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Old 06-22-2010, 08:47 PM   #361
bondiboy
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Increadible!!

Best ride report that I have read for a long time. Next time - take me!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #362
CTDan
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cudos to you

I am enviouse! What a great trip.
I have never made a trip to remote areas like that, so naturally I have a lot of questions. Would you please answer a few of them ?

1) how long were you gone (total length of the trip)?
2) what was the total distance you covered?
3) what was the longest distance between fuel oportunities?
4) was the 800's small fuel tank an issue?
5) was the extra fuel you carried used more on one bike than the other?

Thanks for the great RR. It's adventures like yours that I can only dream of having the time and resources to do. I guess I'll have to live vicariosly!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:35 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATERTIMEDAN
I am enviouse! What a great trip.
I have never made a trip to remote areas like that, so naturally I have a lot of questions. Would you please answer a few of them ?

1) how long were you gone (total length of the trip)?
2) what was the total distance you covered?
3) what was the longest distance between fuel oportunities?
4) was the 800's small fuel tank an issue?
5) was the extra fuel you carried used more on one bike than the other?

Thanks for the great RR. It's adventures like yours that I can only dream of having the time and resources to do. I guess I'll have to live vicariosly!

The trip was about two weeks, I guess 4000km. The furthest fuel distance was 426km. Small fuel tanks are often an issue on our trips, but the X-Challenge now has a tank range of 550km, so the 800 only carried fuel for itself. On this trip we often carried more fuel than was necessary because we had little info beforehand.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:03 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdude999
Metaljockey,
As always, an inspiring trip. I do have one question for you. Was there any time during your "ride a few meters, tip over, pick it up, ride a few more meters, tip over, pick it up" section that you thought it would be nice to be on a 250 right about then?
No, not really, was kinda busy. Anyway, a 250 would not have carried me and my load of spares and tools.



Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter
metaljockey, I've got to ask: every time I read about going to Africa, I come across all sorts of warnings about weird diseases and parasites that lurk in the bush ("don't go into the rivers or..." or "if this insect bites your extremities will turn blue and fall off..."). Not to mention ebola, etc....

You guys didn't seem too concerned about any of that, do you take any special precautions to avoid this type of thing?

Sorry for the dumb question from the North American city boy, but just curious...
No, I've never held back in where I go, what I eat or drink or what I swim in, and all I have ever picked up is a couple of cases of tick bite fever and bilharzia. You get a problem, you treat it, it's over, no different to anywhere else really.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thealaskan
[COLOR=wheat]
[edit] ps: small question, but as a photographer, I am curious what camera(s) you brought along ? They seemed to hold up pretty well.
Hennie had a Panasonic DMC-TZ11 and I had a Nikon coolpix S4.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:52 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaljockey
No, not really, was kinda busy. Anyway, a 250 would not have carried me and my load of spares and tools.
I've had kind of this same thought a few times and I guess I'll ask. 4000km is well within the service interval on plenty of dual sports on the dirt end of the spectrum, like a KTM 525/530 or DR-Z400 or XR400 or 650R. Not as much fun on the pavement burn, but presumably much less work on some of the tougher bits.

They wouldn't gracefully carry the same amount of kit you had along, but the different bike and different pace might enable different requirements. Some of the places that were undoubtedly very challenging on the big bikes, would be much easier on a small bike... so a different pace would require a different (lesser) level of spares/ tools/ food/ whatever.

I'm sure you've considered a lighter smaller bike, I'd be interested for your reasoning on not choosing a 525 with a 6.6 gallon tank, for example.

Once again, an awesome report, and at the end of the day, motorcycling is no more about motorcycles than tennis is about racquets. Necessary, but not the main thing. Thanks for capturing that and sharing it and I'm sorry to derail the conversation even a bit from the journey.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:42 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Lucky:)
Did you pay the other helpers as well or were they mostly just good samaritans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter
I think that MJ already said that the others didn't ask for any money, but they paid them something anyway because it was the decent thing to do.
So, are we talking about American dollars, or local currency? I'd like to know what to have handy in this situation.

Thanks,
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:07 AM   #367
MapMaster
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Noticed the Awe. Some. link up top three hours ago.
Now I'm going, "Aw, I want some more." But I'll get some sleep before I start checking out the Angola RR.

Thanks for the great account of a fantastic trip.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #368
markbvt
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Unbelievable. Thanks for an awesome read. Makes me feel more than a little inadequate though!

--mark
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:51 PM   #369
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I just started reading around page 17. Did something exciting happen here? Somebody got a new bike or something?
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #370
mr. matteeanne
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I am saddened that I no longer possess what it takes to do this. I am humbled.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:37 PM   #371
arkridergc
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You guys are tough Hombres!

MJ,
Wow! 15 pages of followers. Do you ever get the impression you're under the microscope? Brother I've got to say that you seem to peg the meter on riding hard crap. I sure hope your mate Hennie enjoys it as much as you do 'cause if he doesn't, he's got to feel like he's just survived Hell!
Seriously though, everything about Africa seems so much more rugged than here. Lions, Elephants, Hippos, Crocs, Snakes, Flies and wet feet for days (I truly hate wet feet). Water crossings where I can't see the bottom give me ...concern and we don't have to worry about Hippos and Crocs. You truly must love it. Good for you and keep bringing Africa to us North Americans. Your RR's never fail to be edifying and I look forward to many more to come.
Glad to see your are finding all the weak points on the X. I find that bike and the 800 tickling my fancy.
I was also glad to read that Peanut is riding her own bike now. You must be proud. Take care and God bless.
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arkridergc screwed with this post 06-29-2010 at 08:47 AM
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:57 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky:)
Originally Posted by Lucky:)
So, are we talking about American dollars, or local currency? I'd like to know what to have handy in this situation.
Thanks,
So MJ....... how many Quacha were you carrying??
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:40 AM   #373
metaljockey OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
I've had kind of this same thought a few times and I guess I'll ask. 4000km is well within the service interval on plenty of dual sports on the dirt end of the spectrum, like a KTM 525/530 or DR-Z400 or XR400 or 650R. Not as much fun on the pavement burn, but presumably much less work on some of the tougher bits.

They wouldn't gracefully carry the same amount of kit you had along, but the different bike and different pace might enable different requirements. Some of the places that were undoubtedly very challenging on the big bikes, would be much easier on a small bike... so a different pace would require a different (lesser) level of spares/ tools/ food/ whatever.

I'm sure you've considered a lighter smaller bike, I'd be interested for your reasoning on not choosing a 525 with a 6.6 gallon tank, for example.

Once again, an awesome report, and at the end of the day, motorcycling is no more about motorcycles than tennis is about racquets. Necessary, but not the main thing. Thanks for capturing that and sharing it and I'm sorry to derail the conversation even a bit from the journey.

On this trip, almost any bike would do, as long as it can carry the weight that it needs to. You have to keep in mind that our trip starts 3000km away from home and spares backup. So, if you want to make sure that you get to complete the trip, you carry quite a bit of tools and some spares. This is on top of your camping equipment, food and water. The DRZ is a bit lightweight for this kind of thing.

Speaking for myself, I chose the XC because of the engine (reliable Rotax) and the weight (144kg dry). With the Touratech tank my fuel capacity is 25l (6.6gal) and that is good for 550km (340 miles).

When looking at those specs there is not many other 650's that can compete.

Reliability and fuel range are the most important aspects. On this trip for instance, we could only bargain on finding a proper gas station twice in the two week period. For the rest we were dependant on black market sellers, and it is impossible to know up front where you will get them, especially as it was our first trip through this country.

Riding this far away from medical and other backup, one tends to also ride a lot more conservatively, so the peaky delivery of the 525EXC and XR squad is not really helpful. Also, I expect that they will also have weak subframe issues.

The one other consideration is that we invariably also cover some distance on fast open stretches, here we spent the last 1400km slabbing it. None of the other bikes you mentioned can sustain a 140km/h 9hr day.

From Hennie's point of view, he has one bike that he uses as his main transport, and that same bike must be able to also complete the annual off road trip. The 800GS fits the bill.

But in the final analisys, I agree with you Ned, any bike would do, I would have had no problem completing this trip on the 1200 GS if that was all that was available, likewise the DRZ.
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:48 AM   #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky:)
Originally Posted by Lucky:)
Did you pay the other helpers as well or were they mostly just good samaritans?



So, are we talking about American dollars, or local currency? I'd like to know what to have handy in this situation.

Thanks,
We carried Zambian Kwatsha, in the bigger sentra you can get dollars exchanged, but generally and certainly in the rural areas, Kwatsha is the way to go. You carry quite a bundle because of the weak exchange rate. Having a calculator handy also helps quite a bit.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:45 AM   #375
bawa
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- A great trip and a great report!
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