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Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #1606
far
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Talking Your RR makes me sing

Hi JAY
I have to tell you something, every time I read your RR makes me sing, and is the only RR that makes me do that don't know why but is something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...=0D6u-KN670w#!

has been a great jammin with you thanks for share with us
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #1607
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sweet.
also glad to hear your DR is running tops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
February 6, 2013


Suzuki DR Overlanders Unite! I got to meet up once again with Danielle and Mike in Joburg. The last time we met was in Kampala and then they got here a few months ago and took some time to connect with family and friends. Danielle's been working on her DR350 and they should be back on the road soon. Mike's DR650 is running strong and sanDRina loves being with some 'zook friends

I had some time to relax in Joburg with Riaan and share some tips for the long road ahead that's coming for him (vansafrica.wordpress.com). He managed to get me a new clip for my GoPro housing that snapped and I've stocked up on some supplies like Locktite and copper slip grease. I cleaned up the carb and replaced a few worn parts in there (air screw and jet needle).

I'm heading north today into Limpopo to run a photography workshop at a remote orphanage (TheLonelyRoad.org) for two days and will also be discussing rain-water harvesting with the community. It's part of my participation with the Muskoka Foundation who encourage travelers to do good as they go
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #1608
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February 8, 2013


A message from Florah, an orphan at the Lonely Road Foundation in northeast South Africa. Through the Muskoka Foundation, I ran a small photography workshop for two days, introducing 15 kids to newly donated cameras and teaching them about the rule of thirds, framing and composition. The short-term goal is to get the kids to take a photo-story about a bakery that their center is running. The long-term goal is to give the kids a creative skill-set in photography, allowing them to tell their story.
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J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:52 AM   #1609
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Great photo, great message and the hidden message to cool too. "All children need a Ducati" :)

TH
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:29 AM   #1610
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Originally Posted by TrevorHeath View Post
Great photo, great message and the hidden message to cool too. "All children need a Ducati" :)

TH


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Old 02-10-2013, 12:45 PM   #1611
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February 10, 2013


Taking in the scenery outside Sabie, a small forestry town near Nelspruit, where I'm staying with CouchSurfing hosts, Richard and Tish, who are also bikers. We went out for a nice day-ride up and down twisty asphalt. sanDRina did her best to keep up with their BMW K1200GT; quite a different bike from what the DR650 is. The GT has 4 times as many cylinders and horsepower as the humble DR. It also has electronically-adjusted suspension and heated seats! I lightened up sanDRina by removing most of my gear and with a new clutch installed (the old one finally gave up) we could keep up in the corners Good to let the old girl run free of her usual heavy load
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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:00 PM   #1612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
February 6, 2013I had some time to relax in Joburg with Riaan and share some tips for the long road ahead that's coming for him (vansafrica.wordpress.com). He managed to get me a new clip for my GoPro housing that snapped and I've stocked up on some supplies like Locktite and copper slip grease. I cleaned up the carb and replaced a few worn parts in there (air screw and jet needle).

I'm heading north today into Limpopo to run a photography workshop at a remote orphanage (TheLonelyRoad.org) for two days and will also be discussing rain-water harvesting with the community. It's part of my participation with the Muskoka Foundation who encourage travelers to do good as they go
Awesome! Very glad to hear and see things continue to go so wonderfully. And a big thank you for continuing to share.

Warmest regards from way up north on the other side of the globe, Mark H.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:40 AM   #1613
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February 12, 2013


I rode into Durban, a big city on South Africa's coast that has a large Indian community and had this super tasty Mutton Bunny Chow for lunch with my host, Sugen Govender, a descendant of South Indian slaves who were brought over in the 19th century. Nobody really knows why it's called a bunny chow, but it came about as an easy way to serve up a curry on the go Sugen's got some family contacts in the shipping industry and let's see if they can find a ship for me and sanDRina
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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #1614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
February 12, 2013


I rode into Durban, a big city on South Africa's coast that has a large Indian community and had this super tasty Mutton Bunny Chow for lunch with my host, Sugen Govender, a descendant of South Indian slaves who were brought over in the 19th century. Nobody really knows why it's called a bunny chow, but it came about as an easy way to serve up a curry on the go Sugen's got some family contacts in the shipping industry and let's see if they can find a ship for me and sanDRina

Yum yum yum. This is where I grew up. Durban has the biggest Indian population outside of India. They were brought over to cut sugar cane and were actually paid so they weren't slaves.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #1615
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February 15, 2013


A herd of wildebeest with two month old calves on the Tillietudlem Game Farm, where I'm CouchSurfing with Gareth and Kirsten who are managing this beautiful 2,000 hectare property. It's set in the foothills of the Drakensburg mountains and the weather is constantly changing; an impressive lightning and thunderstorm is moving its way through the valley now.

Regarding my exit from South Africa, I've just found out that Indian immigration laws do not allow any passengers to disembark from cargo ships :( meaning that going by sea across the Indian Ocean isn't an option anymore. Boo. I was really looking forward to that sea voyage. Oh well, air freight for sanDRina and a plane ticket for me coming up. But athere's still the Drakensburg to cross and a ride down the Garden Route and Rt 62 on my way to Cape Town...
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J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:58 PM   #1616
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far View Post
Hi JAY
I have to tell you something, every time I read your RR makes me sing, and is the only RR that makes me do that don't know why but is something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...=0D6u-KN670w#!
has been a great jammin with you thanks for share with us
haha, that's awesome! love it

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
sweet.
also glad to hear your DR is running tops.
She's just happily purring along (although a bit of cold-starting issue - will take care of in Cape Town)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorHeath View Post
Great photo, great message and the hidden message to cool too. "All children need a Ducati" :)
TH
Ha, brilliant! This is a proper biker's forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDuc View Post
Awesome! Very glad to hear and see things continue to go so wonderfully. And a big thank you for continuing to share.
Warmest regards from way up north on the other side of the globe, Mark H.
Hey Mark, hope you're having a good winter up north there hi to comet

Quote:
Originally Posted by X Banana Boy View Post
Yum yum yum. This is where I grew up. Durban has the biggest Indian population outside of India. They were brought over to cut sugar cane and were actually paid so they weren't slaves.
Yup, so strange to see so many Indian names on street signs. Oh yeah, they were called indentured laborers.
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J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:44 AM   #1617
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I haven't forgotten about the ride report, just really behind Here's the breakdown in Tanzania...

_______________________________________________

Tanzania, Part 1: Down the Western side and Bike Problems
September 4 - 26, 2012

After my loop through Uganda and Rwanda, I entered the land of grand savannahs. Tanzania is synonymous with names such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro but I was routing down its less well-known western side, where the roads are still un-tarred as it passes through small villages and towns. My plan was just to spend about 3 weeks traveling down the western forests and southern highlands before getting into Mozambique, but all that changed quickly when sanDRina developed a problem. Our intended 3 weeks ended up being 3 months in the country for sanDRina, with a 7 week break for me where I went back to Nairobi to take care of some things, receive parts and renew visas.

My inability to nail down the root-cause of sanDRina's problems really challenged me and brought my spirits to their lowest on this trip. I considered throwing in the towel and giving up. But thanks to some close friends and encouragement from those who are following my journey, I found the courage to clear my mind and figure out exactly what was causing the problem. With my confidence restored in sanDRina, we continued our ride through beautiful Tanzania, meeting lovely people and cherishing the experience of being on the road.


Rusumo Falls at the border between Rwanda and Tanzania. I just love gushing water.


The border post was easy to navigate through. I was heading towards Kigoma.


Tanzania's currency, the Shilling where Tsh 1,615 = USD $1, so that Tsh 10,000 note equates to $6.20. The country is known for its grand wildlife but this was as close as I was going to get to a lion or an elephant.


My route through Tanzania, entering on the western side from Rwanda and working down to a southern exit into Mozambique. The brown route is my bus ride back to Nairobi. Click on it to go to the interactive version in Google Maps.


A good first impression of the roads in Tanzania. Most of the traffic were trucks hauling imports from the sea to land-locked Rwanda.


I hit the junction for Kigoma and not knowing what the fuel situation would be like, I topped up with some jerrycan petrol. He's got a sock over the funnel, so must be clean.


Oh yeah, feels good to be standing on the pegs on a hard dirt road and cruising in top gear.


The views all around were grand. On the right were mountains that created the border with Burundi and on my left were vast open savannahs with few people and lots of wildlife in game reserves.
(Click the image for a larger version.)


I took a break to soak in this beautiful land.


This little boy came walking along...


...and then his buddy showed up. This is a rural area and it was sad to see their malnourished stomachs.


Pretty soon a whole bunch of them gathered but they were so well behaved and just sat at a distance and watched me. What a contrast compared to Ethiopian kids where haggling outsiders is the norm.


This boy had gathered up some fruit. I wondered what it was but didn't feel like asking for one.


Such interesting faces. I wondered what they were thinking looking at this strange, bald alien on a big, black motorcycle. I'm conscious of the fact that I look so out of this world when I travel through rural areas, but hey, safety first.


Back on the lovely road, heading south.


I got waved over into the ditch by some people running with flags and saw that they were clearing the road for...


...some soldiers on a run.


Enjoying the riding, oblivious to the fact that something was troubling sanDRina.


She stopped running. Uh oh. What could it be? First thing to do is check that there is enough fuel. Of course, I just fueled up a while back, but check it. No fuel leaks, battery voltage looks good, engine temperature looks good, hmmm...


I waited a few minutes and then she fired up, yay! But then she died again a few minutes later. It felt like a fuel delivery problem in the carburetor but what was making it run for a while and then stop? I was about 10 kms (6 mi) from the next town, Kibondo, and was surrounded by maize fields on a dry, dusty road with trucks passing by. I couldn't open up the carb here. I got a push from some locals and after pushing for about 2 kms, she fired up again and I managed to ride into town just before she died.


Luckily, sanDRina stopped right in front of a small bike mechanic shop, run by Ramadan here. He was very friendly and agreed that it sounded like a carb problem. With daylight fading, we took out the carb and here he's blowing into the fuel inlet to see if the float is working properly. He said it didn't feel right to him and we would need some sandpaper to ease the jet for the float needle. The diagnose made sense to me but the hardware shops were closed now.


As the crowd gathered around, Ramadan took a sample of fuel and determined that it didn't feel right to him as he rubbed it with this fingers and said perhaps there was water in the petrol. I told him how I had fueled up with that jerrycan petrol and he said, yup, sometimes those guys cheat you and mix water in there. Great. I had almost a full tank using only 5 L so far of my 40 L tank. That was a lot of money to just throw away but Ramadan told me not to worry. He called up the local boda boda drivers (motorcycle taxi) and convinced them to buy some supposedly tainted petrol at a discount price. He told them their Chinese bikes could handle a little water in their petrol but my fancy Japanese motorcycle needed the purest petrol possible. I was just going along with all this. Petrol was retailing for Tsh 2,500/L ($6.03/gal, Euro 1.11/L) and Ramadan sold my fuel for Tsh 2,200/L . Not a bad loss to get rid of possibly water-infected petrol. We got some fresh petrol from the fuel station and sanDRina fired up but died again within 10 minutes of running. Oh no, it wasn't the fuel! Maybe it was the sticky float needle; to be tackled the next day.


I got directed to the only hotel in town and not having a functioning bike, I didn't bother checking all the accommodation options and just settled for Hotel Sankere, the swankiest place in town. It cost Tsh 20,000 ($12.40) per night and came with this hearty breakfast: quarter chicken, chapati, noodles, boiled plantains and meat and potato soup. Ooofh, I was good to go till dinner.


I got to Ramadan's little shop just as Kibondo was coming to life.


We got some fine sandpaper and carefully sanded the jet for the float needle so that it moved effortlessly. She fired up but then died again within 10 minutes.


Ramadan said it wasn't a fuel issue and perhaps it was something electrical. This was the start of my long chase up the wrong tree of root-causing the issue. We took out the spark plug and it looked like a weak spark. To find out which component was producing the weak spark, I told him to bring one of the Chinese bikes he was working on close to sanDRina and then proceeded to first send the spark from the DR's ignition coil to the Chinese bike and that didn't fire up, then we wired up the ignition coil from the Chinese bike to sanDRina's spark plugs and she fired up, running good for about 10 minutes but there was no way to run her longer without heating up, so I went and bought two ignition coils meant for the Chinese bikes.
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J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:48 AM   #1618
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The DR is a dual spark engine and thus two ignition coils meant for 125cc bikes were wired up on sanDRina.


All wrapped up nicely and tucked away on sanDRina's frame with even a heat shield in place. But sadly, that didn't fix it. sanDRina ran again for about 10 minutes and died again. Arrgggh!! I was getting frustrated now. It seemed like an ignition coil problem to me and I figured I needed a proper DR replacement ignition coil.


While sending out some emails to the DR community in South Africa, I got out my multimeter and started probing all the electronics to see if something else was also failing. These are the plugs to the CDI (capacitor discharge ignition); considered the brains of the bike (similar to an ECU in a car). The orange wire sends power to the ignition coil and it showed readings that were not in line with the specifications in the maintenance manual. That told me that maybe the CDI had finally packed it in, but these units hardly ever fail. DR riders, Dave and Craig, in Johannesburg from the WildDog forum in South Africa replied that they had a spare ignition coil and CDI lying around from a spares bike and would be glad to send them to me. Wow, I was in luck. I resigned to patiently waiting in Kibondo for the parts to make their way to me.


Feeling like I had finally found the problem with sanDRina and with replacement parts arranged, I could now take my head out of bike repair mode and see the place I was in.


Kibondo is a small town on the way to Kigoma, sitting on the edge of the savannah down below. Morning sunrises were a nice time to walk around before the hustle and bustle of an African town took over.


There were people selling basic groceries, phone accessories, doing bicycle repairs and baking bread.


I went to the market daily and bought some fresh produce for my meals.


Since I was now staying for longer, I moved into a cheaper room which cost Tsh 10,000 ($6.20) and it came with an attached bath but breakfast wasn't included. I got out my trusty MSR Dragonfly stove and enjoyed the time preparing meals; it also helped pass the time.


I quickly ran out of my small bottle of sesame oil and picked up this bottle of local palm oil for Tsh 1,000. It was quite smokey and gave everything an orange tinge, but hey, I just use what I can find.


I had only a limited supply of oats for breakfast and not knowing how long I was going to be here, I reverted to a breakfast of bread with peanut butter (which was locally available and cheap) and smashed bananas.


Having a lunch of avocado salad.


I had a decent supply of dried soya chunks for my protein but made beans one day. It took so long to cook on my little stove that I gave up on the beans and dreamed of a mini travel-size pressure cooker.


I got friendly with the hotel staff and they invited me to join them for lunch, which was usually ugali (maize meal) with beans. No plates here, just dig in.


Wonderful light at the fruit and veggie market. Produce was relatively cheap. For Tsh 500 ($0.31) I could get either 5 large tomatoes, 5 large onions, 5 medium carrots, a bulb of garlic, two fingers of ginger, 4 big bananas, a medium papaya or a small loaf of bread. Green peppers were very cheap with 4 large ones going for Tsh 200 and a local variety of spinach was only Tsh 100 for a huge bunch.


My kitchen in Kibondo. Everything chopped up and ready for a spinach and okra stir-fry with rice. You like my mini Lexan cutting board? The Leatherman Wave is never far from my side; its sharp knife makes chopping a pleasure.


A lunch of egg salad with lots of veggies.


The CDI and ignition coil finally arrived from South Africa. They went by air courier from Johannesburg to Nairobi and then got put on a bus to Dar-es-salaam for a transfer to a bus to Kibondo. But sadly, that didn't fix the issue. I called up some old mechanic friends and they suggested running the bike without the generator (stator) plugged in and she seemed to run fine. Ok, maybe it was the stator that needed replacing. I would need to order one from the US. By now it was getting near the end of September and I had originally planned to be in South Africa by the first week of October to take the last exams for my masters degree in Johannesburg. I made the call to leave sanDRina in Kibondo and bus it back to Nairobi to take my exams, receive the spares from the US and then get back to Kibondo, hopefully with a solution in hand.


With the CDI and ignition coil not being the problem, maybe there was a short somewhere in the generator that was heating up after running for a few minutes and then cutting off the bike. I removed the generator and took it back with me to Nairobi.


I packed my essentials and boarded a bus that was heading towards Nairobi. Apparently, an armed escort is needed for the roads that I had traversed, but how bad could it be with our guard busy on his cell phone.


They started playing a DVD of Bob Marley's Legend album on the bus. Yeah, mon. We be Jammin!


Crossing a small channel across Lake Victoria towards...


...the city of Mwanza.


At the bus station in Mwanza, I grabbed a quick lunch of some skewers and chapati and then hoped on the next bus that would take me to the Kenyan border.


Snacks and vegetables on offer at every bus stop. I wonder who's doing their vegetable shopping while traveling on a long distance bus?


As the sun set, I crossed the Mara River that flows into the Serengeti and got to the border. This was my first land border crossing on this trip without a vehicle to clear and I hoped sanDRina would be safe and waiting for me when I got back to Kibondo.

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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #1619
davidbrundage
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Man, this report never disappoints! Great update, despite the obvious mechanical dilemmas. I always admire the tenacity of those who find themselves in these small, remote African towns and are able to keep their cool, wrap their head around the problem and find a solution given the incredible roadblocks. It would be so much easier to say Screw it, and fly home.

Bravo, man!

Looking forward to the next installment!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #1620
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I agree with David. Great update. looking forward to the next.
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