Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: A short Sani surprise  (Read 2214 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tom van Brits

A short Sani surprise
« on: December 02, 2018, 08:33:28 pm »
It has been years since my last Sani pass visit with 'baas Kobus' (Woody1)

We were on big bikes; he was still riding 'Snow white no 1 and I was on the 1200 Explorer. That was still happy days; I was working for ARDAN risk and support services in Kenya and the Explorer was my first ever 'proper' bike.
There was many bikes throughout the years and I had a special bond with every one of them. The Z750 was my favourite, and I lived on a farm back in the day on 'Zandfontein' renting a caravan.
Now the name 'Zandfontein should give you a hint; yes lots of sandy '2 spoor' tracks and I did not even know anything about dual purpose bikes....in fact, the only ones I can recall was the TT600, XT600 Tenere with the huge tank, the KLX600 (I Think) and the XR500'S which was the Army's favourite bike.

Only after 'Marion Island' did the dual sport (dual purpose) bikes caught my attention and I started small with a DR200 first, then a Klr and later the Explorer.
Unfortunately my contract in Africa was short lived due to the declining oil prises and a halt on seismic activity and I had to sell her.

When Kobus took me on the Sani trip it was lank fun. We were in no rush and we stopped at a dairy farm and bought some 'blue cheese' and later some steaks. The first night in Himville he taught me the beautiful taste of a 'blue cheese steak', and we had a trip I will never forget. The pass was rather easy although I did had one spill and once I got 'stuck' because I did not know the fine art of 'switch of the traction control' on loos surface especially when you have to climb steep hills....or mountains!  :lol8:

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of that trip because of a computer crash and photo lost as result, but this time I did take a few pics.

 :)

So how did it come about?

I recently went with a small group of Meerkatte to Breedsneck and did not realise how brave we were  :deal: . Only after reading here on the forum that only a selected few were ever brave enough to have 'concurred Breeds neck' did I realise that I may have some luck on my side and do Sani as well  :pot:
 :imaposer: :imaposer:

So Tusday Morning I left Brits at 4H30 and set the gps for Underberg. The plan was to sleep at the same place Kobus and I slept a couple of years back although I was afraid that the tannie will knock me with a broom over the head because of the smell of 'blue cheese steak' that must have made an lasting impression on her  :patch:

However; when I reached Escort I decided to have breakfast and bought a cafe pie which was rather good! Steak and kidney nogal, and it was only past 10 am.
I thought; maybe I can do Sani today and it was decided.

Continued to Underberg but fark.....I drove right through the town and after about 15 minutes realised that I was lost. Stopped and asked a outjie next to the road; 'hey buddy, where is Sani pass? ... :biggrin: 'You got to turn back and the go to Himville and youll find the turn at the junction... :3some: pok yeah!

Well I am glad that the timeing worked out the way it did, because just as I took out the camera to take the first snappy a bakkie with a beautiful KTM500 stopped next to me and a voice said; 'hey Tom'  :peepwall: Shit why do I not recognise this guy....and he knows me!! Then he says; 'I am Xpat'...and immediately I knew. Fark of all places I finally got to meet Martin on the start of Sani pass just past the old trading post. We have been trying to meet, but since this man is always on the move we keep on postponing and here we finally meet!! What a pleasant surprise and knowing that he will be following with his 4x4 bakkie so should anything go wrong and I need some assistance I got backup.

So I continued and here I need to already appologise to the readers: This is about it....the ride report that is! Yes; I did enjoy this ride so much that I did not stop often to take pictures and when I stopped I just repeated the same scene....thought later; fark Tom you could have done better man!! What counts is that I had fun, and that is why we ride.

Now unfortunately I never got a picture of Martin out of respect, I know he does rarely future in pictures and I am not sure if he has a photo phobia but I respect people for their views and did not want to sound pushy to get a pic.

Anyway; here was the fists stop for a quick pick and it is certain; Sani will be tarred but it is going to take some time for those who still want to do this trip.
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 08:49:45 pm »
Just after the South African border post I went up an old familiar sort of river crossing and 'bliksem'  :o Where did the river go?!!  :eek7:

It was just loose rocks and rather steep already. I thought...ughm, I hope Xpat is not too far behind ???

Then a beautiful Dutch girl came walking down with a video camera, and I was going so slow I shouted; 'hallo, all ok?' and she replied; 'yes just making a movie'!!  :lol8:
Then I saw the 4x4 coming around the corner and tried to come over to the right which is his left (I chose the right)....I though, fark!!  :eek7: and although I was pass her shouted; tell him to keep that side please! And so she did  :imaposer: phew...saved by the videographer and I just kept my line and stayed calm and committed. There was a few nasty boulders and I had to navigate through them without damaging my newly accoured sump guard courtesy of dustriders.co.za

Once I was in the clear I thought to stop for some pictures and the wind nearly (I am not over exaggerating ) blow my bike over! The wind channels through the valley and it is actually very similar to what I was used to on Gough Island. In fact; this place looks very very similar to Gough Island!
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 08:59:04 pm »
Then close to the top I saw 2 bikes standing on a switchback; yes 2 x Super Teneres and one a Wild dog!

What is the change of meeting another old cyber friend?...Hinksding what a surprise as well!!  :laughing4: :laughing4:

2 stunning bikes and a quick chat and picture and then Xpat caught up and the moment of thruth....the final and very steep and rocky part of the pass.

Now I know this may be in vain because we have many riding gods on the forum, but still I feel I need to say this:

I had a fair bit of luck on my side and chose good lines because I was not tired yet, but people please do take care; Sani is currently in a bad state and it is easy to make a mistake and get injured and you do not want to imagine how a ride in the back of a 4x4 ambulance with a broken tib/fib fracture must be!
That is by the way a common injury with bikers of all ganders

It is not impossible, just like Breeds neck  :peepwall: but please all jokes aside - Sani is not a dirt highway currently.
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Online Grunder

  • "bery bery serious...
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 2,258
  • Thanked: 220 times
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 09:00:03 pm »
Sani with a NC... Respect.

Honda should get this ride report as well!!

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk

Muscles can't buy mad dog!
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 09:04:12 pm »
Shacks I need to mention; my new Black Friday Shark helmet is like a 'Mercedes on my head'  :deal:

How weird but appropriate to hand a camera in the hands of Xpat to take the famous picture in the bar - the one picture you got to take if you are a wanna be like me  :lol8:
He did purcure this very camera over 2 years back with the same lens and sent it to me on Gough Island - Thanks Martin  :thumleft:
My previous pic was not in focus and I wanted a good picture and finally got it!  :thumleft:
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 09:17:50 pm »
So we had a great lunch and a Maluti beer, and then it rained.

I looked at Martin and said; 'now what? I need to make it to Winkelspruit today'

He suggested that I stay over at the backpackers but at that stage I did not feel tyred and I did feel a bit worried because I know once you are going down the pass the fork springs compress which gives you less ground clearance and you got to concentrate on what you are doing.

I opt to ride and said goodbey in the hope that we may meet again hopefully on a ride of sort one day.

My passport got stamped and I started the decent....and yes indeed I prefer going up much over going down....fark people you got to be careful. Choose the line and use a combination of rear and front brakes and sometimes a quick blurp with the threttle to get the bike in the correct line.
Maybe it sounds more difficult but the only advice I do have here is: do not like some tell you 'drag the rear' while braking only rear....no!!  :eek7: WTF ...but yes some people that bought new bikes got told to do just that on steep declines.
One got to relax and enjoy what you are doing, but use a combination of all your controls to keep you safe.

Man I was sad to leave, but then I got this view again and wow!! :laughing4:
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 09:23:22 pm »
It is just so beautiful and I need to see more of this country one day!
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 09:32:19 pm »
So I see there are guided tours these days for bikers to do SANI which is a good thing if this is your stepping stone into adventure rides.
Maybe one day you may also be able to do 'Breeds neck'  :peepwall: :peepwall: and this may prepare you to build the courage.

All jokes aside; if you prefer to be on the safe side and can afford a guided tour I can't fault it.

My tip for those who are on the verge of going but just still a tad hesitant: Make sure there are no vehicles coming down while spotting from a safe place (on a switchback) and then when you go commit and make sure you turn wide enough every time on the corners and then be confident (and strong) on the throttle. If you have a fancy bike; make sure TC is off.....  :P

Yes pure luck; a Rainbow appeared just as I stopped for a picture!
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline billy-joe

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 09:36:47 pm »
beautiful pics Tom!
-There is no road to happiness...Happiness is the road.
-One cannot drink beer all day long if you do not start early in the morning says Welsh!!
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Offline eberhard

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Moto Guzzi (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 3,705
  • Thanked: 423 times
  • Time takes a cigarette...
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 09:37:38 pm »
 :thumleft: Dankie. Baie mooi foto's.
eberhard
Agostini 1000
R90S
R80/7
R75/5 Big Boy 150 Vuka 110
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 09:44:52 pm »
On the bike

The NC750X is a very good 'suv' type of bike right?  :3some:

Yes Honda has nailed it; it is like a Ford Eco Sport -  a wanna be but capable on a good day. A tad more ground clearance would have helped but I am anal on my bike and I have fitted the best sump protection available from ChrisL ( www.dustriders.co.za ) and still made sure I chose the best line and what really helped is the 'thumping characteristics of the NC's engine. Yes it's a twin but it has got lank torque and it CAN Climb!!

Honda....I tad more suspension travel and ground clearance PLEASE!!  :deal:

I have confirmed my fuel usage: 29km/liter on this trip - the total distance of the trip was 1800km

This a good bike, trust me when I say this. It is the 'SUV' type of road bike

And all too soon it was all over
This is it - a short SANI trip

I went to Winkelspruit and sent some time with family, and then I had to come back early.

I look at the pictures, now memories and realize; 'live is good'  :3some:
 
The following users thanked this post: bomskok, wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 09:46:13 pm »
Thanks for the replies guys, appreciate  :thumleft:
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2018, 10:25:59 pm »
PS; The last picture is actually right next to the famous little waterfall that froze every winter.

It is a popular photographic spot on the pass, and now also the first (and currently only) little tar stretch - quite a very beautiful bridge build with natural stone.

It seems like roadworks are rather slow, but if SANI is still on your bucket list you better set a dat and do it!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Oubones

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 3,002
  • Thanked: 432 times
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2018, 05:35:15 am »
Nice trip, pity our planned meeting did not work out but we will get there.
Sad to see them tarring it and that little rivercrossing was good sports after a bit off rain.
NC is a good soft offroader and my son has gone crazy places with his.
Dakar 650
SR 500
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 07:30:11 am »
Nice trip, pity our planned meeting did not work out but we will get there.
Sad to see them tarring it and that little rivercrossing was good sports after a bit off rain.
NC is a good soft offroader and my son has gone crazy places with his.

Thanks Oubones; yes sadly Sani is now getting ready for the tar and that little bridge next to the waterfall received the first layer of tar.then
It seems that they have stopped doing any maintenance other than concentrating on sectors that they are working in currently.
It may take some months still to complete (maybe even 2 years..) but then when I look at the guys pictures that are often riding in Lesotho I realise that we are just focusing on Sani while there is tons of good riding spots right inside Lesotho. So we just need to adjust our focus a bit and start riding those beautiful places as well. :)
 

Offline Lem

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2018, 08:03:13 am »
Very cool ride report Tom

I also need to make this trip happen in 2019  :deal:
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, it's knowing who holds the future
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Offline woody1

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,776
  • Thanked: 179 times
  • XT1200ZE "Vinnige" Witte
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2018, 08:09:35 am »
Dankie vir die deel.  :ricky:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2018, 08:12:48 am »
Sani with a NC... Respect.

Honda should get this ride report as well!!

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk

@Grunder thanks  :thumleft:

Maybe Honda may consider another model with a tad more suspension travel when they see how many NC riders in SA alone are riding dirt roads.  Come to think of it; I never bottomed the bike but it is low and I really had to concentrate hard to choose the correct line to protect the bikes belly.

Take in mind the NC is not a light bike at all. It is OEM 210 Kg and I have fitted crashbars, pannier racks and a couple more which will make it the same weight give or take than a GS800. The advantage of the NC is the torque at low rpm and the weight that is all low down.

I think that a GS800 may fit my type/style of riding perfectly though. Would not mind one and I see them more often in the market now at more affordable (to me that is  :lol8: ) prices.
 

Offline VaalBaas

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS HP2
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,067
  • Thanked: 113 times
  • Sogenaamde Vleismeester
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2018, 08:22:56 am »
Baie mooie fotos :thumleft:  Lekker gelees en beslis op die "voor die teerpad" doen dinge Ons moet, ons wil, ons gaan  Demmit, maar dit wyd soontoe :lol8:

2006 Hp2 # 882 #1555 #1784 - 2008 R1200 GSA -  2009 R1200 S - 1998 R1200 C
My eertse foutjie KTM RC8
2003 Yamaha 350 Banshee SE   2006 Yamaha 200 Blaster SE   TW200 Project Bike

As ek nie gister gedoen wat ek gedoen het nie, het ek nie vandag geweet wat ek weet
 
The following users thanked this post: Tom van Brits

Online Grunder

  • "bery bery serious...
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 2,258
  • Thanked: 220 times
Re: A short Sani surprise
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2018, 08:32:08 am »
Sani with a NC... Respect.

Honda should get this ride report as well!!

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk

@Grunder thanks  :thumleft:

Maybe Honda may consider another model with a tad more suspension travel when they see how many NC riders in SA alone are riding dirt roads.  Come to think of it; I never bottomed the bike but it is low and I really had to concentrate hard to choose the correct line to protect the bikes belly.

Take in mind the NC is not a light bike at all. It is OEM 210 Kg and I have fitted crashbars, pannier racks and a couple more which will make it the same weight give or take than a GS800. The advantage of the NC is the torque at low rpm and the weight that is all low down.

I think that a GS800 may fit my type/style of riding perfectly though. Would not mind one and I see them more often in the market now at more affordable (to me that is  :lol8: ) prices.

I also used my nc for the all my gravel travels.

Best review I read about the nc is where a guy took it out on the "dakar" that the US have.  Its like a taste of dakar (Think they even called it that).  That guy rocked that nc (stock)

I swapped my nc for a 800gs so I am in the same boat you are in  :thumleft:
Muscles can't buy mad dog!