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Old 11-08-2011, 06:34 AM   #211
Underboning OP
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Bike Stuffing Day Has Come and Gone

Bad news, everyone. Bike stuffing day has come and gone and our Symbas are still sitting forlornly in the parking lot at the hotel. Around 2:30 pm local time we received a message from a courier that the departure date for the ship has now been moved to the 21st of the month. Fuck. That is two weeks from now. I was stunned, to say the least, and we are both gutted by the prospect of being bikeless in India until the 13th of December. Fortunately we haven't yet bought tickets to India, so at least we avoided that problem. After staring blankly out the window for several minutes and silently cursing everyone involved, we fired off an e-mail to Emirates Air to find out more details on the quote they had given us. Basically our choice is to hang out in Tanzania until after the 21st, ship our bikes by sea, and hope that the ship actually goes this time or try to ship by air. (I guess we could also head to Kenya and try from there, but we have already wasted a week waiting in Dar). The real problem with changing our plan to shipping by air is that the sea agent has our Carnets, titles, and our 850 USD. Ugh, I hate this shit. We are awaiting a reply from Emirates and will see the sea agent tomorrow. Wish us luck. We just want to be riding, somewhere else than here.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:08 AM   #212
woodly1069
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DAMN MAN! That sucks! I often wonder what I would do in some of the situations you guys have been in! I TOTALLY understand wanting to see the world by bike but DAMN they make it hard! I still think if you could skirt the trouble in some countries it would be worth it to ride some place else and save the money for exploring. I do think you guys got it right by taking the little bikes though, can you imagine what you may be facing if you were on my pig of a GS? Now that should make you smile! Press on and continue to enjoy the ride! We are all living vicariously through the two of you!
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:09 AM   #213
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Damn, sorry it isn't working out so well for you guys. Hope everything comes together soon and shipping doesn't break the bank.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:16 AM   #214
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Thanks for your good wishes. The good news is that we just returned from the India High Commission with brand spankin' new 6 month visas in our passports! Bike stuffing is scheduled for Tuesday, so fingers crossed.
:) There you go. :) India is easy with visas. Reasonable and valid reason for no return tickets. I didn't know about the referees, I've not had to do that in South Africa...maybe they do it in East Africa because of the association with some terrorist activity. The consulates are very efficient with it but it takes longer now in USA and Europe where it's been outsourced. :/
Yes, the relatively high cost of visas for Americans, but on the other hand, only Americans can get 10 year multiple entry visas.

Customs, getting the bike out of customs, yes, it probably will take a couple days. Just take it easy, take tea, sit and chat with people. Good luck! :)
oh, btw, if you don't have very specific plans about where you're going to ride in India, PM me. Especially if you need any advice or help along the way - like routes, hotels, whatever. I can get contacts for you.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:11 AM   #215
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Have you considered selling or ditching the bikes there and finding another pair in India . I've heard of other riders doing that.

Ciao , Dan
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #216
glmorri
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Symba 'hydrolocking' fix?

I had the same problem with a Symba that was under warranty & returned to dealer for fix. After several delays during which the mechanic was trying different float level adjustments & testing the vacuum actuated fuel petcock, I was told the bike was ready after he had 'found vacuum tube routing to the petcock that was pinched during assembly at the factory'. I don't know precisely what he found or did, but there hasn't been a problem since. Perhaps this is a clue to your issues. Greatly enjoying your ADV updates and also your wife's blog. Best wishes for both of you....
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:50 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by glmorri View Post
I had the same problem with a Symba that was under warranty & returned to dealer for fix. After several delays during which the mechanic was trying different float level adjustments & testing the vacuum actuated fuel petcock, I was told the bike was ready after he had 'found vacuum tube routing to the petcock that was pinched during assembly at the factory'. I don't know precisely what he found or did, but there hasn't been a problem since. Perhaps this is a clue to your issues. Greatly enjoying your ADV updates and also your wife's blog. Best wishes for both of you....
Thanks for the info and the good wishes. We haven't heard of the hydraulic-ing problem with any other Symba than Binh's, so I was assuming it had to do with being loaded heavily. I did do a visual inspection of the vacuum system when we were in Malawi and didn't see anything untoward. Since we have been parking the bikes on level ground with the rear wheel in the air the problem hasn't reoccurred (yet). If it does happen again I will look over the vacuum system again for any pinched lines. The lines do run through an opening between the battery compartment and leg shields that is kind of difficult to see into without a mirror, so i may have missed something. Thanks again for the tip!

The biggest issue with the fuel problem is that it contaminates the oil and then it must be changed. Not a big problem at home but on the road it is a bit more challenging and expensive. Oil here in central Africa is nearly 10 USD per liter!! Once again I'm glad we are on Symbas because the oil change is only 800ccs. I'd hate to do it every 2000 miles on a bike that needed 5 liters.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:55 PM   #218
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Have you considered selling or ditching the bikes there and finding another pair in India . I've heard of other riders doing that.

Ciao , Dan
Tempting, but no. We would either have to pay the exorbitant import duties to sell them here or forfeit our 10K Carnet deposit! Neither is that attractive (yet). And even if we bought new bikes in India we would then need to get Carnet for them if we continue as planned to Malaysia and Australia. But it's been tempting...
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:20 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
Tempting, but no. We would either have to pay the exorbitant import duties to sell them here or forfeit our 10K Carnet deposit! Neither is that attractive (yet). And even if we bought new bikes in India we would then need to get Carnet for them if we continue as planned to Malaysia and Australia. But it's been tempting...
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:57 AM   #220
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Good News, Everyone!

(Apologies if you read the post title in Professor Farnsworth's voice) Today we received 600 USD back from our crooked shipper...3 hours earlier than he promised. That was one hell of a $250 dollar lesson. I guess it's shame on me for trusting people.

But we have confirmed our shipping of the bikes to Mumbai for tomorrow (Saturday) on Emirates Air. If we drop the bikes off by 8 am and disassemble them, they will crate them while we wait. Then they will be on the 4:45 pm flight. Fortunately, Customs does work half a day on Saturday. We have also booked our flights on Oman Airways for Sunday afternoon, arriving in Mumbai at 5:30 am on Monday morning. And we also booked a hotel by the airport for a couple of nights so we can be near the cargo and Customs offices. What a relief.

We both actually smiled today for the first time in several days. It is a shame, though, that we will be leaving Africa with such a bad taste in our mouths. More blog posts soon, I promise.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:43 AM   #221
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The bikes are in India

Emirates' Cargo tracking website shows that our (very crappy) crate just arrived in Mumbai! We leave for the Dar airport ourselves in an hour or so and should be in Mumbai tomorrow morning. Yay!
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:36 AM   #222
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:48 AM   #223
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Emirates' Cargo tracking website shows that our (very crappy) crate just arrived in Mumbai! We leave for the Dar airport ourselves in an hour or so and should be in Mumbai tomorrow morning. Yay!
Yay!! And now the adventure continues!!
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #224
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Nice job!
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #225
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woot! back on track!
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