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Author Topic: Charley Boorman was in South Africa and Namibia.  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Jaqhama

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Charley Boorman was in South Africa and Namibia.
« on: February 11, 2007, 09:25:50 am »
A Namibian Adventure
June 23, 2006 - World of BMW - worldofbmw.com

The beginning of June this year saw 11 adventurous journalists from South Africa, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK head off on a once-in-a-lifetime ride through the dramatic and remote landscapes of Namibia. Courtesy of BMW Motorrad South Africa, the intrepid group - which included Long Way Round's Charley Boorman - was invited to take part in one of the most spectacular rides yet for the new R1200 GS Adventure, which included a journey through the Fish River Canyon - the world's second largest canyon.

A scenic ride from Springbok to the Namibian border on the first day lulled the unsuspecting journalists into a false sense of security, but this didn't last long. One hundred kilometres after leaving the border town of Nooroewer, the tarmac ran out and the dirt roads set in. Competent off-road ability was important as the riders negotiated remote dirt tracks, soft sandy sections and river crossings.

The rugged landscape was no match for the R1200 GS Adventure, which is designed with exactly this type of journey in mind. The robust 33-litre fuel tank, stable engine protection, extra-wide footrests and adjustable gearshift and brake levers make for a safe and secure ride. A maximum output of 100hp and peak torque of 115Nm makes light work of the harshest surroundings.

Being no stranger to the GS Adventure, special guest Charley Boorman put his Long Way Round experience to good use, setting the pace for the ride.
Jaq: Doesn't the slowest rider set the pace? :D
A few minor incidents and some seriously rough terrain later, the exhausted group arrived in the valley of the spectacular Fish River Canyon and set up camp for some well-deserved rest.

Day two arrived with a good mood in the air as the journalists began to feel more confident in their skills on the R1200 GS Adventure. It was a chance for them to experiment with the many features of the bike, including the extra long-travel suspension. During the long ride from the Fish River Canyon to the sand dunes of the Gamkab River, UK journalist Paul Blezard really put the GS to the test.

"I saw speeds of over 100 mph (160 km/h) on the speedo for the first time in my life on a dirt track," he said. "The Adventure still felt absolutely stable, even with the panniers on the back. The bigger screen, combined with the big, wide tank, provides superb protection from windblast. I had a great fun playing in the dunes near the Gamkab River. Despite its apparent bulk, the new 1200 is a lot more manageable and forgiving than the predecessor model."

After another few hundred kilometres of dirt tracks, the group joined the main highway along the Orange River that marks the border between Namibia and South Africa. Tarmac reappeared and the trip had come to an end. "The journey has been spectacular," said Paul Blezard. "Both the bike and the trip surpassed my expectations and my only regret is that it didn't last longer."
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!