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Author Topic: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC  (Read 3322 times)

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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2019, 12:05:52 am »
Good progress so far.  :thumleft:

Pitty you didn't try those sand dunes on Bots side north of Molopo river, but at least you have something to come back for.

Yes I plan to be more adventurous next time, wasn't too keen on Bots first time around but definitely plan to go back in that direction as I really enjoyed the riding there.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2019, 12:22:50 am »
Day 6 Klein Pella - Port Nolloth 568KM

Knowing that it was going to be a long hard day in the heat I was up and on the road by 5:15am, it was such a beautiful time of the day as the sun had not come up yet and there were all these beautiful shades of color in the sky.  My plan was to get through the first portion of the Namaqua 4x4 trail and reach the road to hell by 8am while it was still relatively cool. The Namakwa trail is by far the best riding Iíve done so far on the trip, narrow sandy jeep tracks all the way with sandy rocky riverbeds and the most spectacular scenery, if one thing would bring me back this way it would be this trail. It was only 7am and things were already getting hot, I made my way to the road to hell and started the infamous pass. The pass was quite tricky in some places but not unridable, there was lots of loose rock on the downhill section where I had to take it slow but all in all made it to the rivers edge unscathed. I sat under a bush for some shade to catch my breath then made the return stretch back up and over. By this time I had managed to attach my enduro jacket to my luggage to try cool off a bit. The road up took a bit more effort going up the loose rock but in about 10-15min I was done and on my way to Vioolsdrift. My GPS was playing up and kept on wanting to take me direct to Port Nolloth and not through the Richtersveld to Alexander Bay. In hind sight this was not a bad option  :P
I found my way up to Vioolsdrift and had to cross the boarder into Namibia to get fuel as there was nothing on the South African side. The boarder was pretty painless but still a lot of admin just for fuel. I stopped at an engine and had a wimpy breakfast and sorted out my GPS to take me on the originally planned route. Headed back through the border and along the orange river to the Helskloof/Nababiep nature reserve. This is were things got testing. I finished my water in my hydro pack as I entered and there was nowhere to top up, It was hot as hell and no shade in sight, of course the worst scenarios were running through my head, what happens if I break down?
I just pushed on knowing that the trail will end eventually.  The track was very demanding and with lots of thick sandy riverbeds to navigate and rocky sections, eventually i made it through and entered the Richtersveld. The scenery changed almost instantly but still no water in sight. I saw a water tank on the right but didnít want to chance it and get a stomach bug. To my luck a Toyota Fortuner was heading my way. I waved them down and it was four guys sipping on beer on their way to watch rugby in Vioolsdrift. I asked for water and they kept trying to feed me beer, but eventually managed to get 1liter of ice cold water to put in my hydropak and a piece of dried wors. This at least put my mind a peace and I carried on. I was riding along the boarder of the Richtersveld as it is a world heritage site and Iím sure well protected. The roads were long and windy with every blind rise having a bend on the other side meaning if I didn't slow down I would end up going straight off the road. Halfway in I could feel this cool ocean air, I knew I was getting close to my destination. Once I exited the heritage area the landscape began to change to sandy desert dunes, I made my way to Alexander bay and eventually arrived at 14:00. I refueled rode around and quickly realized its not a place I would like to spend the night, its more like an old mining town. I checked and Port Nolloth was only 80KM on so I headed down the main road to a lovely beach cottage named Voetbaai Guesthouse. I was exhausted, went out to have quick meal then passed out for the night.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2019, 12:28:49 am »
Once again I took great Gopro footage of the day but please bare with me as I do the editing.
 
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Offline Ross Riddle

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2019, 07:26:46 am »
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(
EVO 50X, Honda Racing replica Pocket bike, 2013 KTM 300 XC-W, 2016 Husky 450 FE Rally Conversion
 
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Offline ROOI

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2019, 08:10:54 am »
SUB  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2019, 07:29:50 am »
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(

Hi Ross, glad you enjoying the posts. You can still get the kit direct from https://www.nomad-adv.com/2017-19-exc-models.html
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2019, 07:33:16 am »
Day 7 Rest Day

Finally some time for some R&R. After 6 days of long hard riding had a chance to wash all my gear and bike. The bike is still in gear shape, just struggling at the rear as the support bracket broke under the weight of the rear bag. I removed the bracket and sent it home with Time Freight along with all the other extra items I no longer required. Rode around and found the only restaurant open on a Sunday was at the hotel, enjoyed a nice vegetarian meal then called it a night. Why I opted for vegetarian, who knows but it was delicious.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2019, 07:42:08 am »
Day 8 Port Nolloth - Lamberts Bay 472KM

Hit the road around 9, It was a long stretch today as I was putting 2 x 3/4 days riding into one. The planned route was all along the coastline as much gravel as possible. The first town was Kleinsee where I was supposed to get onto a gravel road along the coast, this area is owned by De Beers and not necessarily open to the public. I couldnít understand why the town was so sleepy but I soon realized where everybody was, just outside Kleinsee there is an area where almost the whole town seems to be busy digging in the hope that they will find diamonds. It looked like some kind of diamond rush from the mid 19th century. I entered the De Beers area but soon ran into a locked gate that I couldnít pass so turned around and headed back to the tar. I imagined that this was going to be a long boring day on tar as I thought the whole coast would be shut off to bikes. I arrived at hondelklip bay but decided not to tour as I had still far to go so just carried on with my trip to the entrance of the Namaqua National Coastal Park. There was nobody manning the gate so wasnít sure if I could enter. I found an intercom and managed to chat to a ranger, I was very crackly and I could hardly hear but somewhere between him explaining tyre pressures and him saying thats a positive I knew I was good to go. I rode along what seemed a never ending coastline which was so beautiful and untouched by man. The riding was challenging with lots of thick soft beach sand but enjoyable at the same time. After I exited the park I carried on along the coastal road with similar terrain and then started hitting a series of gates. They were all unlocked but I must have opened and closed about 12 gates in a 25km stretch, by the end I had only lost a small part of my personality. The road then turned up to Lutzville where I refueled and hit the last stretch. I took a shortcut along the spoornet  service road which prevented me making a big loop around and saved me lots of time. The guard at the end gave me a bit of uphill as I didnít have a permit so I just played dumb and he let me go. I enjoyed a great dinner and the port and headed to my accommodation at Kookfontein Farm where I was greeted with a bathtub fire pit and a bottle of their sauvignon blanc.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2019, 07:47:03 am »
Wow,
This looks awesome and the bike set up is fantastic!
I really like that front fairing set up, looking to do similar. Let me know your plans WRT to bringing them in as I will be first on your list.

Keep going on the ride report, this and the Dakar updates are the only things getting me through this first week at work :'( :'( :'(

Funny you should mention Dakar, It's one of those races where I never miss an episode, Im amazed at the toughness, complexity and speeds of the race. It's something I have always assumed is only for the riding elite but after this trip the bug has definitely bitten. I think if I really put my mind to it, it is something that I could achieve but for now no major plans.
 

Offline Beethoven

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2019, 07:41:06 am »
 :thumleft:
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2019, 09:01:32 am »
Day 9 Lamberts Bay - KTM Cape Town 350km

I found it very difficult to leave, the accommodation was so comfy that I easily could have stayed. I had made a booking for my service at KTM so packed up and hit the road, The majority of the route was tar unfortunately but the scenery was great and loads of twists and turns in the road to keep things exciting. I  rode one of my most enjoyable passes named Bainskloof Pass between Ceres and Wellington, there were non stop sharp corners for 26km, probably the most fun you can have on a motorcycle on tar. I made it to KTM and booked in the bike for an oil change and a new rear tyre as the Michelin was starting to look like a slick.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2019, 09:05:33 am »
Day 10 Cape Town - Franschhoek

I picked up my bike at 10am and headed off on my planned route to Riversdale. I ended up taking the wrong route through town and got delayed for some time. By the time i got to Franschhoek it was lunchtime so a pizza and a beer sounded like a far better idea than carrying on so it ended up being a very short day. I checked into a lovely farm cottage where I got to relax and do some work on the bike. The indicators have stopped working as the wires got pulled out at the rear by the tyre. I traced all the wires and all seem fine only thing it can be is the flasher unit which I wont find easily so I'm stuck with hand signals.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2019, 09:10:25 am »
Day 11 - Franschhoek - Riversdale

I tried to stay another night but my room was booked so by the time I was all packed up I decided to carry on, it was a beautiful days ride through the farmlands which were rural but no electric fences or other security devices which you see on some of the farms in KZN, It seems really peaceful there. I had lunch at Dassiefontein which is a small restaurant / shop where they sell anything from antiques to books and light fittings. Interesting place and worth a visit. Riversdale had little cottage with great hosts where I spent the night.
 
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Offline Ross Riddle

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2019, 09:42:29 am »
Keep it coming! A awesome ride report so far😁😁
EVO 50X, Honda Racing replica Pocket bike, 2013 KTM 300 XC-W, 2016 Husky 450 FE Rally Conversion
 

Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2019, 10:16:59 am »
 :sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2019, 12:29:42 pm »
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

Waiting for the day a 500 owner will ask back 'how long is a piece of string'


I am disappointed that Road to hell wasn't worth more of your time. 15min vs 15hrs we took is depressing.
Nice RR, you are actually doing a lot of open road highway type of riding as well, how does your backside take it?

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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2019, 11:19:06 am »
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

At this point it's trial and error for me. (More trial and hopefully no error) There is no definite answer so to start I was changing every 1500KM to be safe and checking the oil quality when I drain. My last service I stretched to 3300KM but using a very high quality Motul synthetic oil, when I drained the oil was still perfect so would have happily stretched it to 4000KM without worrying about damage to the motor. With the nature of adventure/rally riding there isn't lots of clutch slipping and wear so intervals can be stretched. If the ride turned technical I would change more often.

See pic attached of oil after 3300KM
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2019, 11:26:13 am »
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

Waiting for the day a 500 owner will ask back 'how long is a piece of string'


I am disappointed that Road to hell wasn't worth more of your time. 15min vs 15hrs we took is depressing.
Nice RR, you are actually doing a lot of open road highway type of riding as well, how does your backside take it?

Road to hell was great but yes on a 500 didn't offer too much pain. I did struggle a bit on the return and got stuck for a few minutes but other than that very rideable on a small bike. If I was on a bigger bike there is no way I would have chanced it alone.

As for the backside, it's not the most comfortable especially on the longer stretches sitting. I just moved sitting position from time to time, sometimes sitting upright and others moved back and hiding behind the screen. Mostly on the dirt I opted to stand. I do want to purchase a comfort seat but they are darn expensive and the way I see it, If I've made it this far on the standard seat then why change.
 

Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2019, 11:39:39 am »
:sip:
Brilliant RR. What are the service intervals? 30 hours / 3000km?

At this point it's trial and error for me. (More trial and hopefully no error) There is no definite answer so to start I was changing every 1500KM to be safe and checking the oil quality when I drain. My last service I stretched to 3300KM but using a very high quality Motul synthetic oil, when I drained the oil was still perfect so would have happily stretched it to 4000KM without worrying about damage to the motor. With the nature of adventure/rally riding there isn't lots of clutch slipping and wear so intervals can be stretched. If the ride turned technical I would change more often.

See pic attached of oil after 3300KM
Thanks Tank Slap, for a good technical answer☺
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2019, 11:43:26 am »
Day 12 Riversdale - Knysna

Fisrt stop was Mossel Bay where I took a quick drive through, looked like just a regular costal town, nothing really stood out for me. Groot Brackrivier is a little town just outside of Mossel Bay and defiantly a place I could spend a day in next time around. I went through some farmlands on the way to George then quickly passed through George on the way to Knysna. My planned route was through a nature reserve but when I got to the gate it was SAN Parks and clearly stated no bikes allowed. You could see the place had been recently burnt by the forest fires. Turned around and headed on the Seven Passes road which was magical riding, alternating between gravel and tar with twists and bends all the way through the forest. At places you could still see small smoldering fires as they were not completely extinguished. I hit such a luck with accommodation in Knysna and stayed right on the lagoon on Leisure Isle for relatively cheap at Amanzi Island lodge. Also tried to book a second night but they were fully booked.

Day 12 R&R

Had to be out by 10:30 so packed up and went into town. Had laundry to do so dropped that off and went walking around. Found the Motorcycle Museum which had so many rare and classic bikes including lots of old dirt bikes. It's all owned by one guy. I feel really sorry for him. ;) Unfortunately I couldnít stay long as had to get back to pick up laundry before they closed. I checked into Under Milkwood chalets and had a nice lunch at the coffee shop down the road. Had a nap then went to Tapas to watch the rugby.

Day 13 R&R

Decided to stay another day in Knysna, fortunately this time I donít have to change accommodation. I only woke up a 9 so too late to do my planned route which is quite long so had a good recharge time setting me up for Baviaans.