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Author Topic: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC  (Read 4620 times)

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Offline Tank Slap

6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« on: December 31, 2018, 12:20:31 pm »
I tried the touring thing a few years ago and it never really stuck as I had a 990 and always felt it was a bit big for what I wanted to do so continued with my enduro racing on my plastic bikes. 8 years later the bug bit again and I decided to try again but this time on my preferred weapon of choice a KTM 500. I purchased one of the last remaining 2018 models out the box, added a long range tank, soft luggage and a rally screen. I had been needing some time away so set aside 3 weeks to head off on a journey with no real destination. I planned the first 4 days more or less with the help of Xpat as he had been this way before. I wanted to head north west but took my laptop along so I had the flexibility to change my route at any time. I never booked any accommodation as I didn't want the pressure of having to make any destinations on time, so basically I rode until I wanted to stop and then stayed over. Sometimes my scheduled stop wasn't what I expected so carried on till I hit a town worth staying in. It was one of the most amazing trips of my life and I got to see places and things I probably would never have dared to see in a car, the beauty of traveling on a motorcycle is that you can go at great speeds comfortably over rough terrain and cover greater distances than you could ever in a car or 4x4. I will post my experiences and photos in the next coming days.
 
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Offline JonW

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 12:34:25 pm »
Lovely looking bike  :thumleft:
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline CUZZY

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 01:16:42 pm »
Sweet ride!! Who makes that sceen?
 

Offline Highsider

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 01:51:53 pm »
Looking forward to this RR.


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Offline aka.Goliath

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 03:20:21 pm »
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?
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Offline exkdx

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 05:53:59 pm »
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?
Ditto :lamer:
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KTM 500 XC-W latest addition
 

Online boland

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 06:59:37 pm »
Dang thatís one sweet bike
 
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Offline evansv

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 06:43:23 am »
Very nice looking bike!
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Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 07:20:56 am »
 :sip:
I dont want to ride fast, But I want to ride FAR
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 08:25:02 am »
Day 1 BSR - Mahikeng 388KM

Monday 9am set off and its official I'm on my way. It had been a frantic two weeks getting the bike built and ready in time, also being my first real adventure trip I needed to make sure I had planned for every eventuality. One great thing that I had was the Spot Gen3 gps tracker that enabled my loved ones to track me at any point in my ride to see where I was and put their minds at rest. It also has the added benefit of been able to send emergency sms's over satellite should there be no cellphone reception.  The wind was blowing crazy today and proved to be a real challenge sometimes having to lean the bike sideways into the wind just to keep heading straight. It proved a bit nerve-racking especially when it would blow me off line into thick sand on the dirt roads ending up in some pretty severe head shake. With a bit of throttle control managed to save the day. The stock suspension on the 2018 model is really lacking, just before the trip I changed the springs to cater for the extra weight back and front but there is almost 0 dampening force on the front fork. This is unfortunately due to a very poor valve design by WP. On the positive side I got to learn a whole lot about suspension during the trip and managed to eventually get the bike handling very well. There was some really nice riding between Fochville and Ventersburg, all dirt through farmlands and very scenic. Found a Black Steer in Lichtenburg and stopped for a delicious burger and coke then hit the road to Mahikeng. I spotted this little shortcut on T4A which looked and was actually quite fun, only problem is it lead to a farmers fence which I could not fined my way around and eventually had to head back to the main road and go around. Was fun never the less. I stayed at Sedikwa Lodge in a comfortable room, no drinks or food available there but decided I was good and will top up no the road in the morning. Nothing like some macadamia nuts and cranberries to fill the gap.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 08:29:30 am »
Sweet ride!! Who makes that sceen?

I imported the Kit from the Netherlands for testing, its a product I plan to distribute in the new year. It is the original KTM rally screen with a custom built tower, fairings and lights. I also added a 17L IMS tank to increase my range.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 08:31:42 am »
Would you like to go into more details about your bike please? I like the look of the rally screen/lights, where it from and how did it work for you?

It worked out very well, the wind deflection from the screen is a great help at higher speeds allowing you to sit comfortably at 140km/h. The 17L tank can give me a range of up to 340KM which is sufficient for most rides.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 02:25:28 pm »
Day 2 Mahikeng - Van Zylsrus 590KM

It was kind of unsettled nights rest, kept on waking up and hoping it was time to start, obviously eager to get the show in the road. Got up and took a walk outside only to find a small puddle of fuel under my bike, not a good sign. Removed the tank to look where the leak was and found it to be where the fuel pump flange meets the long range tank. The tank is distorted and doesnít allow the o-ring to seal. As I was in the middle of nowhere I used the only tool I had for the job which was Pratley's plastic steel and a few minutes later the problem was solved. I will check again in the following morning but the repair seems to be holding up. I headed out of Mahikeng and decided to skip breakfast as there were sure to be some 5 star restaurants en-route  ;D. About 40km outside town the fun began, miles and miles of dirt roads just waiting to be shred. On the gas I quickly knocked off the KM making short work of the route. By lunchtime I was at my scheduled stop which was the Molopo Nature Reserve. I headed through the unmanned gate only to raise that the park was closed and no chances of camping there. Seen as it was early in the day I decided to make my way to the next town as accommodation was seemingly impossible to find. The next 230km to Van Zylsrus was a Jol. Lots of thick sand to plane over and spectacular bush veld either side. The sand was thick but by now I was loving it, feeling confident and on the throttle. I didnít realize how hard I was riding until my fuel range went from the usual 300 to 250km. I made it to my destination with 1L to spare. Booked into the Zan Vylsrus Hotel which is a must see, it has beautiful decor a pub and a restaurant that made the most incredible lamb shank and veggies. Would recommend it to anyone. I got a good tip from the owner to go explore the salt pans so tomorrows route will be a bit different but no doubt breathtaking.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 02:27:20 pm »
 :ricky:
 
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Offline MillionMiles

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 04:02:23 pm »
my kind of stuff...
keep it rolling  :pot:
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Offline Black_Hawk

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Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2019, 04:07:05 pm »
And I must also say it... Very nice looking bike  :drif:

Looks like a awesome trip, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:

Looking forward to see the rest.

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Offline sackett

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2019, 05:38:47 pm »
Good one Tank Slap - Naaais Baahik!!!  I would appreciate some comments on how the Great Basin (?) bag held up and how practical it was to use?
Previously owned: Yamaha XT250, Honda XL500R, Yamaha XT600 Tenere, then moved over to the Dark Side with a great classic: Honda CB750F - all sold unfortunately.
 

Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 06:42:57 am »
Good one Tank Slap - Naaais Baahik!!!  I would appreciate some comments on how the Great Basin (?) bag held up and how practical it was to use?

The Giant Loop Coyote worked really well, I covered some very rough terrain with lots of bouncing around and all the straps and mounts held up well. It comes with 3 convenient dry bags inside which remove quite easily to take all your clothes and gear in each night. The exhaust heat shield also worked well and nothing melted.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 06:58:03 am »
Day 3 Vanzyls Rus - Loch Maree 334KM

Woke up nice and early to a cool morning, had time to lube my chain and do a quick check of the bike. Not a drop of oil used thus far bike still running like a dream. Tyreís needed a bit of air including the Tubeliss inner tube. I had a chilled breakfast and hit the road. The road to Askam was scenic with hints of the red dunes either side. I made quick work of the ride, refueled and headed out towards Klein Mier and Groot Mier and hopefully the large pan. After Groot Mier I headed left on my track which was set to take me straight across Hakskeenpan. I approached the first pan and followed tracks across through a gate that a local farmer had erected. I proceded up and got my first taste of dunes and put the bike down at the crest, I suppose the right was is to make sure you have enough momentum to get over the crest, lesson learned.  Got a bit lost behind the fence then headed back through the gate. Carried a bit further on along the track only to find a locked gate. A few KM on was the Hakskeenpan. I had no choice but to head back to Klein Mier and hit the road around. I ended up heading towards Rietfontein as I knew would find fuel there. After the refuel I managed to cut back into my original planned loop taking me to Philandersbron, across the Koppieskraal pan and eventually to Loch Maree Camp. I just rocked up unannounced but the hosts were welcoming and soon got me settled. I had a nap and then headed out to a lookout point for sunset passing eland, zebra and giraffe on the way. The view was breathtaking ontop of a dune overlooking Sout Pan. The lodge is another beautiful find, would highly recommend it.
 
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Offline Tank Slap

Re: 6500KM around Mzanzi on a 500EXC
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2019, 06:59:40 am »
 :ricky:
 
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