The guy I was originally going to go in to Morocco with had to get knee surgery so I had to find new People. This was our motly cew:
Keith (Webo) is also posting a ride report for the Morocco trip here
The day before we left Asson France, Phil noticed a problem with my suspension. The bottom shock bolt had worked its way out and had been rubbing on the linkage. I took the top bolt out and put it in the bottom location. We found another bolt with the correct thread and shoulder so that was put in the top location.
And we had Kieths youngest sign France on the bike.
Oct. 25 Asson France to Manzanares Spain. 725 km of Motorway fun.
We were up bright and early to head south. The night before I was up untill 1 AM or so posting about Italy. I knew this was going to be a great day. Luckily the weather wasn't to bad and I had a good book on tape to listen to. By mid morning we hit the main motorways in Spain. We got into Manzanares just before dark and met up with the other peole who came down from the UK. We now had 11 people in the group. 9 bikes and 1 landrover. We had a few beers and sandwiches for dinner at the hotel. Another long day tomorrow.
Oct. 26 Manzanares Spain to Asilah Morocco. 619 km of Motorway fun.
We were up early again. It rained on and off int he morning and afternoon. When we got into Tangier Med, the a few of the groupe go through customs very quick. Others (like me) had to wait for almost 2 hours. It was very dark any rainy when we finaly got done. We did another 75 km in the dark to Asilah. I know, riding in the dark in Africa is stupid but we weren't about to sleep in Tangeir Med with the bikes.
Getting ready to go!
Craig and all the motos.
The clusterf**k that is Morocco customs. I was in that group and they yelled at me to go stand and wait by my bike. Then someone was yelling "Noah they are calling your name". WTF people. If I am by my moto, how am I supposed to hear when you call my name.
Waiting in the rain.
Phil helping 2 Polish guys fill out paperwork.
The back of his jacket says "Exploitation"
Oct. 27 Asilah Morocco to Marrekesh Morocco. 545 km of Moroccan Motorway Madness.
Not to many interesting sights on the way to Marrekech. The usual.. donkeys in the meadian, cars that should not be running bumbling down the interstate, and smile from every kind in the back seat as you pass them. Once in Marrekesh we found a Aberge with "tents" to sleep in. It was like a paradice. We took cabs into the main square in Marrakesh. Deffinately a crazy place. Lots of junk to buy and people trying to sell it to you. Cashews were the onlything I bought. A few people in the group had to remind me that a suicide bomber had detonated a bomb a less then a year ago. The damaged building was visible from where we were eating. I was a bit nervous but I got over once the cous cous arived.
This little guy was eating a bird that he pulled out of a grill of an SUV.
Frank. He is the one with the LR.
Adam in the tent.
Helmet? No way man. I'm surprised the headlight works on this one!
Buying supplies. I found it was good to have stuff like this to give to the local kids when you stop to snack. Its also good to snack on.
Oct. 28 Marrakesh to Ouarzazate. 216 km
A quitck 200 miles over the Atlas mountians to Ouazazate to stay at the Bikers Home. http://www.bikershome.net/
It is good to get back on some interesting roads. When we got to Ouazazate I changed out the fully woarn T-63 with a brand new Dunlop 908RR. I found the 908 rear with the TKC80 front to be a good tire in the rocky, sand, mud and even the twisties. Great view of the full moon over the Atlas that evening.
This little dude ran up to me and tried to give me a hug saying "papa". I didn't recognize the lady so I think I am safe.
They get an A for ingenuity.
In the Biker's Home.
Oct. 29 Ouarzazate to Zagora. 197 km
We rode some pavement to Agdz then hopped onto some nice grave/rocky 2 track on the east side of the vally. From Agdz to Zagora, the main road is on the west side of the valley. There is a river in the middle and lots of palmedo and crops being grown. You leave the river vally and there is basically nothing growing. This was the first taist of "rockstar status" that you feel when you go through a small village and 30 kids drop what they are doing and run to the road to wave. They all make the motion to reve the throttle. At the hotel in Zagora there was a pool which felt very good even though it was to cold to swim. I jumped in, couldn't breath and got out. Very refreshing. Tagine for dinner this night and for the next 7 or 8.
Unfortunately you see this sometimes.
Christophe (the photographer who took the good pictures)
New prototype desert race bike
Apparently Graham was very hot so he got necked during lunch. This would not be the last time.
While avoiding a car, Adam hit a tree with his pannier and went down. This was the aftermath.
Carrol, Kieth and Christophe
Oct. 30 Zagora to M'hamid. 118 km
Before we left Zagora we went to a Garage. The LR was there all night getting work on the suspension. Some of the other guys needed work on their bikes. I got a signature and a sticker. Pavement from Zagora to M'hamid with one small pass over some mountians. On top of the pass it is windy and by the time we get to M'hamid it is getting to be a crazy sand storm. The visibilty is about a quarter mile when we check into an aberge. Later the wind gets even more crazy. They have beer so cold.. it has ice in it.
This guy made this out of wood.
So are they giving me the middle finger?
A fine example of wiring.
In the storm
Oct. 31 M'hamid to Aberge near Tafraoute Sidi Ali. 166 km
No one in our groupe had done the route from M'hamid to Merzouga so the night before I downloaded 2 tracks that went through. One from a moto and one from a land rover. They stayed in the same road for most of the way so we were pretty confident we had a good route. We had a coordinate for an Aberge that was about half way. The plan was to do it in 2 days. There were 2 or 3 of us in the groupe that could have done it in one day had we started early. It would be a long day though and the riding reminded me of the the LA-Barstow to Vegas. Some sections flat out. Some 2nd/3rd gear rocky. Some silt beds or fech fech as they call it here.
The wind and sand was still blowing when we headed onto the first major offroad section of the trip. There were 2 military checkpoints to go through that day. Once we started to get into the softer stuff, the going really started to slow. With about an hour left of day light, Ken went down on his 990 and hurt his leg pretty bad. We decided to stay at an aberge about 6 km further. I rode his 990sm to the Aberge then went back for my moto. I was surprized how well it tracked in the soft stuff... if you were on the throttle.
Middle of NOWHERE... and here comes a little dude.
Kieth tipped over in the soft stuff.
Nov. 1 Tafraoute Sidi Ali to Aberge near Remlia. 88km (About 40 km straight line)
We started the day working on motos. Since Kens leg was hurt, we took the front end off his bike and squeesed it into the LR. Then Craig's 800 tiger wasn't wanting to start or idle so we tore into it. I had my OBDII cable but I didn't get any fault codes from his bike. We now learned that Triumph cleaned the stepper motor and throttle boddies to fix the problem. This bike went pretty good. I was not to impressed with the location of the air filter though. Its about a 45 minute teardown to get to it. You have to remove the gas tank.
Once on the road we had some decently fast going. Then Graham on the 990 ADV got a flat so I went back to help. Phil was coming back after me to help and he got turned around somewhere and we all got separated from him. He didn't have a GPS on his older Tiger so he couldn't follow his trail as easy. So we ended up not moving for about 3 hours. I put on 88km that day and we went about 40km. Phil eventualy made it into Remlia and Frank in the LR found him there. Between us and Remlia there were dunes and lots of nice fech fech. I had to help ride by riding the 990 ADV through some of the soft stuff. Graham is a good rider but didn't quite have the confidence needed for the softer sand. When in doubt, throttle it out!
Helping change a tube.
Piloting a big bike.
We stayed that night in an Aberge. Again, the full moon over the desert was amazing.
Nov 2 Remlia to Merzouga 119 km
We had a pretty fast track most of the way to Merzouga. One large lake bed to cross. Otherwise it was mostly rocky with not much fech fech. Once we got to Merzouga we found a place to buy beer (it is technically illegal). The beers and the swimming pool felt amazing.
Lots of playing.
This guy is a guide. He needed a ride so he rode in the LR with us from Tafraoute Sidi Ali to his home in Taouz.
Nov 3 Merzouga
Didn't do much this day. Took a nap. Played in the dunes some. I did get some good pics though.
Adam in the dunes near sunset.
And now its 1 in the morning. I'm in Vigo Spain. For the past 4 hours I have been listening to Montana State win the 2012 Cat-Griz football rivalry. GO BOBCATS!