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Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #1276
snoobar
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Another question for you, Jay.

When you've needed to change your tubes/tires out in the bush, what method and tools have you found to work best?

and in reference to the Heidenau K60 Scout tires, what size are you running in the front and rear?

thanks again and safe travels!!

S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Hey snoobar, thanks! Glad that you love it

[COLOR="DarkOrange"]I'm currently on Heidenau K60 Scouts that I mounted when I passed through Germany last March. The tires have 8,650 miles (13,920 kms), so far. The rear (140) looks like it has about a few thousand more miles left on it and the front looks great, maybe only just at half-life.

I've ridden mainly on pavement, but lots of mud in northern Ethiopia and then a good 700 miles of off-road coming from Ethiopia into Kenya via the Turkana route. Lots of sand and sharp volcanic rocks. I had quite a few falls in the sand as these tires are definitely a 50/50 and I could've used a more aggressive front for the Turkana route, but overall, these tires are amazing. They hook up really good on pavement, no problem with grip at lean. They were excellent in the mud; the tread didn't get chocked up. And I haven't had a single puncture with these tires. I was expecting at least a few punctures on the Turkana route, especially on some sections with really sharp rocks, but no problem for this thick tread.

They were a bit pricey; I got the set for 190 Euros with new tubes, but would buy again if I can find it enroute...

snoobar screwed with this post 04-09-2012 at 11:57 PM
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:20 AM   #1277
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[QUOTE=Jammin;18304881]Hey snoobar, thanks! Glad that you love it

I'm currently on Heidenau K60 Scouts that I mounted when I passed through Germany last March. The tires have 8,650 miles (13,920 kms), so far. The rear (140) looks like it has about a few thousand more miles left on it and the front looks great, maybe only just at half-life.

I've ridden mainly on pavement, but lots of mud in northern Ethiopia and then a good 700 miles of off-road coming from Ethiopia into Kenya via the Turkana route. Lots of sand and sharp volcanic rocks. I had quite a few falls in the sand as these tires are definitely a 50/50 and I could've used a more aggressive front for the Turkana route, but overall, these tires are amazing. They hook up really good on pavement, no problem with grip at lean. They were excellent in the mud; the tread didn't get chocked up. And I haven't had a single puncture with these tires. I was expecting at least a few punctures on the Turkana route, especially on some sections with really sharp rocks, but no problem for this thick tread.

They were a bit pricey; I got the set for 190 Euros with new tubes, but would buy again if I can find it enroute...










Hello Jay,
I also like the K60 tires, I used first on my GSA(5k only)
Can you tell me what air pressure setting on asphalt and dirt you use?
actually I used the same 140 size on GS, which normally carry a 150 tire.
My DR just finish with its first Shinko 750 and only got 4k miles. but I like the tire.
You must be baby your tires, because you DR is so heavy, I think SPEED is the # 1
tire killer, But I got a fat right hand.


Eggroll


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Old 04-15-2012, 07:41 PM   #1278
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i was 6 months away from your RR, slowly catching up, finished reading you passage with the nile's fishermens, man... what an experience!

thanks for the RR, it really made me stop and reflect of my actions, best than a lot of philosophy books that i already read

i hope that eveything is alright, good job on your thesis! and travel safely!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #1279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride Far View Post
It was well over 10,000, but we detoured around quite a bit. Maybe carry your fresh tires from South Africa to Namibia and mount before you hit the piste there. South Africa is mostly tarmac but of course you can find dirt if you like.
Loving the ride report!
Good idea, Mark. I'll do that then. I have a new Kenda that I'll mount before leaving Nairobi and that should get me to Namibia, with new tires purchased in ZA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Breeze View Post
Jammin,
Been following you since day one..............FANTASTIC Ride/Report
I was recently in the Southern portion of Africa, and I have to say, that after seeing Ethiopia....I'm going to have to return. The place/people look awesome. Really looking forward to your travels in Kenya, as well.
Not sure if you have firm plans or not, but the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana is not to be missed. It was the highlight of my travels (so far) to Africa.
Best wishes on your journey.
Hey Breeze, yup Ethiopia is definitely an adventure rider's dream, but it is getting all paved quickly, so get there soon!
I have my eyes on the Okovango, have to see if I can time it to hit it during flood season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoobar View Post
Another question for you, Jay.
When you've needed to change your tubes/tires out in the bush, what method and tools have you found to work best?
and in reference to the Heidenau K60 Scout tires, what size are you running in the front and rear?
thanks again and safe travels!!
S
Hey Snoobar, for punctures in the field, I have a bike crutch that I made out of a walking cane (credit to DualSportBC.com) that I use to lift the rear wheel. I have a bead breaker from TyrePliers, heavy, bulky, but makes hard to break beads an easy job, especially when you're solo and there's no spare kick stand around to break the bead. Then I have 3x15" tire irons, again heavy, bulky, but I dont want to be stressed during a tire change with teeny tire irons. I carry a spare tube and just swap in the new tube (after inspecting for debris, nail, etc) and even though I have patches, if I'm near civilization, I'll get the punctured tube vulcanized at a tire repair shop. I started with HD tubes but found them hard to patch and had 3 flats from that's tube patches not holding (vulcanized). Now I've switched to just standard tubes. I've had 6 flats in total, two from nails, 1 from sharp rocks, 3 from patches failing. No flats on the front. No flats with the Heidenaus

Heidenau K60 Scout, Rear: 140/80/17, Front: 90/90/21
Cheers
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #1280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggroll View Post
Hello Jay,
I also like the K60 tires, I used first on my GSA(5k only)
Can you tell me what air pressure setting on asphalt and dirt you use?
actually I used the same 140 size on GS, which normally carry a 150 tire.
My DR just finish with its first Shinko 750 and only got 4k miles. but I like the tire.
You must be baby your tires, because you DR is so heavy, I think SPEED is the # 1
tire killer, But I got a fat right hand.
Eggroll
Hey Eggroll, on asphalt I run 33 psi front and 38 psi rear. On dirt I start with 20 font, 25 rear and work my way down depending on how I feel. In deep sand, like on the Lagunas Route (Bolivia) and on the Turkana Route (Kenya), I was at 8 and 12 psi

Yup, I've learned to look after tire wear in my previous trips. Speed is definitely a factor and so is accelerating and decelerating. On this trip, my speed rarely goes above 100 kph (62 mph) and if Im not in a hurry, I make slow getaways. I like to think my riding style is more focused on being smooth than all out speed

Also, proper tire pressure management goes a long way in extending tire life (inflating for asphalt, deflating for dirt). Those asphalt pressures might seem high to you, but that helps reduce center-line wear on the tires. When I was touring on a sportbike before the DR, I was running 36/43 psi. It does reduce grip, but I just learned to deal with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasenada View Post
i was 6 months away from your RR, slowly catching up, finished reading you passage with the nile's fishermens, man... what an experience!
thanks for the RR, it really made me stop and reflect of my actions, best than a lot of philosophy books that i already read
i hope that eveything is alright, good job on your thesis! and travel safely!
Hey, yeah, that experience with the fishermen in Sudan is definitely one of my top highlights on the trip, so far. Glad to induce some reflection and introspection
I'm in the writing stage for my thesis (writer's block at the moment) hope to be finished by end of May and then focus on bike prep for departure by end of June...
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:11 AM   #1281
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Here's an article I wrote on Wild Camping in Developing Countries from my experiences in Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.

Guest post on RubberonRoad.com
Also posted at BikerCamps.com


Wild Camping in Developing Countries

As I journeyed through Latin America on my Suzuki DR650 motorcycle, with all the possessions that I would need to survive on the back of my bike, I was anticipating the experience that completes motorcycle travel: camping. Arriving at a place chosen to be home for the night and then setting up that shelter, perhaps getting a campfire going and being a part of the nocturnal outdoors is to me a quintessential experience of overland travel. It also completes that feeling of freedom that comes with traveling on a bike; a freedom to choose where to spend your night.

I know that camping isnít for everyone, but since I wanted to extend my budget (by staying in fewer hotels) and simply wanted to get to know the nomadic lifestyle, I made wild camping an integral part of my trip. I have comfortable-enough minimalist camping gear that doesnít burden my luggage and allows me to enjoy the experience when camping becomes an option. And just to be clear, camping in the wild or the bush refers to not staying in established campgrounds.


High-altitude camping at Laguna Canapa, 14,000 ft in the Andes of Southwest Bolivia.

I started camping from Peru onwards and after a few nights of sleeping in my one-man Catoma Twist tent, I formulated a strategy to help me in deciding where it was safe to camp. Although rural areas of developing countries are generally safe at night, there are some countries where it isnít advisable to wild camp in a fabric tent, but by taking a few pre-cautions, I managed to do it with no issues.

When I was traveling across the Pampas (savannahs) of remote northern Bolivia, as a part of my journey through the TransAmazonica in Brazil, camping was the only option due to the lack of urban areas and their hotels. I was riding through the worldís largest rainforest, which is located in the Amazon Basin, an area as large as Australia but with a population density lower than that of Mongoliaís. That meant there were a lot of wild animals about and just making camp in the bush would not have been prudent. So, I opted for pitching my tent in front of rural houses.


Camping with piglets on a farm in the remote pampas (savannahs) of northern Bolivia.

Two to three hours before darkness, I would start paying attention to farm houses that I rode across and marking them as a waypoint on my GPS so that I could come back there if needed. As Iím riding along, I usually wave to most locals that I make eye contact with, to immediately establish a friendly relationship. In this same way, I like to stop at a ranch where I can see the owners outside their house, giving me information of the security situation. In hot climates, most people are lounging outside, so this information is my primary decision maker. That can also be read as, ďDonít stop at houses with no one around!Ē I broke this rule within a few days since there was no other house around and the owners, a young caretaker couple had gone into town to buy groceries. So, you can have hard-fast rules, but should still know when to break them.

Upon approaching the head of the household, I first introduced myself: where I am from and where I am going on this trip (I usually give a far enough known location so that they understand that Iím a traveler and not just a lost tourist). Then I ask them if I can put my tent here for the night and most everyone accepts. For Brazil, I memorized how to say these basic phrases in Portuguese using Google Translator and that got me through the Amazon. With rural people being as polite as they are, besides welcoming this impromptu guest, they also offered me a warm meal and a bath.


Camping next to a horse shed along the TransAmazonica in Brazil.

Even though I was now camped in someoneís compound, there were still always dangers lurking. Someone could rob my bike at night or assault me in my tent and rob me. Most likely this wonít happen and it hasnít, so far, but I like to always just be prepared, because you never know. My strategy is to put the tent as close as possible to the bike and tie a cable between the bike cover and a tent peg. I bought a 15 inch machete in Bolivia for $3 and slept with that by my side, wrapped in a sweatshirt. The plan was that if someone tried to lift the bike cover at night, it would disturb my tent and I would spring out wielding the machete. I still havenít had the chance, but Iím ready. These tactics might not be effective in real situations, but at least thinking this way increases my situational awareness and that is the basis for surviving.

With urban development accelerating in the developing world, there are very few places where a hotel canít be found for the night. But whatís the fun in traveling from one concrete abode to another? I encourage you to add more camping in your next travel and get closer to nature and the people who live with it.


A roaring campfire in Northwest Argentina on Ruta 40.

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Old 04-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #1282
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Happy to send a little support your way via Paypal Jay. Thanks for getting out there and making a difference.
I'm a retired nurse in search of volunteer opportunities and would appreciate a mention of any programs you encounter that seem to be really helping others, especially in the area of health.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:28 AM   #1283
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Happy to send a little support your way via Paypal Jay. Thanks for getting out there and making a difference.
I'm a retired nurse in search of volunteer opportunities and would appreciate a mention of any programs you encounter that seem to be really helping others, especially in the area of health.
Hi Mr Bob, thank you very much for your donation to the trip
I will let you know what I come across, but being a rider, do you know about Riders for Health?
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:30 AM   #1284
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Ethiopia, Part 3: Gondar and its Castles
July 7 - 9, 2011

I had a wonderful two weeks break in Gorgora and now I was back on the road for a two week loop through northern Ethiopia. The biggest city in this area is Gondar, known for its castles. The city is also the gateway into the remote northern parts of the country with the majestic Simien Mountains nearby.



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The central piazza of Gondar. The city was established in the 17th century but the influence of the short Italian occupation around the late 1930s is still evident today in the buildings around the city center. They have a simplified Italian Moderne style.


On the streets of Gondar. Being an Indian, I'm always proud to see Bajaj's Auto Rickshaws (tuktuks) in foreign countries. They're noisy but fill the gap between two-wheel and four-wheel transport.


I had been sleeping in my tent for the two weeks at Gorgora before this, so I was more than happy to pitch up again. I happened to be in town during the graduation weekend of Gondar University and thus, most of the hotel rooms were booked. Tarara Hotel, up above town, is known as being friendly to overlanders and they let me camp in their garden.


I walked down from my encampment and found a small tea stall.


Hot tea and a samosa before taking a walk around town.


Walking along the wall of Gondar's castle towards one of the entrance gates.


The grand Fasilides Castle in the Royal Enclosure at Gondar. Up till the 17th century, the rulers of Ethiopia generally did not have a permanent capital but moved around their kingdom with their entourage in fortified encampments. Emperor Fasilides broke with tradition and decided to make Gondar his capital around 1635.


The castle is set in beautiful grounds and the cool weather at 2,150 m (7,000 ft) makes for a pleasant visit.


The castle is surrounded by the modern city but it's future has been protected as it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.


Grand arches leading to grand empty halls. All the rooms of the castle are open to walk through.


The architecture has influences from the Portuguese, Arabs and Indians, indicating the peoples that traded with Ethiopia around the time of Fasilides.


Cages for lions that Fasilides kept to project his power.


Ruins of Turkish baths at Fasilides Castle.


Having dinner with Randy and Dr. Doug. I met Randy in Gorgora after he crossed Lake Tana from Bahir Dar and I met him again on the streets of Gondar that day. He's from Vancouver and was backpacking around East Africa for a few months and we connected over discussions on his philosophy research. He met Doug, from Minneapolis, who's a neurologist on assignment in Gondar from his research base in Malawi.


The next day, Randy and I accompanied Doug on his visit to the local hospital, which was set on a lush campus.


Doug's research is focused on neurological conditions in children and he was here to conduct some workshops and took us for a tour through the wards. I didn't feel comfortable photographing the sick children, but here's one of the wards.


Randy introduced me to this delicious dish that consists of crunchy bread on the bottom with heaps of plain yogurt on top and garnished with scrambled eggs, berere spice in oil and onions and chilies. The clash in temperature, texture and spice was fantastic.


In the afternoon, Doug had some free time and offered to take me around Gondar. We walked up to the last surviving church from the 18th century, Debre Berhan Selassie. The exterior is quite simple but...


...the church is known for its exquisite interiors. All surfaces, from the walls to the ceiling, are covered in biblical artwork from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church's traditions. The crucifixion of Jesus takes center stage with a symbol of the Holy Trinity above.


The walls depict many stories from the bible in a style that is distinctly Ethiopian. Here, there's a saint killing a dragon, the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael who reportedly defended the church from being destroyed by the Mahdist Dervishes of the Sudan when they sacked Gondar in 1888. The Madhists burned down all the churches in town except this one.


A striking feature of the Debre Berhan Selassie Church are the 104 faces of angels painted on the roof. Each one is slightly different.


Artifacts that the priests of the church use in their worship at Debre Berhan Selassie.


Looking up at the bamboo roof structure at Debre Berhan Selassie Church.


Outside the walls of the church compound lies an old cemetery overgrown with vegetation.


An ancient grave marker outside the walls of Debre Berhan Selassie Church.


After the cultural tour, Doug took me for a nature walk outside town that he discovered recently.


Walking along a path in the valleys surrounding Gondar.


A path forcing its way across this stone wall, leading to...


...a small maize field and its owner's hut.


Two ladies carrying some farm produce to sell up in town.


Cultural sights are interesting, but being surrounded by nature is far more pleasing to me.


I was glad I met Doug who showed me this little nature walk. We had good talks but he wasn't enjoying the people of Ethiopia at the moment and told me to be aware of the growing frustrations that develop after a few weeks there. I could glimpse what he was talking about as all the local children constantly ask any foreigner they see for money or gifts or a pen. I was looking forward to my route north from here into more remote areas.


Walking back into town and passing this Walia Ibex statue. It's endemic to Ethiopia and particularly the Simien Mountains, where I was headed next.


On my second and last night at Tarara Hotel, a room opened up and they upgraded me from camping in the garden. I wanted to make an early start the next day and didn't want to have wet camping gear to pack up as the rainy season brought nightly rains.

I enjoyed my short visit to Gondar and was happy to have met some other travelers who showed me some off-the-beaten path sights around Gondar. I got my cultural fix and next up was an immersion in nature.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:24 PM   #1285
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leaving soon

Hi Jay

just a little update, while still reading your report

In about 7 weeks we are moving to a new place in the black forest, preparations are making progress (bought new K60`s & heavy duty tubes, etc. ....) and the paperwork is on it`s way ....

Still no safe route or ferry to Egypt .... but first we are off to Scandinavia and the Baltic States, so still some time (end of September) to make a choice and probably it`s a transit visa for Lybia (costal road) ....

What`s your plan to leave and head south ....

Happy trails and all the best

Thomas & Andrea


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Old 04-24-2012, 04:31 AM   #1286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Hi Mr Bob, thank you very much for your donation to the trip
I will let you know what I come across, but being a rider, do you know about Riders for Health?
Yes, I do. It's a great concept - giving people the tools to help themselves, rather than charity.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:02 AM   #1287
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Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
Hi Jay
just a little update, while still reading your report
In about 7 weeks we are moving to a new place in the black forest, preparations are making progress (bought new K60`s & heavy duty tubes, etc. ....) and the paperwork is on it`s way ....
Still no safe route or ferry to Egypt .... but first we are off to Scandinavia and the Baltic States, so still some time (end of September) to make a choice and probably it`s a transit visa for Lybia (costal road) ....
What`s your plan to leave and head south ....
Happy trails and all the best
Thomas & Andrea
www.miles-to-ride.com
Hey Tom, good to hear the update and thanks to Andrea for the German translation Ooh, nice that Libya is open again. Will be amazing to see how the country has changed. You guys will definitely catch up with me.
My plan is to leave Nairobi around end of June/beginning of July, head to South Africa by October, then turn north along the west coast and get to Cameroon by year end, then slowly to Morocco by April next year...
Can you bring me a set of Heidenaus?
Quote:
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Yes, I do. It's a great concept - giving people the tools to help themselves, rather than charity.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:10 AM   #1288
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Published: Feature Article in Nairobi's Asian Weekly

I got featured in Nairobi's Asian Weekly newspaper and here's a two page spread about the trip:
(Click on it to go into full screen)


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Old 04-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #1289
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Quite the Jammin Celeb

Ride safe Jay.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #1290
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tyres

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Hey Tom, good to hear the update and thanks to Andrea for the German translation
our pleasure and maybe it works for you, I bought the tyres online and got it for Euro 120.- ... the mounting is about Euro 15.- at my dealership

btw., try to get the MITAS E 07 ... should be available in SouthAfrica and you get about the same mileage as the Heidenau K60 Scout

http://www.mitas.at/mitasstrassenenduro.html


Ooh, nice that Libya is open again. Will be amazing to see how the country has changed.

Yeah, things in Lybia are settling ... once in a while there are clashes in the South, but the coastal road should be fine, a couple of travellers already went through with a transit visa for about EGP 100.-

They also issue 4 week Tourist Visa, but the same old procedure with guide and a lot of cash

This weekend, the frist RoRo ferry from Mersin (Turkey) will arrive in Port Said ... maybe another option, but no schedule`s and price information yet

You guys will definitely catch up with me.
My plan is to leave Nairobi around end of June/beginning of July, head to South Africa by October, then turn north along the west coast and get to Cameroon by year end, then slowly to Morocco by April next year...

I don`t think so .... we will be about 6 month behind you and we want to head from Capetown east, not west .... my french is really bad


Can you bring me a set of Heidenaus?

.... we need a support truck for our stuff already .... sorry


All the best and HAPPY TRAILS

Thomas & Andrea

www.miles-to-ride.com

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