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Old 09-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #1
Sideoff OP
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Crossing Flooded Rivers?? Trip Possibilities?

I saw the Zambian Joyride post a few years ago and was totally inspired by the concept of crossing flooded rivers with a motorcycle using inflatable pontoons. There was also this other post about it as well.

I've been working on a design and I'm about to take it out for the first test run. Here's a pic:



Right now the pontoons are attached by 3 d-rings on the bottom of each pontoon. I'm still working on additional d-ring placement for the top.

I was wondering what trip possibilities these pontoons might open up? I mean both in North America and also worldwide. From the Zambian Joyride post it looks like there are some Africa trips. I've also heard about the North Canol road in Canada. I know from personal experience that these would come in handy in parts of Honduras.

Where else are people running into this river-crossing issue? What trips would be possible with a tool like this? Are there ADV riders who run into this problem regularly and who could use something like this? If so, where are you located?

Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
Scubalong
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Eh? You are a MAD man.......

I like it
You can take that to cross the Panama canal. There is a guy from India built his own draf and cross the Panama canal last year. He posted on ADV I cannot remember his name. How do you plan to power and steer the plantoon?
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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This would not be something that would be powered by the bike. The idea is just to float the bike across a flooded river, or be able to be towed across a body of water by a small boat. If the bike was on, or even hot, the pontoons would melt. So the bike has to be off. The pontoons pack down reasonably small though. With two people, one pontoon per bike, it's not bad space-wise. Pete
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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There is a group of Polish riders that were going through Russia who tried to use the same idea. It didn't work at all. They had the videos of their trip posted on youtube and I think they have a ride report here as well. I will try to find it for you.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
tricepilot
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What's the deal with the pontoons when not inflated for water crossings, they store in a bag that attaches somewhere?

Do they pack down or is their uninflated size going to cause more trouble than they solve?

Manual or power inflation? How long does that take? How long to deflate?

Hope that when you float to the other side of whatever body of water you've crossed, you don't need a crane to get the rig out of the water.

You get the idea.....
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
What's the deal with the pontoons when not inflated for water crossings, they store in a bag that attaches somewhere?

Do they pack down or is their uninflated size going to cause more trouble than they solve?

Manual or power inflation? How long does that take? How long to deflate?

Hope that when you float to the other side of whatever body of water you've crossed, you don't need a crane to get the rig out of the water.

You get the idea.....
yeah the pontoons will pack down pretty small, but would need to be shared over two bikes.

Deflate is fast, inflate I'm still working on. Curious how long it would take with a 12v tire pump.

Definitely will be a two man job to get in/out of the water!

I'm planning to do my test run this week now that the weather is better here in the NW. I glued all the d-rings on last week.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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found the Siberian trip mentioned earlier.

http://motosyberia.com/photo_en.php

From the pics, it looks like they used the pontoons a few times. Sometimes side by side and sometimes with the bike in the middle.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Probably the side by side method works better on fast flowing rivers with shallow, rocky banks, whereas the bike-in-the-middle works on still water with deep, smooth banks. Will have to experiment with that.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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Where did you source the floats?

They look like yacht fenders?

one source, there are many.

http://www.megafend.com/yacht-fenders-inflatable.shtml
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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Could you inflate them with the bikes exhaust?
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