ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-10-2011, 04:31 AM   #1
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Into Africa on 180cc TVS Apache's

I recently joined a few guys on a trip up to Victoria Falls via Botswana riding our TVS Apache 180cc 'Little Beasts'. I hope that it can make for some interesting reading. If it doesn't, I'd like to record the story anyway for my future reference. Hope you enjoy.... Steve



Dave, a family friend for many years (who also happens to be our insurance broker) and an avid motorcyclist I might add had parked his commuter outside our factory about 6 weeks ago. After we had finished going over my insurance portfolio I walked him outside to see him off (and also to have a laugh at his ride) which I happened to have noticed from my office window.

The conversation went something to the effect of:-

"What's this pissy thing you riding bru?"
"Stevie, this is the 'little beast' my bud. It gets over 40 kilometers to a litre. That's 700 kays on a tank! 180cc of pure unadulterated power"
"You know I've been considering getting a 'scooter' for commuting between the office and home".
"Well get yourself one of these my bud. This little bad boy is bulletproof! Actually a few of us are doing a trip up to Lake Kariba on these bikes at the end of October".
"Zambia! You mad bru? That's faarking far to travel on a scooter........mind if I tag along"?
"Not at all my bud, these bikes even come in a very nice pearl white now, you've go to get yourself one!".
"No, here's a deal. I'll buy your grey one and you get yourself a nice new pearly white one"?

Dave never offered a reply to my proposal but I could see the gears turning in his pip.

I had pretty much forgotten that we had ever had that discussion until 3 weeks later when the phone rang:-


"Stevie, your beast is ready my bud. I just want to do the road worthy this afternoon then I'll call you to arrange delivery for tomorrow. We're leaving next Friday my bud!"

Doh!!! So uncle Dave had gone and got himself a brand new 'Beastie' in you guessed it - Pearl White.

Now I had two problems. a. I had to let my wife know about the new purchase and b. Tell her about the 8 day trip I'm doing the following week. Dudes, I have the coolest wife. Not only did she embrace the whole idea, but she insisted on me going when I was about to cancel due to huge work commitments. I was worried sick about leaving the business for 6 working days! Fortunately I had some comfort in the fact that my brother would be there to 'hold the fort'.

So I'm going into 'Africa' with only 180cc between my legs

This is the 'Beast' or 'Beast-let' as they later became affectionately known.


So I take delivery of the bike and leave the car parked parked in the basement at the office where it still stands today nearly 4 weeks later with a dead battery.














Steve SA screwed with this post 11-18-2011 at 03:00 AM
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 04:54 AM   #2
poolman
Gnarly Poolside Adv.
 
poolman's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Darnestown, MD
Oddometer: 708
Should be interesting... I'm looking forward to this one.
__________________
~~~~~~
poolman

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Costa Rica Solo
poolman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Sunday sees us at Dave's spot where I meet 2 of the other guys who are joining us on the trip, Cobus who\s also riding a TVS and Willem on a Honda Transalp (Hey we still need the security of a bigger bike)! We tinker with the bikes and test out the various luggage systems that we have either begged, borrowed or stolen.

Dave changing the oil on my Beast (always the smiley fellow)!

Excuse the small image. Maybe photobucket, iphone4 or dumb-ass me?

We had an awesome roast chicken, greens salad, potato salad 'n other stuff :) thanks Irene (Dave's Goose) for an awesome meal. We learned that Dave and Cobus had now changed the plan. Our destination was now Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe via Nata and Kasane, Botswana. Dave had (in his own hieroglyphics) scribbled down an itinerary which included a few photocopied maps (Old boys don't know Google). He had also tried to give accurate distances between destinations like - Pretoria - Palapye - 483kms. We found out on day one that Uncle Dave must have used a protractor and slide rule on a map circa 1975 to determine the distances. Needless to say we didn't bother much with the odometer readings after the first day.

Here are the bikes all serviced and ready to roll in a few days time:

Steve SA screwed with this post 11-11-2011 at 04:11 AM
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2011, 06:16 AM   #4
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Our budget for the trip. Simon and I way under estimated on the 'bollingers' budget. His was spent by the second evening and mine by the fourth.






This was our itinerary.


So my bikes all packed and I'm ready to roll the next morning. A 04:30 wake up is going to hurt but the early start is only for the first day. So... I'm looking forward to my holiday!





At 05:15 it's a kiss goodbye to the missus and I head for the garage. I hear the toddler starting to wake and briefly turn around contemplating a goodbye kiss but decide against it. If I leave quietly enough it will buy my wife another half hour sleep. So with much guilt I fire up the 'Beast' and head off down the N4 highway toward our rendezvous just north of Pretoria. This is the first time I've had the bike on the open road. I quickly realise that this trip is going to be a slow cruise.

We meet at a run down Fuel Station and Grocer Store just North of the city (yes we're traveling in that direction). I meet Simon the Yorkshire-man from the UK out. We fill tanks, pray and then hit the road.




Are mini adventure has begun. I am filled with excitement.....
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2011, 05:55 AM   #5
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Day 1.

The first 50 kilometers were a nightmare as we made our way toward Hammanskraal settlement. Hundreds of Taxis, buses and non road worthy cars heading in the opposite direction toward Pretoria for the last day of the working week.
We pretty much just split up and fought our way through the mess and re grouped further down the road.

We arrived in Bela Bela and punished a Wimpy breakfast. On our way toward Modimole we faced our first hill. That's when I realised how quickly my 92kg build can slow a 180cc single. Fortunately that turned out to be the steepest climb of the trip (thank goodness).

Vaalwater - Melkrivier and on to Baltimore where we stopped to cool off in the shade and enjoy a lunch of Vetkoek en Maalvleis met kaas (a fried bread filled with mince and cheese).





Next stop was the Martins Drift border post. Border crossing only took about an half hour and we were into Botswana. One thing I learned about my first border crossing on a bike. Leave your Jacket and gloves strapped to the rest of your luggage. 35+ deg C and wearing your jacket 'cos you don't have enough hands to carry everything is not fun.

So we had another 200+ kilometers to go before we reach Palapye (not the 124 according Dave's calculations). We cruised on into a very hot and dry Botswana. You could just see how the vegetation was begging for rain.

So we had long passed the 483km odometer reading for today's ride and Simon and I we're so thirsty for that ice cold beer. We were making tipping glass gestures to each other more frequently now. Finally after nearly 600km we arrived in Palapye. But then it seemed to take an eternity to find our camping site. We eventually rolled passed the train station and found our oasis next to a scrap yard which was Itumela Camp. Ah what a welcome sight!

600km for the day and I was spent!!!

Dave 'the fixer' negotiated a very favorable rate for a dormitory so that we didn't have to camp and could make an early escape the next morning. I soon learned that we'd be up packing at 05h00 every morning. So much for my holiday from the early rising toddler back home.

The bar had ice cold beer and we sucked on plenty that evening. We compared war stories over a dinner of very tough beef kebabs but awesome salads and then retired hurt. Very hurt indeed.

The boys sucking on a few cold ones!




The route traveled on day one:


Dave has written an article which is being published in one of our local South African outdoor / travel magazines. Hope he doesn't mind but I'll include excerpts of his writings where appropriate:

Those of you with a smidgen of historical knowledge will know that the Apache Indians are incredibly tough, survive in the wilderness on just about nothing, and led by a chief named Geronimo led the US Calvary a merry dance for months in the remote “bad lands” of New Mexico.

This is a tale of four Apaches roaming far and wide across the south of another continent – Africa! If the truth be told they are not quite the same kind of Indian though! They are Indians of the Sachin Tendulkar variety. Built by Indian manufacturers TVS, the TVS APACHE 180 RTR is an absolutely incredible little commuter motorcycle. Like Sachin, it may be small in stature, but under the stylish exterior beats the heart of a lion!

My buddy Cobus found that his Land cruiserTroopy was too tall to fit into his parking spot at work, so on my recommendation acquired a TVS on which to commute. I sweetened the deal by promising Cobus “a trip on our TVS’s”. And so it was that when news of “the trip” spread we ended up at 6.30 am on a Friday, with four Apaches, accompanied by Willem on his 650 Honda Trans Alp, all fully laden with camping gear, cruising north on the “old road” to BelaBela and beyond. After a quick Wimpy brekkie in BelaBela it was back in the saddles and with the day getting ever hotter, we hung a left in Modimolle and then a right in Vaalwater. All was well with the world as we game spotted through the beautiful bushveld. Marken, Baltimore and Tom Burke were all reeled in and despatched as we approached Botswana. As always on the S A – Botswana border you are back on the road in no time. In the late afternoon the four Apaches with their shepherding Trans Alp pulled into Itumela Camp in Palapye.

After sipping on ice cold St Louis beers, and gorging ourselves at the buffet we retired to our comfy dorm for a well-earned doze. With newfound respect and confidence in our plucky Indian steeds we looked forward to the days ahead.

Steve SA screwed with this post 11-16-2011 at 06:03 AM
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
Mr.lien
Behind the line
 
Mr.lien's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Oddometer: 65


following your trip from top off my tank,
HAPPY INDIA POWER,

so iam use any powerbike from india, bajaj ,.
__________________
"Work hard, Study hard, Ride slowly"

im in- indONEsia
Mr.lien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
Haroon
RIDE for PASSION
 
Haroon's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
Oddometer: 537
I am glued into this RR. Sure for the story/pics of South Africa and beyond, but on a side note also want to know how the Apache performs....

Couple of questions on the Apache:
1. Do you have the fuel injected bike
2. Do those windshields come stock on south african models or did you fix them. If so what brand.
__________________
Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional

Exploring the world on 2-wheels...little at a time
RIDE for PASSION

www.rideforpassion.com

Haroon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Mr.lien - Yes you are spot on "HAPPY INDIA POWER" .

now that we're back from our trip and I'm still commuting on the 'little beast', all I can say is what an awesome little machine! Quality build, comfortable ride and the fact that I only fill up with fuel once a month is such a bonus.

Hi Haroon - Thank you for following our little trip. To answer your questions :-

1. Ours are carburetor versions (do TVS manufacture a fuel injected model?, surely not on a 180cc single?)

2. The bikes arrive here from India complete with the crash bars and Sari guard. Most dealerships remove these before selling. You'll notice in the photo's that Dave and I have kept these on. The screen is an aftermarket item which is manufactured here in SA by War Eagle in Pretoria and supplied and fitted by Race Preperations also in Pretoria.

The clear screen on my bike (grey bike) was the first generation model and the Smoked screen on the other bikes is the second generation design. We concluded whilst on the trip that the First generation was a much more aesthetically pleasing shape.

I see that you also owned a HD 883 Sporty :) Had the best times of my life on my '95 Sportster :)

Will try and post Day Two's antics later today.
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 01:11 AM   #9
Haroon
RIDE for PASSION
 
Haroon's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
Oddometer: 537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve SA View Post
Hi Haroon - Thank you for following our little trip. To answer your questions :-

1. Ours are carburetor versions (do TVS manufacture a fuel injected model?, surely not on a 180cc single?)

2. The bikes arrive here from India complete with the crash bars and Sari guard. Most dealerships remove these before selling. You'll notice in the photo's that Dave and I have kept these on. The screen is an aftermarket item which is manufactured here in SA by War Eagle in Pretoria and supplied and fitted by Race Preperations also in Pretoria.

The clear screen on my bike (grey bike) was the first generation model and the Smoked screen on the other bikes is the second generation design. We concluded whilst on the trip that the First generation was a much more aesthetically pleasing shape.

I see that you also owned a HD 883 Sporty :) Had the best times of my life on my '95 Sportster :)

Will try and post Day Two's antics later today.
Hi Steve- Thanks for the clarification. I am sure a lot of tourers in India would be interested in that windshield as they take it to all kinds of place there including Kardung-La, the highest motorable road in the world.

As for FI, well dont be surprised- Your same 180cc bike is also available now with factory ABS. You are correct the Apache 180cc has carbs, whereas the Apache 160cc comes with fuel injection. I am in Saudi Arabia, whereas my home in India is about 50kms from where your bike is made.

Me & wife hopefully heading to Cape Town in December for a week long bike trip.
I am tuned-in to your report.
__________________
Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional

Exploring the world on 2-wheels...little at a time
RIDE for PASSION

www.rideforpassion.com

Haroon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Day 2: Palapye - Nata (Elephant Sands).

So day 2dawns and the boys have hit the ground running! I bury myself under the covers and pretend that it's not happening. A 05h00 start. No what the hell! I roll over and try desperately to crack my first fart of the day, and I do! So it's up at sparrows and I'm feeling remarkably agile considering the pain I was in last night. I convinced myself that I was now 'riding fit' and stared getting the 'Beast' packed.

So after day one I had realised some of my packing mistakes and managed to re organise my stuff in record time.

The boys were warming up engines already when I it dawned on me that I still needed my Morning ablution call and disappeared for a few moments. When I re appeared my Beast had been 'lined up / fired up' and we hit the road.....




So we navigate our way out of Palapye and my bike starts to cough, and then dies! Oh no! What is this? I'm left at the side of the road whilst everyone disappears into the unknown. What could it be, I mean it just died on me. No splutter, no warning what so ever. I flip the fuel cock to reserve and 'hey presto'! She fires up.

So why was I surprised when my bike went on to reserve with over 600km on that tank? Dumb ass!

We pulled into a fuel station to re fuel and don the rain gear as the weather was looking ominous. So the boys pull out all their fancy rain stuff and I grab my rain kit which I had bought in '95 when I did a trip on my Harley Sportster and discovered the following:

A 4X Large jacked (which included a hood to catch all the wind) and yes! no pants!

Ah stuff it I says! I'll rough it!



So we mission along the main drag between Gaborone and Francistown in Botswana. I have to say that apart from getting wet, this was the bummest part of the trip. Man I hate traffic! .... Francis town was a welcomed relief!
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #11
AleXtz
Minimal2 the fulness
 
AleXtz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Volcanos of Mex. City
Oddometer: 68
subscribed to the thread! my deepest congratulations for your trip, that 180cc motorcycle is new in Mexico and i will pass on this adventure to some mates interested on this bike, 600 km in one tank is serious business!

take care !
__________________
2008 Suzuki DR200SE
2008 Yamaha XTZ 125

2+1 months living in Oaxaca's sierras and beaches:
http://motoviajero.com/foros/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2695
AleXtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 11:21 PM   #12
Mr.lien
Behind the line
 
Mr.lien's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Oddometer: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve SA View Post
Mr.lien - Yes you are spot on "HAPPY INDIA POWER" .

now that we're back from our trip and I'm still commuting on the 'little beast', all I can say is what an awesome little machine! Quality build, comfortable ride and the fact that I only fill up with fuel once a month is such a bonus.

i do, comfortable ride, but you should check oil an often.

ride safe, and more pict please,
__________________
"Work hard, Study hard, Ride slowly"

im in- indONEsia
Mr.lien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 01:29 AM   #13
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.lien View Post
i do, comfortable ride, but you should check oil an often.

ride safe, and more pict please,
I must tell you guys that we took a little extra oil with us and checked the levels every morning. Not one of the bikes used a single drop of oil the whole trip.

The yellow 160 in one of the first pics on this RR did an 8000km trip up to Lake Malawi last year and also not a drop of oil used.
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 06:10 AM   #14
Steve SA OP
Adv Wannabe
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 54
Laugh ....Day 2 continued.

So we mission along in the rain but before we know it the African sun has dispersed the rainclouds and I dry out within a few minutes. We arrive in Francistown at the same time that the whole population of Botswana does, or so it would appear. I suppose it was a Saterday after all.

So it's straight to the Wimpy for breakfast!




So we leave Francistown and navigate our way through the CBD and hit the road toward Nata. Aah yes now our trip had begun. Long open road and no traffic! Braaaap, Braaap.




By now the sun was out in full force and we were starting to get a taste of Botswana heat.




Nearing Nata we skim past the edge of Makadigadi pan without even seeing it. This was a real disappointment for me as I'd loved to have taken a bit of a detour here. I flew over these Pans 25 years ago. What an experience!



The surrounding bush is still smouldering from a very recent fire as we near Nata Lodge. With the blazing sun, heat reflecting off the tarmac and the burnt vegetation all around you can only imagine the levels of discomfort!



We pull in at Nata Lodge for a rest and a couple of refreshments. I run straight to the swimming pool, dunk my head in and drench my shirt. The residents lounging around the pool looked at me as though I was mad.

The boys buy Nata stickers to attach to the windshields and we hit the road again.



Only 60 clicks to Elephant Sands where we planned to spend the evening.

Now the road start to deteriorate at a rapid pace. A 'new' road is being built along side the old one on which we're expected to travel. After a short crash course (about 10km) we were all awarded with our PHD degrees (Pot Hole Dodger).




Suddenly I noticed the turn off to Elephant Sands and stamped on the back brake pulling a little broadside. I had ice cold beer on the brain.

Now I must explain to you that while we were resting at Nata Lodge, the subject of the 3 kilometer road leading to Elephant Sands came up. Now Dave with considerable riding experience offered to ride the bikes down that road if any of us didn't want to brave the sand (It's not called Elephant Sands for Nothing)!

So 200m onto the sand road guess who dumps it? Dave earns his nickname "The Sand Master".



I was in fits of laughter and nearly dropped my own bike.

We made it to the Lodge and met the manager who promptly bought us our first round of beers (No doubt he could see the thirst on our faces.



One of my favorite pics of the trip:


Here is Dave's account of the Days antics (the scorpion in Willem's bed was a tour highlight):-

Day two dawned drizzly and cool and after fueling we rode north to Francistown and breakfast. With hunger stilled we set Nata in our sights and gave the Apaches their heads. The drizzle was long since banished by the furnace that is our African sun, so it was some hot and bothered riders that pulled in to Nata Lodge to slake their raging thirsts. The smouldering aftermath of a veld fire that had raged in the night turned the dry bush into a hot and somewhat tortured landscape. The thermometer on my watch registered 40º plus for the first time on our trip.Our destination was Elephant Sands, 54 kms out of Nata on the Kasane road. The deep sand track to Elephant Sands Lodge was somewhat intimidating, so yours truly, with a bit more experience, offered to ride the bikes through the sand. Well, who do you think face planted in the sand first? None other than “The Sandmaster” himself!!

If it wasn’t for Steve, who gave me my “Sandmaster” moniker, helping to pick up my heavily laden beastie, it would still be lying there! (He wasn’t much help actually as he was weak with laughter!) We felt a bit better when Jaco, the Lodge Manager told us that, “ disvirjullemaklik, jymoetsien hoe sukkeldaaimanne met die groot B.M.W’s!!” Take that Charlie Boorman! Our hardships were soon forgotten as the St Louis flowed and we adopted the serene vibe of this oasis in the bush. Special mention must be made of the incredibly tasty ribs, pap and gravy, salads veggies and pudding that topped up our tanks and increased the gravitational pull on our eyelids! Elephant Sands was not quite done with us however …………………………

This was also the night that Simon, our very own Yorkshire man and importer of TVS to S A, decided to go big! As the evening progressed he was hooking gears with alacrity, seriously depleting the local St Louis and brandy stocks. He was in a bungalow with Willem and I, and with huge difficulty we had managed to still his alcohol induced motor mouth! At this point Willem shook out his bedcover and deposited a monster scorpion on his bare left foot. What followed was the best performance of the “scorpion jig” I have ever witnessed. The final score before we settled down was takkie 3, scorpion 0, spider 0, cockroach 0!

Having witnessed this wild activity, and with the temperature inside the bungalow a sultry 38º at 9 pm, Simon stated categorically that there was no way he would be able to sleep. Willem and I were still grinning as slumber overcame us.




Little did this man know that there would be a surprise waiting in his bed later that evening


Steve SA screwed with this post 11-20-2011 at 11:02 AM
Steve SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 05:26 AM   #15
Fufo
n00b
 
Fufo's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Freetown
Oddometer: 8
WoW, I'm really impressed by this trip!

Lately I was looking for some specification on long trip with the Apache and not to many information. However, how is riding on the sand? I’ve tried on the beach here in Sierra Leone, but cannot manage to ride it for more than 200 meters!

I would like to share the riding in Sierra Leone with you, or the mixed one, riding and surf! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6-wGRT066w
With the apache of course!
Fufo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014