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Old 07-13-2013, 09:14 PM   #16
KTMInduro OP
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Bali, Indonesia
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Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
hi monty. good start.

nice job on the forks and the rest of the build up.


Thanks Joel.

Sorry it wasn't your 640 forks that ended up on the bike mate. Jonathan found the EXC forks for me and this meant we only had to get the custom springs from Slavens in the US before sending them off to a suspension tuner in the UK.
Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #17
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IN! I'm blown away by just the first page. Looking forward to the rest of it!
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #18
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Superb start Monty!
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:53 AM   #19
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The Banana Boat

Up bright and early I begin the first slow and tedious repack of my gear. I realize that having this much gear on the bike is going to be a pain in the arse . How many times have I read “Less is More” over the years ?? I decide that in the next week I'll have to jetison some of the weight and quantity.

We buy our tickets and enter the port. The cost is double the cost of a moped – about 30 bucks per bike. The first trucks are rolling down the pier to the banana boat which actually doesn’t look too bad at all. We are waved over to one side by one of the officials and after some talk on a 2 way radio he tells Mike to move down the pier. I start my engine but he holds up his arms and tells me to stay put.

Mike drives off and he is then followed by trucks, cars, wheel barrows of cabbages , mopeds, more trucks, more wheelbarrows of cabbages and more cars & pedestrians.

25 minutes later I’m still sitting on my bloody bike and this guy is still telling me to wait.

I’m getting really frustrated and start wondering if the ferry will fill up leaving me with no choice but to catch the next one tomorrow !

Another port official wanders over and starts asking about my bike. I’m thinking to myself “”here we go…..” , but he turns out to be pretty knowedgable about the Dakar history of the AT and bikes in general. Turns out he rides offroad (on a road bike) with a group of friends in Bima and it also turns out we have a few mutual riding friends in Lombok. Our little chat over, he “overrules” his mate and I’m heading on board.

I’m now right at the back of the ferry and am directed to park squeezed up beside a truck and baskets of those bloody cabbages.. The guys controlling the parking seem pissed I don’t have a centre stand and throw me a rope and leave Mike and me to tie down my bike as best we can.

Mike tells me whilst waiting for me, he had spotted a truck driver with some "Eagles". I don't think he had his glasses on

Upstairs in the passenger area there’s a huge crowded area of seats and benches overflowing with locals and their mountains of belongings.

Somebody points us towards a door marked VIP. Inside is an air conditioned cabin with half a dozen rows of semi broken bucket seats in front of an flat screen TV blaring out an Indonesian soap.

There's a few other people in here already including our German friend from yesterday, 3 groups of western backpackers and a few Indonesians.
A member of the crew comes round and charges us 30,000 rupiah a head ( US$3) for the privelage of sitting in here for the 8 hour crossing. The German bloke asks me to lend him 20,000 stating he couldn’t find an ATM in time to catch the boat so was caught short. He promises to pay me back as soon as we arrive in Flores................

One of the backpackers doesn’t understand the VIP surcharge but when he finally gets it, he storms out into the deluge of humanity outside, much to our amusement. Seems a lot of these travelers in Indonesia are skint and travelling on a shoestring.

Kids aged something between 8 to 11 year old swarm into the cabin selling water , rice & chicken parcels and other essential bits for creating an Indonesian Ferry Survival Kit. “ Mister,Mister you buy water, you buy chicken ……… Mister, Mister...........“

After having a right laugh negotiating a girl down in the price of her bottled water in Bahasa, I then buy it at the hugely inflated price she started with, much to her surprise. This obviously made her day as she was grinning from ear to ear as the crew member came back in and shooed them all off the boat.

We are sailing.

An hour into the journey and we’re both getting sick of the Indo soap opera, the grumblings in Italian from the nearest backpacking couple and the smell of the toilet in the corner of the cabin.

Just outside is a ladder with lots of neat rows of shoes lined across its base. We climb up into the crews quarters. There's a fake "wooden" vinyl floor and this whole level is obviously fairly well managed as it all looks very clean. We creep along a corridor, opening a door outside onto a helicoptor deck. Our banana boat has a helipad ?? Cool !

Its really hot out here so we head to an area directly below the window of the bridge that has breeze, shade and forward views of Komodo island and the rugged outline of Flores coming towards us on the distant horizon.
Its awesome, although there does seem to be a lot of dark rain clouds over the mountains in Flores which doesn't look too good. Its supposed to be the bloody dry season after all.

We nervously wave at our Captain and his crew on the bridge, none of whom seem the least bit bothered that we’ve invaded their space.
In fact there’s a small group of lads from Bima already up here, playing chess, Most of them are Rasta’s with dredlocks , on their way to hang out in Labuanbajo for a few days with the hope of apparently getting lucky with a few lonely western girls on diving holidays.
Later we are to find that Bob Marley is still very much alive in Flores.

I lie down and snooze for most of the way . The ocean is like a mill pond. I drift off with the sounds of the ocean beating against the bow of the ferry .

I wake up to find our German friend seems to have found his way up here too.

Slowly Labuanbajo comes into view.

And we rolled off onto the island of Flores.

Coming up on Day 3 - mud, dropped bikes, moonshine and a broken bone.
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Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke

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Old 07-15-2013, 07:52 AM   #20
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I'm in. Can't wait to read the rest of the report
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:44 PM   #21
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Keep 'em coming, Looking forward to next installment.
'85 xr350, XR440, '99 RD07X, 01 XR650R
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #22
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Awesome bikes, beautiful photos and a very cool place to ride...I'm in!!!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #23
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Ruts and Rocks

Labuanbajo is currenty under going somewhat of a boom, being dubbed Indonesias next up and coming destination. This is largely due to its proximity to fantastic diving and Komodo National park where this feller lives

In the past few years theres been some big changes in town and a new international airport is currenty being built. Theres been some positive changes with these developments including an influx of pretty decent restaurants selling reasonable plonk.

I therefore wake up today with a bit of a hangover after indulging in too much red wine last night.

Packing seems slightly easier today and soon Im ready to head off. Mike struggles with his Giant Loop. Its his first real trip using it and it seems the compression buckles are not behaving themselves. He has to bodge the straps a bit using a couple of carabiners. This is all part and parcel at this stage of the trip as its still early days , but it really serves him right for not testing out everything before we left .

We head out of town following the Trans Flores Highway and the GPS. I think to myself as I ride along that perhaps the classification of Highway in Flores is perhaps a road with a white line running down the middle with only 10 potholes per 100 metres compared to perhaps no white line, broken ashphalt and 50 potholes on a minor road............

After a few clicks on the highway a waypoint flashes up, so we make the turn and extremely quickly we are riding where we want to be on this ride - in the boonies.

Its obviously been raining recently and this does not bode well for the trails we plan to ride in this part of the island. I really had expected dry and dusty conditions to be the norm when sitting in Bali planning the ride in front of Google Earth. The dry season is supposed to start at the beginning of April and here we are at the end of May and its still pissing down. Oh well well just have to see what happens. At least its not raining now, ,and the road here is still straight forward.

Another waypoint fires off as I hit a fork in the road. We stop and have a chat with the locals.

This guy tell us that in a few kilometer the trail will get much more difficult and that our planned camp for the evening is about 7 hours way. We guess we should be there in 5.

We soon hit our first major obstacle of the trip. I stop to go and investigate and nearly go arse over tit.

The water is pretty shallow, only about 10 cm deep, but the whole of the bottom of the river is a huge slippery slab of weed covered rock. Its like an ice rink.
Some kids show me their preferred line. As Im walking back to my bike, Mike steams into the river, going at a fair pace. I shout to him to slow down, but he carries straight on, somehow keeps his bike upright, paddling his feet , before exiting on the other bank.

Very impressive Maestro.

Crikey, now what should I do ? Hit it fast like Mike or slow ? I decide to ride it slowly on the advised line.

The following photos tell the story of what happened next.........

I discover in the middle of the river that my bike weighs a tonne !

As we ride further the trail deteriorates as we climb into the hills.

Theres a few stretches of broken ashphalt

and this turns to stone

until finally I stop at the top of a hill with some pretty impressive ruts heading down in front of me.

Mike is nowhere to be seen. I decide to check out the immediate trail ahead on foot whilst I wait for him.

Climbing back up to my bike I decide I may as well go down the hill as Mikes still not turned up.

This is my first real offroad test on the AT. Its deeply rutted, very steep and very slippery. I paddle my way down, searching out the best line. About halfway down the hill I realize that if I need to go back up later in search of Mike, Im going to have some major difficulties. Minutes later Im clear and park my bike up.

I climb halfway back up the hill and wait.

Im too busy taking a photo to ask this guy if hes seen Mike, and he just nods at me as he passes.

Extremly slick

Im getting a bit concerned. Ive now been waiting for about 20 minutes. 2 locals come down the trail on a moped and tell me that Mike had dropped his bike a few km back but was now on his way. Phew..

Mike navigates the hill

Caption should read "Holy Shiite"

Great - it seems were both down without dropping the bikes.

We have a Q&A session and it seems Mike unable to lift his bike alone, had removed all his luggage.

Fortunately the 2 guys on the moped I had spoken to then turned up and helped him get his bike back up onto two wheels.

The trail is getting more and more technical and difficult. On several occasions there are some major climbs where we have to ride up steep rock steps.
We have to ride these sections fairly fast to keep our momentum going. I soon find that the rebound on my forks is set too hard, as my front wheel strikes one of the steps straight on, catapulting me and the bike off the side of the trail into the bushes. I manage to stay onboard, and Mike unfortunately catches the moment for prosperity.

We encounter more and more deeply rutted sections. Its really tiring wrestling with the bike so i don't take too may photos.

Some of the deeper and steeper sections have had sawdust thrown into them in an attempt to aid traction for the trucks that navigate these tracks moving goods and people between the villages. It helps a bit, but not much, so we try to avoid entering the ruts all together and ride down the sides of the trail where we can. Its still very difficult fighting to keep the bikes upright.

It now starts to rain............
Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke

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Old 07-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #24
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I'm so in for this RR

Must congratulate Monty for persuading me to be his 'virtual' mechanic/electrician/builder and actually building and completing a stunning Africa Twin
2000 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD07A - Rugged Roads Rallye Sport,
2002 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD07A - RWB
1989 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD04 - HRC
'Maybe I'm just simple - but can't we all just get along..........'

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Old 07-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #25
KTMInduro OP
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Originally Posted by zeninnbali View Post
Superb start Monty!
Cheers Liam . See you for a beer soon
Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke

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Old 07-16-2013, 04:58 PM   #26
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Bali, Indonesia
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Originally Posted by Stormforce8 View Post
I'm so in for this RR

Must congratulate Monty for persuading me to be his 'virtual' mechanic/electrician/builder and actually building and completing a stunning Africa Twin
The journey before the journey was quite the journey Thanks once again for all your support mate.
Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:33 AM   #27
Joined: Jul 2010
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Talking So far, So good....

Well it looks good so far...those flash bikes and I see you even have special event tshirts... Good Job boys...Can't wait so see the dirt.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #28
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im in , been waiting on this one
GS gone now on a 1990 Electraglide sport natural balance gone to Ratshit

RD03 Africa twin slowly coming together
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:25 AM   #29
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Moki & Mud

We ride into a small village and stop in front of a rustic wooden house with a kiosk that's selling a few packs of noodles and bottles of coke. Its still raining a bit and we’re both knackered and hungry after this mornings ride. We both also need to refill our camelbaks so we pull to a stop.

We're immediately surrounded by inquisitive villagers and are invited inside and sit down on a couple of plastic chairs. . The floor is pounded earth, there a wooden bunk bed in the corner, a small table and a few other chairs. It looks like theres a small kitchen out the back. Theres also a TV so I guess the village has some kind of way of generating electricity. Its as rustic inside as it is outside.

Soon the room is crammed full of locals, both adults and kids wanting to inspect us. We order a bowl of noodles each and they are happy to oblige although it soon becomes obvious that this kiosk doesn't normally serve food due to the confusion our request causes our hosts.
A new guy enters the room and introduces himself as John, the local English teacher. He sits at the table chatting with us relishing the interaction with us in front of all the other villagers. I ask about local hooch and immediately someone heads off returning within minutes with a couple of litre bottles of what we learn is called Moki. Rice Whisky.

John (in the white shirt) then gives us a lesson on how to recognize the good shit. He pours some on the table and lights it. If it burns with a nice blue flame, which it does, its apparently “Bagus – Nomor Satu” and won't kill us.

We have a couple of shots of Number One to give us “Energy and strength for the road.” Just a few shots to test it. Its extremely smooth with a nice bite. We decide to buy it all.

John wants us to visit his home in a village half an hour up the trail but we have to refuse as its now mid afternoon and getting late. Apparently the trail ahead is easier than what we had come through but we still have a couple more hours in the saddle. Phew !

We wave our goodbyes and are escorted out of the village. The trail is still pretty difficult with more ruts and more rocks. Mike comes off his bike again but luckily John and a few others were still heading in our direction so helped out.

We’re not out of the woods yet but the road does gradually get better as it slowly drops through the hills towards what my GPS shows is the ocean.

The crashes are not over yet either. I ride through a water filled rut only to lose my front wheel on some hidden rocks at its exit. I have a nice mud bath to finish off the days ride.

With 30 minutes to spare before it gets dark we reach the ocean and our camp for the night; a huge expanse of coconut palms running along a beach. In amongst the trees is quite a sizeable fishing village stretching down the whole length of the bay.

We park up and start to set up our hammocks for the night. Soon we the invaders, are being invaded, as the occupants of nearby houses decend on us. The Flores people once again are incredibly friendly and run around doing their best to help make camp. We are a major attraction.

Mike pulls out his Alite chair. They have no idea about its function until Mike sits on it. They cannot believe their eyes and this causes absolute hilarity amongst some of the guys as they all jostle to try the “floating chair”.

We are asked if we want to go wash and a couple of the guys & gals guide me towards a well in the dark. My torch needs new batteries as its not working very well. Suddenly I find myself going head over heels and land heavily on my back in a pile of wooden planks. My sandal is broken and my toe is killing me. It must be broken but I feel like I’m lucky not to have broken something major. It was a big fall.

I’m pretty pissed with myself. This is our first full day out in Flores and it seems I've already picked up an injury.

Theres one thing for it. Moki.

Everyone is absolutely fascinated and intrigued with everything we’re doing. Its beginning to feel like being in a very good natured zoo as I start boiling water on the Primus.

We decide we don’t want to burden the villagers when they offer us food, so take out a Mountain house meal each. This causes much interest too. Chili con carne washed down with Moki on the beach tonight. Not bad.

Later on the headman of the village comes down to the camp with some other elders. They are real characters, and cannot believe that Mike is the same age as some of them.

These guys have a hard life although a happy one by the look of it.
Whilst I sit sipping Moki with my throbbing toe, Mike starts chattng to this chap. He states he is 100 years old, has 11 children and over 50 grandchildren !

It seems half of our audience is related to him !! He even still goes out fishing every day in his canoe. Amazing chap.

Mike tries to show him some photos on his camera , but his eyes are shot. He hands him his reading glasses and Bham the guy is bowled over. He can see close up for the first time in about 50 years ! Mike then decides to give him his spare pair. The guy is so stoked Its a very cool moment !

Slowly everybody drifts off home. We have a few more moki’s and Mike is soon dozing on his Alite. I wait for him to topple off and am slightly dissapointed when this doesn’t happen.

I head to my hammock and am soon in the land of .
Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:36 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by KTMInduro View Post
April passed and I was still trying to get my head around the maze of wiring that needed connecting for the Koso.

I was now feeling real pressure to finish due to family commitments that we both had during the summer. We had to leave by the end of May or the trip was going to have to be postponed until later in the year.

I finished the Koso wiring and all the other electrics on the bike not quite believing that I had actually managed to do it all and that everything seemed to be working as it it should. Bloody amazing and quite satisfying

Then the panels & fairing returned from the paint shop here in Bali. The color scheme was based on a Boano Rallye bike . The boys here did a really great job.

I was nearly done.

Mike had also made a few improvements to his RD04. He rides his bike every day for work so he had less time and inclanation to upgrade things that were in his words “not broke”.

He did however upgrade the forks with Yacougar progressive springs and added a few guards from Jonathan.

Mike may chip in with any other additions he made to his bike as I can’t recall them all myself, probably due to all the bottles of red wine he bought round to my workshop when he wanted to work on his bike and help on mine.
I didn't see much need to up-grading my bike. It was running perfectly and I am totally familiar with it as is, so... But I did change my springs out from stock to Yacougar progressive springs. I think they made riding on the dirt better; not sure. Definitely made my road ride interesting; my front end would bob up and down on perfectly flat tarmac surfaces like a pogo stick, and wobbled going into downhill corners; especially if braking. I'm assumed that it needed adjustments in oil/air, or balancing front and rare shocks, and I made adjustments, but so far, I have not been able to correct. I also changed out my rectifier (good move), and my wheel barrings and brakes and put new sprockets and chain on bike, and other normal routine maintenance and service for a trip like this. Oh, I also decided to repaint my faring; the puke-green bondo really stood out next to Monty's newly renovated bike.

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