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Old 03-22-2011, 04:41 PM   #16
Shakeyhands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atreyou View Post
Grace begins day two with H&M leopard-print sunglasses as her only eye protection.

Dood! Thats what I wear!!!
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #17
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The fuel light went on about an hour outside of Iringa with nothing but baobab trees and dirt in sight. I thought we would reach Iringa on the tank from Dodoma but the steep, windy hills after New Mtera just used up too much fuel. Luckily, every small village has somebody in it with a few jerry cans of gas for sale. We are fortunate that there is a village around the bend and we fuel up with gas poured out of recycled cooking oil bottles, which is filtered through a small colander.

The crowd at the bar loves the big bike.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #18
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Nine hours and 700 or so kilometers later, we arrive in Iringa. We congratulate ourselves and wave grandiosely at passersby. Smug and heroic, we carry on to a nice lodge that was recommended to us.

We can't find it.

Night falls, and dehydration and hypoglycemia set in. It is so dark and I am completely destroyed. We try to ask for directions and people are either wasted or terrified - sometimes both.

We tuck tail and return to Iringa after adding an hour and a half of riding to the day. Then, on a brand new stretch of immaculate asphalt, smooth enough to ice skate on, we get a rear flat. We don't really know where to stay, GF heads out to ask for recommendations as I guard the bike by a new looking hotel. We don't want to stay anywhere that requires us to leave the bike on the street and it isn't looking good.

Then, the night manager at a hotel I am parked outside of suggests that I ride the bike up a ramp, through the front door, and into his lobby where I can park it.

Why the hell not.

In my own personal Led Zeppelin fantasy, I ride the beast up the ramp, through the front door, past two people checking in and park it by a small aquarium, under a picture of the President of Tanzania. People in the dining room are literally mouth agape, forks halfway towards their faces. That bike is pretty loud inside the small lobby of an all-concrete hotel.

It smells like exhaust. The goldfish is bouncing around. We shower, stuff our faces with chips and beef stew, admire the strange decor, and crash out on cheap synthetic blankets.

Awesome.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:08 PM   #19
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Whew! What a start to a tour. 660R's have 12v batteries BTW.
Ahhhh - that would explain it then! That little effer lasted until the end of the trip and I didn't have to boost it, ever, even on cold mornings.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:11 PM   #20
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Good to know the VRR fit too. Wires plugged it too, or not?
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DISCLAIMER: All observations made in this post are mine and based solely on my own anecdotal experiences, and may contain large doses of facetiousness. YMMV, of course. You are "on your own", and I take no responsibility if someone tries anything in this post and gets into trouble with the law, damages their person or property, or goes blind. Take everything you read or hear "anywhere" butt especially on the Web with a large dose of salt.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:11 PM   #21
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Good parking spot.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:13 PM   #22
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Haha
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #23
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Good to know the VRR fit too. Wires plugged it too, or not?
My buddy Per was able to hook it right up - all the wires matched!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #24
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Mmm..unwashed synthetic blankets!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #25
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My buddy Per was able to hook it right up - all the wires matched!
Excellent addition to the HOW
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DISCLAIMER: All observations made in this post are mine and based solely on my own anecdotal experiences, and may contain large doses of facetiousness. YMMV, of course. You are "on your own", and I take no responsibility if someone tries anything in this post and gets into trouble with the law, damages their person or property, or goes blind. Take everything you read or hear "anywhere" butt especially on the Web with a large dose of salt.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:51 PM   #26
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Back in Arusha and time to complete the story. Following morning we get up and pull the shank out of the rear tire.

I learn that the Dale Cooper Bead Breaker is a complete piece of crap. Hoping to save weight, I spent $130 or so on this thing from ktmtwins.com and brought it along instead of the heavy c-clamp I had been practicing with. I set it up according to the instructions, and, careful not to give it a huge heave, simply pulled it in a bit with slow pressure - and watched it bend like the cheap piece of junk that it is. The only thing it is good for is tapping out my front axle (I use one of the extension pieces). We walk to a local hardware store, spend $4.50 on a cheap c-clamp and get the rear tire off without a hitch.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:53 PM   #27
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Victory is ours!
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:02 PM   #28
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But not for long.

In my zeal to get going (we had to meet our driver to go into Ruaha National Park in a few hours) I forced the tire on and broke the bead without realizing it. We ride 500 meters all kitted up only to feel a horrid wobble, be shaken by a massive bang, and pull over cursing the gods.

GF keeps an eye on the tools and the bike as I head off to have someone with a level head put the rear tire on. In flip flops and levers fashioned from rebar, the 17-year old in the pink shirt to my left makes short work of the tire install. In his words: "you are very lucky you brought a spare tire".

We hit the road and I brake the land speed record to Tungamalenga in what was one of the most epic dirt cruises of my life. Buff road with slightly indented, wide tire tracks, great dirt. Grace naps in the back as the beast roars and feels planted as can be at 100-120kph. We feel like champions again. Ahhh...the emotional rollercoaster of adventure touring....
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:04 PM   #29
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Ruaha National Park is one of the best-kept secrets in Tanzania, and Jongomero Camp was worth the splurge 100 times over.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:05 PM   #30
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Evening light out here has no comparison.
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