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Offline Grunder

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #140 on: October 02, 2019, 11:45:36 am »
Random place for DGR to be hosted.

We can't even get Bloemfontein to do a successful run, but Kenya is right up there with the rest, well done.  :thumleft:


That bike of yours is a looker!!
Funny enough I watched a video last night where they talked about the XT.
Hope I'm linking the right clip (no youtube at work to confirm  :biggrin:)

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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #141 on: October 02, 2019, 02:15:00 pm »
I am seriously digging your XT!!

 :thumleft:

And that XT video.......!
I am going to get my XT going again.
Somer tonight.
 :biggrin:
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 02:21:17 pm by ClimbingTurtle »
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Offline Osadabwa

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XT video rocks!
« Reply #142 on: October 02, 2019, 06:24:31 pm »
Man, that was such a cool video, it should be embedded here:



and he knows what he's talking about. I have three bikes, all of them are old, carb kick-start only rides. I love them all. The 2003 XRR is my favorite of course, but the 1981 XT and the 1985 XL600R I have all tick those same boxes (although the XL doesn't always make you feel cool exactly, it hauls ass and is as comfortable as can be and easily holds her own out there).

Anyway. I see XL600Rs for sale in Europe in museum quality nick for like 3000 Euros. For almost any type of riding, I would love to have that. Only downside is that parts are starting to get hard to find. Not so of the XT500, where a cult following keeps the parts flowing fairly well.

XRRs in the US go for $2500 sometimes, but I'd happily pay $5000 for the ones that have been tricked. Or, you can go out and buy an orange robot girlfriend off the shelf and try to convince yourself it's love and that forks are supposed to be that harsh and twitchy and that the rear end is supposed to buck you over the bars in the whoops. Up to you.

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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #143 on: October 03, 2019, 07:32:43 am »
I feel obliged to hijack your thread with a couple of pics - first is my XT in 1994 in Harare, on our way back from Kenya.....
Second is my XT currently - I wish I had kept the frames and boxes, the disapeared in the intervening years.....
Third is my XT project bike, sans engine - XT frame, WR450 fromt end, PE175 rear swingarm, all in order to get more suspension travel, Excel rims, KTM525 brakes & sprocket....
Hijack off.....
« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 07:35:02 am by ClimbingTurtle »
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Offline Osadabwa

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XTMANIA
« Reply #144 on: October 03, 2019, 04:48:15 pm »
I tell you, travelling by bike used to be a bit of a mission... look at those boxes!

The XT project looks like trouble alright. Hope you get her put together and go shred some trails. Make sure the petrol station is nearby though... I don't get too far on my stock fuel tank!
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: XTMANIA
« Reply #145 on: October 04, 2019, 11:53:55 am »
I tell you, travelling by bike used to be a bit of a mission... look at those boxes!

All too right - back in 1991/2/3/4 we didnt know there was such a thing as Adventure Riding, and the internet wasnt free for info like now, so we bolted some stuff on a stock XT (we actually had jerry-cans to start off with), climbed on with a passport, and headed north - we didnt know what we didnt know, but somehow we made it back alive....

When is your next RR - we wait with bated breath, your area of riding in Kenya are awesome!!
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Offline Osadabwa

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Just another day in riding paradise...
« Reply #146 on: October 04, 2019, 04:34:08 pm »
Funny you should ask... just so happens I rode today! So enough of the XT nonsense, she's beautiful, but my heart beats to the rhythm of the XRR  :snorting:.

Been meaning to get out with Mr Brain for some time now, so I was happy he proposed a day ride. I pushed hard for him to buy an XR650L which came up for sale last year, which he did, and he has started the process of making her his own with a big tank with DIY reinforcements, large pegs and risers already installed. Panic and I took him down to Kisimit Valley and beyond.


Above: Our new first stop spot with views of the Ngong Hills, the new Railroad, the tarmac coming from Ngong town, an open quarry, and a massive new electrical sub-station. Makes me want to cry how quickly one of my favorite places is changing.


Above: Brain looking the business in his hi-viz vest! Follower of rules is our Brain!


Above: All the roads in the valley have had makeovers. There is even tarmac snaking down from Ngong town to where we usually turn off. It’s really falling apart fast now. At least a fast dirt road is fun to ride, and there are still a few 4x4 roads that won’t soon be fixed.


Above: Dropping down, a quick break by one of the few large trees


Above: Dry dry dry… this time of year is just desolate looking.


Above: If you can believe it, that abrupt hill in the distance has a private airstrip on top and a house… Brain and Panic debate its merits as a hideout during the Zombie Apocalypse


Above: Dropping down into the Kisimit Valley, rolling rocks all the way. It’s good practice, and I like to hit something like this on every day ride if I can.


Above: Panic watches Brain in the Doubletake, no doubt wondering if he’d take a tumble.


Above: A bit later, he does... and I manage to get a pic of it. (I also dropped my bike, but nobody’s as quick on the draw as I am with a camera, so I usually get away without visuals).


Above: The valley is one of the prettier parts of this part of the Rift. Still many trees, and surprisingly even a blooming Desert Rose


Above: That’s one fugly looking Desert Rose, but the flowers are nice


Above: At the bottom at last, we leave the babyheads behind for the dusty valley floor. There was a trickle of water in the streambed.


Above: So dusty, Panic makes his exit from one feshy section


Above: Fesh fesh fesh fesh


Above: Wondering where the water came from, I walked up a ways with a Masai guy only to find a defunct water tank and some pipes deep in the ground. Guess the source is higher up.


Above: We extricated ourselves from the valley sans hiccups (apart from Panic dropping his bike in the fesh… pooof!) and ripped to Oltepesi for a day beer in the shade. One drunk/high local guy caught our wrath briefly for being a general dingus, but otherwise the atmosphere was jolly.


Above: Southeast of the road, the track is drift-tastic. Good quick lines interspersed with fesh and some sand. We saw giraffe, ostrich, zebra and later a few gazelles… all eking out an existence down here somehow. At least 2 decent sized plots in this area have been turned into commercial agriculture since I’ve been riding here, and that doesn’t count Butt Brothers’ huge farm farther down. Wildlife: your days here are numbered.


Above: Down a ways in the flat pans. Great fun to ride this stuff.


Above: Brain handles his XRL quite well. Hope to take him with us on some longer overnight trips soon, though given how long it's taken for us to go on this one day ride, I won’t hold my breath!

 :snorting:




« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 04:35:23 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #147 on: October 07, 2019, 11:59:46 am »
Thank you  - I was having withdrawals,,,,

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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #148 on: October 07, 2019, 12:07:50 pm »
Thank you  - I was having withdrawals,,,,
Me too!! :thumleft:

Osadabwa what bikes can be bought new in Kenia, meaning what dealers do you have?
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Offline Grunder

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #149 on: October 07, 2019, 12:09:25 pm »
Lekker  :ricky: :headbang:


It s bee a while since I've heard a man use the word pretty  :peepwall:
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Offline Osadabwa

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The K in Kenya stands for KTM
« Reply #150 on: October 19, 2019, 08:14:30 am »
@ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS ,

In Kenya, it's KTMs all the way down, but it's not simple. There is one long time KTM shop whose "dealer" is not actually a KTM franchise. For years, everyone assumed he was, but apparently not. In the last couple of years, some enterprising folks have started importing KTM enduro bikes directly from RSA, which causes a bit of drama you can imagine, and a properly branded KTM shop just opened in the city center selling the 390 Dukes along side their Bajaj counterparts (how embarrassing). There's a Beta dealer here, but he's totally taking the piss... Nobody buys from him cause if you had any issues, you'd be screwed. No Hondas or Yamahas can be bought directly here, and the market for older bikes like our XRRs is really thin. Kenya has a restriction on importing and registering vehicles that are more than 8 years old which makes it now impossible to bring in the stalwart BRPs (and doing it the old-fashioned way with sweet talking and moolah is more difficult all the time). There are guys who import used bikes from overseas, but you have to really know your bikes if you pick one of those up... they'll might not be running right off the bat, and may have a million issues, or they'll be great, it's just a crapshoot.

I'm dying to ride again, but it's not looking good. Busy with things in Nairobi and it's started to rain which means I have a hard time getting people to go out with me. But, one good thing about the rain, it makes the valley really pretty, I mean beautiful, gorgeous, splendid, verdant even, eh @Grunder ?

 :snorting:

 
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #151 on: October 19, 2019, 09:28:07 am »
You make me so jealous, I like the your riding areas! :thumleft:
To hijack your thread again a bit.
I know you like the XRR, but I have an SR500 that I have to redo the suspension in any case, so thinking of upgrading it a bit to get more travel and using it for adventure riding.
It already has 12v to power the gps etc and disc brake in front to stop it, so excluding the happy button all I need is there.
Or go for Klr or Dr?
I am light and short so Xr is out, even my old Xl was to high for me.
Your thoughts?
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #152 on: October 21, 2019, 07:51:55 am »
You make me so jealous, I like the your riding areas! :thumleft:
To hijack your thread again a bit.
I know you like the XRR, but I have an SR500 that I have to redo the suspension in any case, so thinking of upgrading it a bit to get more travel and using it for adventure riding.
It already has 12v to power the gps etc and disc brake in front to stop it, so excluding the happy button all I need is there.
Or go for Klr or Dr?
I am light and short so Xr is out, even my old Xl was to high for me.
Your thoughts?

If you are looking at that era of bike - look for a XT500 and import a 12v conversion kit from Rex's Speedshop!
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Offline Grunder

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Re: The K in Kenya stands for KTM
« Reply #153 on: October 21, 2019, 08:14:10 am »
@ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS ,

In Kenya, it's KTMs all the way down, but it's not simple. There is one long time KTM shop whose "dealer" is not actually a KTM franchise. For years, everyone assumed he was, but apparently not. In the last couple of years, some enterprising folks have started importing KTM enduro bikes directly from RSA, which causes a bit of drama you can imagine, and a properly branded KTM shop just opened in the city center selling the 390 Dukes along side their Bajaj counterparts (how embarrassing). There's a Beta dealer here, but he's totally taking the piss... Nobody buys from him cause if you had any issues, you'd be screwed. No Hondas or Yamahas can be bought directly here, and the market for older bikes like our XRRs is really thin. Kenya has a restriction on importing and registering vehicles that are more than 8 years old which makes it now impossible to bring in the stalwart BRPs (and doing it the old-fashioned way with sweet talking and moolah is more difficult all the time). There are guys who import used bikes from overseas, but you have to really know your bikes if you pick one of those up... they'll might not be running right off the bat, and may have a million issues, or they'll be great, it's just a crapshoot.

I'm dying to ride again, but it's not looking good. Busy with things in Nairobi and it's started to rain which means I have a hard time getting people to go out with me. But, one good thing about the rain, it makes the valley really pretty, I mean beautiful, gorgeous, splendid, verdant even, eh @Grunder ?

 :snorting:

pretty

/ˈprɪti/

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adjective

1.
(of a person, especially a woman or child) attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful.


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Offline Osadabwa

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Longonot and Mayer's Ranch
« Reply #154 on: November 09, 2019, 06:43:40 am »
Wry and I have hatched a plan for December to ride into Tanzania and climb Oldonyo Lengai, the silliest mountain in East Africa. It’s a semi-active volcano smack-dab in the middle of the plains south of Lake Natron. The sides of this thing are steep dust and scree, there are no switchbacks, and you just basically have to muscle your way up it in the dark and tumble down it again in the heat. For whatever reason, that appeals to us, so it’s planned. In the meantime, I need saddle time and some cross training, so I grabbed Brain (who will also be coming with us) off down the valley to combine a bit of biking and hiking. Of to Mt. Longonot!


Above: Morning on the XRs with the fog toupee over the Ngongs and the new tar road in the distance.


Above: We followed the new railway for quite a while before joining the new tarmac road construction dirt superhighway. It’s all different now. The railroad feels like a DMZ, some long, impenetrable thing slicing through what only 5 years ago was empty bush. Giraffes will be trapped on one side or the other permanently.


Above: After the dirt superhighway where I reached 145kph just because, we played hunt-and-peck to connect ourselves over to Mai-Maheiu, crossing under high-tension wires and wire fences that also weren’t there 5 years back.

After a quick shot up the tarmac, we arrived at the Longonot gate where we changed into walking gear. The four or five guys in olive drab waved us around to park under the shade, which was nice, but the VIP treatment vanished when I got to pay full fare for entrance… I’d grabbed my son’s passport instead of my own that morning and the guy wouldn’t believe I was resident.


Above: XRs and wildlife bones… both endangered species


Above: At Longonot Rim. To put things in perspective, Google Earth shows that this hike was 3km long with an average slope of 14% and some concrete steps in places. We handled it well, but Lengai’s hike will be twice as long with an average slope of 35%, and deep sand and scree in place of concrete when the going gets tough. Still, I can’t wait. The day we have planned will be a 100% full moon and the hike begins at midnight after a 300km ride… HERE is a link to Xpat's experience there back when he was just a wee lass.


Above: Brain enjoying a cold Coke. I definitely want to come back to Longonot a few more times before the trip.

We trotted back down the hill, passing a church group of Kenyans who looked like they were being broiled alive, donned our riding kit again and headed out for Mayer’s Ranch. We’d been invited for lunch and a tour of the Bateleur Brewery. It’s a place carved out of time, full of colonial history and beautifully maintained. A spring runs through the garden and trees teem with Sykes monkeys and song birds. Lunch was fantastic, and the brewery tour was great and ended with a wee tasting session with the Master Brewer.


Above: The Mayer’s grounds


Above: Brain soaks his sweaty feet in the spring


Above: Bateleur Brewery is probably Kenya’s best (and newest) craft breweries.


Above: Brain in his fancy hat (don’t want to be spreading little curly ginger hairs all over the place) sampling beer straight out of the cooling tanks with the Master Brewer, a lady who really knows good beer.

After our tour, it was time to hit the road. We rattled over the fairly horrible road out of Mayer’s, past a huge stone quarry where men with chisels hand cut foundation stones from the Earth. From Ewaso Kedong, it was a lovely, late afternoon rip up the road to Saikeri where the Friday Masai Market was in full swing - shukas and sheep shining in the sunlight. Finally, we re-connected with the soon-to-be tar road and it hit me hard. If you put a tar road through it, it ceases to be remote. A tar road means progress and people, cars and more litter. It’s inevitable, but hard to accept.


Above: Stone quarry… the men who work in that puppy are made of tougher stuff than I


Above: Fun, flowing tracks after the pounding of the stony, dumptruck-clogged road clogged


Above: I don’t know when that Lutheran school opened (top), but it seems just a bit out of place… for now.


Above: A perennial favourite escape track. I was relieved to see the new tar road doesn’t come this way.


Above: Windmills on the Ngongs (with plans for expansion, and rumoured to soon have a 300 person “eco” hotel as well), high- and low-tension power lines, barbed wire fences and tar roads. So it goes.

 :snorting:
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #155 on: November 09, 2019, 12:52:04 pm »
It looks as if the first rains have started to fall?
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Offline Osadabwa

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Back up again...
« Reply #156 on: November 15, 2019, 06:29:21 pm »
Yes the rains are making the valley bloom. It's a nice change from the dust.

This morning I took off for Longonot again solo. Plan was to ride the dirt down and back, but I got moving and decided I'd do the 60km of tar in one quick go and spend more time walking the volcano. Tar isn't my favorite, but there are times I'm into it... the Mai Mahieu road is just stupid... big trucks overtaking up blind corners, ProBoxes careening everywhere. For whatever reason, I kind of got into the madness today and didn't get killed in the process. There's a kind of flow to weaving in and out of chaotic Kenyan traffic. Anyway, arriving at Longonot, I ended up doing a couple of loops of the crater rim... took me 4 hours to do about 18km in all, clocking some 1,380m of elevation gain.


Above: At the rim, still looking pretty fresh


Above: But steep trails would eventually wear me out...


Above: By the second loop around to the top, I was pooped


Above: But one man's poop is another man's treasure...

The legs were killing me when I got back to the bike (bad news, since Lengai is both taller and steeper, and I'll be doing it after 300km of riding and in the dark) but as soon as I was on it, I was drifting out on the dirt. Got to the tar and immediately decided to go back-tracks home. Rode like a striped ape along the pipeline road's endless line of jumps and blasted up the dirt superhighway they're making for the new tar. I think it was just a case of having brand new tires front and rear... so much grip!

Great day. I'm happy the climbing muscles and the riding ones seem to be separate, so after Lengai we'll be able to get up and crush some TZ bush tracks.

 :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Another Day on Longonot - With Wry
« Reply #157 on: December 01, 2019, 06:33:07 pm »
So after trying and failing to get the other BRP riders to commit, it will just be Wry and I heading to Lengai in 10 days’ time! We’re properly eager, but it’s been wet in Kenya, to put it mildly. Nairobi is a mud pit and landslides and floods are happening all over the place. Frankly, however, I don’t give a damn. What’s the point of having those knobby tyres if you’re not going to get them muddy now and then? Anyway, that’s the theory. I refuse to let weather dictate my plans.

That said, this morning as I left at 6AM in the rain down the Uhuru Highway’s maddeningly slow construction nightmare zone, nearly losing the bike in a lake that had formed in my lane, I thought “what the fuck am I doing?” What I was in fact doing is heading back to Longonot with Wry to get some more miles on our hiking legs. Pressed for time, we’d just slide down the road, leapfrogging lorries and dodging oncoming assholes, climb the hill and repeat the return journey, but it was great to be on the bike with somebody who doesn’t worry about getting a little bit wet.


Above: The rainy season has made the mountain green and lush, but has also excavated some serious trenches in the trail


Above: Fog hugged the northern side of the mountain all morning, making us feel like we were someplace properly exotic. I’ve now climbed Longonot 4 times since going with Brain the first time and it has made a huge difference for my fitness. I no longer have pain. Bring on the Mountain of God.


Above: Back down at the gate, Wry couldn’t get his bike started (so much for a macho departure). Turns out, while we were hiking, somebody’s busy fingers had found his never-used kill switch and put it to off… muppet.


Above: No time to return via the sloppy wetness of the valley dirt roads, we screamed up the twisty tar road to the Milano overlook for a cup of milky tea, some long views of the soon-to-be-destroyed valley floor and a friendly mutt.


Above: Wry with his Kevin Costner's receding hairline in his Lyndon Poskitt jacket at the Milano Overlook

Ten days to go.

 :snorting:

 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Last ride and climb before Lengai
« Reply #158 on: December 05, 2019, 05:11:20 pm »
Nairobi is a swimming pool. Well, more like a cesspool, but you get the idea. It’s been raining continuously for a week or more now and chaos reigns on the roads. I left this morning for one last final ride and climb of Longonot in preparation for Lengai, and it was silly. Mud everywhere on the main road which is under perpetual construction. Busses and cars driving all over the place. Drizzle falling from the sky and sick spray coming off everyone’s tires. Going down the Mai Mahieu road, it was clear something was amiss. Trucks were stacked for miles, trapped by one that had broken down in the climbing lane, turning the country’s main transport route into a single lane. What. A. Joke. But, on my Piggy, I just laughed. I ripped around the crawling trucks and squeezed through when they were totally stuck. Took a bit longer than usual to get there, but the mountain wasn’t going anywhere.

It was gray and misty up there. Even rained on me, but this isn’t a hiking blog. I was head-down trudging around the rim and thought I saw a big ass cat track. Farther up the trail, I confirmed it. Pics are hard to make out, but it was as big as my fist. KWS guys reckoned it was a lion. Kind of crazy to imagine a lion up there prowling and me rocking my tunes oblivious… anyway.


Above: Lion track in the pumice on Mt. Longonot… tough to see, but it was there alright


Above: The trail has been severely destroyed by the heavy rains. Though, anywhere else in the world would not put the trail straight up the side of a hill. Kenya, oh Kenya.

Lengai in 5 days. Turns out it’s been raining in Northern Tanzania as well, so we may be in for a wet and muddy ride and a gloomy climb, but we’re going! Also, we have booked into a posh tented camp for three nights, so as long as we get there, I guess we'll survive!

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 06:32:10 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline halfjob

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #159 on: December 05, 2019, 06:10:30 pm »
ok so i land in mombasa on tuesday night and all going well will be based there for the foreseeable future :deal: i bring in containers full of scrap tractors and would like to also bring in some 'scrap' bikes  :laughing4: will be 'commuting' between mombasa and el doret which looks like awesome riding country? give this dog a pointer as to whether its doable to join you okes for a ride if i leave a bike in Nairobi and fly in for a couple days??? if all goes well as said, i will definitely bring in an XR/R and shitloads of bits :biggrin: however i have yet to experience Kenyan bureaucracy save to say that i will make a plan :deal:
i only work to support my hobbies!!