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Author Topic: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC  (Read 3509 times)

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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2019, 09:12:42 am »
Day 14 Knysna - Cape St Francis 405KM

Off at 7:15 couldnít pay the lodge as reception was closed. Hope they arenít too upset that I settle late. Went up the hill, through an informal settlement and then straight onto the forests roads. I passed through the state forest reserve and then onto Prince Alfreds Pass. Very scenic riding although the roads are in bad shape due to all the trucks transporting wood from the saw mills and plantations. A big hole must have dislodged my GPS which I only noticed a few KM down the road. I turned around and headed back slowly scanning both dips on either side of the road worried that I would have to navigate without it. Fortunately I came across it laying in the middle of the road, a little scared and shaken up but still working. Further up the road I passed the area where the recent fires had passed, the forest and plantations were destroyed as far as I could see, I imagine the farmers must have lost fortunes in relatively newly planted trees. At the bottom of Prince Alfreds pass was a little restaurant called Angies G-Spot. I pulled in and sat down for a breakfast along the river. I was filled in about how the municipality had torn down their building as it hadnít met some flood-line requirement. Refueled in Uniondale and headed into Baviaanskloof. It is the home to the biggest wilderness area in South Africa stretching 200km long. It has in the region of 50 river crossings but with no rain it was in reality about 10. It was a very hot day but the reserve was still beautiful and offered great riding. The last 28km offered lots of rocky jeep tracks and steep mountain passes. As I exited the last gate I came across a stretch of the forest still on fire and by the looks of things it was going strong with huge flames across the top of one of the peaks. A few more KM of dirt to Patensie and then tar all the way to Cape St Francis where I checked into Seals Backpackers.
 
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Offline wilfwalk

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2019, 09:47:21 am »
Thanks for your great effort inputting this RR together and the super photos. Appreciated greatly - getting to see the country almost in a flash. Envious !
 

Offline Tiger8

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2019, 09:56:31 am »
Awesome RR, thanks for taking the time to share. Makes me want to get out and ride, although I am not as fond of sand as you appear to be  :lol8:
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2019, 10:05:36 am »
So far I know the routes and all, really looking forward to the rest of the RR now, still have to explore the Transkei by bike. Great work

Are you stull riding or just updating as work allows? (I cant remember now what your intro said....)
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2019, 06:18:24 pm »
I finished the trip in November, so updating as I can. Done another 2000KM loop to PMB and back since and still loving the bike.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2019, 06:35:20 pm »
Day 15 Cape St Francis - Queenstown 490KM

Early start in windy conditions, it was overcast and looked like I was in for some rain. I fought a strong crosswind to Humansdorp where my heading changed and gave me some wind relief. I took the old road to Jeffrys Bay and then to Uitenhage, It was a pleasant surprise when the majority of the route was pretty scenic also passing the bottom of the Van Stadens bridge. By the time I was in Uitenhage things had heated up, I found some dirt tracks through to the Addo Elephant park. The scenery was great heading up the mountain pass with relatively good roads. On the back end the roads deteriorated badly and it was a mix of loose rocks and wash aways. It was a great place but glad I wasnít in a car. From there I headed up to Somerset East and then to the Winterberg Conservancy which runs along the Baviaans river. This was the gem of the day, over 100km of riding through a reserve that consists of old farmhouses and beautiful landscapes, it appears to be trapped in trapped time. I thoroughly enjoyed this leg of the trip, the roads were in bad shape but no match for my KTM. After exiting the conservancy a few nice gravel roads into Queenstown. I was due for an oil change and with a bit of luck I found a very helpful motorcycle store that had the correct oil filter and fully synthetic Motul oil. They changed it for me right away and I headed off to my accommodation. Next is the Ben 10 mountain challenge, still not sure how to do the route as the passes are all over the place but looks like ill be heading to Lady Grey then Maclear and its raining.
 
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Offline Ross Riddle

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2019, 09:02:06 pm »
Awesome, loving the RR.
Man I would give my right nut to do this. It would be great if you could show the route on a map???
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Offline eKKKe

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2019, 10:51:34 pm »
Or just the gps file, awesome RR btw, keen on seeing the next part of the route!


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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2019, 11:03:06 am »
Awesome, loving the RR.
Man I would give my right nut to do this. It would be great if you could show the route on a map???
Do It  :ricky:
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2019, 01:47:48 pm »
Day 16 - Queenstown - Elliot 375 KM - Ben 10

Rain 1 Tank Slap 0. This was the first rain I encountered on the trip, it was drizzling when I left and pouring all the way to Dordrecht. I had a poncho rain jacket which did little to keep me dry and warm, I was frozen when I arrived at the small town. I went to the co-op and managed to get a real rain suit which I continued to fit in the isle. When I walked out I was bright yellow but prepared for anything. I had a quick coffee to warm me from the inside then continued to lady grey. Murphys law I had passed the rain and it was dry for some time after that but at least my yellow suit kept the wind out and kept me warm. The road from Dordrecht to Lady Grey was 100KM of scenic gravel with lots of twists and turns, the road was in bad condition but the 500 made quick work of it. I turned into Joubertís Pass which was a 50KM pass that the farmers built in the 1920ís to get from Lady Grey to Barkley. It made great scenic riding and not much of a challenge but loads of fun. The pass ended in Lady Grey, I had the option of a long tar road around to the next pass or to go back over the same pass again. Naturally I chose the pass as riding tar is about as fun as kissing your sister (Sorry Sis). Took me 40 min to complete this time which included some low flying in some sections, from there it was off to Otto Du Plessis Pass which was through the farmlands of Barkley. I passed the finishing point from the first Sea To Ski which brought back some drunken memories of barn racing. Heading up the next pass there was steam rising up off the road and all the rocks and hills. The temp must have dropped rather suddenly. The rain started up again making thinks a little slick but nothing too serious until the way down. The road was supper slippery with some mud patches almost catching me out. I had to reduce my speed to one third of my usual pace. Made my way out onto a short tar stretch where it started bucketing down, I hit Eliot and decided this is where I will have to spend the night. I saw a sign saying The Guardians Lodge and Restaurant and followed it 5KM outside town. I was lucky enough to get the last available room. Had a shower and a good meal at their restaurant where the weather changed for the best and the sun came out  ::) Retired for a nap as I had the other 8 passes lined up for the next day if conditions were good. It was doable as the distance is around 350KM.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2019, 01:49:17 pm »
 :deal:
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2019, 01:54:50 pm »
Day 17 Eliot - Rhodes 360KM

Quick, early Breakfast in my room and was on the road by 7:15. The first pass for the day was Barkley Pass which was the only tar pass in the challenge, and the only one I somehow managed to delete the photo after I took it. It's a great twisty pass with magic views and an around fun ride.
From there I headed off to Bastervoetpad Pass which was a little rocky in places and possibly a challenge for the bigger bikes but nothing crazy, I imagine a 4x4 would spend a bit of time on this pass. When you get to the top you are met with magic scenery of rolling green hills, I spent quite some time there to soak up all the scenery. From there it was great riding down through to Ugie and Maclear where I refuel and had a quick time out. From there I rode up Naudeís Nek Pass where you have never-ending views. Then off to Tenahead Traverse, with is a trail along the top of a mountain range, much of it boarding Lesotho. I stoped at the Tenahead hotel briefly to have a look around, from what I can see its a great place to take you other half for some quiet bonding time, Luxurious and in the middle of nowhere. I reached Tiffindell and had a coke in the coffee shop and them proceeded up Ben McDhui Pass, it was a little intimidating towards the top where if you didnít carry your momentum you could end up in trouble but made it up unscathed. Took some time to enjoy the views and then headed down to the Wartrail. This took me down Volunteershoek Pass which was a pretty steep decent, the local farmers seem to put a lot of work into the pass to keep it rideable, there are lots of old tyres laid out and bolted together in the washed away sections. Reached the town on the bottom and then went up Lundeanís Nek, from the top your can see the typical bare limestone rock peaking through the mountain range. At this point I turned around and headed back down as I had not yet done Carlieshoekspruit Pass so decided to head back up Volunteershoek Pass and then down Carleishoekspruit. At the top of Volunteershoek pass I was doing some low flying as I was almost done for the day, I hit a really sharp bend and overshot the turn. My skid mark was a good 30m long before I was headed straight into some large rocks, somehow I managed to miss them at the last minute and got away with no damage to myself or the bike. Three meters further was debris of a car that wasnít as fortunate as me. Later I heard from the Tiffindell manager who lives in Rhodes that it was an Amarok driver that went out searching for his lost son, in the rain at last years Sea To Ski event. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the boy was found. After the near miss, I went down Carlieshoekspruit Pass into Rhodes. I found bikers friendly accommodation at the Rubicon and had the most amazing meal at their restaurant and got to sleep in an old classroom. The Ben 10 is a fantastic challenge and I would recommend to all.
 

Offline XT JOE

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2019, 06:36:50 pm »
excellent stuff- I've done a few stretches you've done over last few years and enjoy you experience it especially the Somerset east time travel. Would love to do those EC passes-What a trip  :thumleft:
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Offline Orangeswifty

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #73 on: January 28, 2019, 08:18:38 am »
awesomeness!

Can you maybe share the route for day 3 so we have a better idea of where not to go (against fence)?

Bike looks great!

Sorry about the small file but only allowed 700KB Max
Next time you are at van Zyls on the way to Molopo it would be worth your while to try the river border road just north of the dirt road :thumleft: 260km of winding riverbed!

Great report
awesome to do from desert to coast to mountains!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 08:50:06 am by Orangeswifty »
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #74 on: February 02, 2019, 06:14:32 pm »
excellent stuff- I've done a few stretches you've done over last few years and enjoy you experience it especially the Somerset east time travel. Would love to do those EC passes-What a trip  :thumleft:
The Ben 10 is a fantastic challenge, would recommend it to anyone
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2019, 06:30:25 pm »
Day 18-19 Rhodes - Clarens & Home

I set off from Rhodes heading back up Lundean's Nek, down the other side out towards Zastron. From there I headed up along the Lesotho boarder to Clarens. Not the most enjoyable route but was keen to get home so opted out of traversing Lesotho. I overnighted in Clarens then headed off early to make the final stretch home. As Murphy would have it my gate wasn't working on my return and I had to make use of my tools to remove the spike barrier on the top of my gate in order to climb over and make my entry. My tyres were completely shot by the time I got home and I was bouncing around the tarmac. This was most likely due to the fact that I was running Tubliss and didn't balance the rims before I left. You can see this by the uneven tread wear on the front.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2019, 07:01:29 pm »
For all the 500 lovers out there and the 690 riders sitting on the fence, below are my views and experience on the trip as well as sub-sequential upgrades.

I believe this is the ultimate travel bike especially if traveling alone. I fortunately managed to stay upright the whole way except for one little drop in the dunes, where the bike was naturally very easy to pick up. I was able to travel at comfortably high speeds in sandy and rocky terrain and with the few sharp bends that caught me out I was mostly able to stop in time or maneuver out of tricky situations. The bike has more than enough power to have load of fun and thrills.

The rally screen is a must if traveling long distance, It sheltered me from the wind and allowed me to travel faster more comfortably. The 17L long range tank seemed to do the job between fuel stops but where it was sketchy I filled my 3L Desert Fox as a backup. On 17L I mostly managed around 300-320KM of range except for one sandy stretch I only got 260KM where I believe it was due to poor quality fuel as this was the only time it didn't make 300KM.

I ran 14-48 gearing which was great for all situations including Road to Hell. I have now changed to 15-48 in order to keep my revs down at highway speeds, the bike now sits easily at 140KM/H without working too hard.

I sent the suspension into Justin at Shok Logic where it was re-valved back and front. I also replaced the fork valves with aftermarket as the KTM ones are really crap. It's now a different bike soaking up anything in its path.

I replaced the tyres and had both rims balanced. They had to use a lot of weights to counter act the weight of the Tubeliss rim-lock but now the bike runs super smooth on the tarmac and makes it much more stable when hanging cable.

On 93Hrs / 7200KM I checked the valve clearance and they were all perfectly in spec, with the tappet cover off every thing was clean and still looked brand new inside. I replaced the chain guide which was shot and spark plug as a precaution.

After inspecting oil quality on all of my services I have decided to to push the interval to 3000-4000km which for Rally/Adventure riding I feel is more than sufficient.

The Giant loop coyote saddle bag worked a treat and was big enough to cater for all my luggage.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2019, 07:08:34 pm »
Oh the seat  :-\

It's hard as hell. Not fun when sitting for too long, fortunately the terrain I rode enabled me to stand a lot. I am considering the seat concepts comfort seat but it is very expensive and the way I see it is, if I made it this far I may as well stick with the standard seat.
 

Offline Straatkat

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2019, 09:36:22 pm »
Hi TS, we met a few weeks ago on top of Breedtsnek, thanks for sharing your rides with us, I know it is a lot of time and effort, just know it is appreciated. I love my 500 as do you, great bikes and very interesting to listen to your comments and hopefully we can learn from your experience. You mentioned you nearly bought a 690, judging by the way you sprinted down Breedtsnek I think the 500 is a much better choice.
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 KTM 500 EXC (2016)
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #79 on: February 04, 2019, 09:53:22 am »
Hi TS, we met a few weeks ago on top of Breedtsnek, thanks for sharing your rides with us, I know it is a lot of time and effort, just know it is appreciated. I love my 500 as do you, great bikes and very interesting to listen to your comments and hopefully we can learn from your experience. You mentioned you nearly bought a 690, judging by the way you sprinted down Breedtsnek I think the 500 is a much better choice.
Yes very happy with my choice, light = fun. Do you have any nice routes around Breedtnek? We ended up doing lots of tar from there which wasn't great.