times to take pictures. Iíll let the pictures show the scenery:













Half way through I noticed many tracks running up a dune to the left with no ďNo Entryí sign, so I assumed there is a view point and gunned it up the dune for few photos. Kortbroek here on the forum afterwards told me that it is indeed off limits and if caught one can get in serious trouble, so donít try at home what you see here:




























After the dune I continued cruising east in the Richtersveld scenery:


















































« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:27:42 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Pistonpete

  • Shop Mods
  • Bachelor Dog
  • *
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 17,862
  • Thanked: 79 times
  • Live to Ride...Ride to Live
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #92 on: July 06, 2017, 09:37:57 pm »
Great stuff...thanks for sharing!  :thumleft:
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #93 on: July 06, 2017, 09:41:58 pm »
Day 10 - part 2


Eventually I came to the exit gate at the end of the Richtersveld protected area and within a km or so turned left onto a double track shortcut heading up the Gamkab riverbed. Unfortunately It is only about 10 - 15 km long, but the scenery and especially riding got even better. As it was getting late I managed only 2 pictures with real camera, so will have to pad it up with screenshots from video:


























































By the time I connected to D316 the sun was very low so I gunned straight it up to the Ais Ais. At the entrance boom I full of trepidation asked security guard if they have rooms and restaurant and he said sure, they have luxury rooms and restaurant. I almost kissed him and gunned it to the reception. The receptionist told me that they are under reconstruction and whatever rooms they have are fully booked out. Somewhat deflated I went to cruise packed campsite looking for the 4 Gauteng bikes. I didnít find any, so I just found a spot in the less populated far corner and set-up a camp.

The good news was - they had a restaurant, where I spent rest of the evening protein and carbo-loading. Later I got approach by a guy - Stefan, who was actually one of the missing bikers and he invited me over to their table. They were a 4 guys from Gauteng on a 7 day round trip. They started from Gauteng, rode N14 and a bit of dirt in two days to Hondeklip Bay, from there rode up to Sendelingsdrif (unlike me, they booked their accommodation so stayed in chalet like normal human beings) and today to Ais Ais. Now they were on a 3 day commute back to Joburg, mostly on N14. I felt sorry for the dude on KLR chasing 2 1190s and one 990 on those boring long roads.

Actually I felt sorry for all of them. They were a good bunch of guys and hopefully enjoyed their trip, but I couldnít help thinking what a huge missed opportunity this was. I understand they had families and 7 days was all they could get but I felt one could squeeze so much better riding into 7 days up in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Swaziland or even Mozambique. Heck, even on this trip they could have included in that timeframe Namaqua 4x4, the route around Richtersveld and even some sand in Kalahari. But of course at the end of the day my feelings are irrelevant - the important thing is that they enjoyed the trip. Still, to make myself feel a bit better I recommended a ride through Riemvasmaak on the way back (as they were planning to head for Augrabies on the way back to N14) to get at least something out of that horrible commute.


Route for the day:


« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 11:53:40 pm by Xpat »
 

Online m0lt3n

  • Ervare noob
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Northern Cape
  • Posts: 5,783
  • Thanked: 188 times
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #94 on: July 07, 2017, 07:58:42 am »
comments! this thread needs comments to stretch the photos over more pages. My pc or internet or cache cant keep up :(

Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline Namakwalander

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #95 on: July 07, 2017, 08:38:20 am »
comments! this thread needs comments to stretch the photos over more pages. My pc or internet or cache cant keep up :(

So m0lt3n... Xpat has gone through all this effort to write this amazing report with photos to help the debate along....

Can we now hand you a tissue to wipe the egg of your face?  :pot:

Just joking.



Xpat, thanks for this amazing report and the time spent to do all the writing and posting photos  :thumleft: Also time spent during the trip to take photos.
Born to be Mild
 

Offline Stroke Her

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha XT 660 Z
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 752
  • Thanked: 76 times
  • When the river runs red take the dirt road instead
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #96 on: July 07, 2017, 08:53:42 am »
XPat...stunning report! Thank you for taking us along :thumleft:

Quick question: Have you ridden the Namaqua Eco 4x4 section from Vioolsdrif to Goodhouse on a previous occasion? I am interested in your comparison of difficulty of Namaqua with Kaokoland hence the question.

 

Offline Kaboef

  • Jedi Knight
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,649
  • Thanked: 418 times
    • CFO Consult SA
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #97 on: July 07, 2017, 10:18:45 am »
I am enjoying this report very much.

Thanks Xpat.

That road from Sendlingsdrift to Gamchab canyon is probably my second most favourite road in Namibia.

Did you find anyone bushcamping in Gamchab canyon? Most of the times people camp right under that massive cliff halfway through.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

www.cfoconsult.co.za
 

Online ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

  • Forum Vendor
  • Castrated Dog
  • ******
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 32,140
  • Thanked: 834 times
    • dustriders.co.za
Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #98 on: July 07, 2017, 11:34:30 am »
Xpat every time I see a pic of your revcounter it looks as if it is broken? Way off to the right every time or am I mistaken?
MOTORCYCLE ACCESSORIES RETAILER
info@dustriders.co.za
ENDURISTAN SOFTLUGGAGE IMPORTER
www.dustriders.co.za
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #99 on: July 07, 2017, 11:35:35 am »
Very nice ride with your usual excellent pics.
How did the Mosko Moto gear perform?  ...I really rate that luggage system.

Mosko Moto Rekless worked great - I'm complete convert to the backbone holster type of luggage, as it hugs the bike closely affecting minimaly handling of the bike (it is almost if you don't have a luggage) and at the same time addresses things I didn't like on the original backbone type systems like Giant Loop, which are difficult to get in and out of, and restrict riders movement back (especially if the luggage sits upfront as it should for centralization of COG). After yearch of searching, I believe this is the ultimate luggage set-up and will stick up to it.

Just to be sure, - I'm not saying Mosko Moto is the ultimate (though the best I'm aware of right now), but the backbone holster system in general. Few things I would consider changing on Mosko Moto is get rid of that fancy beaver tail (the middle section designed for holding rolliebags on top) and just replace with some simple D rings to attach rock straps. While I understand somewhat the logic of the beaver tail in enduro bikes like 500 (but then D ring would work just as well), on big bike (690 is my biggest bike) I would prever simplicity of D rings as I put my rolliebag way too far back for the beaver tail anyway to allow freedom of movement. And I would provide straps on the bottom of the saddle holsters to allow attaching something below. There are compression straps and I used them to attach waterproof bag underneath (the red thing on the right side), but while this worked fine, they were not designed for it and their positions are not ideal (too close to each other).

THe biggest disadvantage of Mosko Moto is the price and that one has to import it (they sell only directly, no distributors right now) with prohibitive custom charges and VAT adingi almost 50 % of the price on top (without shipping). I can live with the price, but those surcharges make them unfeasible economically in SA for most people except for extreme enthusiast like myself (and even I put on hold buying Rekless 80 I was thinking about for longer trips - right now I have Rekless 40)

That is why I was lobbying hard with you to look into producing something like this. I do not understand complexities of producing something like this (I mean backbone holster system, not complete ripoff of this specific luggage, which I do not condone), but I believe there may be good sales potential if produced simpler and cheaper (and if you can sell overseas as SA is just way too small market).