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Offline noble steed

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Short trip up Sani
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:29:27 am »
I needed to travel to Howick on Saturday night, so I detoured via Sani for the trip home. I haven't ridden up Sani since November 2015 - before that I was riding or driving up at least once a year from 2012. I actually havent ridden my bike at all since February last year!  :o So last week I busied myself fixing wiring, checking and greasing everything else, eventually gave up on the right front indicator, the fitting completely rusted (as has pretty much everything else that isn't aluminim or plastic!!)

Saturday was a rushed ride out to Howick late afternoon, so nothing exciting to share. Everyone should ride the N3 at night at least once! I noticed it gets rather chilly when the sun sets and you;re away from the coast!

Sunday morning I rode out through Loteni. Looking rather dry, but autumn colours starting. Rather more tar than I remember...



The start of the gravel! Was a later start from howick than I hoped, only got here about 11am



The road to the border post has extensive road works, road crews where working on Sunday, some stop-go areas, and generally an easy ride, in best condition its been in on any of my rides. Just a few rocky areas in the last km which didn't challenge a bike, but seemed to slow the cars somewhat.

Arrived at a lonely border post



The pass:
On previous trips the pass was dotted with road working vehicles. these have now all moved down to the border post road. and the pass has deteriorated somewhat. That may be a little understated... Although the switchbacks at the top still benefit from being widened in previous years, the entire switchback area and a large section near the first river crossing and following hill is covered with baby-head sized rocks. Being a little not bike fit made it a tiring climb. So didn't stop for many photos, other than one at the first riverbed.



I did carry my trusty Mavic in backpack up the pass. Stopped half way up for a 360 degree photo. You can zoom in and see my tiny bike straight down.

The Mavic has a max altitude of 500m above take off point. (and horizontal range of about 5km). 500m up was not enough to fly it to the top of the pass!

https://viewer.hangar.com/360?assetId=/VrP2559Y

A few minutes and several switch backs later, arrived at the top of the pass. Was a pretty challenging ride up, compared to previous time I rode it. Bike enjyerd hanging with the goats while I did customs.





And another 360 photo from the top

https://viewer.hangar.com/360?assetId=/m0Elpp4r

The pass looks so much smoother from the air! Must be the light, just after midday, no shadows!

Waited a long time for a mediocre lunch at the lodge, was very filling though, and got stuck behind a very slow moving, zigzagging taxi on the switch backs. Adopted a stop, turn off and admire the view policy, waited for it to pass the next corner, then caught up, until an opportunity presented to pass it.

And back at the bottom mid-afternoon



May not be a pretty bike anymore, but it's a hard worker! (And it's paid for!!!)

The trip back ended with the last 100km in the dark, which isn;t pleasant with all the pedestrians and vehicles without lights scattering the roads in the rural south KZN towns.

All in all, a fun outing!


 
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Offline Wilson

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 09:48:22 am »
Nice day trip.  Sani remains, sadly, on my bucket list.
 

Offline armpump

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 10:08:44 am »
Thanks for sharing those images, very cool
 

Offline Saddle Up

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 11:08:19 am »
Thanks for the report. Having ridden it for the first time last weekend, I was curious to know what the regulars thought of the condition.
Momentum is key on the last switchbacks.

 I was also amazed at the bike lagging in power.
n Skaap is nie n scrambler
 

Offline noble steed

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 11:37:31 am »
Thanks for the report. Having ridden it for the first time last weekend, I was curious to know what the regulars thought of the condition.
Momentum is key on the last switchbacks.

 I was also amazed at the bike lagging in power.

I assume the DR650 is carbureted?  I didn't notice any power loss on the pass. Other than my own breathing becoming much heavier!  :-[
Momentum being the reason there are no photos of the last switchbacks!

Used to be a regular, but 2 1/2 years since I was last there, I don't think I count anymore
 

Offline Grunder

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 11:42:52 am »
Thanks for the report. Having ridden it for the first time last weekend, I was curious to know what the regulars thought of the condition.
Momentum is key on the last switchbacks.

 I was also amazed at the bike lagging in power.

I assume the DR650 is carbureted?  I didn't notice any power loss on the pass. Other than my own breathing becoming much heavier!  :-[
Momentum being the reason there are no photos of the last switchbacks!

Used to be a regular, but 2 1/2 years since I was last there, I don't think I count anymore

A noble and humble steed  :snorting:

Thanks for the read  :thumleft:
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Offline Mark D

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 01:15:40 pm »
Great report. Wish I could have joined you for the day. The 380 degree drone pictures are amazing. I went up in December and there was a lot less loose rocks & stones. Possibly try to arrange another Sani trip before the year is out, depending on work commitments?


Cheers
Mark.
 

Offline armpump

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 03:29:38 pm »
Can that drone follow you up ?
 

Offline noble steed

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 04:10:54 pm »
Can that drone follow you up ?

technically, yes

but its not something I'm comfortble doing if I can't watch it and take over control if it decides to do something stupid, like swing round for a better angle and crash into the higher slope.
 

Offline GundaGunda

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 04:34:20 pm »
Nice little trippie Doc.  ;D

Must do it again, but since I am retired from bikes, would need to take my Soob Forrester.

D'you think it would have managed? 
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Now Scooter Commuter & Softroader Softie.
 

Offline noble steed

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 05:02:23 pm »
Nice little trippie Doc.  ;D

Must do it again, but since I am retired from bikes, would need to take my Soob Forrester.

D'you think it would have managed?

Not sure of the clearance on a forrester, but as long as you don't mind a few scrapes on the underbelly it should manage fine!

Does it have low range/auto transmission? Else the switch backs at the top may also strain a clutch a little... I had an X-trail a long time ago and I burnt the clutch doing similar slopes in Lake eland game reserve, so would be wary in a MT softroader.
 

Offline Saddle Up

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 05:56:40 pm »
Thanks for the report. Having ridden it for the first time last weekend, I was curious to know what the regulars thought of the condition.
Momentum is key on the last switchbacks.

 I was also amazed at the bike lagging in power.

I assume the DR650 is carbureted?  I didn't notice any power loss on the pass. Other than my own breathing becoming much heavier!  :-[
Momentum being the reason there are no photos of the last switchbacks!

Used to be a regular, but 2 1/2 years since I was last there, I don't think I count anymore

Yip, the DR is carbureted. Buddy went up on a F800 and he also commented on loss of power. Perhaps we were just over analysing.
n Skaap is nie n scrambler
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2018, 09:23:23 pm »
Thanks for the report. Having ridden it for the first time last weekend, I was curious to know what the regulars thought of the condition.
Momentum is key on the last switchbacks.

 I was also amazed at the bike lagging in power.

I assume the DR650 is carbureted?  I didn't notice any power loss on the pass. Other than my own breathing becoming much heavier!  :-[
Momentum being the reason there are no photos of the last switchbacks!

Used to be a regular, but 2 1/2 years since I was last there, I don't think I count anymore

Yip, the DR is carbureted. Buddy went up on a F800 and he also commented on loss of power. Perhaps we were just over analysing.
F800 should'nt lose power?
I have been up a few times with my f650 and no hassles, a riding mate with his 750 carb africa twin battled from sani right till we parted ways before Clarens with low power.
I also need to get my bike running again, or borrow my old bike back and do a quick Sani or Lesotho weekend again. :drif:
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2018, 08:16:51 am »

Not sure of the clearance on a forrester, but as long as you don't mind a few scrapes on the underbelly it should manage fine!

Does it have low range/auto transmission? Else the switch backs at the top may also strain a clutch a little... I had an X-trail a long time ago and I burnt the clutch doing similar slopes in Lake eland game reserve, so would be wary in a MT softroader.

Mine is a 2009 Manual 2.5l . It does have a "low range".  I put it in quotes 'cos it is not a true low range, effectively giving a squashed set of ratios where normal first is about low range second, but low range first is quite useful to slow the vehicle down while rock clambering or for just a little bit more torque climbing.

Ground clearance is not that bad. 220mm vs 285mm for something like a range rover. About the long axis of a medium chicken's egg lower  ;D

Best feature of the forester as a soft-roader is the 4x4 drive system. If a wheel starts spinning because it is off the ground or in mud, the drive system brakes it to send power to the wheels that have grip.

Only one way to find out. 
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KLE500 & XTZ660 Gone *sigh*
Now Scooter Commuter & Softroader Softie.
 

Offline armpump

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2018, 11:34:16 am »
Forester will fly up there if no snow.

 

Offline DouglasN

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2018, 12:01:35 pm »
Quote

Yip, the DR is carbureted. Buddy went up on a F800 and he also commented on loss of power. Perhaps we were just over analysing.

the Sani summit is 1000m higher than Jhb
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 03:32:17 pm by DouglasN »
-----------------------
Douglas Norval
 

Offline Slim Jim

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 01:10:23 pm »
Love the solo rides , done sani twise , once in the rain . Had to sleep at the backpackers at the bottom , ran out of time to get home :thumleft:
 

Offline dustlover

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Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2018, 12:51:51 pm »
Gunda,
I did it a while ago in my (automatic) Outback. No problems.

Go for it.
Go for it - the world is your lobster.
 

Offline Dwerg

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2018, 06:51:55 pm »
Nice little trippie Doc.  ;D

Must do it again, but since I am retired from bikes, would need to take my Soob Forrester.

D'you think it would have managed?

We went up in October. My buddy was in his forester and did it no problem. His is some sort of special edition which is slightly raised and it has some sort of gear reduction but any forester should do it just fine
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Offline ktmmer

Re: Short trip up Sani
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 08:03:30 pm »
Otherwise, any Avis rental can do it !