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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2010, 09:02:02 am »
Day 11: Lubango to Flamingo Lodge
Distance: 280 km



We have a leisurely start and ride up the mountain to the “Cristo Rei” (Jesus Christ Statue).  The statue is one of 3 in the world and is a replica of the one found in Rio de Janeiro. Wikipedia describes it as follows: Cristo-Rei (English: Christ the King) is a Catholic monument of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and inaugurated on 17 May 1959. At that time, Portugal was being ruled by the President of the Council António de Oliveira Salazar, and it was on his orders that the Cristo-Rei was built.  Jesus has taken a few shots here, which makes this one slightly unique in this trio. We found this choir up there, singing like only Africans can sing, especially for our entertainment.  We handed a few Bibles to them, their appreciation once again a unique experience.





View of the city from the mountain





Humpata is the next stop.  This is where most of the “Dorsland trekkers” settled in 1878 and the years that followed.  I can see why they settled here, it is a great farming area and the remains of their fields, orchards and buildings show that they were working hard and doing well here.  We visit the monument and some graves in the area.  I am fortunate to find some of my wife’s ancestors; my father in law was born in Angola as part of this outing.  What I can tell you, is to get here from Rustenburg with an ox wagon is not for girls…..   Imagine if those people had motorbikes…..  















We were back on the tar, direction Namibe.  Leba pass is next touristy thing to do around here, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The Yamaha’s front wheel still did not want to hold air (tubeless tyre leaking on the bead) – even after the panel beating in Lubango, so we quickly put in an 18” tube.  Problem solved.  Some of the bikes got “tested” a little more than the others, great fun coming down here.  You drop about 1km in altitude in 10 km of road winding its way down the mountain.  The ride is calmed by trucks with big blocks of granite on the back.  There are also some of these blocks lying on the side of the road, evidence of truck brakes failing here.  Must be a hairy experience….  We stop for lunch at the market at the foot of the pass.  The Portuguese rolls and bananas work well and hit the spot.



New Mitas E10 - very soft compound.  [EDIT:  I have since been lead to believe that the new shipment will have a harder compound.]



And if the tyre looks like that, the crash bars look like this.....







From here, the mango trees rapidly disappear and the landscape gradually dries.  Within an hour we are in the desert.  I can start feeling the air cooling off, a sign that we are nearing the coast.  A dry river bed near Namibe shows some life again and we arrive at the garage just outside of the town.  We fill up here and Gert discovers that the rear sub frame of the HP2 has broken on both sides.  We need a welding machine.  Bit of a tall order, but doable I think to myself.  We look on the GPS for a place that might have a machine under Points of Interest and a few possibilities come up.  We did not need to look on the GPS, just on the side of the road there is a guy busy welding the garage’s sign!  Wow!  We approach him, he is from Portugal, speaks English and is out here doing contract work for a while.  He does not have a welding helmet, his power connection is dodgy, but he welds the frame together in a flash and we are ready to go again once Gert as re-assembled his frame and extra fuel tank under the seat.  Gert offers the welder a six pack of beers and a Biker Bible.  He declines the beers and takes the Bible.  Go figure…..















Once all filled up, we go for a coffee on the beachfront to celebrate our arrival.  







Then off towards Flamingo lodge.  The road towards Tombua is also brand new and smooth tar.  Although the tar riding offered a good rest it was now becoming a bit boring.  I was quite happy when we saw the turn-off to Flamingo which took us back to the good stuff.  All the riders had a sudden wake-up and we could focus on the riding again for a change.  We gave our best and found the beach and the lodge just when the sun dipped into the ocean.  Great views and a bunch of happy campers arrived at Flamingo Lodge.  











A great place to stay over.  Owned by Rico Sako, an ex South African who came to settle here in 1992 when he realized how good the fishing was.  We had a shower, a great fish dinner (some of the best I have ever had) and slept in beds in bungalows.  We were in 5 star luxury and slept like babies.



« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 09:40:01 pm by SGB »
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2010, 09:11:39 am »
Day 12: Flamingo Lodge
Distance: 0 km

Today is a rest day.  We gave the bikes, our clothes and ourselves some TLC, changed / cleaned air filters and just some general looking over.  No serious issues found.

















Bakkes updating his notes.



We spent the day doing as little as possible, just parking off and relaxing.  Bernard and his wife are from Stellenbosch and they look after the lodge for Rico.  They do a great job looking after us as well.  We take a Landcruiser drive to one of the impressive sand canyons.  We find a jackal here, running up the canyon towards the dead end.  He realizes his mistake and come running back right past us at full taps.  The farmers are looking for ammunition.







Every day, Bernard counts the number of people sleeping over and disappears with his spear gun to go and find dinner.  He soon returns with this.  And dinner is a feast once again.  The Angolan chef must keep a low profile, he will be kidnapped and taken to Johannesburg in a flash if they find him out.



Sharing the lodge with us is this crew from Mpumalanga.  That Sprinter sports Landcruiser diffs, engine and gearbox.  It is a self-built machine.  There is also a heavy self-built trailer towed behind the 100 series Landcruiser, over loaded with spares for the Sprinter.  They entertain us for the evening with stories about all the repairs to the equipment they have been doing to get here.  We wish them a pleasant journey and I am so happy that we only have 7 fairly standard bikes to get through the desert.





Another shower and comfortable bed – we are spoilt rotten.  

The rest day was not really planned, it happened because Rico advised us to stay for another night.  The sea was rough and he said that the doodsakker would be too dangerous to do. The next day would still not be safe, but better.  I thought that he was just doing some good marketing for his lodge, we had our timing spot on and the full moon proved our impeccable planning.  Being our flexible selves, we did not mind the rest day, so we stayed.  This would prove a wise thing to do later…..
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 05:16:16 pm by SGB »
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2010, 09:27:27 am »
Day 13: Flamingo Lodge to Dunes
Distance: 146 km



We are happy to be back in our gear head back to the tar road towards Tombua.  Fill up fuel from the cans that the lodge staff filled in Namibe for us yesterday - turns out htere was a bit of a mix-up.  The bikes don't work on diesel and we have to do some sucking to sort this out.



The track was the same one that brought us here, and it took some a few minutes to get back into the rhythm of sand riding…..  I lost a back tube 5 km from the lodge, rim rotated in the wheel.  I should have checked the pressure before we left, it was too flat as we left early in the morning and the tyres were cold.  Too late for tears, a new tube was installed and we were off.  Inflated all the tyres a bit when we got to the tar.  We turned off again at Lake Arcos – a lake in the middle of the desert.  Hard to believe that all this water is just standing here, and has been for some years.  Look at the sand arches – quite impressive….

















From here we rode to just outside Tombua and avoided the town by turning left just before.  





This saved some time and we headed for the Vanessa Seafood wreck.  We were back in proper sand now, and we could hear that the bikes were converting fuel to horsepower to the very best of their ability.  We gave our best – there are some nice jumps in the sand, but they command confident riding….  It is amazing how the wreck has disappeared into the sand since Metaljockey and friends came past here.

It is that way....









Pulling off - only one way, hook up second gear, drop the clutch and give your best....





Low tide was about 9:00 in the morning, so the mission for today is to get close enough to the doodsakker to be in there by 8:00 the next morning.  We headed south and enjoyed the ride immensely.  The rollercoaster dunes are a hoot to ride and I had a big smile on my face all the way.  Although I must say that the dunes are full of little catches.  Theo and I crossed an unexpected “double” side-by-side, and Jan who was just behind us thought that now is the time to call the evacuation helicopter for a full load back to SA.  A deep breath later it was all over. To our own amazement, we were all still on the wheels and managed to keep it that way.  Well most of us….  We arrived at the start area of the Doodsakker and after a bit of scouting inland, we found a nice camp site.











A little bit about the “Doodsakker” (Death acre).  This piece of beach, about 40km of it, has the ocean on one side and the desert on the other.  The foot of the dune is right at the high water line, and during low tide a piece of beach is exposed where you can ride.  It is only wide enough to pass during spring tide at full moon, provided the sea is calm enough.  We could plan the full moon part.  We could not plan the weather, and it was bad.  When Rico said we should relax at the lodge for an extra day, he was right.  The previous day, the sea took a Landcruiser.  It means that one wave breaks too high, and the vehicle stops at the wrong time and the wave washing back runs under the wheels planting the vehicle on it’s chassis.  At this point the best you can do is grab your passport and run.  A few waves later the vehicle is upside down and by the next day only the wheels are visible above the sand.  This convoy of 3 vehicles, all Landcruisers, lost one to the ocean, burnt the clutch on another and the last one managed to get out.  The lesson is: Listen to Rico!!!.  We did not think twice to bring him along as a guide and advisor.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 09:31:49 am by SGB »
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Offline Berm_Rooster

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2010, 09:40:12 am »
Wow, every time I read about the doodsakker in a WD report, I become more and more intrigued. I think it will be on my bucketlist.

Flipping nice report! :thumleft:
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2010, 09:45:10 am »
Day 14: Dunes to Eshpinhierra
Distance: 211 km



Today is the big day – the second main reason for our expedition.  Rico is not too happy.  Because of his advice there were now a few “delayed” travellers.  Our group and another 7 vehicles.  So including Rico’s car, there were 10 vehicles and 7 bikes to pass through this morning.  We were up early, ready to roll by 7:30.  Fuel tanks full.  Moved some mass off the fuel carrying Cruiser and shared some load between Rico’s car and Wayne’s bakkie.  We did not want to loose our fuel….  Tyre pressures checked and off we went.
The bikes took the lead and it feels like we are the first ever to ride there.  Not a sign of a previous track.  The beach starts off fairly wide and we are able to stop for pictures.  We find the Engel fridge off the drowned Landcruiser on the high water line.  Then we hit the real thing.  It is supposed to be low tide, but the water runs right up to the dune. We have to time it right with the bikes to keep out of the water.  No way of stopping for a picture, and a wave breaks on some of the bikes now and again.  Imagine stopping and the water washes under the bike – one wave and you are on the bash plate.  No way to get the bike moving again.  Problems….  So not one of us even entertained the thought of stopping to take a picture of that Cruiser.  Or to pick up a packet of marshmallows or a kitchen spoon.  Eyes on the front and keep going.  That’s it.  The bikes worked hard.  The sand is not the same everywhere, it is nice and hard in place, and suddenly goes soft and you have to gear back and really gas it to keep going.  Man and machine are tested….  We all get through and stop where the dunes flatten and the terrain opens up.  The vehicles take some time to catch up, they also all made it.  Some hairy moments when waves broke over bonnets, etc are described in detail.  Bakkes is somewhere between shock and depression, he wanted to get out, but Kalie would not stop.  What counts is that we are all here and things are looking up.  This experience is only a paragraph of the story, but weighs a ton in value.  We are happy for Rico and his merry men and wave them good bye.  They are staying to go back during the next low tide and assist those poor families with the lost car and burnt clutch.  

This was my GPS's opinion....



Fueling up















We continue our journey towards Foz do Cunene, where the Cunene river meets the sea.  We do a mixture of beach riding and on the little road just above the beach.  The surface varies between soft sand, rocks (smaller and bigger) and solid granite.  Good fun, but still hard on machinery. We stop to re-group just short of the river mouth, and have some biscuits and cheese courtesy of Bakkes.  He must be happy that the ocean did not swallow us…..  Gert has a flat tyre which we plug and pump and we are off to Foz.  





We report at the police station and they take our details.  That same policeman that Nardus was arm wrestling is still in the area.  I ask him about that visit, and he immediately wants to know where his pictures were.  He is disappointed when I tell him I had none – should have printed some…..  Who would ever have thought that they would still be here.  I give him a Bible in stead and tell him – next time.  So whoever goes there next, take some prints along!  We spend a bit of time at the old pump station too, must have been quite impressive in it’s day.  Where did the power come from?  Generators?  Bringing the diesel must have been an adventure too!













The mouth is back there.



We continue direction Ruacana.  It is only 14:00 and we agree that we will ride till sunset and see how far we get before we pitch camp for the night.  That spot MJ named “Middle of Fu*^ng Nowhere” is still there and we stop for a picture.  





Gert’s HP2 runs into trouble.  He has been fiddling with a sticky throttle cable, he would open up and on closing it keeps running flat-out.  Can get hairy like this….  Closer inspection reveals a broken cable, it wore through in the 90 degree bend right next to the throttle.  Bugger…  This is not something we can fix properly here, and we load the bike.  Gert now keeps Wayne company.

We continue and slowly we start seeing signs of life again.  We encounter game – Gemsbok, Springbok, Ostrich.  



The road changes from sand to pebbles to rocks.  I hit one at speed and cut my front tube, which I quickly change.  



This Ford got stuck here....



The scenery is great, lots of Welwitschias.  We carry on and reach the ghost town called Eshpinhierra.  



Looks like it could have been a rest camp in the game park some years ago.  There are some trees and wood here, and we decide to call it a day.  We have made good progress.  The evening is a pleasant one once again and some more campfire wisdom is shared by those who don’t retire early.
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Offline JACOVV

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2010, 09:50:10 am »
Kan nie wag vir die res nie!!

 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:
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Offline Leo

Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2010, 09:52:17 am »
Very nice report SGB.

I hope Yamaha is taking note of a few things here.  :thumleft:

It seems like we just missed you  :3some:
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2010, 09:56:08 am »
Day 15: Eshpinhierra to Kapanga River
Distance: 193 km



Not much to do this morning, we pack up, fuel up, pump up and get going.  The riding here is again one of the best days I have ever had.  





The terrain offers a twin track road with sand, rocks, hard pack dirt, river crossings, sudden drop-offs, ups and downs, jumps – just about everything except serious mud.  We are kept awake and absorb every minute.  The vegetation gets denser, and life returns.  





We enter Ovahimba territory.  The vehicles progress quite a bit slower than the bikes.  But we have no problem with the wait, it is the only time we can sit under a tree and talk about important stuff to chew on whilst alone under a helmet for the next stretch.  The weather is nice and warm and we work up some sweat under those jackets.  Did I say it was a great day’s riding?  Again the experience weighs a lot more than the report.  Nowhere in SA have I encountered so much of this kind of riding.  20 or 30 km, yes – but 200!  We come to Iona, a village with only a police station and we negotiate easy passage for our group, no issues.  

This guy stuck with me all the way....











A few km’s later, Martin’s SE does not want to pull off.  Motor dies as soon as to let go the clutch.  Yes, the side stand switch is the problem.  Closer inspection reveals the switch still in tact but the little plastic bracket with the magnet on the side stand itself is missing.  It probably got hit by a rock or something.  Anyway, we look for a magnet.  Wayne has one of those little LED lights that you stick to metal with a magnet and we remove it.  Duck tape it to the side stand switch and off we go without any modifications.



We make good progress riding on square marbles and at about 5 another disaster strikes.  Theo’s bike starts making funny noises after a fast landing and we suspect the gearbox.  Another bike for the Cruiser. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it.  Frustrating but fact. It is a good spot to camp under the trees, there is good fire wood and we decide to stay.  Jan, Theo and I make a fire so long.  Martin joins us when he gets back, he was in front when Theo’s bike broke and carried on a few km’s.  The rest arrive and we set up camp for the last time in Angola.  We are now within easy reach from the Ruacana border, and should easily make it if there are no serious challenges tomorrow.  








    
At our camp site we see the first vehicle since we left Rico at the doodsakker.  The Angolans stop and we communicate.  We tell them what we are about, and they welcome us to their territory.  They give us part of their melon harvest. We offer some cash, which they decline.  Amazing….  Not very Africa-like….
They depart after admiring the bikes and asking lots of questions – I want one, is the main man’s parting words.



We have a relaxed evening and restful sleep.
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2010, 10:07:27 am »
Day 16: Kapanga River to Eenhana
Distance: 454 km



Loaded up



Last morning in Angola



We are off fairly early, and head out further towards the border.  The river crossings have some water here and there and we see some more Himba people.  They are a peaceful and friendly bunch.  Someone even taught them how to ride those Chinese bikes!  I think horses are returning to the good life…..
The riding is much like the previous day and we just enjoy.  We find lots of Baobab trees in one area and stop for some pictures.  Here we are visited by a Himba family.  This one guy brings along his whole family and that stare at us and the bikes – it must be like TV to them.  We take some pics and move along.  They run for the trees when the first bike starts up. 









Gert's ride



Good fun stays with us and we have a little moment here and there....





The TKC and Mitas were together all the way





All too soon we are at the Ruacana dam and fill up fuel on the wall.   



We head for the border post and go through the process.  Takes some time, more so on the Namibia side when an official decides to search our back packs.  Looking for diamonds he tells me.  We are asked to enter a little room one by one, and unpack everything in our back packs.  We find some energy bars and stuff that we did not know we had.  Good thing….  At the border, Martin leaves for Otjiwarongo, and Kalie and Bakkes head South for the Cape.  All our stuff goes on Wayne’s Cruiser and we head for Rundu.  We say goodbye to Kalie, Bakkes and Martin and head out.  It feels like the trip is over, but we are still quite far from home. 
We head for the Garage at Ruacana where we find a hose and wash the sea sand and salt off the bikes.  Feels better now. 



It is tar again to Oshakati and Ondangwa, and we make it to Eenhana where we find a spot to overnight.  They only have one room, which is OK.  Some shopping at the local store brings us dinner.  Eenhana does not have fuel, which is a bit of a problem. 
The next fuel station is 100 km down the road, and if they are also out, we are stuck.  No option.





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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2010, 10:13:52 am »
Day 17: Eenhana to Rundu
Distance: 376 km



We head off early and make for Okongo on a wide open gravel road.  Jan sets a brisk pace on the Yamaha and we have a good ride.  We are in luck at Okongo and things are looking up again! 





We now have fuel to make Rundu and now that Yamaha runs like a horse smelling it’s stable.  We have a last bit of good cable stretching fun until we hit our last stretch of tar, about 95 km to Rundu.



We arrive without incident and find our vehicles under a thick layer of dust.  Reality hits – it has been 2 weeks! 



The trailer has a flat tyre and we have it fixed at the local tyre shop.  Loading the bikes and getting all the luggage sorted does not take long and we are on our way.  We can still make the Botswana border with ease.



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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2010, 10:16:35 am »
Day 17-19: Rundu to Bloemfontein
Distance: About 2000 km
The second part of the day is spent in the bakkie with Jan, Theo and me sharing stories and reflections.  We make good progress through the border and stop to overnight at Drotsky’s cabins.  Frik and Wayne also sleep here and we have a good dinner together.  



Gert and Francois headed for Kasane, they had to meet family there.  The next day we spend driving, and that’s all we do.  We see Leo and friends along the way and some other bikers at Kang.  We get to Pretoria in the evening.  Jan and Theo head home and I sleep over at my friend Piet’s place.  On the road to Bloem early next morning and get home at about 9.  It has been a wonderful adventure, but I am also glad to be home!
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 11:17:15 am by SGB »
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Offline Lourens ツ

Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2010, 10:38:00 am »
Wow! Awesome RR!   :thumleft:  What an experience!
Lourens de Lange
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2010, 10:44:55 am »
Final reflections:

About Angola:
Fuel price: 40 Kwanza / l.  At R 7.50 / US$ that is R 3.00.  I can live with that!

Documents needed at the border:
-   Passport with Visa
-   Letter of invitation.  It helps if you have the route you want to travel as well, easier to explain your mission.  It also helps if the whole group’s full names and passport no’s are on the letter, then a copy can be left with police or whoever and he does not need to write it all down
-   Vehicle registration papers.
-   Police clearance for vehicle
-   Drivers licence
-   Proof of vehicle insurance in Angola
-   Yellow fever card (We were never asked for it)
-   Money, they change US$ to Kwanza at the border.  No “formal” facilities, we found a guy who gave us 100 Kwanzas / US$.  I am not sure if this is good or bad, but we survived.
-   Some copies of all documents to leave with police.  Passport, Visa, Drivers Licence, Vehicle papers.  We only needed once, but good to have in case.

Other useful things to arrange:
-   Medical evacuation.  Get out of there ASAP if you need serious medical attention.

Police, etc:  We were treated well by all police and officials.  But they do waste a lot of time.  The secret is to have more time than them, never raise your voice, they do not understand words very well but are better than us at seeing the heart.
We tried to limit stops in town.  The bikes draw a lot of attention and the police WILL stop you and take you to a station and follow a time consuming process before you can go again.  We re-grouped before towns and rode through.  By the time they realize what is happening, you are gone.

My photos are very incomplete.  For example, we did not stop in the towns and at markets, etc.  The vehicles did and they captured a lot more of those moments.  The picture distriution process is still running and I look forward to see the others' photos.

About the team:

We were a bunch of very different individuals, but the group gelled really well.  Nobody ever made life difficult for the rest and things were running really smooth on that front.
Here they are: (Photos by Kalie)
Jan du Toit.  A humble man who does not like things too structured. Don’t expect a plan.  But expect to form an understanding of adventure.



Martin Diekmann.  The highly respected, unsympathetic doctor from Windhoek.  Expect a good ride!



Theo Smit.  Farmer from Wakkerstroom.  The man who gave Jan a ride on a 950 SE, and we all know what happens when you ride it once.  Theo is in my team any day.


  
Gert Becker.  Engineer who understands how things work.  Good to have around.  Does not talk much, does not take undue risk.  Brings sense to the team and is an essential part for balance.



Francois vd Westhuizen.  Orthopaedic Surgeon.  This is his holiday.  Always smiles, never complains.  Pleasure to have.



Frik Steynberg.  Another Engineer.  His first trip of this nature, and came with a teachable spirit.  Well done mate!  He needs a wife, seriously…..  Any young immature blonds out there – R 50k is yours!  Contact me, not Frik!



Stefan Boshoff.  I thought I was going to find closure in Angola.  But I found the urge to go back.  Thanks!



Johan Bakkes.  Accounting professor, looks the part too.  Interpid traveller who is running away from something he cannot beat and chasing something he cannot catch.  With lots of rum, cigarettes and other medication to ensure a good life.  Well read and well travelled - he tells a good story.



Kalie Kirsten.  Cape farmer.  Practical and calculated, brings structure and organization.  With him around there will be fuel, water and food!



Wayne.  The other Landcruiser driver.  Solid, reliable and a man of his word.  You don’t have to look for Wayne, he is there, right behind us.  Always.



About the bikes:
We had the following bikes along:
Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere:
Very competent machine.  It is big and heavy, but the suspension is very good and it handles the terrain extremely well.  I think we exposed all it’s weak spots by taking it into terrain where few riders will ever take it, and I doubt that anybody will do it at the speeds we saw.  The issues we exposed were more due to hard “testing” than intelligent “ride to preserve” technique.  There was none of that.  
Nothing ever rattled loose.  We did not loose any bolts.  The only thing we had to check often was the spoke tension. They tended to loosen themselves.  We were unsure if they were properly tensioned to start with.
The fan issue needs attention.  It has a 20A fuse on the fan circuit, so the motor burns before the fuse.  A smaller fuse to protect the motor should be considered.  
Foot pegs – those Aluminium ones should go and be replaced with something proper.  Really, this is a problem.
Bash plate – why they attach the bash plate to the sump I cannot work out.  BMW had patent rights on that.  Someone will make a plan, but this needs to change urgently.
Having said that, I don’t think that the design brief included anything remotely close to the conditions the bike saw.
Would I buy it, yes!

BMW HP2:
Both the HP’s had very upgraded suspension.  The standard front end and rear bladder proved unsuitable for trips like this on previous expeditions.  The WP and Ohlins rear shocks these bikes had fitted worked well.  They also had re-valved and tuned front forks.  The tail pieces rattled loose.  Maybe a smaller number plate would have helped.  Gert’s sub frame broke, maybe they were loaded too heavy at the back.  Keep loads on any sub frame light!  The throttle cable was unfortunate.   Simple thing, but not that simple to fix next to the road.

KTM 950 SE:
We had 3 of them along.  The one fuel pump needed a bit of work, and then some small things we were able to fix.  Tail pieces had to be tightened up. A bolt fell out here and there, all easy to fix.   Theo’s gearbox was unfortunate, will have to wait and see what exactly happened.  Will report when we know.  Best suspension for the terrain, but maybe lacks some of the comfort features.  Hooligan tool.

KTM 990 Adv S:
The best bike for the trip.  Why?  Because it’s mine!....  The fuel filters were kind of expected, I should have replaced before the trip, and I would have if we did not have back-up.  But I decided to test it, and I had to do the job next to the road.  Otherwise, one or 2 bolts had to tightened up, nothing serious.  It tracks straight, the suspension works amazingly well and it pulls like a horse.  Cannot fault it.

Equipment:

Essential tools needed on your body, in addition to the bike's std toolkits:
- Leatherman
- Torx keys (They fit Allan cap screws too - not vice versa)
- Pratley steel puttty
- Packet with a selection of bolts and nuts (Not many)

Equipment that impressed:
- My Troy Lee helmet.  I was undecided if I should rather take my Arai TourX.  The off-road helmet worked well for the conditions.  Very comfortable to wear all day, and used ear plugs for the noise on the tar sections

- Yamaha adventure Suit.  Great quality, slides well on tar and handles the conditions.  Nice kit

- Gaerne SG10 boots. The best protection and comfort.  I never felt that my feet were taking strain, although we were standing up on the pegs for most of the day on most of the days.

- Camelbak backpack.  Essential.

This was my first trip with backup vehicles to the luxurious extent we had it.  There are various pro's and con's to this idea, but with 7 bikes and the fuel challenges, there is no way to the trip otherwise.  Riding an unloaed bike made the terrain very enjoyable and we could really enjoy the bikes.  With luggage, a lot more care is needed to keep things together.  I think the answer is flexibility.  We all fitted in and worked within the practical constraints and benefits and it was great.

Like I said right in the beginning:  this is my story in telegram style, with no fiction added to make a good story.  I am no writer, and I am in the company of famous authors here.  You will see their stories in verious publications as time goes...  I hope this has given you a little insight of what we did and where we went, and especially the amazing experiences we had along the way.  Thank you for taking the time to read.  Till next time – Hou die rubber onder!
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Offline Adventurer

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2010, 11:09:10 am »
Great trip and story, SGB.
Good to see you met up with Aitor and Laura, the Spanish couple on bicycles, we met them in Fish River Canyon in March....fantastic couple doing the trip of a lifetime.
Interesting to see what broke on the Yammie, but given the terrain and how it was ridden, I doubt any 'mere mortal' would suffer similar breakages. What will be interesting to see is how Yamaha addresses these issues, but given past history on the smaller Tenere minor issues I'm sure Yamaha will take note and correct these issues ASAP. Good to see it survived such a 'testing' trip....
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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2010, 11:21:47 am »
Awesome trip very inspiring  :thumleft:
Thanks for sharing
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Offline oo7

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2010, 01:03:47 pm »
Police, etc:  We were treated well by all police and officials.  But they do waste a lot of time.  The secret is to have more time than them, never raise your voice, they do not understand words very well but are better than us at seeing the heart.
Very good advice!! And nicely put.

The issues we exposed were more due to hard “testing” than intelligent “ride to preserve” technique.  There was none of that.
Knowing you I would not have expected anything less   :biggrin:


This was my first trip with backup vehicles to the luxurious extent we had it.  There are various pro's and con's to this idea, but with 7 bikes and the fuel challenges, there is no way to the trip otherwise.  
Deep in your heart, if you had the choice (and all other things being equal) - what will you prefer: With or without backup?    ???


Thanks for sharing this amazing experience with us - I will read this again and again.


 

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2010, 01:14:52 pm »
Deep in your heart, if you had the choice (and all other things being equal) - what will you prefer: With or without backup?    ???

Thanks 007 and all the others for the nice comments!

About backup....  Let me sound like a consultant: "It depends...." 

First prize for a bike trip to do it on the bikes.  No doubt.  But on this expedition, we had 7 bikes and we did not have a good idea about fuel availability.  And Kalie and Bakkes offered to come along, so we had a vehicle.  If one vehicle comes, it is better to have 2, to manage the risk of a vehicle breaking down.  So, given the nature of this journey, the vehicles were the right thing to do from a risk management perspective, and they caused the riding to be so much better.   The riding would be a lot more "sensible" and the planning a lot more detailed if it was not for the cars.  And the bakkie people were nice guys, so we tolerated them....  >:D
www.countrytrax.co.za

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2010, 01:35:25 pm »
Great report as usual S... but sheesh - what a trip.  Really, REALLY inspiring stuff. :thumleft:
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Offline Gee S

Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2010, 01:36:57 pm »
What a trip. Awesome!
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Offline Oetie

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2010, 02:26:25 pm »
Awesome report, thanks for the effort in writing it. For you and your mates this must be a trip to remember for ever!!

Well done!
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