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Offline noble steed

7 years with my Ex
« on: September 05, 2021, 11:21:08 am »
Last year I ended a 7 year relationship with the best bike I have owned. It was a little up and down, often my fault for not being able to make time for the relationship to blossom as it should. But when we were together I always (okay, mostly) had a smile on my face!

We had a rushed emigration from SA last year, and time and budget has not allowed an opportunity to make any new 2 wheeled acquaintances down under. So now, especially almost 10 weeks into a Covid lockdown, that does not seem to have a reasonable end in the next 10 weeks, I get to reminisce of times gone by.

I had a parting on fair terms with my previous companion, a Suzuki DL650. It had been a great bike to buzz around on, but wasn't prepared to give what I wanted out of the relationship. Yes, I may have been a little demanding, but the time had come to move on.

After been bikeless for a few months, I came across an online ad that caught my eye. After some brief negotiations, my new (used) ride was loaded up in Cape Town and delivered to me in KZN a few days later. With great excitement she was unloaded from the transport and took her place in the driveway!



Immediately into the garage to have a look at what lay beneath. And to try and iron out some wiring issues that seemed to plague the lighting system and lead to frowns from the roadworthy department.



Less than a month later, she hardly had her KZN plates on, and we went for our first overnight date. The Alfie Cox Dual Sport Festival 2013! She didn't fail to not disappoint! (which means, she disappointed...). Less than 5km onto the route on day 1, the throttle cable snapped. I limped to Mooiriver with a locking pliers attached to a cable stump, and luckily found an open bike shop which helped me fit a Yamaha cable in its place.

From there I tried to return to the route, riding it in reverse, hoping to find some other bikes. Until I realised navigating on a primitive iPhone app was not ideal, and I ended up lost on some private farm land, hoping the farmer was not the 'shoot first' type of land owner.



So I had a solo ride back to the accomodation, eager to hear how all the other rider's days had gone.



The second day of Aflie Cox started a little better. She started, and we headed out for some great trails. I was still getting to know her feel, and had some moments where I thought the best way to get to know her was with some intimacy in the long grass.



Unfortunately it did not have the desired effect, and instead of perking her up for the rest of the ride, she decided to suddenly decompress her gas shock and left me with a very bumpy, slow, limping ride back to base.

I managed to get some pressure up for the ride home, and we spent some quality time together admiring the scenery.



After mucking around with her for a few months, I decided a we needed a stamp in the passport together. So a the beginning of 2014 we headed out to Sani pass for our first climb together. I had met up with Wayne Duck for the occasion, and we had a great lunch at the top of the pass.





This would have been the first time I took a bike to the top of Sani. My previous DL650 had put up too much of a fuss at Ice Corner and we hadn't quite made the pub. But we had such a great time, Sani became an annual outing for me for the next 5 years.

On the way home I explored the South Coast sugar cane fields these became my the routes we shared most often over the next few years.



Later in 2014, I decided I'd give her a second chance at Alfie's festival. So come October, we headed off to Mooiriver again. And again, she did not fail to disappoint...

We had a great first day of riding (I thought, anyway). Until, half way up a hill, she gave me the middle finger and said she's not going a wheel turn further.



She just turned off her fuel pump. Fortunately, a farmer in a Land Cruiser came past and took us both home with him, where I did a short term fix by running a wire directly from the battery spliced into the fuel pump. With a make shift witch, of course, so I could keep her now bubbling emotion under control. And I managed to return to base, where Alfie awarded me the Most Useless Lady (Bike) prize, which was accompanied by a very useful tow rope. I did not heed his advise to take her site seeing at a ocean-side cliff and allow an unfortunate accident to occur- I think he was trying to sell me a KTM... And on Day 2 she purred like a kitten (with occasional growls and yowls), and had a great day riding.







After the festival, a lovely ride home again, where I stripped her wiring harness and found the kill switch wire had snapped about 20cm from the kill switch! Devious lady, but I made sure it wouldn't happen again.



She obviously had issues with Alfie's festivals, and I thought I should probably have a different goal for 2015. So I entered Amageza.

Yes we'd never raced. I'd never raced. But I thought we'd reached a point in our relationship where we could put or past problems behind us and reach for something new.

It was a year of many solo rides, and some group rides, testing out equipment, trying to figure out roadbook use. We had some good times together.









And some more trying times. As Amageza grew closer and rides became longer, she started to complain again. About 6 weeks to go, as I had managed to find time to schedule an 8 hour solo ride, she burst her maser cylinder seals 30 minutes in.

About 5 weeks to go, at the rallying point with some new faces from Durban, she said she was feeling to flat and wanted a new battery. I remember I passed off the GPS to another Wild Dog I'd never met before and told him to enjoy the route!

4 weeks to go, on another solo ride, she decided that she wanted to explore the slope off the side of the track more closely. I admit, this was partly my fault, I'd probably been arguing too much while riding, but trying to recover her led to a back injury, not being able to ride at all for 2 weeks, and missing my planned Country Tracks river bed riding sessions.



I did get some beautiful rides in with her during preparation, but in hindsight, not nearly enough.



Prior to leaving, I made her take off her make up so that I could see the real lady beneath. And make sure she had her first aid packs where I needed them.



The end of August rolled around, and we were off! Remember that unknown face I had previously met and shared my GPS with. Turns out he had a bike trailer that really wanted to go to Kimberly. Solved a problem I had been having.



And so the glamour of rallying presented itself! The Malle Moto tent:



Scrutinising having other men stare at your girl and check her engine number!



The start banner!



Riding  a liason somewhere in the Northern Cape



Resting somewhere in the Northern Cape



Stage 1 riverbed



And later on stage 1 riverbed, after we'd had a disagreement which involved me bouncing off her tower and flying head of her, a small concussion, and just realising how insufficient my sand training had been.



After not quite completing the first special, arriving at bivouac after 11pm, very dehydrated, slightly concussed, having lost my 2 way radio on the special, and seeing the border crossing and Botswana deserts sands stretch before me, I made the decision to pull out of the race. It was one of the hardest moments I remember, I thought my family would appreciate me coming home in one piece more than trying to reach for 'death or glory'. I don't regret it, but it hurt.

She had been good to me through the Amageza, and done everything I asked, I couldn't lay any blame with my X this time.

A dejected NS



I got back into riding quite quickly, exploring the Oribi gorge and introducing it to riders who hadn't experienced it before.





And organising rides to explore new routes on the Wild Coast





My daughters (age 4 and 6) could see where my passion had been through the year, when they baked me a birthday cake



And we ended the year with a last trip up Sani pass, with some new bike acquaintances. A great ride, as always!





The following year started with further exploring on the wild coast, and heading down to the Red Desert with some Facebook riders



Later in the year, another trip to Red Desert was planned, this time with Frankmac. We discovered some amazing waterfalls, just the type of thing a lady can appreciate.





Unfortunately, we had a little disagreement on one ride quite far into the Wild Coast, where she decided to come down with her full luggage rack force on my shin, just because I had stopped focusing on her and allowed her to drift into an erosion furrow. Women!





There were not many more rides that year. Time was slowly slipping away as work commitments increased. Slowly she got neglected in the garage, only running her engine once a month to keep the fluids circulating.

By the beginning of the following year we almost had a break-up. But after I saw she had placed her photos on an online dating site, I tried to make things right, and we started spending some more time together. Another trip up Sani pass was just what the relationship counsellor ordered!









By the end of the year, Frankmac and I were heading out to Red desert again. This time I treated her more gently, and she responded by accompanying me to some breathtaking riding scenery





We managed t have a few more short outings through the year, but still less than what she (and I) needed. By the following year things were starting to slip again. I tried to reach out to her and take her on some adventurous routes with Frankmac, down into Oribi.







And later in the year we explored further into Tweni valley.





By now I realised she was in need of some special, tender loving care. We eventually got to the point of being able to strip her down again.



I could see now how hard I had been on her through the years, never listening to her point of view. I decided to make a fresh start. Over the Christmas  period I spent time to ensure she was in good working order. After the usual oil, plugs, filters, and stripping, sanding and spraying mounting points all over her body, I had her panels treated for scratches and chips, and resprayed in a slightly more mature colour, to match her sun yellowed tank.



And then, after finally making things right and feeling our relationship was back on a positive footing, I had to say goodbye! A rapid sale, and I watched her loaded on a transport back to Cape Town before I had to leave for down under.

I don't know when I'll be able to meet someone like her again. Time is limited and budgets are tight. But as far as two-wheeled companions go, it was a great 7 years together, she was the best I ever had!
 
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Offline Heimer

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2021, 11:29:29 am »
  8)
Loved this report

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Offline Amsterdam

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2021, 12:52:36 pm »
Nice.  Just a word of advice about Exes, keep the good memories and don't try to repeat.  Rather find a new and prettier one, you have to admit that once the love has passed that bug-eyed look was not exactly pretty.
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Offline DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2021, 01:33:28 pm »
Hope there's more like your writing!!? :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Ri

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2021, 02:01:17 pm »
Woody once commented about all my falling, if he fell that much he'd stop riding.

I felt the same reading about the start of your relationship with the X. I'm astounded that you stuck with her and didn't kick her to the kerb. That lady had some expensive issues...!!

But it made some beautiful memories, so well done, and thanks for the lovely ride report.
 

Offline frankmac

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2021, 02:51:28 pm »
Good memories, NS. I do however think that bike was jinxed but at least it had a happy button. Trying to kickstart that Pig in that heat convinced me and I went through 4 different bikes over the years whereas you persisted with the Ex.

You very kindly loaned @Dirty Boy your GPS with routes on that one occasion and we had a lovely ride.
 

Offline Mark D

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2021, 04:37:04 pm »
Great write-up NS. That last Sani trip was the first time we met. Had a great day. I am in the picture wth my back to the camera.    :thumleft:


Cheers Mark.
 

Offline jaybiker

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2021, 05:39:09 pm »
A plus point with X's. They fall well, don't they?  :lol8:
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Offline Bundu

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2021, 05:46:38 pm »
enjoyed this! Thanks!  :thumleft:

I have many exes.... life is too short not to, IMHO
 

Offline petri oosthuizen

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2021, 08:22:03 pm »
Klink of jy 'n Land Rover Disco gehad het........ >:D
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Offline noble steed

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2021, 10:32:23 pm »
Great write-up NS. That last Sani trip was the first time we met. Had a great day. I am in the picture wth my back to the camera.    :thumleft:


Cheers Mark.

Im terrible with names, especially from a couple years back! Sorry Mark

It was a great group ride up Sani - still not without its problems. You may remember we had to stop just before Harding as the Ex wasnt responding to my twists and stalling a little. That time it was just a plug I had forgotten to reconnect after her last strip.

Again, not entirely her fault!
 

Offline noble steed

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2021, 10:34:08 pm »
Good memories, NS. I do however think that bike was jinxed but at least it had a happy button. Trying to kickstart that Pig in that heat convinced me and I went through 4 different bikes over the years whereas you persisted with the Ex.

You very kindly loaned @Dirty Boy your GPS with routes on that one occasion and we had a lovely ride.

Thanks for remembering Dirty.

Your Honda was a great bike. Except for the happy button, or lack thereof!

We found some great routes together!
 

Offline stcomza

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Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2021, 07:19:05 am »

Great RR  :thumleft:
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Offline Pilchie

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2021, 09:31:07 am »
Thanks for the entertainment. Pity she had to go
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Offline dirt rat

Re: 7 years with my Ex
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2021, 07:37:26 am »
A well maintained X Challenge is in my experience one of the more reliable bikes out there. :thumleft: