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Author Topic: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country  (Read 26907 times)

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Offline Slim Jim

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #220 on: October 13, 2017, 11:21:51 am »
Well done guys , you did stuff dreams are made of, your report is were it belongs  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Orangeswifty

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #221 on: October 13, 2017, 11:33:55 am »
Thank you for a memorable journey through your pen.
Your penmanship is staggering.
I will go so far as to comment that you should put together a small compilation of your journeys through this area and aptly name the book the same as this report.
I'm sure you will sell stax of them :thumleft:
We are blessed to share the biking fraternity together!
Do it now - tomorrow you are dead!
 
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Online Sam

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #222 on: October 13, 2017, 11:38:37 am »
Jeez - how was that for timing meeting up with the 690 recovery team! Unreal!

Thanks a mill for taking the time and effort to put up the RR. After the Angola one, I though it would be difficult to match  - I shouldn't have doubted

Anyway, count your lucky stars for the opportunity to do these trips, and to have a likeminded bunch of nutcases to join you. Memories of a lifetime!



 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #223 on: October 13, 2017, 11:53:28 am »
Time to move this RR to where it belongs.

Well done okes and thanks for sharing your story

That's an honour, Sir!

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #224 on: October 13, 2017, 12:10:35 pm »
Reflections

OK, itís Friday - letís get this thing wrapped up. The long trip home passed pretty uneventfully. I was wrapped in my thoughts, and happy to be quiet. We spent most of it listening to the first eight  or ten hours of Dan Carlinís Hardcore History, Blueprint for Armageddon, which is a podcast about the in-depth story of World War 1: http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-50-blueprint-for-armageddon-i/

Damn - I wish Iíd had a history teacher like this at school or uni!

Finally, she hove into view, and it was all overÖ



It took a good two weeks to feel fully back into the routine of life, work and everything else. These trips leave their mark. Wading through 1400 photos and writing up this story was the best way to put it all in place, allowing the sensations and memories to linger and work their way further into the fabric of being. When I look back at the last ten years of my life, the big motorcycle trips Iíve done count amongst the very highest highlights. Itís been a privilege and an honour, and who better to do it with than this crowd of misfits and miscreants.

Thank you boys! Itís been a hell of a ride.

I know everyone normally has a lot of questions to ask, so hereís the quick gear review.

KTM 500

The KTM 500 was sensational! And I mean that. I canít imagine a better mount for this kind of trip. Other than the big tank and some indicators, she was pretty much standard, and I wouldnít have it any other way. She didnít miss a beat!

Fast, economical, incredible handling in the rough stuff, happy to eat miles and still behave like a full blooded enduro bike. What more could you ask for? Even the standard seat is comfortable. Thereís a reason Adam Reimann uses these things on his Motonomad trips - I donít think anything comes close.

* Note to self: next time service the suspension and fit full neoprene fork socks!

KTM 690

The 690s are ok. They donít really do anything the 500 doesnít, other than longer mileage between oil changes and probably longer distance between engine rebuilds. Nothing would persuade me to swap my 500 for one.

Camelís bike is a 2008 - old now, with abut 25,000km on the clock. Itís been a reliable workhorse, solid and strong, but it did give a little shit on this trip. It was just the fuel pump, and we were carrying a spare cause theyíre known to go belly-up. But itís a pain to swap out, and if you havenít prepared the way, youíll find the molded hard plastic pipe is an absolute bitch to get off and there will be little left to mount on the new pump.

The rest of his problems were some broken down fuel host and misfitted air intakes - not the bikeís fault, so I canít complain too much. But the electrics can be a disaster-in-waiting and after youíve owned a 500 you look at just about every part of it and think WTF??

The Safari tank on Camelís bike is as tough asÖ well, a piece of old camel. But itís a pain to get on and off, and you need to do that for access to the fuel injector, replacing the pump etc.

el Professoreís 690 was actually a pleasure on this trip, other than the blocked rear tank breather. Itís MUCH nicer to ride than Camelís earlier edition. But the rally kit was a disaster. Itís badly design aftermarket crap. The tanks are pukka KTM rally tanks - take a beating and carry the fuel low, which is awesome. But the mounting system sucks balls and donít even get me started on the fairing. Whoever designed that piece of shit should be taken out and shot at the nearest rally start line. Those flimsy little studs were never designed to carry a fairing - the radiators are a big ask. I believe Paulís PSP bracket is rock solid, so I think thatís what Gav should replace this with. This was an ex-KTM Cape Town bike, so Iím not sure why it had the tubular steel fairing frame.

The 690 was an absolute blast in the river Hoanib bed -  fast and powerful - but Iíd still rather be on a 500 any day of the week. If the 500 had never been invented Iíd have been back on a 690 for this trip.

DRZ400

Does what it says on the can, and the big 28l Safari tank Tom put on for this trip rocks, even if it is expensive relative to the price of the bike. The bike isnít the most economical, so the previous IMS version wasnít good enough. Otherwise, the DRZ is a stellar ride, but Iíd rather have a 525 in this budget, if one could find a really good oneÖ a lot easier said than done.

Itís a shame they donít still sell these in SA - itís a great bike.

DR650

What else can one say about Buttercup the carthorse. She carried Midge faultlessly around Angola as an absolute novice, and did the same on this trip now that heís an aspirant Dakar rally racer. In between she takes him to work and back every day without complaining a jot. I donít think sheís ever been washed.

Yes, itís an anaemic hunk of iron. Not terribly exciting, but utterly dependable. And close to the ground - which is critical for a man of his stature. She also carried the braai grid.

Itís a shame they donít still sell these in SA - itís a great bike.

MORE?

None of the bikes had decent lights except Camelís 690 - we only rode once in the dark, while trying to find the campsite in Puros.

I used my faithful Etrex20, which is a great little GPS. You donít need more if youíre working from pre-planned tracks. Locked away in a ROST mount itís extremely dependable, and I just ran on batteries.

I ran Tubliss - it was awesome. Camelís bike got a front puncture at a very inconvenient time. My front definitely got some kind of puncture one day and lost pressure down to 0.5 bar. I didnít even bother to plug it - the Tyre Shield did its job and I just topped up a few times over the last five days.

TYRES

We ran all Mitas. Everyone had C21 yellow on the front - full MX tyres because I wanted them to have better control in the really rough stuff. Actually, I lie, I bought a C21 then didnít bother, and left the original Dunlop on that had come with the bike.

On the big bikes we had E09 on the back - proven performers. 130/80-18 on the 690s and 130/80-17 on the DR. On the DRZ and 500 we ran MC23 Rock Riders. Why? Theyíre cheap.

No punctures on the back and everyone had a little tread at the end of the trip. The Rock Riders had noticeably less traction than a full enduro tyre in the rough, but thatís to be expected.

The others all had heavy duty tubes, I had Tubliss front and back, with Tyre Shield.

KIT

I rode with an MX helmet, sunnies (with goggles for the odd occasion when it was dusty), and mesh MX pants and top. I wore the Leatt soft body armour on top - itís cool enough when youíre moving - and Klim tactical pants under my MX pants. They have thigh impact strips, which would probably have saved me in my Angola accident, so I apparently can learn something. I ride enduro with full knee braces, so it would have been stupid to leave those at home - my PODs are really comfortable anyway.

The others were a mixed bunch of stuff. Mostly adventure pants and jackets, but everyone was in neck braces and MX boots.

GIANT LOOPS

All of us used Coyotes this time - a mixture of old and new, zip and roll top. Except Midge, who was too cheap to buy new bags. For this kind of bike these are the business. No bullshit with broken racks or loose straps. We all love them. Yes, the Alt Rider or Mosko stuff may be better - but at what price?

I bought a Giant Loop bag with strap holes, that fixes much more securely to the back of the Coyote (ask Camel!) but my rox straps still came loose enough to burn the bag on my exhaust.

Iíve got used to riding with a full backpack (a biggish daypack). Itís actually really comfortable, and takes some weight off the bike.

CAMPING

We took tent inners at the last minute. We havenít taken tents on trips for about three years, but the fear got the better of us. We left the fly sheets behind to save weight, and the tents quickly became a good idea for mosquito protection, if nothing else.

We cooked most of the time on an open fire. Carried a multi fuel stove, but hardly used it. Gavís little gas jobbie did the tea duties and we sent the multi fuel one back when he crashed. You canít cook stew on a gas stove properly though, so that was a mistake.

The one, most important foodstuff, is cappuccino sachets. Iím a coffee snob - you wonít catch me dead in a Vida since they went to shit - but in the desert itís always, and only, cappuccino out of a sachet. For the rest, we made do with what we could and had, since we didnít have much packing space. I come here to ride, and the bike must be as light and responsive as possible, otherwise whatís the point.

We all had an 8l MSR fuel bladder (other than Camel, who had to be different and tied 2l coke bottles on the back of his Coyote). We always left water supplies with a full bladder and 3l camelbak, which meant we could survive 2, maybe 3 days in an emergencyÖ until the Suzie started drinking all the water, that is.

CASH

Is king. Credit cards donít really work in Namibia. This was our one big mistake.

MEDICAL

Discovery came though in a big way with chopper medivac and patient care after a pretty poor first three hours. It was kind of our faultÖ

SAT PHONE

Under no circumstances would I consider undertaking a trip like this in this kind of region again without a sat phone. It was a moronic decision, and I consider we got off extremely lightly. It could have gone so, so wrong, and weíd only have had ourselves to blame. Theyíre relatively cheap to rent now, and worth it 100%.
With a sat phone we could have called them at 12pm on the day of the accident, and Gav would probably have been evacíd out that day. In the end it didnít matter, but what if heíd broken his neck?

PHOTOS

Everyone else had iphones, and I think Gav had a small point and shoot. I carried a Panasonic/Lumix GH3 with a 12-35/2.8. Faster would have been great, but this covers most of the bases and shoots a decent RAW image, even if itís not 5D standard. Most importantly, itís compact, and fits in a tank bag. And itís old, so I donít mind banging it up a little teeny bit.

Thatís about it. Fire away if youíve got any other questions.

cheers
Ian

Offline Slim Jim

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #225 on: October 13, 2017, 12:59:04 pm »
 :thumleft: Thanx I've been on a trip in the work shop for 2 weeks thanx to you . Awsome .
 

Offline Professor sprocket

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #226 on: October 13, 2017, 02:54:35 pm »
Mate!!!! What a brilliant chronicle of the trip. If I get it together Im going to figure a way of getting it in a PDF, and to keep it for posterity. Well done. And what awesome pics. And most of all, thanks for planning that brilliant route. I doubt it gets much better than that.
 

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #227 on: October 13, 2017, 02:57:57 pm »
Thanks guys...that was awesome!  :thumleft:
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline RrP

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #228 on: October 13, 2017, 04:15:35 pm »
Awsom ride and write up thank you. The tree you asked about on the hill top is a Commiphora spp.( paper bark) not sure which one there are two that occour
in that part of Namibia.  :thumleft:
 

Offline frankmac

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #229 on: October 13, 2017, 04:39:59 pm »
Awsom ride and write up thank you. The tree you asked about on the hill top is a Commiphora spp.( paper bark) not sure which one there are two that occour
in that part of Namibia.  :thumleft:

I reckon you're possibly right or perhaps one of the other corkwoods (kanniedood)
 

Offline Rotten

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #230 on: October 13, 2017, 08:25:38 pm »
Absolutely amazing. Thank you for all the effort put into the RR. Must have taken more time than the preparation for the trip.
 

Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #231 on: October 13, 2017, 09:11:33 pm »
Ian

A lot has been said about your trip and even more has been said about your report. I believe places like Northern Namibia needs more riders like you and your friends. You truly have been there, in every sense of the word.  It was an honour to meet you, and I am thankful if the Quest team could play a small part in making your trip better.

One last thing before I go......
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #232 on: October 13, 2017, 11:08:32 pm »
What a pleasure to read this! Thank you so much for the effort and the photo's. Writing an RR - especially so well - is quite an endeavour.

We can only aspire  :o
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Offline Dacquiri

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #233 on: October 13, 2017, 11:39:26 pm »
Great RR guys. Well done!!  Definitely a bucket list trip.
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #234 on: October 14, 2017, 07:38:36 am »
Ian

A lot has been said about your trip and even more has been said about your report. I believe places like Northern Namibia needs more riders like you and your friends. You truly have been there, in every sense of the word.  It was an honour to meet you, and I am thankful if the Quest team could play a small part in making your trip better.

One last thing before I go......

Haha Hardy - classic! And thanks for the kind words. Hope to meet again soon!

Offline the ruffian

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #235 on: October 14, 2017, 08:11:51 am »
MTP - not only are you an impeccable raconteur, but you have a canny sense of your own irony, and that, together with your infectious style in communicating your relationship with your environment and your comradeship with your mates makes for staggeringly addictive reading! And did I mention the brilliant pics...of course I did.

One always feels honoured when exposed to such broad intelligence...

Thank you!
 

Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #236 on: October 14, 2017, 01:02:57 pm »
This was a great read! A big thanks from my side as well that you put the effort into writing this RR! It was a great read and definitely worthy of Roll of hounour!
This is a major bucket list ride for me, hopefully i can make it happen per bike that it wont end up being with an SUV.
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Offline aka.Goliath

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #237 on: October 15, 2017, 06:16:04 pm »
Thanks a lot for such a awesome read I will have to patiently wait my turn to head up that way. You have definitely inspired a lot of guys to get onto their bikes and take a ride in that amazing area. Roll of Honor for sure! Where to next after this...
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #238 on: October 16, 2017, 07:57:50 am »
Brilliant RR - love the writing style - would love to do that trip at some point - and I REALLY need a 500 in my garage....

Thanks for sharing - its been a blast!

 :thumleft:
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Offline bud500

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #239 on: October 16, 2017, 08:56:18 am »
Great read, thanks for sharing. :thumleft:
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