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Old 12-18-2014, 01:21 AM   #1
Osadabwa OP
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Location: Nairobi, Kenya
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Thumb 3 Yamaha Tenere 660s off-road in Kenya

Man I’m getting a lot of riding in… Just a few days after this great, technical trip up and down the Ngong Hills with Gary (AKA Mzee Amazing), I tagged along on a big-bike off-road trip south of Nairobi along the Champaign Ridge. It was a Tenere Showdown with the Three Tenors of African Horizons fame and me, the lowly KTM rider on his 450.


Above: The 150 kms of dirt down to Mile 46

After a nice breakfast and delicious coffee, we set off along the Eastern Flank of the Ngongs and then shot south along Champaign Ridge. Mzee led the pack (as usual), flying down the stony road.


Above: The Three Tenors south of the Ngong Hills

The first hour of dirt behind us, we paused to admire the valley (and a randomly placed steel menagerie of safari beasts) before tearing onward toward the smaller tracked descent into the valley itself.


Above: Bikes at the lookout

Just before descending deeper into the valley, one more pause on a rocky outcrop to see our destination.


Above: Panic Mechanic through the acacias, bikes at the outcrop

The end of the Champaign Ridge approached with sweeping views all the way to Kajiado town and a smooth dirt road to get us there.


Above: Mzee with a commanding lead…

Eventually we reached Green Duka turnoff and the road dissolved into a 4x4 track. Far rockier and sandier than the civilized murram of before, it was time to test the Teneres and their riders a bit. The 450 EXC and I were loving it, sliding around and launching over burms, hooligan style. I felt like a little kid around the big Teneres as they stoically rumbled forward through the bush.


Above: Green Duka, P-Cross beyond the riverbed


Above: Teneres and terrain


Above: A Tenere Trio through the bush


Above: Mzee Amazing ripping through the bush

After an attempt down a track that vanished totally into a rubble pile, we re-connected with a nice one through the funky agavelike plants and thorny scrub. The temperature had climbed, but the smooth sailing kept us cool.


Above: Catching up


Above: Through the weird agave stuff… and animal bones

The track was lovely and the bikes handled it all without a hiccup. There was a bit of everything with stones, sand and river-crossings aplenty… and the heat too. It was toasty down there.


Above: Chasing Mzee… not as easy as it should be…


Above: Mzee on the corner

Our track emerged from the bush at the colourfully painted railroad stop known as Mile 46. It was time for a rest in the shade and a surprisingly cold coke. There were the obligatory dozen or so kids on hand to offer a “how are you” and a crazy guy to welcome us and keep it interesting.


Above: Mile 46’s main drag


Above: The Oasis for cokes

While we were sitting at the Oasis, a train rumbled past. Oddly, it was a passenger train. More oddly, it only had one carriage and one engine. Kenyan efficiency.

Having refreshed, we turned back north on a very fast, but deceptively dangerous murram road replete with horrifyingly abrupt dips that threatened to eat you alive and wildlife all along the way to distract you from the job at hand. We saw Kudu and Dik-Dik earlier in the ride and the afternoon offered up Ostriches and Donkeys (okay, donkeys aren’t technically wildlife, but they’re hardly domestic either… surly bastards).


Above: The train, ostriches and donkeys

Racing along, Panic Mechanic, P-Cross and I stopped to check in. The three of us had all nearly met our makers at a certain nearly-invisible deep-sided ditch and we were in need of a conference. The story was the same for all of us: Didn’t see it. SAW IT! Grabbed controls frantically, lost front end a bit, pooed a bit, hammered the dip and miraculously survived. The big Teneres kept their passengers alive to see another day. Considering there was not even a sign of Mzee on the horizon, we could only imagine how the hell he crossed it at his pace. Like a wee butterfly no doubt.


Above: Chasing the Mechanic

After a failed attempt to eat Nyama Choma at Olepolos (those guys gotta get it together), we gave up and headed home with a couple of shandies and whatever snacks we dug up from rucksacks in our bellies for nourishment. It was cool to see big dual-sport bikes being put through their paces properly and frankly amazing to watch 5’ 2”, 60ish Mzee Amazing do it so effortlessly and so bloody fast. If it were the 90’s we’d do the “we’re not worthy” thing from Waynes World, but we won’t. No need to give him a big head.


Above: Parting shot… Back into peri-urban Nairobi

Good day out, boys.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:11 AM   #2
ghte
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Great stuff thank you sharing and going to the effort.
Stay upright.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:26 AM   #3
Africapikipiki
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Love it!

Great report.... "5'2 60-ish Mzee Amazing" is killing himself laughing!!
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:06 AM   #4
Deftone1
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wow, really cool. Thank you.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:48 AM   #5
ThirtyOne
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Fantastic report with great photos. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
Heugemono
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Cool Tenere riders! Photos are professional, thanks sharing.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:13 AM   #7
Osadabwa OP
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Thumb A quick vid

P-Cross put this together for us:


Above: 2 minutes of Teneres in the Bush
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I used to have a link to my African rides in my signature line, but every time I check it doesn't work. So, if you want to see Kilimanjaro, the Kilombero Valley, a bunch of short trips around Dar and another long one to Mozambique: go to my profile.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
dickosaurus
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Cool report, good photos- thanks for posting.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:41 PM   #9
Unstable Rider
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I really wish we could get those here in the states.

Sweet bikes- great post/story/pics.

Post some close ups of one of them sometime. We are easily mystified.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:12 AM   #10
EnderTheX
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I like the format of the photos, cool report!
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