Originally Posted by metaljockey
Man, I gotta tell ya, it really feels good to read these replies. I am so happy to see that others understand and feel what I hope to convey.
I'd like to add some trivia for those who are interested.
ON THE BIKE
I've said what I wanted to say re the bashplate (add your own expletive here).
Seen on the whole the 1200 was'nt the tool for the job. It did the job, make no mistake, but if I had a choice, and with hind sight, I would've taken a Dakar, or even a DRZ if it could carry the fuel. Weight is weight, you can't change that. Twice I found myself in the position where I just could not pick the bike up one more time. I really hate to admit this but on these occasions we swopped bikes so I can rest on the Dakar and recover some strength.
That aside, I have great respect for the 1200. Except for the sump, the damage suffered by the 1200 during this whole trip was the little plastic connector between the handlebar and the hand protector. That's it. I must have dropped the bike anywhere between 20 and 50 times. Granted, most were in sand but I even now recall at least 5 times in rocky or rough terrain. As long as you protect your tappet covers, this bike is near indestructible. I had no body work damage at all.
And the rims!... bow down in worship. They defy the laws of nature. They seemingly cannot be bent by anyone or anything. I hit rocks at a rate of easily 5 - 10 a day, that would've severely deformed any other rim. Three times I hit rocks so hard that the bars were ripped out of my hands. No damage, no dent, only scoring of the metal where the rocks came into direct contact. I am of the opinion that 1200 rims cannot be bent. They will either be totally destroyed or will last forever. I have yet to hear of a single 1200 rim that got dented. I should actually start a thread about this to see if these things can really be this good.
As to the Pratley Steel repair job, I did another 20 000km before replacing the casings. Like I said, the best invention since the crank case.
A NOTE TO BALDY
Baldy, I need to get this off my chest, thank you . Thank you for this site, thank you for running it properly. I have received so much sustenance reading ride reports when I wasn't in the position to be riding myself. And I know I'm not alone in this. I'm pretty sure you're going to heaven man, you must have built up serious credits with the good that this site is doing.
WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT
You'll be surprised to hear that I have read this ride report several times. Every time it transports me right back to Kaokoland. I totally relive the whole thing, smells, heat, everything.
Some day I'll be old and frail; no let's not pussyfoot around, some day I'll be old and weak. But, lying in my bed, unable to ride, unable even to take a poop without assistence, I will only have to look at these pictures and I will relive it as if it is happening all over again.
It's my pension. Every trip is another deposit in my memory pension. I'm gonna have a wonderful old age. This trip report will be part of it.