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Old 05-10-2009, 03:54 AM   #11
Tapeworm OP
Ride it like you stole it
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Tanzania, East Africa
Oddometer: 15
As per the usual bike inspection the next morning, we noticed Babu’s front sprocket was wearing out fast. With a small oil leak from the shaft seal, it seemed like the lubrication effect was not working, but it was creating a grinding paste with sand and dust, wearing it out quicker. So we went looking for some sprockets which could be modified onto the ktm if needed.

Some pics from Pemba

One of the few west facing beaches in East Africa

After scooting through town for a while with no luck, time was running out and we had to hit the road. Problem to be resolved at a later stage… On the way out, we popped in to say hi to one of Klavs’s mates. Turns out he had an old XR500 which is out of service. Luckily we found the engine with the sprocket still intact, taking it along for a spare.

We were invited to stay over and a BBQ that night, since the area we were heading for was buffalo and elephant country, but as usual, we knew better…

Gunning it out of Pemba, we thought we will make our destination with very little night riding… As it turned out we reached “wild country” just as the sun sets with about 100km to go, single track in tall grass – giving you about 5 meter visibility with the headlight…

We have done plenty of rides in Tanzania (where we live) in elephant, hippo and lion territory, but this was the first time that the hair on our necks were standing up… Getting stuck on trees that have been pushed over by elephant that same day and seeing flattened green grass where huge herds of buffalo just passed, got us a bit nervous to say the least. Also it’s not really advised to go off any track in this area due to the huge amount of landmines left over from the war. But for sure the worst case scenario would be to ride into a fresh lion kill, carrying no weapons, besides a leatherman and a pencil canister of pepper spray... As per the advice from fellow African rider Metaljockey – “use the leatherman to cut your own throat when they get you, there is no way out.”

Halfway through we got showered in cold rain as we were making our way up the escarpment, reaching our destination 3 hours into the night. Glad to be alive we celebrated with a warm beer enjoying the crowds of people around us for a change; even the hassling cop could not annoy us. Finding accommodation, we dried out some kit and had chocolate with whiskey for dinner.

Tapeworm screwed with this post 05-10-2009 at 11:52 AM
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